10 Ways to Use QR Codes for Better Conversion Rates

The QR Code Conversion Toolbox

From building loyalty and generating sales to capturing customer feedback and boosting local SEO, check out the ways 2D barcodes like QR code and Microsoft Tag can improve conversion rates and help achieve your business goals.

Mobile Barcodes 101

QR codes are a 2D barcodes that resemble square-like mazes. The content encoded in these barcodes can be revealed with a smartphone using a QR code reader app. QR codes can store 133 times more data than a UPC (1D barcode) including letters and numbers which enables storage of various content – hyperlinks, maps, phone numbers, email, and more. Although the technology is still very new to North America, mobile barcode scanning was up over 4500% comparing Q1 2010 to Q1 2011.

Golden Rules of Mobile Barcode Usage:

  1. Serve a business objective
  2. Add value for the user
  3. Provide contextual assistance
    (e.g. link to get a reader app, call-to-action, barcode alternative, etc.)
  4. Test to ensure codes are scannable

Note: Unscannable QR codes are an epidemic and hurt adoption rates. Inferior camera phones like iPhone 3GS and Blackberry with less than 3 MP resolution and no autofocus cannot scan barcodes smaller than 1"x1". Test with these types of camera phones in addition to various reader apps, lighting and speed to truly verify scannability .

Read up on QR code marketing fundamentals to learn more about tools and best practices.

Conversion Optimization 101

A conversion simply means that a user completed an intended call-to-action. If you invite 100 people to an event, and 30 people RSVP, the conversion rate is 30%. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of increasing the percent of users that act on a suggested action.

QR Codes as a Conversion Tool

Conversion optimization tactics target…

  1. What users want
  2. Where users want it
  3. What the users need to act
  4. When users are most likely to act

The "most likely to act" window of opportunity is often brief, and in today's world, it's often when people are on-the-go. However, the mobile revolution has equipped users to interact online from anywhere at anytime which presents an entirely new perspective on conversion opportunities. QR codes can be used to bridge the non-digital and digital gap at the opportune time from virtually any location..

10 QRonversion Opportunities

Below I've provided a collection of ten diverse business goals with influential tactics and timely opportunities to leverage QR codes for conversion.

1. Product Comparison Data on Price Tags

Best Buy price tag with QR code

Best Buy leverages in-store use of QR codes on price tags.

Business goal: Sales
Conversion challenge: Increase # of products sold
Industry: Retail, consumer goods, automotive, arms (weapons)

Feature a QR code near product price tags that encourage users to scan and view customer reviews or price comparisons. (Leverage the opportunity to back-up customer satisfaction claims and lowest price guarantees.) Tip: Consider promoting a "Buy Now" mobile option (similar to self-checkout), so customers don't have to wait in line.

"When" opportunities: After attending a demo, in-store shopping, catalog shopping
Barcode content: Link to a product review or competitive comparison page

"40% of US smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item." HubSpot 2011

2. Feedback Surveys on Sales Receipts

Rite Aid receipt with satisfaction survey promo code

Without a QR code, requesting feedback on receipts can lack visual attention, accuracy and speed.

Business goal: Capture customer feedback
Conversion challenge: Increase # of completed surveys
Industry: Retail, hospitality, food, recreation, entertainment

Include a QR code on receipts that encourage users to scan and rate their experience. Feature an incentive like a discount off their next purchase or a lotto contest (i.e. "you'll be entered for a chance to win a ___") to add value for the user.

Conversion tip: Dynamically generate the QR code so that it's automatically encoded with the transaction ID and timestamp to lesson the amount of data a user would need to provide.

"When" opportunities: Immediately after purchase
Barcode content: Link to a feedback survey

3. On-Demand Interactive Video Support

Business goal: Customer support
Conversion challenge: Increase # of video views
Industry: Retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, telecommunications, automotive

Provide on-demand quality support and reduce call center costs by featuring QR codes that encourage users to scan and watch videos for installation or troubleshooting instructions. Display ideas: product guide, manufacturer's product label, product packaging

"When" opportunities: New purchase / product assembly, product troubleshooting / disassembly

Barcode content: Link to a video or video play list

Tip: For product troubleshooting videos, include a call-to-action link to order potential replacement parts.

