BEST PRACTICES FOR USING QR CODE SIGNAGEJANUARY 9, 2021| SpeedPro Silver Spring
Quick response (QR) codes have been around for a while, but they’re now becoming more useful than ever since so many consumers have smartphones they can easily use to scan the codes wherever they encounter them. In 2011, Pew Research found that just 35% of Americans owned smartphones, but that percentage has risen to 81% as of 2019.
It’s no secret that people use their smartphones frequently, including when they’re out and about. So why not harness that smartphone to engage people in ways that go beyond your physical marketing materials? With QR code signage, you can do just that.
WHAT IS QR CODE SIGNAGE?
QR code signs are a type of smart signage. They come in various forms ranging from a small decal to a large outdoor sign. These signs can also include custom text and graphics. What makes it a QR code sign is the addition of a QR code — a type of digital barcode — somewhere on the sign’s design.
Most modern smartphones have native QR code scanning built-in, and people with other smartphones can easily download an app to read QR codes. By scanning the QR code on your sign with their smartphone, a person will instantly connect to the URL you’ve chosen. This could be a webpage or some type of digital file.
Overall, QR code signs are an effective way of adding a digital component to your print media. Let’s look at some ways you can make the most of your QR code signage.
CHOOSE YOUR LANDING PAGE STRATEGICALLY
Since you can link to any URL from a QR code, you should choose this URL carefully. Consider the most effective resource you can provide for people to accomplish your goals. In a restaurant, for example, you can use a QR code to link to a touchless menu. A retail store can use a QR code to connect to online reviews or a product demo. A museum can use a QR code to connect guests to an audio tour or an interactive map showing where to find various exhibits.
Some businesses choose to create a unique URL as a landing page for their QR code sign. This way, by looking at how many times people have visited that page, they have direct insight into how many people are scanning the QR code. The options are endless, so be sure to put plenty of thought into what you want to link to with your QR code. If you choose to pay for a dynamic QR code, you can edit the URL in the future if needed.
SIZE THE QR CODE APPROPRIATELY
A practical concern to think through as you’re designing your signs is the size of the QR code. The main thing to consider is how far people will likely be standing from the sign when they scan it. The farther away a person is, the larger the QR code will need to be. For instance, a QR code on a hanging banner outside would need to be quite large for a person to scan it.
Even if your sign will be easily accessible for close scanning, you generally want the QR code to be at least 1 inch by 1 inch. In most cases, it’s best to use QR codes on signs that people can get up close to, such as window decals, floor decals, tabletop displays or freestanding banners. Be sure to position signs in such a way that people can easily access them to scan. A big perk of QR codes is the convenience for users, so be sure your signs are easy to use.
INCLUDE THE RIGHT TEXT
A QR code on its own can be confusing. Before scanning the code, people should have an idea of what information or resources they’ll gain access to. Even a few words can be enough to provide some much-needed context and encourage people to scan the code. This text can come in the form of a call to action, such as “Scan for our menu,” “See our upcoming event schedule” or “Scan to learn more.”
In some cases, you may be able to convey enough information without a direct call to action telling a person to scan. For example, you can create a sign that simply says “Free Wi-Fi” with a QR code that takes mobile users to a page to sign on to the Wi-Fi. In this example, people are likely to understand what the QR code is for. You can make the information more explicit, however, by including text that says something like, “Scan to sign onto our complimentary Wi-Fi.”
INCORPORATE YOUR BRANDING
You may picture QR codes as black and white. That’s how they started out, and that’s often how they appear today. However, today, you can create QR codes in other colors. This means your QR code can reflect your branding. The customization doesn’t stop with color. You can even incorporate your logo and other aspects of your branding into your QR code. Look at some creative QR codes for inspiration, and see if you can put your own spin on your QR code.
Keep in mind, however, that simplistic, black-and-white QR codes are the most recognizable. If you want to grab the attention of tech-savvy people with your QR code sign, you may be better off to stick with a more standard QR code and incorporate your branding into the rest of the sign. If your sign is in a place where people are sure to see it regardless of what it looks like — such as in a checkout line — then you may be able to get more creative with the QR code itself.
PARTNER WITH SPEEDPRO TO CREATE EYE-CATCHING AND EFFECTIVE QR CODE SIGNS
SpeedPro is familiar with QR code signage and other forms of smart signage and how to create these signs for our clients. We can produce quality QR code signs in various types, including window graphics, banners, sidewalk signs and much more.
We can even help you combine signage types. For example, if you’re a real estate agent who wants to post yard signs outside your listed properties, SpeedPro can produce a stack of identical signs with your picture and contact information and print unique QR codes on decals so you can customize each sign with a link to the online property listing or a virtual tour.
The possibilities are endless, and with SpeedPro, you can turn your vision into a reality.