June 24, 2021
If you’ve been to a restaurant during the pandemic, you’re probably familiar with a quick response (QR) code.
What you may not know is that businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on the one-two punch of this tiny barcode and mobile technology to boost marketing and engagement.
In this webinar, Engage by Cell CEO Dave Asheim and Senior Mobile Solutions Consultant Patty Ruland discuss tips and tricks when using QR codes.
Here are the highlights of Dave and Patty’s conversation:
History of QR Codes
In the past, QR codes were used for a variety of different purposes. They started back in the 1990s. Commercially though, QR codes fell out of favor because users had to download an extra QR code reader. On top of that, you were taken to pages that didn't provide any type of engagement. - Patty Ruland
QR Codes Today
Since the pandemic, everybody has seen QR codes everywhere: on menus, signs, when signing up for things, etc. They have really made a huge comeback. I will say internationally, QR codes have been at a steady rate of adoption, but here in the US, they're back and they're big. - Patty Ruland
Generating a QR Code
Anyone can generate a QR code. If you happen to be a client of ours, we have a button on every mobile page that you're building that generates a QR code. You can also go to many different generators. Google has a great generator or you can download QR code generators from the Apple Store. - Dave Asheim
What exactly is a QR code?
A QR code looks like a bunch of squiggly lines in a square. QR actually means quick response. It’s about getting the information to your device as quickly as possible. When a QR code is scanned with your mobile device, information will pop up. It could be a URL, PDF, really any kind of content. - Dave Asheim
QR Code Engagement Challenges
Some of the QR codes I see are confusing. Just because I see a QR code, if it doesn't tell me what it's for, I am not going to take out an iPhone and scan it. -Dave Asheim
Tip #1: Make QR Codes Big
Make your QR codes as big as you can. If it's packaging, you're going to be a little bit limited. If it's a beautiful museum with wall labels, you can't make it too big. But if it's an outdoor exhibit, if it's something for a gala, like a donation page, make that QR code big. -Dave Asheim
Tip #2: Clear Call to Action
If you want somebody to take advantage of a special offer, or sign up for something, you want to include information that connects with the person. It should give them some type of emotional feeling of “if I don't do this, I might be missing out on something.” FOMO, right? So tell people what will happen when they scan. Does it go to Twitter? A $100 gift card? Don’t put out a QR code and assume that somebody is going to know what it's for. - Patty Ruland
Tip #3: Make the Landing Page Mobile-Friendly
Make sure that the QR code is landing on something that's mobile-friendly. It's hard to read something when you're scrolling over to one side, or the screen is not pinching and zooming. - Patty Ruland
Many Uses for QR Codes
Some examples of the uses for QR codes are to sign up for something, complete a membership form, make a donation, watch a video, view photos, read content, download PDFs, view PDFs, and play games and so forth. - Patty Ruland
- QR Codes for Outdoor Cultural Venues: In New Orleans, there is an outdoor sculpture corridor. So they have signage on the street. You scan it and you're brought to information about what you're standing in front of, simple and easy. This is also great for international visitors who may not have US texting capabilities or, or other compatible services.
- QR Codes for Museums: At a museum, maybe for an exhibit, when you use QR codes, you don't have to print brochures for each exhibit. With things changing frequently, you can consistently update the page or the content that you're offering.
- QR Codes for Membership: You can create a QR code that leads to your membership page. On that page, it shows the different types of membership levels, their benefits, and then there's a button to tap to access the membership form.
- QR Codes for Mapping and Navigation: We have a lot of gardens as well as visitor centers that use QR codes The QR codes lead people to a map that shows them where they are. These clients have saved a significant amount of money on printing hardcopy maps. At the end of the day, those maps end up in the trash, so environmentally and economically, it’s a good idea.
- QR Codes for Event Information: A lot of our clients will use a QR code to link to a list of their upcoming events. They'll update it monthly. So the same QR code that people scanned three months ago is always gonna be up to date with the current content.
- QR Codes for Donations: Nonprofits use Engage by Cell in many ways. Donations is a big one. A QR code can take people to a simple branded, mobile donation page without having to do anything. All I did was scan it and now I can go ahead and make my donation. Here in my area, my local TV station has been advertising for a policeman's fund. They've actually put the QR code on the bottom of the TV screen where people can make their donations sitting in the comfort of their home.
- QR Codes with Fundraising Thermometers: You can actually scan a QR code and be brought to a fundraising thermometer at an event so as the event is going on, you can see the progress on your phone. This is used a lot with organizations who have been doing virtual or streaming events.
- QR Codes in a Retail Setting: We have some clients that actually print QR codes on their staff member’s tee shirt. People can scan the tee shirt and get information--or even on a wristband.
- QR Codes with Job Centers: We work with a lot of workforce development organizations, job Centers, and county agencies. They use our QR codes everywhere like flyers and banners. We also have organizations that put their hiring information on a QR code.
- QR Codes for Product Instructions: QR codes can be put on packaging for links to instruction manuals.
QR Code Analytics
If you use a Google QR code generator, you might have to get your IT people involved to try to find out who scanned. As part of our service, if you generate the QR code from our platform, we give you a report that shows how many people scan that QR code.