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7 Best Practices for Using QR Codes Effectively

Do you know what “QR” stands for when it comes to QR codes? “Quick Response.” That should give you an idea of the intent behind them! They serve to provide users a quick way to access a link via scanning their smartphones. Last week we provided some inspiration for places to put QR codes for use in marketing. Now, we’ll talk about some best practices for using QR codes effectively.

Place them somewhere convenient.

Think logistics here. A QR code is something someone must physically scan with a smart device. So why would you put one on a billboard towering over the roadway? For one, that’s not convenient, and it’s also not safe.

Don’t put QR codes in places that are difficult to reach, or that would otherwise compromise someone’s safety when trying to scan.

Consider connectivity.

Another best practice for QR placement is to make sure you’re putting them somewhere people will have access to Wi-Fi or mobile connectivity. After all, they are being scanned from a mobile device and leading to an internet link. For example, airplanes, subways and elevators are places where connectivity can be compromised, so it might not make sense to put QR codes there.

Think about what you’re linking to.

Effective QR code strategy means considering exactly what type of content your QR codes are linking to. In general, you might want to send people to a page with some sort of call to action: signing up for an email list, following your social accounts, reading your blog, using a coupon, etc.

Make sure your content is mobile-optimized.

When designing our client websites, we prioritize making sure they’re optimized for mobile use. That’s because mobile devices are where the majority of people are viewing websites these days. Mobile optimization is especially important when it comes to best practices for using QR codes. By nature of a QR code, people will be accessing your content from a mobile device. So, it makes sense that your content should be formatted as such.

Make sure they’re compatible with Android and iOS.

Don’t isolate anyone when it comes to your QR codes! Use a QR code-generating service that is both Android and iPhone friendly. If you can’t do that for some reason, include a note next to the code that specifies which types of mobile devices can use it.

Think before placing a QR code in an email or on a website.

If you’re placing a QR code in an email just to send people to your website, what’s the point? If they’re viewing an email, they’re already on their computer or mobile device and can just as easily click a link. Same story if you put a QR code on your website.

The exception? Using a QR code in an email or on your website for someone to transfer information specifically to their mobile device. For example, the code could link to your contact information that inputs into a phone when it is scanned.

Size them appropriately in a high-quality format.

Finally, think about the size of the code. For easy scanning, you don’t wait it to be too small nor too large. You also want your code to be high-quality. A low-res code file code may affect scanning ability.


Consider these best practices for using QR codes effectively when incorporating them into your marketing strategy!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

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