QR codes are the “Golden Gate Bridge” for many markets’ offline to online delivery. First used to track vehicle parts in the automobile industry, they have gained popularity in the design industry due to its fast readability and data storage capacity. While we have come a long way from the two-dimensional barcode’s birth in 1994, many to adopt the QR craze are not well versed in the best practices. There isn’t a hidden secret to being a QR marketing expert but these 4 common mistakes can save your from being a QR marketing EPIC FAIL.
1. Test the Code
Seems easy enough…common sense right? Don’t assume testing from the computer monitor works! (Guilty!) The ‘square dots’ of the QR code’s design is arranged according to the data encoded. What does that mean for you? Longer URL or excessive vCard details equals more ‘square dots’, so printing it too small could cause scanning problems. Equally, printing too big could make you look like a QR newbie! For a quick fix, use bit.ly, ow.ly or goo.gl to shorten your URL and eliminate QR mishaps.
2. Too Fancy
Let’s not forget you are designing for print medium. Things to consider: Is there enough contrast with the background? Will the gloss coating make it hard to scan? Many QR generators give the ability to design your QR code with logos or text, but know that the “wow” factor doesn’t represent functionality.
3. Linking Non-Mobile Pages
The consumer is scanning the QR code with their cell phone; to send them to a non-mobile website would be frustrating! Don’t put a bad taste in their mouth. Avoid redundancy, DO NOT place your savvy QR code on your advertisement only to link them to a digital copy of your flyer. Come on, really? Fail.
Which leads me to my final common mistake to avoid.
4. Offer the Goods
Make it worth taking their phone out of their pocket, opening the app, and scanning your QR jewel. Add value to the code by rendering a reward; such as, rich media videos, free swag aka ‘the goods’, special offers, or secret information. Compelling QR campaigns need an enticing call-to-action clearly printed next to the code that delivers a cool experience. Think like your target audience! Would you pull your phone out for your campaign or would feel like it was a waste of time?