4. In-House Facebook Like Promo

Facebook Like decal on entry door

Business goal: Brand advocates
Conversion challenge: Grow the Facebook fan base
Industry: Retail, professional services, automotive, health care, hospitality, food, recreation, entertainment, education

Display QR code "posters" on-site that encourage users to scan and "Like" the page on Facebook. Include reasons why following you socially adds value for the user. (i.e. "Like us on Facebook for the latest trends and exclusive coupons.")

Consider display locations where and when the audience is most captive like dental office ceilings or restaurant placemats. Brainstorm clever opportunities to make designer codes out of product packaging or common office surroundings. Display location ideas: waiting room tables, fitting room walls, point-of-sale countertops, shopping bag exteriors, door exits, and window displays.

"When" opportunities: In-store shopping, window shopping, seated in fitting or waiting room, leaving the location

Barcode content: Link to "Like" the Facebook page

"37% of Facebook users Like a fan page to get coupons and discounts." – eMarketer Report, Mar 2010

"64% of consumers are more likely to follow a brand socially after making a purchase." -GroupM Search Report, Feb 2011

5. Facebook Like on Products

Diesel QR code sign: I Like Larkee

Diesel pioneered use of Facebook "Like" in-store with their jean styles.

Business goal: Product advocates
Conversion challenge: Increase # of Facebook product "Likes"
Industry: Retail, consumer goods, food, hospitality

Feature a QR code beside a specific product as a sign or attached sale tag that encourages users to scan and Facebook "Like" the product.

Note: "Liked" web pages can be administrated similar to a fan page within Facebook. You'll be able to post status updates directly to fans of the product (even if they haven't liked the actual fan page). Leverage this targeting opportunity and post periodic product-specific messages to entice purchases with trackable incentives.

"When" opportunities: In-store shopping, catalog shopping, clothing trial in fitting room, reviewing a food menu

Barcode content: Direct link to Facebook "Like" a specific product web page

"68% of consumers are more likely to buy with a positive Facebook friend referral." – eMarketer Report, Mar 2010

6. Google Places Review Posters

Business goal: Local SEO
Conversion challenge: Increase # of reviews
Industry: Retail, hospitality, food, automotive, health care, entertainment

Reviews are a powerful factor of local SEO that also impact click-through rates and sales conversion. Regular reviews are important to show consistent and current quality. Define a campaign that encourages users to post reviews. Design “posters” for on-site use with QR codes that encourage users to scan and review the location. Display location ideas: door exits, ticket booths, table placemats, parking structure columns, and drive-thru yard signs.

“When” opportunities: Entering the location, seated at the location, waiting in line, walking through a parking structure, exiting the location
Barcode content: Link to review the location on Google Places

Note: “Reviews on third party sites offer greater reach and credibility than on-site reviews,” says local search expert Gregg Stewart. Since Google recently removed third-party reviews and listings from their Places pages, directing reviewers to Google Places is likely the best outlet for local search visibility. (Sources like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Citysearch had claimed that Google unfairly used their content.)

“78% of social networkers and 71% of mobile users find consumer ratings and reviews extremely important for local search.”

15miles & comScore Local Search Study, 2010

7. Foursquare Check-in Posters

ISB 'Foursquare Special Here' check-in via QR code

Business goal: Loyalty
Conversion challenge: Increase # of check-ins
Industry: Retail, hospitality, food, recreation, entertainment, health care

Build a Foursquare loyalty program that provides incentives for repeat check-ins and mayorship.
Design "posters" for on-site use with QR codes that encourage users to scan and check-in at the location. Display location ideas: door entrances, point-of-sale countertops, table placemats, drive-thru yard signs, and bathroom stall doors.

"When" opportunities: Entering the location, seated at the location, waiting in line

Barcode content: Direct link to check-in at the Foursquare location (e.g. http://foursquare.com/venue/VENUE-ID-HERE.)

"2 in 5 smartphone owners use their devices from the bathroom." Google Smartphone Consumer Study, April 2011

"55% would check-in to a venue or store via a site such as Facebook or Foursquare to get special deals." Havas Media Social 2011 Social Commerce Survey

8. Interactive Custom Maps

KidPix hypothetical postcard with QR code driving directions

Pictured: Hypothetical postcard with personalized message and QR code link for directions.

