Tag Archives: QR Codes


QR Codes With a Different Approach

What would it take to get you to scan a QR Code when you see one? That is the $350,000.00 question of the day!  (hint-hint)  I’ve been researching these little ugly bugs for quite some time now and have determined that we need to find a better way to increase participation and conversion. People are just too lazy to take the time and go through the process to scan these things, myself included.

I’m always looking for creative ways to push the envelope.  QR Codes have always seemed very boring and drab to me.  As long as the QR Code serves its purpose (to link someone from the real world to the online world) then why leave it plain with no personality or differentiation from the others that all look the same.

Obviously, each one is different but at first glance, they really do look the same.  Here’s a couple sample QR Codes I created to be a little more unique and to help them stand out from the others.  With just a little creativity, maybe some keywords added to inspire and motivate people to scan them, I’m thinking I may be on to something here.

QR Codes are one of the few tools and technologies that connect people in the real world to the online world using technology from a mobile device.  I think the QR Code is still evolving and has not yet met its ultimate destiny.

Remember those Mazes where you had to help the mouse find the cheese?  Here’s one that leads the user to a FREE house.  That’s right, Zillow and Pulte Homes are giving away a FREE $350,000 New Home in this contest that ends on November 31st, 2011.  “Now that’s a QR Code worth scanning!

Until I can convince myself that I’d be motivated enough to take the time to pull out my iPhone and scan a plain and boring looking QR Code, I’ll just keep searching for better ways that would inspire you to do the same.

*Last important tip:  Make sure the sites you send people to are mobile device ready.

Remember that they’re on a mobile device when they scan your codes, there’s nothing worse than landing on a page or site that has tiny text and can’t be read or viewed by your prospects when they get there.

These QR Codes were customized at PicNik.com
Need To Create Yours? – FREE QR Code Creators
Need A Reader for Your Device – FREE Readers

More Related QR Code Articles


What Makes Your QR Code Unique

QR Codes can be a great tool but there are some things to consider before you go creating, copying, printing, and pasting them all over the web and God’s creation.  My first thought is that if I do see a QR Code anywhere, it better be worth it to me and offer enough value to justify me doing the following:

  • Reach into my pocket or case to pull out my mobile device
  • Turn on my device and enter my protective password
  • Scroll to the QR code application on my mobile device
  • Press the icon to launch the QR Code reader app on device
  • Wait for app to load then click on the “read code” option
  • Point my device at the QR Code and hit the scan option
  • Have the code unveil a targeted website or contact page

So in my honest opinion, the QR Code’s end results better land me or your target audience in a place or on a page that really offers value and makes all those steps worth their while.  Some great techniques and ideas have been created and established using QR Codes but too often I find that they just end up linking to a site or persons contact info that in most cases isn’t anything spectacular.

No free lunch. no instant cash, no options or contests for me to win? Usually not much more than a lot of time and effort spent that could have been achieved or accomplished easier, faster, and more efficiently in other more sensible ways.  On top of all this, I think QR Codes are too plain, simple, and ugly.  Here’s a video I created to help you customize and spruce up your QR Codes.

I used the same techniques shown in this video to create this QR Code.
I started to think that if you can give readers a hint or clue as to what they might find when they scan your QR Code, they might be more inclined to go through the process and steps it takes to land where you’re trying to get them to go. This one expires at the end of November so lets see if this actually works?

Scan it and see for yourself…

Scanning the above QR Code could land you a FREE $350,000 new home.  This is just one way I can see a code like this offering great value and making it worth the end-users time and efforts to scan.  I’ve also seen QR Codes used in books to download and read chapters back to you using an audio file.  I’ve seen QR Codes placed in homes strategically on panels and appliances etc. to drive traffic and results back to valuable sought after information and people.

So how are you creating and using your QR Codes to offer value, provide amazing information, and deliver customers and prospects excellence?  The QR Code is just beginning to find it’s way into the Internet and social media world and it’s the one technology that can help connect the online and offline worlds.  It will be an interesting journey to see how and where the QR Code permeates and how it evolves over time?!?

