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What are QR Codes?

You've seen them before. They look like black-and-white puzzles or games boards. You may have seen them in magazine advertisements, on billboards, or on the backs of business cards. Although QR codes are typically in black-and-white, they can be created in color, too. They can even include your company logo.

QR codes are one of the hottest applications in the marketing world today. For good reason. They are easy to create. Easy to print. Easy to track.

They are an immediate response mechanism that catches consumers at the very moment of interest. Walking. Reading. Playing. Shopping. Traveling. QR codes take advantage of every opportunity in a big way.

What's not to love about QR codes? They cost little or nothing to add to your marketing collateral. Once people are intrigued, QR codes help them take the next step.

How Do They Work?

Viewing QR codes is simple. Simply point your mobile phone camera toward the code, snap a picture, and the software on your phone decodes the image. (On some phones, QR code readers come pre installed. Others require you to download them) Instantly, you are directed to a website or a landing page. Or you might be presented with a special coupon offer or see a special text message.

No need to write down anything or type in URLs by hand. Just stop, scan, and view.

Imagine the possibilities. Consumers' ability to respond at the very moment you catch their attention. It is no wonder that many case studies show QR codes increasing response rates.

By making cellphones the response mechanism, you remove many of the barriers to response.

Simply put, here's how it works...

STEP 1: A QR code can be placed on a piece of media - it might be a postcard, marketing collateral, clothing, an outdoor sign, educational papers, and more.

STEP 2: A person can take a picture of the QR code with their mobile phone, and software on their phone will decode the QR code.

STEP 3: At that point, the person will be instantly directed to a website or a landing page. Or they might be presented with a special offer code for a coupon. Or they might simply see a special text message.

Here is an example of a QR Code:

hallprintmail qr code

To put the QR code to use, all you need is a smart phone with a camera, and a QR Code-reading application.

Go ahead! Give it a try!

A Brief History of QR Codes

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are 2-dimensional bar codes that have actually been around since 1994. They have been widely used throughout Japan and in parts of Europe. With the increased adoption of mobile phones, they are increasing in popularity in the United States.