QR codes are appearing every where. While the two-dimensional bar codes have been popular in Japan and Europe for years, it’s taken the move towards smartphones in the U.S. to make them useful here. You can download a reader for just about any smartphone with a camera: when you take a photo of the QR code, your phone interprets the website address hidden in the pattern and takes you to it. That website can have anything on it: a coupon for the store you might be standing in, more information for an ad you passed by or something else entirely. A QR code can contain other information, as well, from phone numbers to an event. It depends on what the person who generated the QR code wants.

Creating Your Own QR Code

There are a wide variety of uses for QR codes. You can print them on just about anything: t-shirts, signs, postcards. If you can print an image on it, you can put a QR code on it. That means that you can direct attention to a piece of information in a variety of offline settings, without expecting passers-by to write down the details. And while creating a standard bar code can require some work, creating a QR code is just a matter of having a piece of information, such as a web address where you want to send visitors, in mind. With a QR code generator, such as the free tool at http://www.QReateandtrack.com, you just plug in your information and the code is spit out. You can download your code as a high quality file, ready to run off on your own printer or send off to a professional printer.

You’re not just limited to one QR code, either. If, for instance, you’re running two separate advertising campaigns with different deals, you can set up separate pages for each on your website. Using those separate pages, you can create two different QR codes — one for each advertising campaigns.

Determining the Success of a QR Code

It may be relatively easy to determine just how successful a QR code containing a website address is. It’s just a matter of checking the increase in traffic at your site. You can also check whether you conversions have increased — if viewers of the code have followed up in the way you want (like making a purchase). However, having hard numbers on how many people have scanned in your code can help you tweak your campaigns to improve the ROI. If you’ve created your code through http://www.QReateandtrack.com, you have the option of choosing a premium plan that will track how often your code is scanned. Such an approach can help you determine which codes are more effective, especially if you create separate codes for different locations. Tracking is also useful if you’re taking a broader approach to marketing with QR codes: locating a certain code could be the goal of a contest meant to give away a prize. Knowing how many times a code has been scanned could be crucial in such an approach.

Happy Scanning!

- John