4 Tips to Get Your QR Codes Scanned

Headshot of John Foley Jr.

Did you think QR Codes were everywhere in 2011? If so, you should expect to see more of the same in 2012.

Sure, there are absolutely going to be other mobile technologies (such as NFC, perhaps) that will push their way a bit further into the mainstream. But with QR Codes, the momentum has reached a tipping point. Here are a few tips to incorporate QR Codes into your marketing materials so your audience will scan.

1. Provide Instructions Near the QR Code
Yes, awareness of QR Codes has increased dramatically over the past few months. But there are still plenty of people out there who don’t know what they are or how to use them. To assist those folks, provide instructions near the QR Code on your printed materials.

This could be done by simply including text (i.e., “Scan the QR Code with your smartphone”) or by incorporating an image that displays a smartphone pointing to the QR Code, or an image that depicts how the QR Code could point to a smartphone that is displaying a website.

2) Give People an Incentive
When marketers first become familiar with QR Codes, they often rush too quickly to incorporate them. They’ll skip over fundamentals, such as, “Why would my audience want to scan this?” Rather than just slapping a QR Code on your printed materials, develop a reason why you should have one. Will it make it easier for your audience to access a map or directions? Will it make easier for people to contact your company or make a purchase?

Include that reason somewhere on your printed materials to let people know what they’ll gain from scanning the code.

3) Educate Your Audience Ahead of Time
Yes, QR Codes exist primarily to make print interactive. But you can use other media to increase awareness about them.

Create blog posts on your website that talk about your QR Codes. Produce a video that demonstrates how someone could successfully use a smartphone to scan them. Put one on your social media pages or in your email signature for a little while. Talk about them in your e-newsletter.

By taking those steps, you may not only create curiosity, but you may increase the chances that your audience will know what to do with them when they see one in on your printed pieces.

4) Shorten the Destination URL
This one is very important! QR Codes can hold a lot of data, but the more data that you have in a QR Code, the harder it may be to scan it quickly. Make sure to use a service that shortens your URLs before generating the QR Code.

John Foley is CEO of integrated marketing solutions provider interlinkONE and founder of online marketing agency Grow Socially, both based in Wilimington, Mass. Reach him at johnf@growsocially.com.


John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.


Publish date: February 27, 2012 https://dev.adweek.com/performance-marketing/4-tips-get-your-qr-codes-scanned-instructions-incentives-length/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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