You’re probably familiar with QR Codes – those barcody-looking things that allow you to communicate additional information about whatever you wish.
You can use them anywhere, for lots of great uses. Here’s a video that describes 21 of them!
Here’s my favorite QR Code creator (some elements are free, others cost a bit): http://www.QRStuff.com
And here’s a list of QR Code readers / decoders / scanning apps for iPhones, Androids and more: http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_phone_software.html
And finally, here are the items included in the list
- Business Cards
Put a code on your business card containing all of your contact information
- Put It On A T-Shirt
Then people get sent where you want them to go
- Put It On Price Tags In A Store
Taking them to a specs page online
Best Buy does this
- Put It On Your Website Contact Us Page
People take a picture of your page on the screen, put you in their contact list
- Put It On Your Instruction Sheet
People scan it to get step-by-step instructions
Or maybe a video
- Put It In Print Ads
People scan to be taken to a specific landing page on your website
- Put It On A Campaign Sign
Taking people to your website
- Put It On A For-Sale Sign
Take them to a website with video and information about the item being sold
- Put It On Your Luggage
If your luggage ever gets lost
- Send a Tweet
Scanning it sends out a tweet
- Do A Location Login
Put on every table and the walls of your restaurant, does a foursquare login or a Facebook location login
- Add To Your LinkedIn Page
Passes your contact information or website
- Call Us To Place Your Order
Scan dials their phone
- Send a Teaser Postcard
Send a QR code to a potential client, which takes them to your website
- Put It On Your Conference NameTag
Contact information or website
- Put A Backsell On Your Invoice
Taking them to a landing page making a special offer
- Put One On The End Of A Video
Takes them to a landing page, can pass source codes
- PayPal Buy Link
Scanning takes them to PayPal to buy your item
- Promote An Event
Scanning the code puts it on their calendar
- Announce Your Free Wifi
Scanning logs them into your wifi account
- Put It In Your Powerpoint Presentation
Build your list by sending them to a special bonus offer if they sign up
What ideas do you have in addition to the ones listed in the video? Share them by leaving a comment below.
And don’t forget to Like and Tweet about this video!
Great list! Related to #19: Also promote an entire event agenda. For participants at large conferences, having the agenda/calendar on a smartphone or tablet adds convenience to checking session schedule and speaker bios throughout the event.
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Is there an option where you can scan a QR code from your business card and the details go straight to a clients phone?
Actually, that can be done. They have to approve it, but it can be done.
How can I make a QR code clickable?
Many people use smartphones to access a site on which they see a QR code but they cannot click on it.
How to do that?
A very simple newbie’s guide would be much appreciated.
And how to do a QR code for someone to pay by Paypal?
Any more comments on using QR codes on Facebook? is this now a non-starter?
The way to make it clickable is to link the graphic to the page you want them to go to, just like you would like a buy button or any other graphic. So if you were doing it on a blog, for example, you would want to put in the graphic, then click on the graphic, click the link button in the top bar (oftentimes a chain icon) then fill in the form with the URL you want it to link to.
To do a paypal QR code, I would just have the QR code call up the Paypal checkout page. So, set up your checkout page (with the description of the product, cost, etc. and the paypal button on the page) then take the link from that and use it to create the QR code.
Hope that helps!
We started the use of QR codes in our marketing videos. A recent start was a Professional Artist that included QR codes for the website address and sign up to a mailing list. Our videos are created from Instagram content and using the QR codes we expect the video to continue to grow with Instagram new pics and drive more folks to her website. Just started but excited about the possibilities. [Edited to remove url]
Not hard at all. I’m publishing a blog post on this soon! Watch for more!
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I like the idea of putting them on business cards and have even thought about it but was afraid the code would be too small. Adding to a thank you postcard included with shipments is another way. The shirt idea is the most original I’ve heard so far. Someone walking down the street with a shirt code seems like a cool idea for a commercial…lol! Can you offer any advice on where to get your QR code?
Would you be able to use QR codes as the new bar code for ordering items direct to a vendor?
There’s lots of work being done in these areas. It all depends on what you want to communicate in the code.
Thanks for giving great information. I will use on Business cards
Do you see individuals, such as avid Facebook fans, using QR codes for social engagement? Any specific examples?
Thanks and enjoyed this.
Great video, Good advice on QR code uses but I have a query : What handsets are capable of scanning? Who is the average demographic user ?
Any smart phone. Demographics are similar to smart phone users – higher income, tech savvy.
I don’t believe it will be very long before smartphones are the only option anyway, just take a look at how fast the mobile phone has been adopted and how fast they are selling compared to say PC’s and I’ve heard that they are already outselling PC’s now!
