» My Top 10 QR Code Rules HouseOfBrew – Unplugged and Brewed

My Top 10 QR Code Rules

Brew's Top 10 QR Code Rules

1. Forget the code – plan the experience.

The #1 thing you need to consider is the full experience.  Plan out the entire cycle of how someone is going to interact with your QR Code.  This starts with testing the live code you produced and ends with you being compelled to take action, and then the ability to report on the results.

2. Ask what’s in it for me?

When you’re planning your campaign, start with the question: What’s in it for my company?  Do we want to build an email list, drive store traffic, build our mobile alerts subscribers, or have someone sign up for an event?  Define the one thing you want out of this, and make sure everything aligns with that goal.

3. Ask what’s in it for them?

Put your consumer hat on.  Don’t just think people will scan your QR Code because it’s new, bright, and shiny.  Give them a clear reason in text what they will get when they scan (3 words: Call to Action).

4. Create an easy mobile experience.

I cannot stress this enough.  I throw up a little in my mouth every time I end up at your homepage on my phone.  It’s got flash, it takes forever to load, and I don’t care about half of the crap that’s on there.  You let me down.  You drove me here for a reason, and that should not have been to drive “hits” to your homepage. Give me big buttons, and not too much text.

5. Use other channels (SMS).

Don’t forget about the other communication channels.  SMS is still the most widely used technology on mobile devices.  You’re really limiting yourself by only implementing ONE way for me to interact with you.  At least print a friendly URL for me to participate without scanning.

6. Track it, Test it, Change it.

Make sure that everything is trackable.  Test 2 different mobile experiences with the same ad copy.  Try 2 different ad copies.  Find your winners and then continue to test and tweak those.  Don’t just stop at one attempt, and if you can, test within your first campaign.  What drives the most people to scan, and what then converts them to your goal?  Those are the questions that need answers.

7. Size Matters.

Click here for a totally complicated answer from Denso-Wave on size.  I’ve done a ton of testing on my own with various versions, sizes, and phones and I’ve chosen to use a Version 2 symbol (25X25 modules), error correction level M (15%), and print the code 11/16″ X 11/16″.  This has resulted in the quickest scan using short URLs by the highest number of devices.

8. Make it pretty, but resolvable.

It doesn’t have to be just a black and white code, and you can “dirty” the code with objects (like your logo).  This works only because QR Codes have a built in thing called parity, which basically means the data is repeated. This helps with quick scans, and the ability to scan the code even if it was damaged.  Check out this page for a cool tool to make vector based QR Codes to play around with in Illustrator.  WARNING: test the crap out of your pretty QR Code.  Test it with multiple phones and software too.

9. Utilize a short URL.

Although QR Codes can contain lots of data, it doesn’t mean that they should.  Use a URL shortening service (bit.ly will give you free tracking too) and shrink that URL!  This will allow you to have a less complicated QR Code: one that can scan quickly, and if your error correction level is set high there’s more opportunities to “dirty” it with your logo.

10.”Qr Code” is a registered trade mark

Last item, but still very important.  QR Codes themselves, are free to use.   However, if you use the word “QR Code” within your document or advertisement do you need to also print:

QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    Interesting stuff… I guess many people are not aware of the last one. I myself before I read this from you on a previous occasions did not know it. 

    I agree with the part where people take you to there website and then there is nothing of interest for me. 

    • Anonymous

      Although I will have to admit Raul, that taking you to a website with no interest to you is just bad planning and bad marketing – it’s been happening with other mediums long before mobile and qr codes ;)

  • http://twitter.com/BKohlmann Brian Kohlmann

    Can’t argue with your list Brew.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Brian!  I hope it just helps spread some good practices around them :)

  • @Johnfoleyjr (Twitter)

    Nice post @HouseofBrew!

    I’m found of ilink.me as a shorting tool and iflymobi.com for mobile websites..  Ok and well qreateandtrack.com for QRCodes advanced tracking…

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  • guadalupe4238@mail.ru

    A debt of gratitude is in order for your post. I trust it just spreads some great practices around them. I concur with the part where individuals take you to their site and after that there is nothing of enthusiasm for me.

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