Called QR Codes (Quick Response Codes), these barcodes store data that can direct smart phones to websites, online videos, coupons, surveys, social media or anything else your company or organization wants to promote.
The codes make printed materials interactive and can be used on postcards, brochures, direct mail, business cards, banners, newsletters and advertisements, to name a few items.
Reading the QR Codes requires a smart phone with a camera and a QR Reader. Some phones come equipped with QR readers/scanners. Free applications are available and an online search for your phone model along with “QR reader” should turn up options.
Once it’s installed, open the reader, hold the camera over the code and your phone does the activity embedded in the code. This may be going to a website, dialing a phone number or accessing a video. The code above is for the website of Clark College in Vancouver, Washington (www.clark.edu).
QR Codes enable your audience to connect with you immediately – while they’re interested. Imagine you receive a postcard in the mail from your favorite nonprofit organization. You scan the code and it takes you to a donation page. A few quick seconds and you’ve made a donation through your phone and you’re on to the next thing. Or, walking by your favorite clothing store, you scan the code on the poster in the window and a great coupon pops up on your phone.
They’ve been in use in other parts of the world for years and there’s a lot of information available. If you’re interested, try a Google search or see them in action in YouTube videos.