QR Codes: An Inexpensive Way to Market Your Business

By Brett Melson Monday, January 2, 2012

Recently, little black and white squares have been popping up everywhere!  These tiny blocks are called QR (quick reference) codes, which can imbed a great deal of information.

QR codes have thousands of uses, and creative business owners are coming up with new ways to use them in marketing their businesses.

QR codes engage customers! Using a smart phone and a free QR Reader app, your customers simply scan the QR code into their phone and it takes you right to the web page you specify. This turns a once-boring print ad into an interactive experience, because the computer-generated codes contain all kinds of information that you specify, including print, pictures, web links, email addresses, Facebook links, coupons, and other promotions.

Many businesses are finding that QR codes offer an effective way of bridging the gap between print and online.  For example, while tried and true business cards still work in paper format, including a QR code on them will provide a quick link to your company’s web site.  Including your company’s QR code in newspaper and magazine ads will expand marketing potential.  QR codes combine offline information to online content, thus linking a multimedia experience to print advertisements.

QR codes are easily scanned by any modern mobile phone.  As smart phones become increasingly more popular, people want faster and more direct lines of communication between products and services they use. Customers using QR codes don’t have to type or remember anything. At this rate, it won’t be long before most people will recognize and use QR codes, so small businesses should consider being ready to take advantage of this emerging and very low cost technology.

We are only scratching the surface of how they can be used, but here are a few ideas to put QR codes to work for your business:

·                  Link to social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, turning foot traffic into web traffic.

·                  Use QR codes on receipts to send customers to a testimonial page for your business.

·                  In storefront windows – when your business can’t be open 24/7, customers can still access your information and even shop online.

·                  On business cards – help new contacts find your business faster.

·                  Include on product tags and customer feedback forms.

·                  Alternate special offers by linking your QR codes to new or updated landing pages.

·                  Create unique QR codes to include on invoices that take clients to a specific payment page

There are a number of sites for generating QR codes, and they are free.  An internet search for “QR code generator” will offer many choices. There can be a certain amount of fun and surprise with QR codes and with creativity your business may find them a valuable marketing tool.

Are you already using QR codes in your marketing?  If so, feel free to share in the comments how you are using them and the results you are seeing.

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