Yoda likes QR codes too.
Ok, you got me! I LOVE the scan-able little black and white squares that bridge print with technology. How did marketing ever exist without them?! How long will they be around? And how do they work?

I’ll admit (sshhh…) I’ve had some QR code fails and spent more than a few hours getting Google to cough up everything it knows about creating, tracking and best practices for these mysterious and wonderful squares. And great news – I’ve condensed all the research, failure and smashing success into 4 Quick Tips.

4 Quick Tips

1. Know your audience. QR Codes aren’t for everyone. If you’re audience doesn’t have a smart phone, then they will never know the pure genius you’ve included for them by way of QR codes in your marketing materials. So, know who you’re talking to in order to ensure success. It’s also helpful to include instructions in your materials to help your users know what to do. This can be as simple as two words, “Scan me.”

2. Create the code. People are doing amazing things with QR codes, and others are simply using the black and white squares as is. Goo.gl has an excellent feature for shortening links and generating QR codes. Even the most colorful QR code centerpiece ad begins as the black and white code you can generate in using Goo.gl. tool. A word of advice: If you’re changing any elements of the qr code, be sure to test as you go to make sure it continues to scan successfully. Nothing’s worse than spending hours rounding corners, colorizing and dragging points to find that your masterpiece doesn’t work in the real world.

3. Reward the user. They’ve taken the time to get out their phone, point it, scan the code and then view your content. So make sure the destination is an experience worth their time. Don’t just take them to your website, take them to a page or video, or survey that was specifically created for them. It’s your chance to interact directly with your customer, so don’t just hand them a brochure and walk away — shoot the breeze with them and let them know that from this moment on, you’re besties!

4. Track the results. Oh, right…results. We all want to know if what we’re doing is actually creating a return, so do what you have to do to make sure you’re capturing results. If the QR code is taking the user to a survey, welllllll…this is your opportunity to get to hear their feedback. Create custom 800 numbers. Make custom web pages and track traffic with Google Analytics. And speaking of Google, if you do use Goo.gl to generate the code then it’s tracking scans for you as well! It’s a win-win!

And…that’s my version of Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Learn about QR Codes in 2 minutes or less. :) May the Force be with you.