Posted on March 22, 2011 by Kevin Getch QR codes, or quick response codes, are used to quickly transmit coded information to your cell phone. Many smart phones these days come preloaded with a barcode scanner app that can be used to read these QR codes. If you don’t already have one there are some good ones for both Android or Iphone in the corresponding app store. When you read a QR code you just point your phone’s camera lens at the code and it picks up the embedded information. Let’s try it really quick. Get out your phone. Touch the barcode scanner app and point it at this QR code to download our contact info. One of the great things about this technology is that it can be used in conjunction with a decidedly old-fashioned advertising vehicle – the printed ad. I like the description of QR codes as “paper-based hyperlinks.” When you scan the code with your phone, your smartphone’s web browser takes you to the link embedded in the code. There are numerous ways these cute little QR codes can be utilized to make your print advertising more interactive, trackable, and most importantly, effective. One of the many ways QR codes can be utilized in your print advertising is to give people a special offer when they scan the code. When the QR code is scanned it can automatically send the mobile phone user to your website (Which of course you would use a tracking url to track this). As you saw in the above real life experience, you can also include a virtual card with your contact information, email address and phone number for your business, which can be automatically downloaded to their cell phone. All of this is easily trackable for your analysis. Once upon a time, a print ad’s effectiveness was a tough nut to crack. But with QR codes you are getting concrete data at your fingertips. While the codes are square with bitmap mazes, companies are now offering custom-made codes that can incorporate your logo or some other information. If your company uses print advertising and you aren’t using QR codes yet, there’s no reason to wait. There are plenty of websites that generate codes for free. We used http://www.qrstuff.com/ to create the above QR code, but you can also check out Mobile Barcodes or Beqrious to see which works best for you.