Implementing QR Codes
By Lin Laurie
I recently had a need to create a QR code for a client who wanted a code to automatically create an email with content to send to a hair stylist at Google to request a hair appointment. I knew about them but had never created one before so I thought I would write about it as I did it and share my experience with others.
QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes, are a type of smart bar code. A bar code is basically a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item it is attached to. QR Codes do much more and have been around since the early ‘90’s. They were first used in Japan’s automotive industry. What is cool about them is that when read by QRC reader software located on your smart phone, they will cause an action to happen.
Traditionally, they’ve been used to direct people to a web site. But from its early beginnings, its capabilities have increased to the point where it can also send emails, direct users to YouTube Videos, send a PDF file, download an app from the App Store, and more.
In the past, QR Codes were found in magazines, on web sites, on airline tickets, or on other forms of advertising. But because they can store more data, including geo coordinates, URL links, text, and more, you can expect to see them on T-Shirts, in books, hats, coffee cups, and pretty much anything you can imagine.
Figure 1: Examples of some ways QR Codes can be used.
Another feature offered by QR code software are analytics. You can track the effectiveness of you add campaigns, call-to-action messages, web site activity, and more. You can find sites that will let you generate QR codes for free, but you must pay for an account that provides metrics. To see an example of the types of analytical information available from www.qrstuff.com, go to https://www.qrstuff.com/images/analytics-global.pdf. You can also use Google analytics with this software.
For my project, we didn’t care about tracking the effectivity of the code so we chose a free site, https://www.qrstuff.com/, to generate our code. I looked at some other sites and they wanted you to enter into a 30-day trial, whereas this site just let you generate the code with no requirements to enter any details about yourself.
Another nice thing about this site is that they make it really simple to create your codes. Follow the numbers on the front page to create your code.
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