What is a QR code and how can you use one for marketing?

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

A QR code is a “quick response” code.  They are easy to create (there are dozens of free tools available online).  And they simply drive people to a website or landing page using a QR Reader (a simple app available on any smart phone).

www.imarketsmart.com QR code
MarketSmart’s QR code

Our QR code is to the right.  Of course we customized it a bit to include an element from our logo (we couldn’t resist).

So if you haven’t done so already…. pull out your phone, download the app (search for “QR code reader”) and focus on the image to the right.  You’ll see that your phone will instantly take you to the www.imarketsmart.com website.

But the big question is… how can you use this neat technology?  Hmm… let’s start listing some ways.

1- Museums could post them near artwork so you can go to a web page to get a complete historical reference about a particular work of art.

2- Train stations could use them so people could download train schedules.

3- Exhibitors with trade show booths at conferences could use them so attendees could quickly and easily download their informational brochures (instead of filling up those goofy bags with brochures that end up in the trash).

4- Advertisers (print, tv, billboards, etc.) could use them so respondents can get to a website or landing page easily.

5- Direct mailers could do the same.

The options are endless.

Plus, at MarketSmart, we like to tie QR codes to our unique personalized URL engine.  That way, we could create (for instance) 10,000 unique landing pages tied to 10,000 QR codes.  Then we could send out 10,000 unique, personalized direct mailers to 10,000 prospects.  And, as respondents use their codes, we’d be able to track precisely who is using the code to get to your landing page…. even if the respondent doesn’t fill out a form.  You’d get notified the moment the log off.  Neat, huh?

If you have more ideas for QR codes, let me know.  I love ’em!

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alan rich
12 years ago

QR and ScanLife codes are quite interesting. I have generated personal and professional codes but have not really implemented them much as of yet. They are definitely the future of information.

Bill Gibson, II
Bill Gibson, II
11 years ago

“Mobile Barcoder” is a plugin for the Firefox browser. Install and it will generate, “on the fly” a QR code for the page URL and any link on the page.

I suggested that Campbell’s Soup, which has a nice recipe web site, place a QR code on its cans of soup which would link back to a recipe that included that soup. All the ingredients would be listed and the shopper could buy whatever extra items were necessary, go home and cook.

I work at a small university in their IT dept. I think textbook publishers should use QR codes to link back to additional book resources, updates, and multimedia. A student could scan in the code, while they’re washing their clothes, and listen or view additional educational content.

11 years ago

Thanks for the comments Bill. I’ll check it out.

alan rich
12 years ago

QR and ScanLife codes are quite interesting. I have generated personal and professional codes but have not really implemented them much as of yet. They are definitely the future of information.

Custom QR Codes
12 years ago

This article has great ways to use a QR code. They have so many possibilties. I also noticed your customized QR code. If anyone is interested in customizing their QR code check out https://www.customqrcodes.net/.

11 years ago

By the way… you may want to check out our SmartGiftmaker system on our website. If your university needs to generate leads for planned gifts/bequests (as most universities do)… this would do the trick. Feel free to contact me if you want more info.
Best regards.

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