Thanks for the list Don, I am using them everyday now and you have given me some more uses too.
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I don’t get all the fuss about QR codes. Most of the people I know don’t even HAVE a smartphone. I do, but I’ve never whipped it out to scan a QR code, what a strange thing to do. Who came up with the idea that it would be smart to make information non-human-readable? Do you really not want to sell things to people who don’t have a smartphone?
Yes you do, which is why this shouldn’t be your ONLY means of marketing via mobile. But, you don’t want to pass up a solid opportunity to reach people by rejecting them altogether. They are powerful tools if used wisely.
Don! A big shout out thank you for all the consistently good information.
Is it possible to sew a QR Code onto a golf shirt, instead of just the traditional t-shirt screen printing process?
You could test it, but I’d be nervous about it.
Great examples Don! It’s great to see inventive ways for businesses to use QR codes! Hopefully the addition of customized QR codes will also begin help drive adoption through the next few years!
Put it on a tag on your thumb drives!
Don, great list!
I recommend testing any of this with multiple tools before simply creating and putting a code somewhere. For example, the QR-to-tweet wasn’t that great on the QRstuff site (it put extra characters in the tweet). Ditto for the Facebook Like functionality; it didn’t seem to work. Some of these sound good in theory but in reality aren’t all they promise to be.
I’m going to put them on a wine label and send them to my youtube channel for a virtual wine tasting.
Realtors can use them to let potential clients find out more about their listings.
Thanks Don for the Fantastic Ideas & Sparks! You ALWAYS Deliver Quality content – Thank you so much for that!
Thanks everybody for the other suggestions & options to check out!
I am going go & do this stuff by creating QR codes to let potential clients SEE the Results before buying! Wish me Well!
Lots of ideas I hadn’t considered. Thanks for sharing.
I’m to go go do this stuff now. 🙂
These are some great ideas…Iv’e added them to my list which also includes these:
Use them to send coupons to your customer over a mobile ad to squeeze pg.
Use them to expand your list by sending them to a freebie/squeeze page.
make stickers out of em that send people to your sales pages and stick ’em on related stuff…like if you sell cookbooks, you could stick em on boxes of cookware at the swap meet, etc.
Create customer involvement by using them to create a treasure hunt.
May I add 20 more: http://servletsuite.com/qrcode.htm – QR-code FAQ and how-to
Thanks for these resources Don – they ROCK! 🙂
It’s really important that everyone remembers to use these responsibly. They should not be used on websites. They are meant to save the user time. To put them on a facebook ad defeats the purpose – if the user is already on a computer, it would be silly to have to take out your SmartPhone just to read the code when a clickable link is much easier for them.
QR codes are brilliant. I wish more people used them. We sell a Bluetooth QR barcode scanner (Koamtac KDC300i) that works with iOS devices, such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, as well as Android and any Bluetooth enabled device. It’s an industrial strength scanner that works in a lot of conditions where software apps just can’t cut it. [Edited to remove promotional link]
hi don, would a QR code in the size of a facebook ad image work or is this too small to scan from a computer screen? if itâ€™s not too small, does facebook allow us to use qr codes as an ad image? i ask because if we purchased these ads on a cpc basis we could potentially get lots of interactions for free since people wouldnâ€™t have to click the ad to interact with it.
Frankly, I wouldn’t. I would use a picture of a person. That always tends to work better.
Actually, we ran a series of ad campaigns and the one that used a QR code outperformed all other images by at least 5-times. Unfortunately, I just went to rerun the ad for an annual event and Facebook rejected it, saying the image does not meet their image guidelines. And to answer Kevin the QR code worked. We have one account with a QR code in our Twitter avatar and the only size that won’t scan is the micro-size.
Don’t know if it’s against their terms of service, but what about FB ads? They require a picture, and it could save on CPC if people just scan?
You could make clear pet tags that you slip the QR code into so that if the pet is lost, it can be returned to its owner.
Great idea Kelly! Nice to see you here!
Not sure how ‘popular’ QR codes are in the US, but here in UK I would say they were still virtually unknown. Fact, I’ve only seen it used ONCE by a national DIY chain. As one of the poster’s said, it’s still in its infancy … which is a great time to start using things to ‘educate’ people.
I like the ideas mentioned in video – especially the T-Shirt idea. So now’s the time to get me Thinking Cap on!!
Yes, They are still Very New here in the UK. But with Big names like Dominos Pizza pasting them on their menus and delivery packaging it helps to educate the masses.
