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In Central Virginia
“Quick” Tips for Marketing With QR Codes
July 06, 2011
Quick Response codes, or QR codes for short, are popping up everywhere these days. From magazine ads to store windows, QR codes are the fastest way to get your tech-savvy customer to your business’ website. BBB offers some “quick” tips for businesses considering implementing Quick Response (QR) codes for their business.

So what is a QR code, exactly? These 2 dimensional barcodes, which originate back to circa 1994, aren’t exactly new, but are now being used in fun, innovative, business savvy ways that are luring in customers from around the globe.

By simply downloading a QR reader app for free, a QR code can be read quickly by your smartphone. Think of a barcode that can store much more data than you can imagine. Now think of all the places you can put such a small branding – the possibilities are (almost) endless. A business can use a QR code to show information such as directions to their business, their company’s BBB Business Review or even a URL that the viewer can click to receive a coupon. You can even put a QR on your business card with a link in the QR that takes the recipient directly to your website. Or add a QR that contains your contact information making it easy to add that info to a cell phone.

“QR codes are a fun way to attract customers to your business’ website or promotion,” said Stephen A. Cox, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “You can get creative by placing the QR code in your email signature, allowing the viewer to go directly to your website. Or you can even have the code contain contact information, making it easy for the viewer to add it to his or her own cell phone.”

So what are other ways to use the code? And are there any risks? BBB offers the following “quick” tips to businesses who are considering a QR code:

Where to display? Many businesses are turning to the windows of their store, paper advertisements, business cards, email signatures, shirts, mugs, ties and other products to display their businesses’ QR code. Some businesses are even using the codes for promotional contests allowing for a creative way to reveal the customer’s prize.

How do you generate your own QR code for free? Many sites offer a free QR generator that spits out an easily copied code that can be used as a template for all of your QR code needs.

Are there risks? Just like with any other website, you should never use a QR code that will link to a website that you don’t trust. Make sure that the website is reputable and that the QR code is found in a trustworthy place. Like any other malicious website, QR codes can potentially direct you to a harmful website that can ultimately lead to a virus infiltration on your smartphone.

For more consumer and business news you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/us/bbb-news.