With the US Postal Service continuing to offer discounts for including QR codes on your mailings and the growing popularity of the QR codes among consumers, we could not resist writing about the best practices for create QR codes. Below is a step-by-step guide for generating QR codes in your campaigns.
1. Decide Your Landing Page for the QR Code.
When putting a QR code in front of your customers and prospects, you should always let them know where it will guide them. Moreover, including a call-to-action, such as “Scan to watch our video” or “Scan to sign up for weekly emails” is a great idea, but it has to be a good experience. A mobile-friendly landing page would be the best, but if you do not have a mobile site, make sure that smartphone users will still have a good experience.
Example: Let’s say we decided to land people on our homepage, http://www.amsterdamprinting.com/
2. Add Campaign Tracking to the URL.
Although you might be adding a QR code just for a USPS discount, having a goal for your QR campaign is essential — you know how many people will receive your mailing, but how many of them will actually scan a QR code? Ultimately, how many will act on your call-to-action (e.g., signup for emails, download a buying guide, watch a video)?
Example – Here is the homepage with the Google Analytics tracking attached:
http://www.amsterdamprinting.com/?utm_source=catalog12q3&utm_medium=qrcode&utm_campaign=catalog-qr-code (103 characters)
3. Shorten Your URL First.
Although the QR codes’ character limit is high, it is always a good idea to shorten your URL — it will make QR codes easier to read. We’ve shortened the above URL with the help of a free URL shortener, Bitly.com, saving 83 characters.
Result: http://bit.ly/SJMoEt (now 20 characters)
4. Generate Your QR Code.
A search on Google will result in hundreds of different QR code generators. The one we’ve been using is qrcode.littleidiot.be, which gives you an option to download the QR code as a PNG image, PDF or EPS.
5. Test it on Different Phones/QR Code Readers.
Download a QR reader app for your smartphone and try scanning this code. Ask your co-workers to try it on their phones with different readers: the greater the diversity in phones and readers, the better! If the code doesn’t scan, try searching for a different QR code generator.
6. Display it with the White Space Around it.
Generated QR codes come with white space around them — this white space is required to make sure they scan correctly on all devices. Make sure your design team knows this and double-check that the QR code still works by scanning it again on the mailing’s proof.
You’re all set! Let us know if you have any further questions and please share your QR campaigns in the comments below!