Planning on using QR Codes? Well, they can make both your promotional campaigns and operations better. But before you create one to get started, you may have a lot of questions in mind.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. There are many concerns regarding QR Codes that people have before using them. That’s why you want to go through some QR Code FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Doing so will not only help clear your doubts but also learn the basic technicalities and utilities of QR Codes. Let’s get started.
A. QR Code FAQs: 13 things you must know
1. What is a QR Code
QR Code basically stands for Quick Response Code. As the name implies, it has fast scanning capabilities. That means it comes alive within a second or two of holding your device open in front of it.
A QR Code is made of tiny squares called data matrices that store your data. And it has a far higher data-holding capacity than barcodes. How much you ask? Well, 7,890 characters. You can add text, numbers, alphanumeric characters, etc. to them.
This is why QR Codes are also called advanced-level barcodes. And to scan one, you simply need your smartphone. Just launch open its camera application and hold it in front of the QR Code. A pop-up will display its content. In case it doesn’t work, there are many free QR Code scanners available out there.
2. Who created QR Codes
They were invented in the year 1994 by Denso Wave Corporation. Here’s a little background of the same.
Toyota wasn’t quite delighted with the barcodes in the automobile factory. They wanted a faster and error-free alternative. That’s when Toyota’s sister company (Denso Wave) came up with QR Code.
The company continues to hold patent rights for the technology. However, it has voluntarily chosen to not exercise them.
3. How to read a QR Code
Reading or scanning a QR Code is pretty easy. You just need a camera-enabled smartphone to do the job.
And the good news is that most smartphones now have an in-built QR Code scanning feature.
To see if your phone has it, open the camera application and point the camera at the QR Code. If you see a pop-up with text or link, the QR Code has been scanned. In case that doesn’t happen, go to App Store or Play Store. You’ll find many QR Code scanning applications for free.
4. What are some popular use cases of QR Codes
This is one of the most common FAQs related to QR Codes. Well, they have many different use cases across industries. From promotions to operations, they can do it all.
To make it easy for you to understand the scope of their utility, here are the most common use cases:
- Redirecting the audience to your website
- Sharing text with the end-users
- Handing out coupons and vouchers for discount
- Multimedia sharing via print media (PDFs, videos, images, etc.)
- Getting your customers to submit their reviews
- Sharing maps location of your venue or office
- Sharing complete product details via its packaging
5. What is the difference between static and dynamic QR Codes
A Static QR Code is permanent in nature. It stores the target content directly. That’s why once created, it works forever.
However, Static QR Codes can not be edited. Neither you can track their performance (number of scans).
On the other hand, Dynamic QR Codes do not store the content directly. They store a redirecting URL which takes the end-users to the target content. This URL is given by your QR Code Generator.
Dynamic QR Codes make it possible to edit their content anytime you want. You just need an active ongoing subscription with your QR Code generator. And guess what? They can be tracked for their scanning activity too!
6. Do QR Codes work forever
The answer is both yes and no. Not sure why?
Static QR Codes, since permanent in nature, work forever. On the other hand, dynamic QR Codes need you to have a subscription with your QR Code service provider.
7. How can I create a QR Code
Doing so is pretty easy. You just need a QR Code generator to get started.
Just see if your chosen service provider offers the content category of your choice. Not sure what it means?
Well, to store a web link, you’ll need a Website URL QR Code. But to save text, you’ll need a Text QR Code. On the other hand, to store images or PDFs, you’ll need an Image QR Code or a PDF QR Code respectively.
Here’s broadly how you can create a QR Code:
- Visit your QR Code generator
- Select the content category of your choice
- Name and save the QR Code
- Add a design to it (optional)
- Download the QR Code after specifying the desired size and image format
8. Which is the best QR Code generator
The best player depends on your needs. There are many QR Code generators out there with many different features that you can choose from.
However, in our opinion, the best would be the one that has almost features that you need and even the ones that you ‘may’ need. Here are a couple of key factors to look for while choosing a best QR Code generator:
a. Desired content category/categories
b. Custom design capabilities
c. Scan tracking
d. Custom landing pages
e. Advanced options such as password protection, white labeling, and GPS location tracking
f. Lead generation
The list can go really long. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to tediously have to compare each player out there. