How to reach your mobile client using QR codes

If you’ve seen a multitude of those wacky black and white boxes that look like a cross between a barcode and a rorschach Try, you are not alone. They’ve turned up in everything from plant containers to pet food. Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot have embraced QR codes as a way to connect real-world goods and services with virtual information (for example, additional product information, discounts, contests, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, etc.)

How is that possible? By scanning the QR code with a web-enabled smartphone, the user can be directed to a mobile web page, one that displays more content about the product or service.

How are QR codes used?

Business professionals are using them as digital business cards, printing them on the back of existing cards for easy scanning. The advantage? The information can always be updated and you only need a card in your pocket to scan. Employers can link a QR code to an online job application. Real estate companies can place them on for-sale signs, which are then linked to videos, pricing, and contact information. A mobile consumer can scan a code and take a virtual tour of a home, see the price, and call the agent. Business owners can place a QR code in the corner of an ad and extend their marketing message to any customer with a smartphone. Restaurant owners can display their hours, menu, and/or a daily special.

How do they work?

QR codes (short for Quick Response) first gained popularity in Japan, where Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave created them for vehicle manufacturing tracking purposes. The two-dimensional codes proved to be extremely useful, as they can contain between 4K and 7K of characters. The codes can be read by any number of QR scanning apps, available from your smartphone’s app store, usually free of charge. Popular QR generators, such as, provide a simple web-based platform for creating custom, pre-optimized web pages.

Once you’ve created your code, you can print it on a variety of media, from billboards and tabletops, to print ads and yellow page listings. Also, some QR generators provide analytics to see how many times the codes were scanned.

Which is the best strategy?

The key to an effective QR code campaign is to reward your mobile customer for scanning the code. Don’t blindly link to your home page (which will probably only show part of your site). Instead, make sure you create a mobile-optimized landing page with a call to action, a discount code, a contest, a reason. to take further action. The principles of mobile marketing are the same as those of traditional marketing; the consumer wants to know “What’s in it for me?” So be sure to reward them for taking the time to want to know more about your company, product, or service.

With the right strategy, QR codes can provide a valuable tool in addressing the growing difficulty of reaching the mobile consumer. It provides a means to connect with your audience in real time with relevant information. With smartphone usage projected to hit 50% this year, this trend towards mobile marketing will only get stronger over time. Set your game plan now and create a bridge that spans your online and offline efforts.

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