QR codes are barcodes, unlike the barcodes you see on your food from the supermarket, these barcodes are two-dimensional.

They are a square barcode that consists of a series of black and white squares arranged in a unique pattern. They can store anything you want such as an image, a document, or a URL.

QR codes can be used in both print and digital material. They can be ‘scanned’ with a smartphone and the contents of the barcode being presented to the user.

Anyone can create a QR code by using the many QR code generators in existence – some free, some paid for, it’s just finding one that suits you and your business.

QR codes have become more popular in recent years but they aren’t yet as commonly used as hyperlinks for example.

How do QR codes work?

The QR code software that is needed to create a QR code stores the end data (an image, a document, or a URL) within a short URL.

Once the QR is scanned by a smartphone the user will be redirected to the URL in question and be presented with the end data (an image, a document, or a URL).

As easy as that.

The Two Types of QR Codes

There are two types of QR, they are ‘Static’ and ‘Dynamic’.

‘Static’ QR Codes

Static QR codes have the data embedded in their pattern making them permanent.

If you are leading individuals to a mass of data with a ‘Static’ QR code then bear in mind that the pattern will be busier – this will take QR readers on smartphones marginally longer to read. Not ideal if you know your audience is impatient and quick to blame phantom technical issues.

Static QR codes are best for information that won’t need to be updated often and for a simple transfer of data to avoid a busy pattern. The best thing for a static QR code is a URL, one that is unchanging within your website.

‘Dynamic’ QR Codes

Dynamic QR codes allow you to change the data source of the QR code at any time without needing to create a new QR code.

They have a less fussy look which allows for larger data to be stored without any delays with the QR code reader on a smartphone.

The main benefit of a Dynamic QR code is that you can track the use of the QR code, tracking is not possible with Static QR codes.

The Possibilities of a Dynamic QR code

  • A QR code can find/use the language of the device to redirect the user to the version in that language
  • A QR code can find/use the location of the device to redirect the user to the version of the landing page relevant to that location.
  • A QR code can show specific landing pages at specific times.
    For example, a restaurant can show a breakfast menu between a set time, and then a dinner menu within another set time. All within the same QR code.
  • A QR code can change its landing page after it has been scanned a pre-specified times.
    For example, you can allow the first 100 scans to view a landing page with a 20% discount code, and then the 101st scan onwards to view a landing page with a 10% discount code.

Don’t forget that QR codes can be branded – to match your company’s branding guidelines and marketing efforts. Just remember to balance that with the need for the QR code to be readable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size does a QR code need to be?

A QR code should be at least 3-4cm in dimension for it to be scannable by smartphones.

They can be larger, but just make sure that your user doesn’t have to step backward too far to be able to scan the QR code with their smartphone.

How do I print a QR code?

QR codes are best printed when they are in an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format. That way they can be resized without losing their resolution.

Make sure you do a test print run before investing in any large print quantities.

How do I know my QR code works?

The only way to know is to try the QR yourself so simply give it a try.

Where did QR Codes Come from?

‘QR’ in this sense stands for ‘Quick Response’ codes, they were created in Japan in 1994 as a way for inventory managers to track their inventory with ease.

The marketing and advertising industries adopted them when smartphones became commonly used.

To integrate QR codes into your marketing plan, get in touch with Digital Nachos today.

Published: 2nd Feb 2024

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