Posted on May 21st, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
I was at the liquor store the other day picking up my gorgeous girl-friend’s favorite bottle of sweet Schmitt Sohne wine. When I got home and pulled it out of the bag I happened to notice a QR code on the back of the bottle. Thus the newest QR code case study.
Not all QR codes I find are worthy of a blog—in fact most aren’t—but every once and a while a QR code stands out and is able to illustrate great aspects of QR code use, or potential problems that can completely derail a QR code campaign and make it useless. This is an example of the latter.
When QR Codes Go Wrong
After an initial look at the code not much stands out. It looks like a pretty typical use of a code—which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The code is on the back and small, so it doesn’t stand out. Generally not a good thing if you are looking for people to scan it. To make up for this issue a good call to action should exist; instead it only reads “Scan it!” Incredibly enticing, wouldn’t you say?
The QR code itself is fine; it’s clear, has a low density and isn’t terribly cluttered by things around it, so in that way it is perfect. Because of this I easily scanned the code and waited in anticipation for the beautiful mobile optimized landing page that surely awaited me…
Really? “Not Found”? …Probably not ideal for your QR code campaign.
I have never addressed this before, though I have seen it a handful of times, but having a working landing page is kind of vital to a successful QR code campaign. So before you go to print your QR code on all of your product packaging make sure you have tested it and your mobile site is up and running. Otherwise what happens is what you see above.
Using a QR code is not just some throw in marketing tool; it takes some serious thought and effort and cannot be put together on a whim. Make sure if you choose to use this tool you do it right. If you do, it can be incredibly valuable to your business.
Using Qfuse can help make sure problems like the one you see above do not happen.
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Posted on May 17th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
There are a million different ways to use QR codes but here is one for you brides out there: Using QR code on your wedding invitations.
First, you will need to get over the fact that they aren’t the most beautiful piece of art work, but if you find them so horrible to look at you can always customize your QR code to make it a little less of an eyesore.
After you have gotten over the look of the code, you will then notice the actual benefits, and the reason you would put them on your invitations.
A typical wedding invitation doesn’t contain a lot of information for the guest, due in part because of a lack of physical space. This means that other important information that the guest may require must be done through some other media source, usually email or telephone. One way to streamline this information distribution and limit guest questions is to provide the information to all the guests through a simple QR code which they can scan once it is received.
Upon scanning the QR code the guest could be directed to a mobile optimized website with all important information the guest may require: driving directions, nearby airports, meal ingredients for allergies, gift register, hotel accommodations etc. This should help limit the number of emails and phone calls the wedding planner receives, and make everyone’s life easier.
Another very useful way the QR can be helpful to all parties involved is using the QR code for RSVP’s. Quite often people do not respond to RSVP’s, perhaps they forget, they lose the card and envelope or whatever. This can be a problem for the wedding planner as they are trying to determine seating arrangements, meal plans etc.
If a QR code were placed on the invitation for this purpose, the person receiving the invite could then scan the code and be directed right to a mobile landing page where they can quickly and easily RSVP, saving everyone time and hassle, not to mention mailing costs.
As usual QR codes can be a useful tool in so many different areas, weddings are no exception, so don’t forget to use Qfuse in your future wedding plans!
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Posted on May 15th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Thousands of examples exist of QR code uses that just aren’t very useful, or are really quite bad, and even some that are absolutely terrible. We will be looking at an example of the latter type in this blog.
Sometimes I wonder how a marketer or advertiser ever got their job when I see some of these QR code uses, it really is quite amazing. Take this example below; let’s list the problems and their remedy.
1) No real call to action. Sure is says “Find the Inn crowd”, but does that mean you should scan the code to find the Inn’s location? It’s a bit confusing. To solve this make a clear and understandable call to action, in this example it might be “scan the QR code to locate the nearest Inn.”
2) The size of the QR code. In order to scan a QR code your phone’s camera needs to be able to see it clearly. This means that when you plan on using a QR code you MUST think about whether your potential consumer is going to be near or far away from your prospective print advertisement. In this case you know your customer is going to be very far off, so if you are going to still use a QR code it has to be huge, perhaps half the size of the billboard in this case. At some point though, it just might not be worth it. There is a time and place for QR codes; you need to figure out when and where that is.
3) Death for the person who scans the code. This is rarely ever a problem you want to have. Your customer is driving along at 75 mph and sees the QR code on your billboard, he pulls out his smartphone, clicks on his QR code scanning app, takes both hands off the wheel and attempts to scan your small code fifty yards off the highway…probably not going to end well. How to remedy this? Probably just refrain from putting QR codes on highway billboards. But if you must use this marketing strategy and wish to risk losing many customers to early deaths, at least make sure when they scan the code they are taken to a nice mobile optimized website and not your awful desktop site. A small courtesy for their few remaining seconds on earth.
