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Tips to Effectively Use QR Codes

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When used properly, those funny looking 2D barcodes known as QR codes can be very effective in promoting your app and increasing user engagement. There are critics, however, who slam QR codes for their appearance, calling them “ugly” and “gimmicky”. Other critics cite QR codes as being troublesome, an inconvenience to users with no real value.

Realistically, a code that only leads to a generic website doesn’t justify the effort it takes a user to download the app, scan the code and wait for the link to open; the user is better off just finding the website himself. So then, how exactly can you successfully incorporate QR codes in a mobile marketing campaign to maximize their full potential?

Customize, customize, customize

QR codes can disrupt the flow of marketing collateral; a generic black & white code can detract from a beautiful poster or billboard.  However, designers who can integrate design into coding can create working custom codes that are different colors, have a brand’s logo or even be embedded in the main image. While custom QR codes are more difficult to create, the end result is a code that represents your brand, flows better with the overall marketing campaign, and is more attractive to users, all of which will increase the likelihood that users will want to scan the QR code.

The LOVE app we developed for Cirque du Soleil features a custom QR code that matches the warm color scheme of the poster.

Louis Vuitton’s custom QR code designed by Takashi Murakami is another example of how eye-catching they can be. It’s not only beautiful to look at, but you can tell just by looking at it that it is from Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami.

Offer value

Don’t just link your QR code to a homepage that can be accessed by everyone; instead, offer exclusives only accessible by QR code. Offering value increases the likelihood that a user will take out his smartphone, download the app, and scan the code. Exclusives include entry into contests or giveaways, never-before-seen photos, exclusive music tracks, behind-the-scenes videos, and anything else that a fan or user would be interested in.

FADER FORT by FIAT launched a QR code campaign during the event that offered attendees a chance to win sponsored prizes.

Hassle-free

When deciding to use QR codes for your mobile campaign, keep in mind that the less steps required for the user the better. All Mobile Roadie apps have a built-in QR code reader, so users can easily scan without having to download additional tools. If someone scans a QR code but doesn’t have the app, they will be prompted to download the app automatically.

If you are planning to use QR Codes in your mobile campaign, remember these tips: Create a custom QR code that represents your brand, give value to the users who scan the QR code, and make it easy for users to scan. As the novelty of QR codes begins to wear off, design, value and functionality will separate a successful QR code promotion from the unsuccessful.