Five Innovative Ways to Use QR Codes – By Jacob Smith

by Colleen on September 30, 2011

The debate is ongoing whether those little black checkered QR (Quick Read) Codes are the next coolest thing or already passé. Attendees at February’s GSMA Mobile World Congress agreed in their Sybase 365 surveys that widespread use of Near Field Communication, the next step in mobile communication, is still a few years off.

QR Codes are a lot like sandwiches, only as interesting as what you fill them with. So the key to making engaging, exciting QR Code campaigns is excellent content and relevant information deployed with creativity.

1) Phone Home: At websites like and you can whip up your own QR codes. One of the benefits of QR codes is the ability to have a smartphone send a text message, or SMS, after being scanned, gather subscribers, create coupon codes, data mine phone numbers, or automatically enter people into contests.

2) Game On: Instead of only having the QR Codes link to your website (boring), push clues or geotagged locations to fans to create a game or scavenger hunt promising big rewards. A hunt can be hosted on multiple web locations that reward the folks smart enough to figure out the puzzles, while branding yourself along the way.

3) Members Only: Everyone wants to be part of the cool kids club, so for the price of a smartphone and one of your products or a link to one of your websites, let them be. Push exclusive, branded offers through the codes to create specialized deals for the customers who are about to become your new best friends.

4) Be My Friend: Speaking of friends, we all know how important it is these days to rack up those followers and Facebook friends and likes. With a little URL tweakage those QR codes can lead right to the button on your Facebook that says “Like.” You can also set things up so all they have to do is click a button and become your Twitter follower.

5) Get Carded: Business cards used to be limited to address, phone number, email and website. Then they evolved to include pictures, embossing, and Braille. With QR codes, you can post an entire world of information into a tiny card. Through sites like and you can pack pages worth of info into one tiny image. Include your personal Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Skype, Tumblr, website, phone numbers, address and email – all in an elegant design that is simple and functional.

The beauty of QR Codes is that they are as creative as the person making them. If you just set a code down that links to your website, it will get ignored. But, with a good idea and creative implementation those little black and white boxes can create some lifelong (or until the next code innovation comes along) customers.

Jacob Smith is a PR Specialist for Saveology.

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