By now you’ve not only heard of QR (Quick Response) codes, but chances are you’ve also used them to drive traffic to your website – or at least thought about it. Your competitors have too, which is actually good news.
QR codes took off in the U.S. in mid 2010 and have shown considerable growth since. Among the early messengers of the technology is QRStuff.com, a company which has helped businesses ‘get their codes out there’ since 2007. Its owner and CEO, Greg Slapp, says recent improvements in the field are not about the QR code technology itself, which is a stable, self-contained technology around since the early 1990s; instead, the growth and advances come from those using it. Marketers are beginning to understand what the user experience needs to be, after they scan the code. Sending users to a mobile experience, not a non-optimized desktop website, tops the list of providing a quality user experience.
Unfortunately for site owners and QR code generators, the two parties can’t control which scanning app a consumer uses. However, an ISO standard is in place.
“In the last 12 months, I’ve seen an improvement in the quality of the scanning apps,” says Slapp. “Over the last couple years, there are quite a bit of apps out there that have been playing fast and loose, treating standards as suggestions rather than rules, which impact the user experience.”
The same can be said of non-functioning QR codes. With the popularity of QR codes, also comes an onslaught of free generators available on the Web. Marketing campaigns that use QR codes, run the risk of being around longer than the code.
“I’ve been doing QR codes long enough to see a lot of them come and a lot of them go,” says Slapp. “There’s a large turn rate among the smaller QR code websites. Do your research, see who has a good track record and who is consistent.”
Slapp also declares that the availability of QR codes is not about free versus paid. It’s about reassuring yourself that who you partner with is going to be around for the duration of your campaign, which can be said about any vendor.
Most free QR code generator websites also have paid services. Anyone can use the websites to create fully functional QR codes, but features like the ability to create high-resolution artwork images, obtain analytics, edit QR codes and more, are typically reserved for subscribers, like on QRStuff.com.
Psttt! Check out our list of best QR code generators from 2009. As you can see, most stood the test of time!