Business goal: Drive traffic (literally)
Conversion challenge: Increase # of in-store or on-site visitors
Industry: Retail, tourist site, recreation, education

Advertise QR codes that encourage users to scan and get directions to the location. (Note: QR codes can conveniently leverage smartphone mapping features along with the user's current location to route directions to a specified geolocation.)

QR codes with map links provide a quick confirmation about a destination's location and duration along with a GPS guide to reduce fear of getting lost. Display location ideas: billboards, campus sporting event posters, event invitations.

This presents an exceptional opportunity for off-freeway tourist attractions (restaurants, hotels, recreation facilities, etc.) and off-campus sporting events to lure more visitors. Very large campuses with mapped streets (e.g. schools, amusement parks, fair grounds) can leverage this tactic to promote other on-campus locations or events. (Be sure to test driving and walking scenarios in Google Maps to confirm accuracy.)

"When" opportunities: Driving nearby the location, leaving campus, walking around a large campus, leaving a dining facility, opening a postal mail invite, waiting for baggage at an airport
Barcode content: Link to the geolocation of the site

9. Smart Reorder from Product Labels

Business goal: Customer retention
Conversion challenge: Increase # of reorders
Industry: Retail, consumer goods, automotive

Feature QR codes on product labels that encourage users to scan and reorder product. Product examples: clothing, projector light bulbs, toner cartridges, car parts, vacuum bags, specialty pet food, etc.

Note: For the clothing industry this will require smart e-commerce planning for discontinued items. Leverage such occasions to promote new similar items as alternatives, but also to capture feedback that may influence bringing back previous product lines.

"When" opportunities: Product life is nearly expired

Barcode content: Link to the online product page

"13% of smartphone owners have scanned a barcode to purchase a product with their phone." -Compete Report, Jan 2011

10. Expedited RSVP & Lead Generation

Geico direct mail envelope with a QR code -

Geico leverages QR codes on direct mail prospecting pieces to generate leads. It also presents a unique opportunity to calculate "open rates" for direct mail.

Business goal: Lead generation and sign-up
Conversion challenge: Increase the # of sign-ups
Industry: Retail, professional services, professional association

Feature QR codes on promotional materials that encourage users to scan and sign-up. The "sign-up" logic could work for entering contests, joining professional associations/LinkedIn groups, registering for events, or RSVP'ing to invites. If you're linking to a lead form, be sure to auto-fill information (if applicable) to save the user time.

"When" opportunities: Upon receipt of a postal mail letter/invitation, tradeshow/expo booth visit
Barcode content: Link to an online sign-up form

Tip: The USPS is offering a 3% discount on summer business mailers that include a mobile barcode. bit.ly/USPSqrcodepromo

Alternative option: Link the QR code to a video that highlights sign-up benefits or "greatest moments" and close the video with a call-to-action link that takes users to the online lead form.

Are you a mobile barcode convert?

Although there's much hype over the fad versus revolution future of mobile barcodes, it seems there's clearly some good opportunities here for enhancing user experiences and improving conversion. What do you think? Is it time to include QR codes in your conversion tool box? Which of these tactics might you consider employing to meet your objectives? Let us know in the comments below!

— Angie Schottmuller

About Angie Schottmuller
Angie is an Interactive Jedi skilled in the arts of web strategy, conversion, e-commerce, SEO, social media, QR codes, design, UX, analytics, and inbound marketing. She recently defined the new "online marketing" university curriculum for The Art Institutes and has spoken at SES, SMX, and OMS online marketing conferences. She actively curates content on Twitter (@aschottmuller) and regularly contributes to popular blogs including Search Engine Watch, ClickZ, and Jay Baer's Convince & Convert.
» More blog posts by Angie Schottmuller


  1. Josh Braaten

    You’re the master of QR, Angie. I can personally attest to #1 from your list, and it was at Best Buy. I wanted to buy a portable hard drive for my PC, but the model I liked didn’t specify if it was Mac or PC. I scanned the code, confirmed the hard drive worked on the PC through looking at the specifications online, and bought the drive.

    QR can be a great way to answer those last-minute questions consumers have at the point of sale. Great article!

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Thanks for sharing your Best Buy example, Josh! It’s great to hear the real world impact.

