We were having an interesting discussion at The Rebecca Gordon Group this week about QR codes and it got us to thinking, what are the best ways to use them and what are the worst?
Let’s start with the worst…
1. DON’T put QR codes on billboards
First, it’s dangerous, taking your phone out and trying to capture a QR code on a billboard at 70 miles per hour is a very bad idea. Arrive Alive, a motto we believe in. Secondly, putting a QR code on a billboard takes up valuable real estate for what you want people to see which is your message. Even the QR code in the billboard above on the side of a building would be difficult to scan for most users.
2. DON’T put them on your website
This one’s simple — they have already found you, why would you want to send people somewhere else?
3. DON’T put them in places phones can’t go
Don’t put them at the bottom of a pool, in the shower at the gym or in a location where there is not decent cell phone reception. QR codes were developed to be utilized via your smartphone. Don’t put them in places where smart phones don’t work.
4. DON’T use QR codes without explanation
A QR without any hint as to where that might lead a user, is typically bad practice. It’s like clicking on a shady link online. With more harmful computer viruses popping up every day, users are more wary than ever about clicking on unidentified links. Now if you can find a way to make the QR code so intriguing or mysterious that users will just have to scan it, more power to you. Just don’t lead them anywhere shady.
Now some cool ways to use QR codes…
1. DO put them on products where people are waiting in line.
Hanging out at the DMV, in a long line at the gas station, waiting for the bus, people are bored. Help them out and give them something interesting to look at. Plus, it takes a few seconds to pull up the QR code reader app and scan the code. People are much more likely to scan your QR code if it is positioned in a place where they are going to be standing for more than a few seconds.
2. DO make your holiday cards more interactive
Put a QR code in your holiday cards to direct your friends and family to your online holiday message, picture or video.
3. DO give the gift of music
Looking for a really cool way to use a QR code? Create a playlist on spotify, create a QR code that directs people back to your playlist! Voila!
Have any more ideas on how to use QR codes effectively? Or any other bad examples? Share them in the comments below.