All you need to do to not appear on these sorts of blogs is to think before you decide to use a QR code. Make sure you have a good call to action, make sure you know where your customers will be in relation to your code when they will be scanning it, and make sure if they do scan your code their odds of death are not dramatically increased.
To get started using QR codes make sure you check out our best practices page, and then check out our mobile website creation platform and everything else Qfuse has to offer. Follow this and you’ll have a tough time messing up your QR code campaign.
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Posted on May 13th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
I was on my way to a meeting in Danbury Connecticut when an intense headache hit me, requiring me to search out the closest pharmacy. After a quick search on my phone I found a CVS close by at the Danbury Mall. Upon entering the mall I was overwhelmed by its size and realized that I needed a map to point me in the right direction. Of course trying to find a map in such a huge mall might take as long as trying to find the store itself.
As I turned a corner searching for my map, I passed a sign with an agreeable woman on it and did a double take upon seeing a QR code which I figured I would check out to see if it might be useful for a blog post. Little did I know it would be incredibly useful for my own immediate use.
The advertisement was for the Mall itself, promoting mall goers to download the mall’s app, and it made this clear with its good call to action. I thought to myself that downloading this app might bring me to a map of the mall and help me find the way to my destination.
I scanned the code and it took me directly to the App info page, and guess what was the first thing listed in regards to the app function? That’s right, a ‘Mall Directory’. Halleluiah!
I quickly downloaded the app and found my CVS, and just as I feared it was in the opposite side of the mall in the darkest corner. I would have taken an hour walking that mall to find it. This app saved my day and helped me show up on time to my meeting. Not to mention it proved how useful QR codes can actually be.
Whoever created this ad and QR code campaign really did a great job. The advertisement brings you in, and makes the QR code and downloading of the app the only focus of the advertisement. The call to action being the only verbiage ensures a higher scan rate.
Upon scanning the code it does exactly what you would expect and takes you to the App info screen where you can see what the app does and choose to download it.
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the app is actually very well done and provides only those things users would find important, including: a map of the mall with store information, locations of bathrooms, ATM’s, escalators and elevators, a list of sales and events currently going on in the mall, a parking spot finder, a custom shopping list and other mall information.
This mall was a great, though brief, experience for me, and really proved that they know what they are doing. Providing added benefits such as easily downloadable and useful apps through a QR code ad is a great service to their customers, and other malls, particularly large ones, should certainly follow suit.
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Posted on May 11th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Quite often when we discuss how to run a successful QR campaign, or when we analyze examples of QR code uses, we end up discussing the large issues in QR code use like where the code is located, call’s to action, and mobile optimization. There are, however, other smaller and less obvious best practices for QR code use that are often not discussed but can be vitally important, or greatly advantageous, to a successful campaign. Below are four key concepts.
QR Code Density
What I mean by this is how busy the QR code looks. The denser the code the harder it is to scan, and the less successful your QR code will be. A high QR code density is caused by too much data. The remedy for such an issue is link shortening. This can be done by using tools like bit.ly, goo.gl, or our own Qfuse.it (built into our QR code platform). What good is a QR code if it is impossible to scan or incredibly difficult? Ensuring a low density QR code it vitally important to a successful campaign so be sure to use a link shortening tool.
Dynamic QR Codes
Quite often you might be in the middle of your QR code campaign and realize that you would prefer the QR code link to a different landing page. Most codes, however, are permanently attached to the link you imbedded at the time of printing. This decreases your flexibility and means you cannot make all the changes you may want after going live. To remedy this, make sure you find a site that has ‘dynamic codes’, that is, codes that allow you to change the imbedded link even after publication.
Of course having analytics for your QR code campaign is an obvious QR code must-do, but quite often you can only find providers that will give you the analytics for the entire QR code campaign and not provide analytics for each individual code. The problem with this is that you are then unable to find out which codes are working and which are not. With individual analytics you could then determine that your advertisements in one location was working great while in another location the same advertisement was not working at all, and changes could be made after the codes were analyzed to determine why one worked and the other didn’t. Or perhaps you made two similar advertisements, but made minor changes to each and wanted to see which performed best, with individual analytics you could find out, with general analytics only you would never know. Most providers will either produce no analytics or only general analytics; make sure you find a platform that provides, or makes it possible for you to receive both general and individual analytics.
Easily Changeable Landing Pages
For the non-programmers or designers out there, what happens if you begin your QR code campaign, create your mobile landing page (or more likely, had someone else create it for you), and then go live with your campaign but shortly after realize that you need to make some change to your mobile site? Well assuming you don’t have your original site designer at your every beck and call, you will likely have to wait to make even a simple change. If this applies to you a simple remedy is make sure you are using a QR code site that also attaches easily creatable and easily changeable mobile sites to each code so that you can make changes to your landing pages with ease and whenever you want. No more waiting for a professional to make the changes for you, or having to take down the site for a period of time.
If there are any other QR code best practices you think are often overlooked, please mention them in the comments below.
QR Code Best Practices
QR Code Mistakes to Avoid
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