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QR Codes: They're Not Just for Advertisers. You Can Use Them Too!

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QR code fundraiser

Using QR codes for personal and noncommercial purposes.

Even people who have no idea what a QR code is would probably recognize one, as QR codes have now become commonplace in all types of advertising. But QR codes aren’t just for marketing professionals trying to pitch products or services. Anyone can use QR codes as a practical means to communicate just about any type of message, and build a bridge between offline and online worlds.

There are many free tools that make it easy to create a free QR code, and some such as Qfuse even take it a step further and can also create mobile landing pages for your codes as well. Selecting the right tools will help you avoid common QR code mistakes.

Things you can do with a QR code

Although QR codes look very strange at first, their function is really quite simple – a QR code simply makes a link between something printed (e.g. a flyer, postcard or letter) and something digital (e.g. a web page, photo or video). A QR code allows you to share things that that cannot be shared in print, such as:

  • Photos and Video – a picture is worth a thousand words!
  • Links to Web pages – make it interactive!
  • Social Media – get people engaged!
  • Contacts – make it easy for people to call or email with a simple touch on their smartphone!

The user simply scans your printed QR code (using a free QR scanner app; there are many) and gets taken to whatever it is you want to share on their smartphone. It’s really quite easy once you know how it works.

Here are but a few practical examples of how QR codes can be applied for common everyday uses:

Invitations & Events
Whether it’s a party, a wedding or some other type of event, you can put a QR code on invitations or flyers to direct invitees to an interactive map for directions, a list of event details, click-to-call for info, or even a form to submit an RSVP.

Committees and Clubs
Belong to a club or committee at your school or in the community? Put a QR code on your materials to let people know about the next meeting or details of an upcoming initiative, or direct people to your group’s Facebook page.

Business Cards and Resumes
Want to make an impression with your colleagues or prospective employers? Use a QR code on your business card or resume to direct them to your LinkedIn profile, a video with a personal message, or a gallery of your work.

Fundraisers and Nonprofits
Trying to raise money for a common cause? Let people contribute from anywhere using a QR code that points to a donation page. There are also many ways that nonprofit organizations can use QR codes not only to raise funds, but educate the community about your mission.

Whether you’re running for class president of your high school, or local office at any level, QR codes can be an effective tool for political campaigns to let people know more about your platform, volunteer to get involved, send feedback or learn about an upcoming rally.

Youth Sports Teams
It can be difficult for busy parents to keep track of practice schedules and game locations. A QR code can point everyone to the most current information wherever they are on their smartphone. You can even build out a mobile team website that includes other info like team rosters and coach contacts.

We’ve all become used to seeing QR codes used in advertising, and it won’t be too long before you’ll start seeing them in all sorts of everyday personal communications as well. After all, when used properly QR codes are just another tool that can make our lives easier and more engaging by extending the reach of our communication.