      Has Rasmussen considered #7, a Foursquare checkin loyalty program?

  2. Yomar Lopez

    That is possibly one of the most comprehensive articles I’ve seen on QR codes for quite some time – brilliant work, Angie!

    Anyone that is on the fence about the use of barcodes, whether they are matrix, QR, or other, needs to realize that mobile marketing is not going anywhere. Not just that, the Japanese have been using QR codes for over ten years now (Toyota is one of the first companies to put them to work). This is not a fad.

    People are on-the-go and more hurried than ever, so the methods you suggest help reach people when and where they are truly looking and open for more information. At the very least, you can prime your market this way, perhaps dripping information and providing clear calls to action each step of the way.

    Now, I’m a bit of a techie and I can tell you that one reason that many QR platforms are not being as widely-adopted as they should be is because the wrong types of codes are being used. QR codes have several versions and, for most, the “bigger” codes work better, as the finer dot pitch can throw off even the best smartphones and web-enabled digital cameras.

    I’ve helped clients set up QR codes. I’m even currently testing some new QR software out too. The first step is to make sure that the codes work 99% of the time. High-definition, low-gloss codes seem to work best because they’re easier to read and lighting anomalies are not as common. Thus, Version 1 or 2 of Quick Response barcodes usually work best. You can offset the character limitation by using compression technologies and URL shorteners…

    Enter landing and portal pages. This is another big opportunity. Sending clients to your home page can be overwhelming and only serve to increase bounce rates.

    Once folks overcome those hurdles, your suggestions will surely pay huge dividends. You’re absolutely right about how these codes cut down on some of the extra steps and guess work usually involved with marketing methods. QR codes are a good way to show customers and leads alike that you value their time.

    Great write-up and you certainly set the bar high for the rest of us, Angie.. Darn your Jedi powers. I am but a mere padawan.. I better start honing my skills now! ;o)

    • Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

      Ha! I love the Jedi comments. You’re progressing well, young padawan. =) Have you used any of the tips above?

      • Yomar Lopez

        Yes indeed! I’m taking all this insight to further reinforce my recommendations and tweak our own QRC software platform. Once it officially launches, I’ll be sure to let you know! You can use the force on it and see just how good it is. 8)

  3. Igor B.

    Lots of great ideas here! Nice job, Angie. The question on many marketers’ minds, I suspect, when thinking about allocating resources to integrating QR codes, is: how many people have a QR code reader these days?

    Anyone know the answer?

    The closest I’ve come to sorting out the math is: 1 in 3 Americans own a smartphone, and according to one Burson Marsteller study (http://www.burson-marsteller.com/Innovation_and_insights/blogs_and_podcasts/BM_Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=243) — 22% of Fortune 50 companies are using QR codes. So whatever the number is, it’s growing…

    • Yomar Lopez

      Barcode scanners are coming standard on Blackberry devices, which some consider to be low-end or inferior smartphones these days (I love my Blackberry, personally), so that should give you an idea of the direction of things to come. I’ve seen them standard on Android devices and iPhones too. There are a whole slew of free readers out there as well, but there are better ones that can be purchased for small fees. 8)

    • Angie Schottmuller

      I’ve not seen stats specific to the number of reader app downloads. There are over 500 different QR reader apps, so an accurate count is tough.

  4. Erik Hare

    I’ll say I’m no fan of QR codes. I’m concerned about a backlash against them by the non-hip as a way of leaving people out of the loop for important information. I’ve heard a few comments next to a client’s use of them on a menu and it wasn’t pretty.

    But what I like about this article is that it is a very comprehensive “State of the art” that includes ways they can be used without being too pushy – which is to say targeting “When users are most likely to act”. I like this a lot and I’ll read through this very carefully to help me give good advice to my clients who are interested in pursuing this.


    • Yomar Lopez

      I agree.

      QR codes have a certain degree of “geek appeal” which is why you don’t want to focus all your marketing muscle on a QR campaign. That said, they do have an inherent appeal due to the fact that they still have a rather exclusive feel to them; thus, QRC adopters tend to feel special.

      In that manner, you can offer special things for the early adopters and then offer it to the rest of the marketplace. This does indeed increase perceived value without forcing people to get on the bandwagon. Certainly, you would not want to make your core experience be driven by QR codes – that’s a situation where the backlash would be rather ugly, I think.

