QR codes are all the rage these days. You know, those funny barcodes that are popping up everywhere. They can be a great addition to a marketing piece, but quickly become useless if not used properly. Don’t make these mistakes:
1. The QR code is not accessible
Take this bus ad as an example. First of all, the ad is close to the top of the bus. Secondly, the QR is at the top of the ad, meaning it was quite high. As someone who is “vertically challenged”, I actually had to climb up on the seats in order to scan the QR code.
In fact, in this instance, I had to move the black strip seen in the photo below (excuse the blurry picture) over to be able to scan the code at all.
2. Call to Action does not match the destination page
Using our example, the text beside the QR code says “Register by January 4, 2012” so I thought by scanning the code I would get a registration page or at least a page listing all the sports I could register for. No such luck. However, at least I did get a mobile-friendly website. The thing is, it would have been easier for me to type ossc.ca in a browser than to go through all the effort to scan the QR code.
3. QR code just leads to mobile version of your regular site (or worse, not a mobile site!)
If someone is taking the step of scanning your code, you should provide them with content that engages them and is different from your main website. Maybe it’s a special contest page or a short video. Be creative and unique.
Bottom Line: Only time will tell if QR codes will stick around for the long haul, but while they are an “it” item, make sure you’re using them effectively by having them accessible, connected with a clear call to action, and pointing to a exclusive, mobile website.
Question: What’s the worst QR code offence you’ve seen? Do you have an example of a great use of a QR code? Share below – bonus points for pictures!