So here are some tips on how to use QR codes in your business cards.
When Should You Add a QR Code to Your Business Card?This is an important question to ask. A QR code takes some space on the card, so it is important to decide whether you really need it. Otherwise, you can use that space for something else.
Ask yourself if your target clients use smartphones. If only a few of them have such devices with QR scanning applications installed, embedding the code will be useless.
Then, you should take into consideration what your online content looks like. Not any website is mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that content that looks good on a computer might not be so easy to read on a small screen.
How Should You Use the QR Code?Assuming that all the above requirements are met, you need to decide exactly what the code should do. Where should it take your client to?
There are several nice-working possibilities:
- Video – one of the best ways to communicate with your clients and tell them a thing or two about the services or products you offer is to use a video. Just link the QR code to the video you uploaded on your site and tell them directly what your business is about.
- Sales webpage – if you are promoting a particular product or service, why not direct your clients to a dedicated page, with an order form. This way, they may see it and buy it in no time.
- E-mail report or newsletter – the code could open your client’s e-mail and allow him to send a request for an e-mail report about your business. This also helps exchanging e-mail addresses much easier and faster.
- Download page – this is good especially for application producers and vendors. Your potential customers will be sent directly to the webpage from where they can download your applications.
- Social networking – if you have a Facebook page promoting your business, for instance, what could be better than sending your clients to it and giving them the chance to press the “Like” button?
There is an important thing you should keep in mind: no matter what kind of content you choose to send your clients to, you should make sure that they know what they get by scanning the QR code. Write down a short and clear explanation next to the code, but be careful not to occupy too much space on the business card.
How to Embed the QR Code in Your Business Card?This is a simple, 6 steps process:
- Make a decision regarding the information that will be encoded. Prepare your webpage, video, newsletter, or whatever you want your client to see when scanning the code.
- Generate the code. Open your search engine and look for one of the numerous websites hosting a free QR code generator. These sites are usually pretty user-friendly, they explain everything you need to do in order to get your code. Basically, you just have to type in the URL or other type of information to be encoded and the generator does the job for you.
- Save the image. The online generator will give you the code as an image file. Just download it and save it to your computer.
- Test the QR code. Before spending lots of time and paper printing your business cards, you certainly need to make sure that the code actually works. Print a test card and scan it. You obviously need a smartphone with a QR code reading application (they are easy to find, and you may even get the application for free). Check if the data you receive is exactly what it should be.
- Embed the code in your business cards. When designing your cards, make sure that you leave enough free room for the code. At the end of the process, add the QR image. You may want to print another test card, to verify if everything is in order.
- Print your business cards.
This is the whole process, and you have to agree that there is nothing complicated about it and it does not take long either (the actual printing is probably the most time-consuming part).
But, before you start making your QR codes, you may want to keep the following pieces of advice regarding their design in mind.
How to Make a QR Code on Your Business Card Look GoodThe QR code is simply a square, black-and-white and unattractive box, and you may believe that there is nothing to be improved about its design.
That is wrong! Recent improvements in this technology allow limitless possibilities. You can add colours, images, logos, change their shape and much more. However, no matter what design idea comes to your mind, you should always make sure that the code is still easy to scan.
While regular QR codes are easy to create using the plethora of QR code-generating websites on the web, for codes with a special look, you need an experienced designer who knows all the tricks of improving the aspect of a QR code, while maintaining its functionality.
But what can you change at a QR code? Here are some ideas that are quite inexpensive and easy to implement by any designer:
- Adding colour. With no more black-and-white restrictions, you may choose any combination of colours you like and consider representative for your brand. There are, however, two things to keep in mind. One is the background colour of your business card; make sure that the code actually fits there and is easily noticeable. The other aspect, leaving aesthetic considerations aside, is that there should always be a certain contrast between the code and the background (with the code much darker), so that the code be easy to scan.
- Changing shape. Many people seem to prefer more rounded, curvy designs that give the QR code a friendly look, while not affecting its functionality.
- Pictures. There is always the possibility of adding images to your code. This is due to a 30% error correction rate – the image may make part of the code more difficult to scan, but, as long as the rest of the code works, it maintains its functionality. This offers you the option of covering part of the QR code square with your enterprise’s logo, or whatever image you want to add.
Do not worry, any good designer will always test the resulting code to see if it still works, and will certainly test the code for all the popular QR reading applications.
With these considerations and tips in mind, you are certainly able to decide on your own if it is worth adding a QR code to your business cards or not and, if it is, where the code should take your clients to and how it should look like.
If you have some good content that may help you to promote your business and attract more clients, why not take advantage of the latest technologies and make it easily available to those interested.