By Christmas 2011, one in two Americans will have smart phones. This means that QR Codes and Microsoft Tags will continue to take off. Over the past month there has been a 1600% increase in the number of scans per day according to Scanbuy. Last month, we introduced this subject and suggested more than a dozen uses that will help promotional products distributors create unique coded promotions for clients. (Email me if you missed it and I'll resend you a copy).
Because up to thirty percent of the code's data can be missing or obstructed and still be scanned, you can add graphics, can add logos, can get creative with the codes. They do not need to be the black and white blob like I'm demonstrating here. You can add color, soften edges, draw outside the box and create unique pieces of QR Code art. Here are some additional creative uses.
The New York Times Magazine took a photo of a QR code made entirely of balloons. The code drove users to their mobile webpage promoting their 10th Annual Year in Ideas issue. At the Smithonian Natural History Neanderthal exhibit, a Code opens a mobile page that allows you to take a picture of a family member and it shows what the person would look like as a Neanderthal 50,000 years ago.
Here are three helpful tips:
1) Learn about codes so that you can explain them to your customers and so that you can explain them to the end users. This is still a new technology, so explain how they can get the software and what they will get by scanning the codes.
2) Make sure that the code promotion actually creates value for their trouble. It should enhance the experience, generate a discount or coupon, give them something extra that they can't get anywhere else. Or link them to my LinkedIn page (just kidding).
3. Simply the URL before creating the code. Long URL addresses create difficult to read codes. Use a URL shortener such as bit.ly which both shortens a long URL and automatically generates the code, www.tinyurl.com is another one.