what is a dynamic qr code

You know what a QR Code is. It is a 2D barcode that stores alphanumeric information just like a barcode.

But unlike a barcode, it doesn’t store limited information. Neither is it non-editable.

Yes, a QR Code can store a lot more information than a barcode. And the content encoded in a QR Code can also be edited. Such QR Codes are called dynamic QR Codes.

A. What is a Dynamic QR Code

Based on how the target data is encoded, QR Codes are of two types—static and dynamic.

The target data is encoded directly into a static QR Code. Hence, once you create it, you cannot edit it. To do that, you will have to create a new QR Code altogether.

On the other hand, a dynamic QR Code never stores the target data directly. It stores a short URL that redirects the end-users to the target data.

Hence, a dynamic QR Code can be edited anytime you want. No need to create a new QR Code each time you want to change the encoded content.

In fact, there are many additional features that dynamic QR Codes offer. For example—they allow you to track their scanning activity, add password protection to the encoded data, and even capture leads.

We’ll discuss all the features of a dynamic QR Code in detail in this article.

B. What are the benefits of a dynamic QR Code

Compared to a static QR Code which is very basic and has limited functionality, dynamic QR Codes have many advantages. They allow you to:

1. Edit the encoded data anytime you want

Say you add a Vcard Profile QR Code on your business cards. When scanned, it shows your contact details (such as phone number, email, website, and description) to end-users. And it even allows them to save you as a contact without typing these details manually.

A year later, you happen to change your contact number. So you wish to make these changes to the QR Code. But you don’t want to reprint the cards.

This is where a dynamic QR Code comes handy. You can make changes to it anytime you want yet your QR Code will remain the same. No need to reprint it.

what is a dynamic QR Code: editable QR Code

2. Monitor the scanning activity

If you’re a marketer, you know how important it is to monitor the behavior of your audience. It helps you understand them better and improve your subsequent campaigns accordingly.

A QR Code helps you do this. It helps you track the scanning activity based on various parameters. For example—

a. How many people are scanning your QR Code
b. From which location they have scanned
c. Which device did they use for scanning (mobile, tablet)

It gives you a deep insight into how your campaign is working out. How?

Say you run a print media marketing campaign across five different cities. A week later, you look at the analytics to find that the scanning was rampant in two of these cities.

You’ll then know where your target audience is. And accordingly, you can plan your budget to increase your conversions in the future.

3. Keep the QR Code clean and small

A QR Code stores the data across rows and columns of its data modules.

Hence, as the encoded content increases, the QR Code becomes dense. And since a static QR Code directly encodes the target content, it tends to be denser.

Static Vs Dynamic

On the other hand, as discussed, a dynamic QR Code only stores a short URL. Hence, it does not become cluttered. No matter how much data you encode in it.

Hence, the end result is that you can keep the QR Code cleaner and smaller as compared to a static QR Code.

And the cleaner a QR Code is, the higher is its scannability.

4. Activate or deactivate the QR Code any time you want

Say your campaign has ended. And you now want to stop getting scans on your QR Code. What will you do here?

The answer is—make the QR Code inactive. Or simply—deactivate it. And you can even activate it again any time you want.

All that you need is—a QR Code generator that allows you to do this.

5. Access mobile-optimized landing pages

Suppose you’re a product manufacturer. You want to show in-depth product details to the consumers which could not be added to the product packaging due to limited printing space.

How will you do it? By creating a landing page with all these details and adding its link to the product packaging, right? And to do that, you’ll need the assistance of a developer.

Well, it’s a long process. And you don’t really need to do that. Dynamic QR Codes allow you to create such landing pages yourself.

Just find a QR Code generator that helps you do it. Here are a few examples:

a. Event QR Code

To organize an event, whether formal or informal, you hand out printed invitation cards. They help your guests know details such as date and time of the event, and venue location.

An Event QR Code here helps you simplify many things.

Event QR Code

For example—it helps guests add the event to their calendars in a simple click, RSVP easily, and see the exact venue location on Google Maps.

b. Social Media QR Code

Running a campaign to get social media followers using a QR Code? Why stop at Facebook? Let your target audience follow you on their favorite social media site.

A Social Media QR Code helps you do it. How?

It creates a landing page with links to all your social media profiles. Users can then select their favorite site and follow you.

Social Media QR Code

To know more about how a Social Media QR Code can help you increase your followers, read this detailed guide.

c. App Store QR Code

Say you’re an app developer and you’ve created a new app. You want to get people to download it. And you’re using print media to promote it.

What will you do here? Add your app’s name or it’s App Store link to the promotional material, right?

But here’s the thing. To install your app people will have to type the link or its name, find it, and finally install it.

This is a long process and needs effort. And to be honest, many people will simply not put the required effort.

An App Store QR Code helps you make it easier for them to find your app and install it. How?

When scanned, it identifies the operating system of the scanning device and redirects it to the right app store.

App Store QR Code

No need for manual typing and searching anymore. That simple!

C. How to create a dynamic QR Code

Now you know what a dynamic QR Code is and how it works. The next question is—how to create one?

To create a dynamic QR Code, you need an online QR Code generator. Most free QR Code generators you will find online create only static QR Codes.

To create a dynamic QR Code, you’ll need an advanced QR Code generator. Now there are many QR Code generators online. How do you then decide the best one for your use case?

Probably by comparing the top ones, right? Don’t worry, you’ll not have to visit each one of them to find the best one. Here’s a detailed comparison chart of the top QR Code generators. You can go through it to decide the best one for your use case.

Using Scanova for a demo, here’s how you can create a dynamic QR Code:

1. Go to Scanova and sign-up for a 14-day free trial

2. Select the required QR Code category. For a demo, say you want to create a Website URL QR Code. Select it and add the URL to be encoded

visitor experience in museums: create QR Code

3. Click Create QR Code. A window will appear prompting you to name and save the QR Code. In the same pop-up, there will be an option to make the QR Code dynamic. Click it, name your QR Code, and click Save

4. Next, you can add design to your QR Code (optional). Note that if your use case is promotional, you must design it. It is a fact that customized QR Codes attract more scans than standard black-and-white ones

black and white vs custom designed

5. Once your QR Code is ready, say after you design it, proceed to click Update and download it

That’s it. Your QR Code will be created.

D. How to edit a dynamic QR Code

Say after some time, you wish to edit the content encoded (Website URL here) in the QR Code. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Login to your Scanova account and go to Saved QR Codes

2. Select the QR Code you want to edit and replace the old URL with the new one

3. Click Update QR Code

That’s it. Your QR Code will be updated. That’s all you need to know about a dynamic QR Code.

Go ahead and create your first Dynamic QR Code with an online QR Code generator.


Create a dynamic QR Code

Generate dynamic QR Codes to track scanning activity and edit URL at anytime
CTA scanova blog

Gautam Garg is a Co-founder and the CEO of Scanova. He is a QR Code enthusiast and a big fan of inbound marketing, CRO, and usability. When taking a break, he likes to go trekking and eat spicy food.

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