What is a QR Code & How to Read Them

Do you know what a QR code is? If you answered no, you’re not alone. QR codes have become a popular advertising tool so let’s run through the basics.

What is a QR code?
A Quick Response (QR) code is a type of barcode. Shaped like a square, the code contains a pattern of black square dots and stores information for users to access when they scan the code using a mobile device.

Here’s an example of a QR code for an NFL promotion on Pens.com.

How do I read a QR code?
If your smartphone doesn’t already have a QR code reader installed, there are several free QR code readers that you can download. Check out the options in your AppStore or choose from other apps. Hover your reader over the code and you’ll see its contents in a few seconds.

Where can I get a QR code?
A search for “QR Code Generators” online or on your phone will bring up a number of free sites that let you create QR codes. You can choose to link your QR code to a url, text, phone number, SMSor a vCard. Once you enter your preferred link, you create a code which you can download, print or email. It takes less than a minute to create your QR code.

How can I use a QR code to promote my business?
QR codes area great way to connect your customers with your company, whether it’s to read content on your web site, receive a promotion via text message or to call you without having to dial your number. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Include a QR code that links to your email or phone number in your email signature.
  • Post a QR code that links to your company web site on signs outside your business so customers can get information even when you’re not open. Restaurant owners, this is a great way to post your menu without having to re-print every time you make a change.
  • Add a QR code that links to a customer survey on your invoices to get valuable feedback on how you’re doing.
  • Print codes for special offers or complimentary services on materials you give out at trade shows.
  • Put a QR code that links to your online bio or LinkedIn profile on the back of your business card.
  • Of course, we can’t forget to mention printing the codes on your promotional products! National Pen can put a QR code on any of our full color products, but scanning a pen could be a little tricky!

The options for using QR codes are only limited by your creativity! So give it a try. If you have ideas to share about how you’re using QR codes, we’d love to hear them.

National Pen

We’ve got a lighter side, but we take your image and your budget seriously. We bring 50 years of experience to every order we fill. Let us know how we’re doing!

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