Create your own FREE QR codes and use them to advertise your website.

QR Codes and some fun marketing ideas

Fire up your smart phone, download a barcode scanner app and scan this. QR code

Just created this with an online QR code creator tool. I think its cool (oh baby I’m no fool)… I wonder where I can put my logos on here like this article suggests. There are a lot of other online tools that I came across, this one just gave me a large size image which is why I used it. Google em.

You could in theory put pretty much anything on a QR code. The one above is a shameless plug to my shopping discounts and voucher codes website. You could use plain text, web addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and SMS numbers to create one. Give it a go at Kaywa.

I just thought of a few things I could try out with these. Here are some ideas.

  1. Put one on your blog. (check mine out at the top right of this page)
  2. Make some print outs of the QR code on A4 size and stick them around the office.
  3. Put one in your email signatures.
  4. Slap one in the footer of every email newsletter.
  5. Put it on facebook as a profile pic (in fact, add a small QR code in the corners of all your pictures on FaceBook)
  6. Upload it on twitpic, flickr and/or other photo hosting sites. Just put a caption saying “Scan this with your smartphone”, should do the trick.
  7. Get custom post its made with the QR code printed in a corner (3m do custom post it notes).
  8. Get custom postage stamps created with a QR Code. (Royal Mail do custom postage stamps)

Of course these are all fun ideas that I just made up while writing this article.  These ideas should give you a sort of a word of mouth / viral effect web traffic though. Don’t be disappointed if it all goes Pete Tong. These ideas are to be tried out only for a bit of fun. I will of course use these ideas to test the waters. Will update the article with some results soon.

Track your QR Code traffic

As the codes can take any format of URL, why not add a very short Google analytics parameter to the end of your URL when building the code.  Search Google for custom variables for Google analytics. Custom variables should give you some stats on the usage of these QR codes. I just added “?u=qrcode” to the end of my URL to make it unique in Google analytics. You can use pretty much anything you like to the end of your URL by adding a question mark followed by a key, in my case “u” for user, the equal sign (=) and “qrcode” for the identifying a valid QR code hit. So the full URL used to create the code is:

Note: Removed the hyperlink from this so that is doesnt skew my stats.

I can think of a 100 other cool ideas. For instance, putting them on all your stationary, business cards, posters, flyers, billboards, TV adverts, flash animations, PDF publications etc. Heck, you could even create a QR code pointing to your FaceBook or twitter page, why not huh. The possibilities are endless you must agree. Have a look at some more cool ideas for QR codes.

Just remember, do not attempt to explain what a QR code is, the explanation should always be revealed by actually scanning the code. I think an element of mystery generates some interest and should get people scanning. Perhaps you could mention that you need a smartphone with a barcode app to read a QR Code… just for the benefit of the uninformed minds you see.

This article is my contribution to push QR codes into mainstream use. To learn more about QR codes, their invention, history and interesting facts, have a read of the Wikipedia page with an in depth look at QR codes.

Have you noticed that most of my posts are usually have bullet points in them? I should stop shouldn’t I?