How to Use QR Codes for Online Marketing

QR Codes are popular marketing tool because the barcode can store phone numbers, addresses and URLs.

Webopedia QR Code
The QR Code (short for quick response code) is a small two-dimensional barcode that can be read using camera-enabled smartphone with QR reader software installed.

QR Codes are popular marketing tool because the barcode can store phone numbers, addresses and URLs. With a camera-enabled smartphone, users can scan the QR Code which has been coded to do things like display text, provide contact data or even open a webpage in the browser on the smartphone.

Designing a QR Barcode for Online Marketing

There’s a number of inexpensive and free QR Code generators online, including the ones offered by Kaywa, the ZXing Project or QR Stuff.

The barcode you create is coded to do things like display text, provide contact data or even open a webpage in the browser on the smartphone. The QR Code specification outlines data types, or services for this information. By using the standards it ensures QR Code software can correctly read the barcode. Some examples of data types include:

  • URL: (HTTP) encode the text of URL in the barcode
  • Email address: (MAILTO) encode an e-mail address
  • Telephone numbers: (TEL) encode a telephone number with digits
  • SMS: (SMS) encode an SMS shortcode or number

After creating a barcode, you can copy and paste HTML code to embed the QR Code on your website or save the image to include on printed materials and display online. It is a quick process and it’s a convenient way for customers to access your website or details about your company, using a smartphone.

For online marketers, the good news is that creating and using QR Codes is an easy task, especially when using a free online code generator. You’ll simply specify one of the a data types listed above and click a “generate” button to obtain the barcode image.

Kaywa QR Code Generator

With simple-to-understand options and online services that will take you through instant code generation it only takes a minute to specify what text, web address or other information to embed in the barcode.

QR Codes can be printed and displayed anywhere a mobile phone user might scan the code: in magazines and print ads, or you can even use them online to provide access to social profiles or product details that customers can save to their smartphone. Some online marketers map the QR code to a specific webpage within your site, such as your email list opt-in page.

10 Free Online QR Code Generators to Try

1. Delivr QR Code Generator
2. goQR.me
3. Kaywa
4. Online QR Lab
5. QR Stuff
6. Qurify QR Codes
7. Scan QR Code Generator
8. The QR Code Generator
9. Unitag QR Code Generator
10. ZXing Project QR Code Generator

This article was originally published on October 15, 2012

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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