QR Codes with a Different Approach
50 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes
Creative Commercial on TV uses QR Code

Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 3.55.21 PM

How To Learn from Others’ Mistakes

Some of us simply have to learn by doing.  Others have the ability to learn from watching others make mistakes.  Hopefully you’re one that learns from reading this, watching the video, and then applying what you learn in the next 5 minutes to a life-long process of trying to succeed!

In this video, Scott Stratten shares an excellent point of view.  This is undeniably a topic and concept that every small and large business owner who uses today’s technology and tools for marketing and advertising, needs to understand.  Your BIGGEST take-away will be to “Think Things Through” and don’t just do it because you can or because everyone else is or does…

“How we need to stop the misuse of social media, QR codes and misleading statements in advertising, especially real estate.”

How To Create Your Customized QR Code Images

I’ve seen many posts about QR codes, here’s one on how to Customize yours and make it different than others.

The QR Code was just one of the hot topics at NAR in New Orleans this year. Out of the hundreds of cards we received for the iPad drawing, there were only 3 business cards that had the QR Code (bar-code) on them.  To be honest, I don’t like the way they look but they do work well and the technology is impressive.

This weekend, I added my QR code to my Facebook page and had a couple friends call me to confirm it actually worked.  They just pointed their phone and QR reader at the screen and I was instantly added to their contacts in their phone.  I also added it to my sidebar on ActiveRain to see how it looked and a few members “point and shot” it adding me to their contacts on their phones too.

Here’s the quickest and easiest way to create a QR code of your own, and add a little custom color and splash to make it unique and stand out from all the others.  I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

Step 1: You’ll need to create a QR Code.  QR codes can be created to either link back to a desired website, Blog, or Internet page, or they can be used like a business card, much like the one I’ve created here on my AR sidebar.

There are many QR code generators out there, some of them work right from your phone. I use the iPhone so Optiscan (scanner and generator) and i-nigma-4 (just a reader) are my two favs.   If you want to create a code using your computer and have it link to a specific URL instead of your Business/Personal contact info, I recommend goo.gl which also provides some tracking and analytics tools.

Step 2: Next, you need to capture the QR code image as a graphic.  On a PC, you’ll need to get a screen shot of it “Shift+Print Scr” and then use a cropping tool to capture just the QR code image.  On a MAC, just hold down the “shift+command+4” to select area with mouse and capture it as an image.  Use any screen capture tool or application you like to do this.

Here’s 50 million FREE Screen Capture Apps and Sites according to Google.


Step 3: Since many of you might not have a graphics editing software like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro, we’ll use Picnik.com, a free online graphics editing tool that’s easy and free to use.

Step 4: Upload your saved QR Code image to Picnik.com

Step 5: Add a white border to the image.

Step 6: Optional – Add a drop shadow to lift your image off the page.

Step 7: Create your desired colored text and font, resize it, then add to the white border areas of your image.
(you can also add small images and other graphics to the border in this step)

Step 8: Save your image back to your desktop as a .jpg file.

Step 9: Test your Final QR code image design to make sure it’s working properly.

(Before)                                            (After)

Step 10: Now Add your NEW Customized QR code to everything you can imagine.

Examples: Business cards, websites, blogs, social media sites, signs, flyer’s, coffee cups, marketing supplies, the promo magnet on your car door, your company polo shirt on the chest or sleeves, heck… go out and get a hand stamp made, then go around the world patting everyone on the back so your QR code shows up everywhere. lol~ Well, maybe not to that extent, but you get the point.

These little buggahs will either stick as the newest and greatest thing, or they will die hard like the pet rock. Until then, I’d say take advantage of the technology and use it to the best of your ability.  Hopefully this post will make it easier for you to make YOUR QR Code stand out a little more than your competitors. Have fun with it and be sure to point your QR reader at mine above, I’d be pretty embarrassed if it didn’t work!  :-O

Here’s a video tutorial I put together for those who’d rather have these steps visually.


Oh, and if you have your QR Code(s) already, feel free to add it with your comment below.