    • Kristi Hines

      Businesses can’t always cater to the non-hip though. I’d be much more likely to scan a QR code than sign up for a mailing list, especially if it was the non-hip snail mail kind. :)

  5. Christopher Franklin

    Cool stuff Angie, you are a Jedi master at this.

  6. Jim Rickard

    Nicely done Angie. Good info I too will be talking with clients about. Keep up the great work.

  7. federico fernandez

    Nice post. Thank you!
    Also… Dynamic QR codes are designed to be unique, but you can change what it’s inside them so you don’t have to print your business card every time you change your code.
    Check them out here… http://uqr.me/

    • federico fernandez

      You don’t have to change your business card every time you change your CONTENT… that’s the idea.

  8. Logo Golf Balls

    Great article. Approximately 40% or our new orders now are integrating our customers QR code into the job. The application I’m really looking forward to is using the code as a contest entrant and having a different code printed for the winning entrant.

  9. Beryn Hammil

    Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting to make us smarter and more efficient.

  10. Christina


    These are some great tips. I will be incorporating them into my own small business. I love linking people to my business facebook by having a poster size on site.

  11. Graham Cornfield

    What a fantastic post, and the replies just add to the quality.

    QR codes are just starting to “take off” here in the UK, but many don’t understand what they can do for a business. The answers are here!

    Taking a glass half-full view, I wonder how long it will take someone to find a way of using QR codes for less than positive activities?

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Hi Graham,

      I’m glad you found the tips useful. Unfortunately, many marketers have integrated mobile barcodes without following the “Golden Rules” I noted above. When you say “less than positive activities,” are you referring to the dark side?

  12. QR What?

    For the longest time I had no idea what those squares were! I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me! Now I will be looking for codes to scan!

    Thanks Angie!

  13. Miranda

    Another great article on QR codes, Angie :) I still have a lot to learn about how to use them effectively, but your writing also leaves me with new ideas.

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  15. Kristi Hines

    What do you think about QR codes on business cards? I’ve been curious about how those help your first impression on a possible prospect. Also, are there are any business card printing companies that specialize in it, or will any be able to recreate a usable code on your cards?

    • Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

      I think mobile barcodes on business cards are great. Who actually wants to type in all that info? =)

      From a conversion stand point, first consider what you want the recipient to do with the business card. For example: add you to their address book, connect with you on LinkedIn, visit your website, friend you on Facebook, etc. Plan your barcode content and contextual tips based on that objective. Note: A meCard (mobile contact records), link to a LinkedIn profile, or link to a portfolio/blog are usually most useful.

      Business card companies are just starting to offer mobile barcode options, but most fail to follow best practices for sizing (min. 1″x1″), scannability, and contextual assistance (i.e. how to get reader app, call to action for the code, etc.). It’s probably easiest to generate your own code and include it as a graphic on the business card.

      Note: A “meCard” is just formatted text that will preload as a mobile contact record on the user’s smartphone. It’s basically a mobile fast track version of a vCard. (See http://j.mp/meCardFormat for the syntax.) The Kerem Erkan, QRstuff, and QReateBuzz code generators have options for meCard content.

  16. Naomi Niles

    This is great, Angie! Before, I didn’t really get the QR codes thing. I mean, I thought they were kind of weird looking and I wasn’t sure they’d really get adopted by the general consumer.

    Now it’s starting to make a lot more sense and you’ve definitely made my brain wheels turn. I especially love your suggestion in #2 about generating it automatically and pre-filling out some of the data so that the customer doesn’t have to. Excellent!

    Thank you!

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  18. Chris Brisson

    Angie, great blog post! Real Estate Agents are using QR codes with great success for their properties.

    So many applications we all see in our every day lives.

  19. Kevin McCaffrey

    Great post Angie,

    I haven’t really looked into QR codes too much so far, so first question is, how do I generated them? Have you got any links to good resources?


