A Quick Response (QR) code is like a link for the off-line world. You can create it for free, post it anywhere, and connect it to anything. The code is an image that is scanned by a smartphone scanner – like the QuickMark and Optiscan for iPhone or Barcode Scanner for the Android –and automatically takes to the viewer/scanner to the coded data. It can be a URL, text, SMS or even a phone number.
Here’s the QT on QR :
QR codes are used in Apple stores by employees to scan the product you are buying. Their iPhone reads the QR code, and the product information appears on their iPhone screen. QR coding is popular in Japan, but it’s making its way across the ocean to the US. The iPhone and now the Android have scanner capabilities. And if Google’s getting into it, you know it’ll soon be big.
How to use it
There’s no doubt that QR coding is very cool. But how does it fit into online marketing?
You can create a code image to send users to any page you have a URL for. Homepage, how-to videos, sales page, coupons, Facebook – anything. If there is any part or portion of your business that is printed, you can use the QR code.
If you have a good relationship with your merchant, you can ask him or her to include your QR code on the mailing slip or invoice.
If the product you promote isn’t shipped, and you don’t send any materials ever, that still leaves business cards. If you pass out cards, clip them to letters you send or include them in packages sent to super affiliates you are asking to join your program, a QR code is a great way to show your grasp of cutting edge technology, and direct them to specific online information.
Kaywa is a free QR code creator. They’re a Swiss company that also offers a QR reader. Using their site you can create your own QR code in three steps.
Step One: Select the type of information you are encoding.
Step Two: Input the information you are encoding (in this example, it’s a URL).
Step Three: Click ‘Generate.’
iCandy also offers free QR code creation services, just sign up at their homepage. They also offer a scanner app for the iPhone. Stickybits.com takes the encoding one step further and
enables you to turn it into a sticker, coffee mug, t-shirt, office supplies and anything else Zazzle.com (an online apparel, art and invitation business) makes. One Stickybits user encoded a can of
There are plenty of ways to get creative with QR codes and the code creators, and it’s just the type of neat trick that can work wonders for marketing. You can offer coupons and discounts,
promote new campaigns or expand your branding. QR codes are a bridge from the digital world to the real world, so if you are looking for ways to integrate your online business with your offline work, QR codes are just the tool to help you.