How to Use QR Codes to Generate Business

While attending the Web 2.0 Expo last week, I noticed QR codes gracing business cards, flyers and other promotional materials. What’s a QR code, you ask? They’re these square, black-and-white, bitmapped-looking barcodes:


Though they’ve been around since 1994, QR codes first came to my attention last year when Entertainment Weekly magazine released its summer movie issue. The articles and advertisements had different QR codes for the films, and you could use your smartphone to tag the codes to see trailers and specific content. It was clever marketing — and it was new to me.

At the Web 2.0 Expo, I chatted with PsPrint customer Isis, whose business card for its TECHSex USA project features a QR code that, when tagged, brings you to a white paper about youth sexuality and reproductive health in this digital age. The QR code does double duty since it’s eye catching but also lets you avoid having to type in a long URL printed on the business card. If you’re like me, you constantly mistype and eventually give up.

That business card got me thinking: Graphic designers and other creative professionals could include a QR code for their online portfolios on their business cards, websites, postcards and other promotional materials. QR code generators are easy to use and are free. Using a QR code in your marketing makes it look like you keep up with technology while also makes it easy for potential customers to access your portfolio, resume or blog.

Have you used QR codes? Are they a passing fad in the United States, or will they gain the popularity they already have in other countries?

Oh, and did you tag the QR code in this post?

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  • alan

    We’ve explored them for adding to our advertisements and property flyers to take users to the property web sites.

  • Jemal

    We are definitely embracing them. Everyone and everything is mobile now, and what better way to give access to content on mobile instantly? Talk about one-click User Interface! One interesting thing is that many QR Codes use proprietary readers, so one reader usually can’t read all codes. We’ve decided to use one particular proprietary code generator, Microsoft Tag. Not only can you add your own graphic to the code itself (our graphic designers love this), but they offer a pretty good dashboard, which offers use analytics, including a Heat Map which shows you precisely where a particular code was scanned. I predict we will see a LOT of these in the future. A lot. :D

  • Jennifer

    I had no idea about being unable to scan all codes with one reader — d’oh! Microsoft Tag sounds awesome — I love the idea of being able to customize the graphic.

  • Pull up banners

    You can be creative and experiment on the designs or you could be on the safe side and stick to traditional-looking business cards. It pretty much depends on the age group or professional field that you intend to hand out your business cards to.

  • Website Design California

    I do agree with all the ideas you have offered on your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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