  20. Antony Francis

    good article I got one you can add to the list, to send out a promo tweet :) check out my article http://headoflettucemedia.com/2011/07/qrcode-magic/

  21. Megan Dunbar

    3. On-Demand Interactive Video Support

    The products my company manufactures can be complicated to install, and the installation guides we provide with the product can only take instructions so far. Offering a QR code linking to a video on the instruction guides or printed on the box would be a great way to increase user satisfaction and reduce installation errors. I’m totally a convert!

    PS How awesome would it be if Ikea had these codes in the showroom linking to an assembly video, so the customer could include that into their decision to purchase one product or the other? If I had known how complicated and time intensive the assembly of the last bed I bought would be, I might have opted for a different product…

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Good call on the IKEA QR code instructional video as a sales conversion tool! It’s so true that ease of installation is a major factor. Perhaps that would be useful for your company’s products as well?

  22. Kathy Swanson

    Great article Angie. I have so many organizations talking the “buzz” about QR codes and instead of trying to educate them, I’m not going to send them to your perfectly documented post! Keep up the great work so I don’t have to.

  23. Yomar Lopez

    Right on, Kristi! And the hip folks are just your early adopters, mainly. Once the value is evident and the usability kinks are worked on, there will be no real reason NOT to use QR codes or, heck, matrix codes, if you prefer. The scanning software is becoming much more flexible and easier to use so we’re getting there.

  24. Jay Kemp

    Unfortunately, society is not very knowledgeable about this technology yet, regardless of the marketing campaign or if their smartphone has a pre-installed scanner or not.

    There should be a #5 on your Golden Rules of Mobile Barcode Usage:

    “5. Educate the public about the QR Code.”

    We are not doing the public proper justice, if they have no idea what it is and why it’s there. I see no explanatory details on any of the examples provided, or they are too small to read the finer details. A simple “scan the QR Code with your smartphone” may get society to google from their smartphone to understand it and it’s use.

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Hi Jay,

      The “educate the public” part fits into my #3 Golden Rule of providing contextual assistance. Step by step instructions to get a reader app (with link or SMS shortcut) and “scan the code to ” should be presented beside the code. You’re absolutely right that not enough people know about the codes or what to do with them when they see them.

      For good uses of codes above, which would you likely consider using?

  25. Oli Gardner

    I’d be really interested to know where you found the photo examples? Did you take the pics yourself “in the wild” or source them?

    Love the thread on this post. Nice work Angie.

    • Angie Schottmuller

      The images came from a variety of sources. The Facebook “Like” hotel entrance decal and Geico envelope images I’ve had for awhile. The Diesel campaign was recent, and I grabbed a screenshot from the video. I actually went to Best Buy and took several photos of their mobile barcode implementations. For the other scenarios, I did image searches online in hopes of finding examples that represented my conversion optimization scenarios. Quality mobile barcode implementations are tough to find, so the image selection was slim.

  26. Roger

    QR’s are still in their infancy in my opion. There are 40 levels of QR code technology and on 1-4 are being used as the cameras in cell phones cannot scan the higher levels…..yet. Also, more people are understanding the the code does not have to be black. it merely has to have a reflectancy difference between the code and the background significant enough to read. This is similar to the OCR scan documents from the 70’s. As more printers and graphic designers test, explore and play with QR we will see many new designs and therefore new applications. AR codes will be more exciting as they are image recognition not code dependent.
    QR is a media that can be used to link print to the virtual world. Once your target audience is in your virtural world you can take them anywhere.

  27. Peter Fuller MBA

    I am thinking QR code tattoos

    but would that be too Orwellian


    • Angie Schottmuller

      QR code tattoos (temporary and real) have actually been used on numerous occasions. Back to the “Golden Rules” of mobile barcode marketing, the key question is what business objective and user interest would be fulfilled via a tattoo?

      Now that you mention it, amusement parks and sports complexes are common places where temporary tattoos are used. If the conversion goal was to increase brand awareness via social fans of mascots, designer code tattoos (resembling or encompassing a mascot image) could be used to scan and “Like” the mascot on Facebook. (Note: It would be hard for code tattoos to provide much contextual assistance, and code contrast would need to be strategically planned to ensure scannability on different skin colors.)

  28. John F. Gray

    While QR code are not obviously new, they’re new to me. Angie really put the whole concept in context… the “light-bulb” went on! Great writing, and great ideas. Can’t just pick one favorite, when it seems like almost the perfect “10”.

  29. Michael Currey

    Someone should build a shopping app that will let you scan QR codes on similar products and see side-by-side comparisons…

    Oh, I liked #1 best :)

  30. Kai

    I think I have to pay that QR Code thingy more attention… stumbled over it for a few times but didn´t really get the potential it could provide. Nr. 5. Facebook Like on Products caught my attention !!!!

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  32. Brent Rangen

    You would think every Realtor in the states and abroad would see the value (#8 & #10) of QR codes for each property. More social interactions & less paper, printing, amd graphics costs too! Still, not many in my area have utilized them yet. Great read!

  33. Anne Salle Miles

    I love the possibilities you have presented here to help my retail clients with a brick and mortar presence to increase their local search and social media reach. To me it is a really fun and engaging thing, to offer posters that lead to Check-ins and Likes. Great inspiration. Thank you.

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Hi Anne! I’d love to see the design work you put together for these campaigns. Which tactic do you think you’ll tackle first?

  34. Anne Salle Miles

    I love the possibilities you have presented here to help my retail clients with a brick and mortar presence to increase their local search and social media reach. To me it is a really fun and engaging thing, to offer posters that lead to Check-ins and Likes. Great inspiration. Thank you.

  35. Dan McGrath

    I’ve just discovered QR codes with my smart phone – it never occured to me to use them, though. I’m going to look into it for our non-profit.

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Since mobile barcodes are free, they’ll present great opportunities for your non-profit. What do you think about including mobile barcodes that link to donation pages to try to improve contribution conversions? (Online bankers like me would be drawn to that option.)

  36. Matt Siltala

    Never even thought of #10 nice. We have plenty of opportunity for this with one of our businesses. Thanks for putting this together & sharing!

  37. Bridget Sutton

    This is an excellent article that explains the value of QR codes in a way that even a newbie like me can understand. Thank you for your insights!

  38. Jake Dietrich

    Great stuff Angie! This does a great job of explaining the practicality and versatility of using QR codes. I had never thought of number 2 before; very interesting!

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Thanks, Jake! The logic behind #2 (survey feedback) would work great for conferences and special events as well. (i.e. Printed posters with “Scan to rate this event” as a call to action.) Think about how many more feedback responses they’d likely get about a speaker or session for a large conference!

  39. Michelle Hall

    Great article, very informational.

  40. Andy Noble

    I thoroughly enjoyed the informative article and information conveyed regarding QR codes. Way to go!!

  41. Darin Q

    very nice entry

  42. Bob

    As an active FB user I think that “4. In-House Facebook Like Promo” has great potential.

  43. Gary Hukriede

    Reading your blog has educated me on all the uses for your codes. I did not conceive all the options!

  44. Marc Custers

    Great article Angie! This is the best overview I’ve seen for the business use of QR codes.

    But, I’m having a hard time finding creative business cases for a B2B company.
    Of course there are location based usages like events, seminars, …
    And you can add a QR code on business cards or on ads in magazines, outdoor advertising, etc..
    Use cases of QR codes in B2B offices? Most interactions are done online or by visiting the client…

    Any fresh idea’s?


    • Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

      The key is to start with a business objective and then consider how you could achieve that while adding value for the user. For B2B, it may be that you consider how QR codes can be used on promotional “stuff” or products to help channel partners sell more product. Perhaps a link to goes to an instructional video?

  45. John D.

    Great article, Angie. The possibilities for reordering and replenishment are really interesting.

  46. John M

    Great stuff here Angie! Keep up the good work!!!

  47. Marc Custers

    @Angie Agree, with the business objective as a starting point.
    But in a large organization one needs to spread knowledge to develop the right mind set, and make all departments consider the appropriate tactics. Only then the correct people will be involved in the projects. That’s why I’m looking for relevant B2B use-cases: to visualize the possibilities.
    Tip about the channel partners made me think, thanks!

  48. Jason Lombard

    Great article, Angie! I’ve used tips 4, 5, 6 & 10 for clients (and myself) and believe strongly in the power of QR codes for inbound marketing.

  49. John McTigue

    Wow, this is outstanding. I really need to dig in on this topic, and this is the ideal place to start. Thanks Angie.

