You know that use of QR Codes is growing everyday across the globe. And also across most industries, particularly marketing. So you have decided to use QR Codes in your latest print media campaigns. But you’re not sure which is the right QR Code generator? A quick Google search will give you many options—how do you choose the best QR Code generator? This guide will help you.
We have divided this guide into two sections:
- Features of a good QR Code Generator
- A detailed comparison chart of top QR Code generators
Note that no QR Code generator is perfect in an absolute way. You need to figure out what your requirements are and which QR Code generator suits your needs.
A. Must-have features in a QR Code Generator software
A good tool is one that makes your work easy. It either saves you time or money. It’s not just about getting the job done. It’s also about how quick you can get it done. Or how cost-effective it is. Follow this thumb rule:
Keeping this in mind, a good QR Code Generator should be able to:
1. Generate Dynamic QR Codes
The QR Code you create fall under one of the two categories—Static and Dynamic. Dynamic QR Codes allow you to edit the web page address anytime you want without the need to reprint the QR Code. One day you can lead your customers to your Facebook Page and the next day to a YouTube video.
As a serious marketer, you need this flexibility in your campaigns. You don’t want to be stuck with a QR Code on a product that leads to page you don’t want.
Most free QR Code generators online allow you to create basic Static QR Codes only. These QR Codes are basic and have almost no functionality.
2. Track scanning activity
If you are not analyzing your marketing campaigns then you are not optimizing. If you are not optimizing, you are losing money in lost sales opportunities.
Does your generator tell you exactly how many people scanned your QR Code? From which city, country, device, handset model, operating system, or browser?
In fact, does it tell you the exact GPS location of the QR Code scan? Yes. It’s possible.
I’ll tell you why this data is important.
Say you learn that majority users are scanning the QR Code from a specific city. This is where your target audience is. You can increase your marketing budget for this region to gain more conversion. Do you know how valuable this information is? A lot.
Another important analytics feature that you should check is—integrations. If you are a marketer, you probably have other campaigns running and you collate data in an Analytics tool—say Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, etc. The last thing you need is another analytics dashboard for QR Code campaigns. Check if your QR Code Generator allows you to integrate with other analytics platforms.
3. Captures contact information of target audience
As mentioned above, most advanced QR Code generators can track scanning activity. But only a few can tell exactly who scanned the QR Code i.e. name, email address, and phone number of the user scanning the QR Code.
This feature is called Lead Generation. If you are looking to capture leads information for re-marketing, you should check if the generator has this option.
Also check if the leads information can be integrated with your CRM—say via Zapier webhooks.
4. Design QR Codes to attract more scans
Have you ever scanned the barcode on a Coke can that you just bought? No. Why would you?
Then why should anybody scan a plain black-and-white QR Code on your promotions?
You need to make your QR Code stand out. It should scream to your audience that this is a point-of-engagement.
You can do this by making your QR Codes colorful and personalized to your brand. This can be possible if your generator has advanced QR Code designing capabilities.
If you will need to regularly design QR Codes, does your generator allow you to save designs as templates?
5. Create the type of QR Code you need
There are categories of QR Codes depending on what information you want to share. Or what action you want your target audience to take.
a. Webpage QR Code leads you to a website
b. PDF QR Code shows a PDF document
c. Google Maps QR Code redirects you to
d. App Store QR Code redirects you to the right app download page depending on the operating system of the scanning device
Check if the QR Code generator allows you to create the QR Code you need. Basic apps will let you create about 5-6 basic content categories. Whereas advanced QR Code generators can help you create upto 25 QR Code categories.
In addition, if you’re sharing sensitive data (say via PDF QR Code), do you have the option to secure it? Can you password-protect your QR Code?
6. Export vector formats of the QR Code image
QR Code makes most sense when added to print media. Raster formats such as PNG or JPG work fine if used on webpages. But to print a high-resolution QR Code image, you will need the QR Code image in vector format—SVG, EPS, PS, or PDF. These are the formats your designer—working on Adobe Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, or Sketch 3—will ask for.
So make sure your generator exports vector images of QR Codes. And not only of black-and-white QR Codes but designer ones as well.
7. Add error correction to QR Codes
Error correction is useful if you are adding a logo to your QR Code or if it is vulnerable to wear and tear. Error correction ensures that your QR Code remains scannable even if it is a little damaged.
(Tip for Scanova Users: Scanova uses complex image processing and algorithms to generate scannable QR Codes only)
8. Keep QR Codes and landing pages ad-free
Many QR Code Generators will allow you to create QR Codes for free.
What they will not tell you is that they will add mobile ads to your landing pages. This affects user experience of your audience and can significantly decrease conversion rate.
Choose a QR Code Generator that keeps landing pages completely ad-free. Note that sometimes free QR Code readers also include advertisements. If this happens, this is out of the control of the QR Code generation tool.
9. Organize QR Codes in Campaigns
Organizing QR Codes in campaigns is useful if you run multiple campaigns and create many QR Codes. Or if you manage QR Codes for multiple campaigns.
QR Code Campaign Management allows you to organize and manage QR codes in a systematic way.
For example: Deactivate an entire campaign in one go instead of deactivating 20 QR Codes one by one. See analytics at campaign-level instead of QR Code-level.
10. Has flexible payment options
The biggest advantage of a web-app over licensed software is flexibility. You can subscribe to the software only when you need it.
But many generators will not give you this flexibility and ask you to subscribe for a at least a year.
Check what flexible payment options does the generator have—monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually. Does it offer bulk period discounts?
11. Not put a limit on number of scans
Do you know if your campaign is going to be successful or not? Often, QR Code generators will put a limit on the number of scans you get in your subscription plan.
How do you choose a plan if you are not sure how many scans you will get? What happens if you exceed the limit? Does the QR Code stop?
The design of subscription plans should be based on number of QR Codes and not on number of scans. So, one must opt for a QR Code generator with unlimited scans.
B. Best QR Code Generator—Comparison Chart
We conducted exhaustive research in 2018 and created a detailed comparison chart. Here is a helpful comparison of the top QR Code Generators available on the web. This will help you select the best one for your business:
Create your first QR Code
Hope this makes it easy for you to choose the best QR Code generator software for your needs. If you’re looking for a next step, see how to use a QR Code Generator.