What are QR codes?

Louisville Website Design

You’ve probably seen them by now. Plastered on billboards. Lurking in the corners of catalogs. Strategically placed on the back of direct mail postcards.

They look like a cross between a traditional barcode and one of those “Magic Eye” pictures that you have to stare at long enough until you see a boat.

But what are they?

Quick Response Codes, or more commonly “QR Codes” is what is known as a specific matrix barcode. Created in 1994, by the Japanese company Denso-Wave, these barcodes are readable by QR barcode readers; but what really makes them fantastic for use in Marketing & Advertising, is that they are also readable by today’s smartphone technology.

The QR Code is comprised of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The key difference between traditional barcodes and QR Codes is the amount of information they can hold or share.  Since QR Codes were designed to allow information to be decoded at high speeds; they are excellent for sharing complex information such as text, website urls, or other data.

There are a wide variety of ways that QR Codes can be utilized as a “Call to Action” for consumers or potential clients.

Some commonly used methods are:

On brochures and other marketing materials (you’re able to supplement the information with direct links to your landing page)
Catalog Pages (allows the consumer to immediately go online to order the item)
On business cards
Product Tags and Packaging
Convention and event nametags
Restaurant menus
Point-of-sale receipts
Direct Mail
Event tickets

There is seemingly no limit to the innovative ways QR Codes can be implemented or what information they can provide.

Some of our favorite methods are:

Product Instructions (construction, installation, proper usage, etc.)
Company or Business website landing page
Directions to your business or event
Valuable coupons or special offers
Catalog ordering
Additional products and services
Customer feedback forms
Real Estate listings (direct mail pieces with a QR Code linking to a specific home)

So whether you already know about QR Codes or have yet to see them in practical application, here are just a few examples:

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