  50. James St. John

    Great post, Angie.
    Your GEICO example has reminded me that the USPS is actually rolling out discounts for volume mail clients who will place a QR code on their mail-pieces that are linked to an offer. I have a buddy in the bulk mail side of USPS who is always keeping me updated on those developments, wanting me to encourage clients to use their product.
    Your post has certainly encouraged me to think about some creative and low-cost ways to encourage clients to use QR codes. I actually sat in a meeting with a guy who is encouraging businesses to use the on the backs of t-shirts they are using for promotions.
    Thanks again for the actionable info.

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Thanks, James! The Geico example is an interesting one. I should point out that they fail to provide a good call-to-action. (They actually provide two as a mixed message.) They also didn’t provide contextual assistance to get a reader app or use a link/SMS as a barcode alternative.

      The USPS promotion is a good one. Are you going to use it?

  51. Shelly

    Great information Angie, but i need one advice from you, we are building Landing page for B2b company, How would you suggest QR code to be used for them. They are occupational hygiene and safety consulting firm, offers professional services with specialties in industrial hygiene, safety engineering, microbial growth assessment, indoor air quality, noise assessment and control, industrial ventilation, asbestos and lead identification and abatement project management, health and safety training, hazardous waste remediation site safety, environmental air monitoring, health and safety program management, and regulatory compliance.

    Hope you can help me with it.


    • Angie Schottmuller

      What business goal is your client looking to achieve? (i.e. lead generation, brand/product advocates, loyalty, customer support, etc.) What’s on the landing page?

      • Shelly

        Hi Angie,
        Thanks for the reply, i would say they are looking at lead generation, Landing page has video of company , message from the President of the company and brief about service, targeted to specific audience, expert panel and contact.

        • Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

          If you were to incorporate QR codes, it will be key to link to something the user would find value added. A landing page with a message form the president would make a good QR code for his business card, but would probably be a stretch to entertain and engage average users. Keep in mind that users scanning barcodes have much higher content expectations. They expect “a little something for the effort.” ;-) Consider a discount, free resource download, how to video, etc. The content needs to be driven from you business goal and still add value for the user.

          Some ideas: a landing page with safety point checklist that can be downloaded via lead form or a video showing how a user could check if they have safety hazards.

  52. Jackie Blake

    Great article Angie! I think QR codes really are a great way to connect online and offline media. They can bring a lot of people who aren’t as interested in the web online because they make it so easy to find information that applies to what you’re doing/purchasing at that moment.

  53. linkblots.com

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  54. Jim H

    Great info! Very informative on emerging marketing tools!

  55. Markus Frick

    Great, clear article Angie!

    Love to see that topic connected to Conversion Optimization – very interesting read & inspiring at the same time, thanks for sharing!

    Keep up writing those kind of articles!

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  58. Ron Davies


    every one of these “tips” is based on QR Code gen 1. We are currently at Generation 4. So, your content is almost 2 years outdated.

    Would be good to post current info.


    • Stephen

      On your site:
      This site is currently being updated. Please be advised some information is not available to present moment.

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  59. Ron Davies

    Oh, one more thing. There are 750,000,000 Facebook users, not 200,000,000 as in your video above. That was a long, long time ago. Again, lets see current content?

    Great idea, just far outdated.

    • Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

      Thanks for the feedback, but I’m not following you. The “I Like Diesel” campaign ran in May 2011, just two months before I wrote this article, so the case study is hardly outdated. The video was created by Diesel, and their lack of referencing the latest Facebook stats doesn’t change the logic or process behind how they leveraged QR codes with products. It’s merely one example of how mobile barcodes could be used to boost product advocates.

  60. Dawn

    This was a lot of information, really good stuff here. I have had a small amount of clients ask me about using qr codes for their business and I though I knew quite a bit, but your site just filled in some blanks. I added you to my favorites and I thank you for your info!

  61. Gee Ranasinha

    Don’t forget that QR codes don’t (only) have to exist within the confines of a print-based delivery model.

    We’ve been working with a number of clients augmenting their QR-code campaigns into rich media channels such as video, and online games. Take a look at our ‘proof on concept’ example at http://kexino.com/marketing/qr-code

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    Def gonna tweet this out and share with my blog readers. We recently published an article that talks about branding your qr code that will compliment your article. http://rqc.me/branding

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