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QR Codes: Scannable Business Cards

Updated on September 29, 2016

Quick Response (QR) Codes - Scannable Business Cards

This year you'll see an online explosion of QR cards, which are scannable business cards, readable by smartphones. One simple, stamp sized image, scanned by a smartphone gives the information you want out to your customers, potential customers, even friends and family.

If you're already in business, or wanting to start your own business, then using a QR card, instead of a traditional business card, will certainly save you money, but they're so much handier as you don't have to have anything printed at all.

What is a QR Card? And a QR Code?

A Quick Response/QR Card is a 2D image, which contains information. Smartphones can scan this image in a couple of seconds and the information is then transferred to the phone. The information that could be contained within the QR Code might be:

  • Your name, address, telephone number
  • Your website url
  • Photos, videos, presenations
  • Music

Now, that seems a little hard to digest doesn't it.... that one small area can contain so much information!

When somebody scans your QR Code they get to see the information YOU want them to see. It might be discount vouchers or special deals - or product details and demonstrations. You choose the content... it's exciting, and big, you need to get your head around this!

Using QR Codes on Cards as Scannable Business Cards

If you're in business, using the traditional business card was a limited option. You had to have them printed, have one with you, remember to hand it over to somebody - and they then had to not lose/bin it! The information couldn't be updated either. If your phone number changed, all those thousands of business cards you've already given away are now useless.

Imagine, instead, that you could hand them your traditional business card, with your QR Code printed on it. Firstly, that's a leap forward as you can get them to scan it immediately, in front of you. In fact, they might even then hand you your business card back - so you'd not need so many printing. Your QR Code can enable people to go straight to your information, or a webpage that you keep updated with your current contact details... among other options.

Using QR Cards online

Now, take your QR Code and put it onto your website - anybody surfing the Internet that's interested in your products or services doesn't have to bookmark your site, they can scan your QR Code into their phone.

QR Code Generator

So where do you get a QR Code Generator? Clearly creating just an "image" isn't enough, a QR code needs to be generated; the content needs to be 'inserted' into the code in the correct format so it's scannable and readable by QR Code Scanners and smartphones.

Online QR Code Generator

One way you can generate a simple QR Code of your own is by going to a website, such as Kaywa, where you can generate a simple QR Code. This would typically just contain your website address, name, address, telephone number, or maybe your SMS details.

QR Code Analytics

But there are more robust and complex systems available too. What about QR Code Analytics? Most people will want to know how often their code has been scanned. Websites such as iCandy can help with these more complex needs.

Imagine discovering that somebody had scanned your QR Code in Brazil at 4am! Although clearly QR Code Analytics is a little more useful than that :)

QR Code Stickers

If you have an existing range of products you sell, one route you might investigate is to get QR Code stickers printed. These are perfect for small businesses and craftspeople. Simply stick a QR Code sticker onto the base/rear of your existing stock and boxes, onto any existing printed stationery.

Booked a table at an exhibition? Create a QR Code sticker that you can stick onto people who visit your stall, or employ promotions staff to go out and sticker the public. QR Code stickers are phenomenally versatile.

QR Code Marketing

As a business owner, or promoter, QR Code marketing will become a cornerstone of your marketing efforts. The power of QR Codes to generate business cannot be over-emphasised, it means you can allow smartphone users to use their cell phone camera to scan your business Code in magazines, newspaper ads, on vouchers, your flyers, business cards, postcards, sign posts, billboards, store and window displays and other locations, and be instantly taken to the web page

In fact, once you have QR Code stickers, you could even re-use your competitors' advertising by sticking your sticker onto their posters! Mean!

QR Codes can transform your marketing.

Imagine hiring promotions staff to hand out leaflets at an outside event - now you can incentivise them based on how many leaflets they hand out that are scanned.

Living in an area where leaflets are prohibited from being handed out as they make such a mess in the streets - simply give each of your leafleters one QR Code and now they have to encourage passers by to scan the code into their phone, taking them straight to your offer/promotion or deal. Now you're getting real feedback on the effectiveness of your promotions teams!

How about incorporating your QR Code into your promotional goods. Are you giving away keyrings? How about giving away your QR Code on a keyring?

It's up to you to think outside the box - but QR Codes are your tool!

I hope this has given you a straight forward introduction to QR Codes. They're really easy to create, easy to use - and could be the big break your business has been looking for!


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Great information on QR code usage. I also agree that this can increase awareness of a business quickly and easily through smartphone technology. It has not quite caught on yet, but as more smartphones, ipads, etc. are bought it will become a standard means of advertising. Voted up!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I have never heard of it and it is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.


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