Inspired by yesterday’s #NPTalk Tweetchat, today’s Daily Dose will be a very brief primer on QR (Quick Response) codes.
What is a QR code? It is a two-dimensional bar code that is read by a Smartphone through a QR Code Reader app (you can search for a free QR Code Reader in the App Market of your phone).
The QR Code Readers scan the code through the smartphone’s camera, and then are directed to perform an action, like sending a text, calling a number, visiting a specific website or watching a video.
A great example is Blackbaud’s ad in a recent issue of FundRaising Success magazine (below). It tells you where you are going to go so you are not surprised when you get there (a best practice).
Also, the QR code must link back to something that is mobile friendly, since it is used from a phone. (You would be surprised how many people miss this seemingly obvious, very crucial point.)
Why should we care? According to @sldoolittle: Because over 14 million mobile users scan at least one QR code monthly. Wowza!
@EricaViscio also tweeted: They’re a great way to directly connect your target with the info you want to them have in a short, opt-in process.
(In my opinion, we should also care because we always want to be on the cutting edge of mobile technology – right?)
How are they used in marketing? Nonprofits and businesses are using QR codes in print and electronic materials to direct people to take action – to donate, to connect on social media sites, to advocate and to sell directly.
My favorite feature of QR codes it that they are permission-based – a person has to actively scan the QR code with their phone. This is opt-in advertising, marketing and fundraising at it’s finest!
At #NPTalk, @iheartcharity said that QR codes can be effectively used at “most any live event. Fundraiser, opening, rally, clinic, any physical venue. Also marketing pieces, print ads, direct mail.”
The possibilities are endless, for forward-thinking and creative people! Also, free QR code creators can be found using Google, are fairly straightforward and are easy to use.
Experiment, and see where it takes you!
Do you use QR codes? Why or why not? How do you or would you use them? Anything to add?
Please post any feedback or comments in the section below. Thanks!