How to Get Started With QR Codes

So you’ve decided a QR code will be a great addition to your next mailer. Where do you start? It can be as simple as entering your web address into one of the many online QR code generators.

Create and download using a QR code generator
Here are a few great, free options:

  • is my favorite all-purpose QR code creator because it has a robust QR code generator that condenses several steps into one, like url shortening and personalizing the color of the code.
  • is unique because it allows you to upload your company logo to insert into the QR code before you download.
  • can create QR codes up to 1000 pixels wide for those larger applications.

Personalize it with your brand colors and logo and are both paid services that create custom branded QR codes with style and accuracy. On a tight budget? You can also add your logo and adjust the colors to reflect your brand identity in your favorite image manipulation program.

Place it where it will be seen, ideally, more than once
The back cover is a great place to feature a QR code, as is an opening spread and select spreads throughout the catalog. Place it 1-inch by 1-inch minimum, and if you’re using a custom color make sure that it is high contrast for easy scanning.

Test, test, test
This is important for anyone using a QR code, and especially important if you personalize. Test and retest the code on the most popular scanning software for both Android and iPhone platforms. The most popular scanners for iPhone are I-nigma, Optiscan and Quickmark; and the most popular QR code readers for Android: Barcode Scanner, Quickmark and the best-of-the-best: QR Droid.

Optimize for easy readability
The best QR code landing pages are designed to fit a smartphone screen with a minimum of scrolling or scaling. The content should resize to fit the screen width, or stick to about 300 pixels wide. Simplicity is key, so remember the main objective of your QR code campaign and hone in on that message.

Lauren Ackermanis a solution specialist at J. Schmid & Associates.

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