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Seven Top Tips for Using QR Codes

May 30, 2012

Toronto, May 30th, 2012 - Quick Response or QR codes, as they are known, are quickly becoming a marketing staple. With more of the population using smartphones, it is easy to see why this ubiquitous square is getting a lot of attention. You can see them in magazines, on billboards, even resumes and business cards.

"Creating a QR code is easy," says Randall Craig, Web and Social Media Strategist and author of the Online PR and Social Media series. "Just Google the words QR Code and you'll find a number of no-cost web-based QR Code creators. To read the code, go to your smart phone's app store and do a similar search, then install what you find."

The QR code connects the real world to the web and stimulates the social conversation. Craig offers seven key considerations for using them:

1) What is the goal of your QR code? Why would a person actually scan the code? Is it an impulsive registration or purchase? Or is it to provide deeper knowledge beyond the ad or brochure? Give the viewer a reason to scan or the QR code becomes clutter that detracts from the message.

2) Create a mobile-friendly landing page. Since you know the user has a smartphone, why send them to a regular web site? A special-purpose landing page, optimized for mobile use, will result in a better conversion.

3) Use a short URL. This results in a less dense QR code. This means that there will be fewer errors when users scan it. Use a site like or to shorten the URL significantly.

4) Print the QR code in a high contrast area. Avoid black on grey, and do not superimpose on a picture. Black and white, for once, trumps color.

5) Be strategic in the placement. QR code advertisements that are placed in subways will not result in much action if there is no data access.

6) Test the code before printing it. And then test it again.

7) For advanced marketers. QR codes can actually do far more than just send people to a web site.

Depending on the user's QR reader software and their smartphone, a QR code can send a text message, display a contact record, show a calendar event, and much more.


Since 1994, Randall Craig has advised on web and social media strategy. He is the author of six books including the newly published Social Media for Business and the Online PR and Social Media series. You can check out Randall's blog at

For more information contact:

Randall Craig
416.256.7773 x101 /

Carolyn Bergshoeff
416.256.7773 x 103 /

For more information contact:
Randall Craig
Pinetree Advisors Inc.
Phone: 416-256-7773 x101

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Randall Craig, Social Media and Networking Expert


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