QR Codes Secret Uses

QR codes have experienced a resurgence since their initial foray into the marketing world. Despite this comeback, many people still aren’t quite sure what to do with QR codes. They’re commonly seen on print media, driving real-world traffic to a digital destination of the marketer’s choice.

But QR codes can do so much more — if you know how to use them creatively.

QR codes provide a customizable, instant, and most amazingly, editable link between the physical and digital worlds. You can print a QR code on just about anything, and most users’ smartphones can easily scan it and take the user to a destination of your choice. Even better, you can change the destination after the fact. (More on that in a moment.) Rather than limiting your use of QR codes to adding a Facebook event link to a poster or your website URL to a brochure, think outside the box.

A good rule of thumb is to be specific in your QR code configuration. Using a QR code to send customers to your website is unimaginative and pointless. Most users will simply Google your company name, and if you’ve done your SEO correctly, your website will pop up anyway. Instead, choose a specificlanding page, product link, or social media profile that relates to what the person is seeing in the real world. Because QR codes are usually free to make, there’s no excuse for not creating as many as you need to suit your purposes!

However, QR codes can be configured to transmit more than URLs, and they can and should be used on more than basic print ads! Here are some unique uses for QR codes that will help you convert more leads, make more sales, and provide a better customer experience.

Get customers on the line

Many people don’t realize that QR codes can now connect phone calls. Making potential customers type your number into their phone is so 2015. Generate a QR code with your business number. Most smartphone cameras can instantly recognize a QR code and immediately connect the user to you. Today’s consumers prefer to have their lives be as automated and convenient as possible. By allowing them to simply scan a code to contact you, you can generate more leads and improve your conversion rate.

If you’d prefer to receive emails instead of phone calls, you can configure your QR code to do that as well. The code will automatically pull up the user’s default email app with your email address in the To: field. Use this feature to make it easy for customers to inquire about products, book appointments, or request support.

Enhance your product packaging with QR Codes

Product packaging is notoriously limited in its so-called real estate. You’ve got to fit your logo, ingredients list, pricing, UPC, and compelling copy into a small, foldable format. If you’ve ever wished you could include social proof on your product packaging — or make it easier for customers to create it — a QR code for product packaging is your answer.

Now that QR technology has been refined and the codes can store more information, dynamic QR codes no longer present a printing challenge. You can include a relatively small QR code on your packaging and drive consumers right to your social media platform or landing page. Encourage them to take a picture with your product and tag you. Customers can also easily see endorsements and reviews from other customers.

QR’s Augment customer shopping experience

Whether you have a booth at a craft fair or a full-featured brick-and-mortar location, customers increasingly expect an augmented reality experience. Although a full AR experience is cost-prohibitive for most businesses, it’s easy to approximate the benefits: Use QR codes to make it easy for consumers to access digital content related to what they’re seeing in the real world.

For example, if you’re only able to display a limited selection of styles or sizes for a given product, post a QR code that instantly directs shoppers to your e-commerce site where more options are available. You can also send customers to YouTube videos highlighting the benefits of your product or showing a demo.

QR codes can also facilitate the checkout process, especially for small businesses. Imagine this: You use Stripe or PayPal to accept payments, but you only have one reader, or you’re frequently serving multiple customers at once. A QR code could direct customers to a payment page, where they can pay for products and services. Then, they simply show you the receipt for pickup.

Best practices for QR Code usage

As mentioned above, QR codes can direct real-world users to webpages, social media profiles, email addresses, or phone numbers. As the technology improves, QR functionality is likely to expand. For now, it’s ideal to create a unique QR code for each call-to-action, rather than attempting to create a “catch-all” code.

Match each code to its use. If you’re printing flyers to advertise a fitness class, include a QR code that leads to a registration link. If you’re including a QR code on your product packaging, make a code for each product that leads the consumer to relevant content. If you’re running a fundraising campaign, create a special giving link and configure a QR code for it.

And remember, QR codes are now dynamic rather than static. That means that you can adjust what they link to, even after they’re printed. The potential of this flexibility cannot be overstated. For example, you could print the QR code on merchandising displays, but change the featured product link every week. If you send out direct mailers about your classes, you can update the links to this month’s schedule, so that if someone finds your January mailer in February, they can still scan the QR code and get the latest information. Remember, the key is to enhance what the consumer sees in the real world, and that needs to update and change as quickly as life does.

That said, it can be challenging to keep your QR codes organized. You don’t want to lose track of which code leads to which destination. A provider like Glyphics makes it easy. You can see all of your QR codes at a glance, along with the date they were created and where they lead to. Use a spreadsheet to track which assets you’re using the codes on, then easily update the destinations as needed through your  dashboard. Glyphics.io

QR codes are poised to finally create organic, flexible links between the mundane, physical world and the ever-expanding digital experience. Start rolling these secret uses of QR codes into your marketing and sales. You’re bound to discover even more innovative uses that will help grow your business!

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