It’s virtually impossible to find a person that doesn’t have a smartphone these days. People use their smartphones for many uses other than calling or texting, and according to some statistics, about 20% of smartphone owners scan QR codes for different purposes.
Basically, QR codes are shortcuts to web addresses or Emails, scanned by smartphones and then lead to a website or Email. To scan a QR code, a person will firstly need to download an app for scanning QR codes, which is quite easy and most of these apps are free.
The QR code can appear in various online channels, such as direct mail, websites, or social media. But there are also other, offline ways to show QR codes, such as catalogs, brochures and flyers, business cards and even street advertising.
Here are some main uses for QR codes:
- Emails and Websites: QR Codes can be used to link the user to a specific Email or website address. Scanning the code immediately populates the marketer’s Email address, or links to a webpage, video or social media account.
- Business cards: A QR code printed on a business card will connect to the user’s mobile phone contacts with the marketer’s info, including name, company web address, phone numbers and Email.
- Street ads: A QR code printed on a large billboard or a handed flyer can link the user directly to a special offer, a discount or even a raffle. Movie theaters can link the user to an online raffle where they can win a free popcorn, a movie ticket or a combo meal. Restaurants can link the user to the special of the day, and retail shops can link to a discount coupon.
- Phone numbers: When scanning the QR code, the phone displays the advertiser’s phone number and even launches the “call” button to allow the user to dial right away, without the need to type anything in.
- Schedule reminder: If a marketer wants to remind users about a scheduled event, a QR code will prompt the phone to automatically add the date and time to the user’s calendar. The user can then select the reminder function from his or her own phone’s calendar app and set the reminder to their preferences.