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  • Writer's pictureNikita Eaton-Lusignan

QR Codes: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

QR codes have been especially popular since the pandemic began, and if you’re not using them to your advantage, you may be missing out! QR codes are a great tool for sharing information and quickly converting potential customers into loyal ones. You’ve probably seen them on pamphlets, menus, bus stops, and let's not forget about the mysterious QR code commercial during the 2022 Super Bowl. Maybe you’ve even scanned a few of your own!

What exactly are QR codes?

QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response codes) are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by an imaging device (usually a phone camera). They’re a series of black squares arranged on a square grid on a white background.

When scanned, they can display text, send the user to a webpage, connect to a wireless network… And much more!

Where do they come from?

QR codes were invented in 1994 by Masahiro Hara, who based the black and white appearance of the white and black pieces on a Go board. They were initially designed for the automotive industry in Japan but became much more widespread as they are a quick and efficient way to link to large chunks of information.

There are two kinds of QR codes: static and dynamic. A static QR code is linked to information that can’t be changed. In other words, the QR code will always link the user to the same information. Dynamic QR codes are linked to a URL, so the information given by the QR code changes when the website does. This is a much more popular option, as you always have control over what your customers are going to see!

What are QR codes used for?

QR codes have a wide range of uses and are always expanding! They are used on ads, in restaurants to access menus, to log into websites, and for loyalty programs. Certain countries allow people to pay with QR codes. They’re even being brought to the cemeteries, where scanning the QR code on someone’s headstone will bring you to their obituary.

Why should you use them?

Picture someone walking by an ad for your product that piques their interest. On the bottom is a URL. In order to access your website, the person originally would have had to write down the website, then type it into their browser when they got home, and the possibilities for someone to lose interest along the way are very high. With cellphones, the conversion time was reduced, but the added step of typing in a URL would still often deter people. A QR code offers a path of almost no resistance. Once a potential customer sees your ad and gets curious, all they have to do is pull out their phone and scan it to get all the information you’ve set up for them!

QR codes can also be installed anywhere! Online, offline, in brochures, on posters, or on subway ads… With very little space, you have the ability to share a lot of information!

QR codes are also contact-free, so if you’re operating in an environment where germs are a concern, sharing information through a QR code might be a safe and easy solution.

How do you make a QR code?

There are various websites that will allow you to make QR codes for free if your needs are basic enough.

If you’re looking to produce many different ones, customize your QR code to your logo, or trigger more complex operations, you may want to look into a paid plan instead.

Do you need help incorporating QR codes into your marketing strategy? Contact us at 225-250-1888 or chat with us now.

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