So QR Codes Didn’t Die, Here’s How To Make Them Effective


After months of rumors and threats to the life of QR Codes it seems this new technology is not going anywhere. First there was the threat from AR then came the NFC scare which was put to rest as Apple’s new iPhone 5 didn’t play along.

For a while it seemed that even the QR Code industry began to fear the end and reacted with all kinds of promotional campaigns such as the biggest QR Code corn field and endless publications of QR Codes on graves. Instead of focusing on the effectiveness of the QR Code as a marketing tool companies were using gimmicks and “cool” pics to try to force the QR Code into mainstream use.












With the latest statistics showing QR Code use doubling in the UK and rising in the US and Europe, we can stop with the death threats and face the fact that QR technology is alive and kicking. According to Mobile VCommerce Press QR Codes scans are up 96% this year alone.

While businesses are plastering QR Codes everywhere in an attempt to connect and interact with potential users and customers anytime, anywhere, it seems people are hesitant to use them and aren’t scanning them as much as marketers had hoped they would.

Here are three practice tips that will make  your QR Code marketing campaign successful

1. Mobile Enable Your Site

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of QR Codes going mainstream is the misuse of QR Codes in a mobile marketing campaign.

Mobile marketing was designed to allow customers to engage while on the go using their mobile device. By scanning a QR Code a user should instantly be lead to a destination that would quickly and easily offer a service or information the user was looking for.
If your website or QR Code destination is not mobile enabled, you have not only rendered your QR Code useless you have actually caused negative branding for your company.

The latest Google surveys have shown that over 60% of people who find a site that is not mobile enabled will quickly visit another site. Over 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.

When it comes to scanning QR Codes the effect is even worse. A potential customer stopped his day to scan a QR Code only to find that the site they were lead to is not mobile enabled which makes it illegible on a mobile device and in some cases the customer will be left with an error message as the one below.

By mobile enabling your site, your customers will be able to quickly and easily make a purchase, receive important information and navigate through your webpage with ease leaving them with a positive mobile experience that will both boost branding as well as traffic to your business.

2. Offer a QR Code experience

Instead of using QR Codes to lead customers to a site, offer a real experience. Special sales or promotions are always a good incentive to get potential customers to interact.

If it’s exposure you want, allow users to watch your latest commercial on their way to work. Don’t only sell your product, give people a real reason to connect and engage. Remember, the Old Spice guy is not selling cologne, he is offering you an experience.

You Know When You Scan The Old Spice Guy You’ll Be Entertained

3. Location Location Location

The goal of placing a QR Code in an ad is to encourage customer interaction and engagement. By placing a small meaningless, computer generated QR Code in the bottom corner of an ad like some kind of outcast will certainly not receive the attention you were looking for.

Use a Visual QR Code to turn your original design story or promotion into a QR Code. Here are a couple of examples of Visual QR Codes that merge a design with a QR Code for a more creative and effective trigger for customer engagement.












Please share your thoughts in the comments below or connect on TwitterGoogle+, or Facebook where we are always listening. In addition, to design your own visual QR Code and give any design the power of a QR, click here.


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6 Responses

  1. avatar Jim Brown

    January 6, 2013 1:55 pm

    Hi Ari Good article! We are working on our second QR code enabled game. RPG Fatasy Trivia and we can use all the backing we can get from the QR code community. Our project is on Kickstarter and we need $3000 in funding to get the project going by Feb. 3 any backing , press, publicity would be well appreciated. Thanks..Jim. Check out the project and we appreciate any help you can give.

  2. avatar Hank

    January 6, 2013 11:26 pm

    Llve the article. QR codes are going to take off in2013. I totally agree making them integrated into ads will encourage much better interaction.

  3. avatar Robert

    January 7, 2013 3:22 pm

    Thank you Ari for the article, funny how so few can cause so much confusion about whether the QR Code is coming or going even know the evidence shows its only increasing in usage everyday.
    Cheers to you and good luck with your company.

  4. avatar jeff

    June 11, 2013 5:32 pm

    We have a QR code on the cover of the tourist magazine we publish. It directs to offering specials and discounts we’ve collected from our magazine advertisers. A perk for our advertisers, a good service for our tourists. However, Issues I am wrestling with are:

    1) I am not so sure owners of smart phones know how to access the QR codes. 80,000 magazines in circulation and we get maybe 30 hits a day. We can’t decide whether to clutter up our marketing with step by step instructions how to; download the appropriate QR reader app, scan the QR, and finally get to the special offers we’ve created. I see most QR codes do not have access instructions next to the code. My informal survey of smartphone users has determined they do not have a reader app, or know how to access the QR codes. Thats a big problem.

    2) We comb google analytics and wish to show advertisers the traffic and redemption our QR produces for them. However, each QR reader App uses its own browser which takes them off our site thereby no detailed analytics. We can get # of hits, but then it redirects onto the QR readers browser and no more data. Another big problem.

    Its awesome technology with tremendous potential, but I think we are moving faster than our market is. Any comments or suggestions?

    • avatar Ari Fuld

      June 27, 2013 5:48 am

      Hi Jeff,
      We have been trying unsuccessfully to reach you in order to give you some answers and help you build a successful mobile campaign.
      We can contacted us at:

      Looking forward to speaking with you soon.


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