Quick Response codes (or better known as QR codes) are popping up everywhere. These tiny black and white pixilated square boxes are the latest way to advertise your business without spending a dime. All you need to read a QR code is a smartphone with a camera connected to it and a QR code reader application installed on your phone.
So, what is a QR Code? QR codes encode and embed information much like a standard barcode used by retailers to track, stock, and price items at the point of sale. The difference though is the amount of information that they hold.
For example, QR codes can contain key information about your business. Some examples include your web site URL, your business telephone number, directions to your business, and customer feedback forms, to name a few. QR codes are a great way to communicate with your customers.
And what’s great about QR codes is that they tap into the technology that is already on your phone. For example, if you embed your company phone number into the QR code and the person scans the code, most mobile phones will automatically detect it’s a phone number and will ask if you want to dial the number. If the QR code has a web site embedded in it, then the mobile phone will open the web browser to that specific page.
The technology is really amazing. If you haven’t started using QR codes in your business, then pay careful attention to the rest of this article where I walk you step by step on how to create your own QR code and then how you can use QR codes to generate more revenue for your business.
Step 1: Create A QR Code For Your Business
No matter what type of QR code you want to create, the process is really easy. There are a number of free online generator tools that allow you to generate QR codes from URLs, messages, phone numbers, SMS, pre-written emails, and much more. You can even create a QR code for your Google homepage through iGoogle.
The key though is to test your QR code to make sure that the information you have embedded in the QR code is correct so that others can read it. You do this by installing a QR code reader application on your smartphone, which is the next step.
Step 2: Install A QR Code Reader Application On Your Smartphone
It’s easy and fun to scan and uncover the hidden messages in QR codes with a smartphone.
The first thing you need to do is to install a QR code reader application on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone, go to Apple’s App Store and download a QR code reader app. There are a number of free ones you can choose from, but the one I use is called “QR Scanner.” QR code reader apps are also available for other smartphones, like Blackberries and Android phones, as well as for iPads.
Once you have installed the QR code reader, you then need to scan the QR code. All you do is open up the app you just installed and use it to take a photo of the QR code.
In most apps, there will be a “scan” button that you press that will take a photo of the QR code. Once you have taken the photo of the QR code, the app will decode the QR code and show you the information that is embedded in it.
For fun…and to illustrate this technique, print out this article and follow the steps I just talked about to install a QR code reader application on your smartphone. Once the QR code app is installed, take your smartphone and snap a photo of the QR code image below. Now that you have created a QR code and you have successfully installed a QR code app on your smartphone, let’s look at how you can use QR codes in your business to generate more revenue.
Step 3: Use QR Codes To Generate More Revenue
A large part of growing your business requires connecting with your customers. You not only want to keep your customers informed about your products or services, but you also want to get them engaged and excited. QR codes can do both these things.
With QR codes, you can share information with the world. I already gave several examples about different ways to use QR codes in the earlier sections. But in this section, I’d like to share a few more ideas on how to leverage QR codes to grow your business to generate more revenue.
For example, you can put QR codes on print ads, promotional items, at the bottom of a receipt, on yard signs, and on your products. You can even offer coupons or discounts to your customers who use a certain QR code, while at the same time collecting their information in return.
Take for example, hanging a QR code next to your cash register. When your customer takes a picture of the QR code, they immediately see on their smartphone the information you have embedded in the code. This is a quick and easy way to instantaneously connect and communicate with your customers.
You can also use QR codes to communicate and connect with your customers online. For example, you can use QR codes to add customers to your text message opt-in list, to point customers to your Twitter account “Follow Page”, or even to “Like” your Facebook page. You can also use QR codes in banner ads, in online videos, and in any call to action that you want a customer to do. The possibilities are endless!
Customers will be curious to uncover the hidden messages you have in your QR code. Just be sure though that the content they find is worth their time. If not, they may not have an interest to learn more about your business.
Overall, using QR codes is a creative way to market your business. Now that you know how to create a QR code and how it can generate more revenue for your business, it’s time to go create one for yourself today! And please reply back and let me know your own ideas for other creative ways you could put them into use.
If you want to learn more ways to grow your business, then make sure you sign up for the special Business Mastery Training webinar that Denise is hosting.
We also cover other business strategies in more detail in our free business startup and growth training program. If you haven’t signed up for that free course yet, I highly recommend you check it out too.
*Originally published as Issue # 114 – August 10, 2012