Great information here Don. We tell our photography clients to use it at weddings so the guests can distribute the images faster after the event.
Thanks for sharing this good stuff. This is very interesting. and thanks for sharing great ideas.
Red [Edited to remove URL]
Awesome thanks for sharing Don!
I did up a mindmap as well – http://i52.tinypic.com/wb88q9.jpg
Thanks a TON for the MindMap Marcus! It is Great – and Very Helpful to “See” as a picture 🙂
Just be careful about QR codes in public places. Anyone can print a QR code, stick it over your legitimate one, and send people to your opposition, a porn site, or whatever.
very good for New Marketing Method.
For reading QR codes your mobile device needs a small app. In many cell phones this functionality is still not standard on board… This would help in embrasement of th QR! Because, if you have it and once you’ve done it ( as a user), you love it! I like QRStuff, thanks!
Good point. Here’s a list of QR Code scanning apps for iPhones, Androids and more: http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_phone_software.html
Don – love your video – you have the most energetic trustworthy voice – nice job!
I’ve heard energetic to describe my voice before, but I really like “trustworthy!” Thanks!
Some ideas here, put a special code with a good rebates or subscribes to a great contest…
Thanks for sharing this very good ideas
I’ve used Google’s QR code maker a few times, too. If you go to http://goo.gl/ and generate a short code, you then have the option to click on ‘details’. Click ‘details’ and there is a QR code on the next page.
Great ideas Don… thanks.
Is there somewhere I can go to find out the ‘how to’ for some of these ideas?… like how to get it to dial your phone or send an email as you mentioned.
I’d appreciate your advice.
I know that some of the codes on http://www.QRStuff.com are specifically designed to do some of these things. So I’d try them out there first.
Otherwise, I’d google them…
Thanks very much Don.
Hi don. Great blog. I love qr codes. I think they have amazing potential. We have had a qr code on the home page of our real estate website for about a year. We do get a lot of comments and I believe it shows we are at the front of technology trends. We are just organizing to have them printed on our for sales signs. I love qr codes and I can see the huge benefits, you can have so much fun with the marketing. I can’t wait for the day we can embrace them like Japan has. [Post edited to remove URL]
Great video Don. Awesome ideas on how to use those QR Codes. I really like the one about a simple post card with nothing but the code. Curiosity would definitely get the best of me on that one.
Good uses for the QR codes, more than I thought of. Thanks for the great information.
I still think QR codes are 12 months away from being popular enough to reach traction. I have made QR codes for all my clients but never thought that of all these great ideas. Good one.
I agree. And I also believe that the jury’s still out whether it will be QR codes or some other similar type of code that will get the traction. But I’m convinced that something like QR codes will get that widespread usage and we’ll all be using them in the future. Watch here – I’ll be sure to let you know as we see further developments in this area.
Great info, thanks for all the ideas, definitely thinking about integrating QR-codes in my next few projects… BUT!
I think the not yet so very well known NFC (Near Field Communication) will be more successful. NFC is a kind of receiver/transmitter in your phone that can get information from other NFC-transmitters (phones or other stuff). For instance: there’s an ad for a new pixar movie, for the qr-code you’d need to take your phone and search for the qr-reader, and then scan. In this case you just take your phone, leave the screen locked, and hold it next to the (in the future) widely known NFC-Logo for up to a second. This could do exactly the same as a qr-code (perhaps take you to a website). Another BUT: NFC cannot be incorporated with for instance the internet, you can’t download a physical object (or every computer needs its own NFC transmitter which automatically does what the website tells it to do), which makes the QR-code better for that and long range scans (huge banner 30 feet away from you). On the other hand, a qr-code can only do stuff with the internet, whereas NFC could do stuff offline as well. I’m pretty excited about NFC, and my next phone will certainly have NFC.
I guarantee you that in a decade, people will go to a grocery-store, and just sweep their phone past an NFC-transmitter, press a button and they’ve paid…
Great tips Don. I have been selling QR services to local businesses and the resttaurants particularly like Checkins via QR (they have a QR code on a table card, and they put the QR codes on their menus outside the restaurant, so people can take the menu (and the contact details) away with them at the click of a button :o)
Here’s an idea: Put the QR code into a heartfelt personalized greeting card. They get opened and voila — your QR to a video message. [Comment edited to remove URL and so that it would make sense after the URL is removed.]
Don, thanks for this. You’ve expanded my list of uses for QR codes. Clients will be very happy. Always love your training videos.
Appreciate your effort but I dislike videos like this, particularly when I want to learn something. Any chance you will take the trouble to do a transcript?
I’ve just added the list to the blog post. Happy to help!