The big QR code to nowhere

QR codes are a fantastic means of providing mobile users a way to access your site. It allows you to better track which qr code sent the user (using URL variables) allowing for better reporting an conversion tracking, and of course, for your user, it means they don’t have to poke and prod at a tiny keyboard, just snap and away they go.

Our opinion of them is that we love them, they are great idea, fantastic, best thing since sliced cheese, and I am starting to see them pop up more and more, on business cards, on catalogs, on the sides of buses, etc. One of the big problems we have with them though, is that as good an idea as it is, it’s not being done right. When we go to scan a qr code on a a phone or tablet, (because let’s face it, we’re not going to use it on our desktop, or laptop) we are expecting it to load a website that is designed and/or tailored for a mobile device, and yet, overwhelmingly, we get their main site, with all the bells, whistles, large graphics, flash, javascript, and of course layout, that some phones struggles with, and sometimes can’t render at all.

When you put a QR code in your advertising, you have to consider how people will be interacting with it. It will be used with a mobile phone, there for, it should, logically, be taking you to a page designed for mobile devices.

Furthermore, you really should consider your target audience, If you’re going for the 55+ age bracket, most of them don’t own a smart phone, and have no idea what a QR code is.

So if you are going to use QR codes in advertising, which we absolutely recommend, for the right target audience, make sure you do it right. Send your users to a mobile or at least a mobile friendly page, and take advantage of having control of the url that is entered by having it go to a unique page for that campaign. That way you can get a better idea as to how your marketing efforts are doing, what advertisements are doing better than others, as well providing context relevent content that might give a higher conversion rate.

Remember there is nothing worse than snapping a QR code and getting a blank screen and/or navigation that doesn’t work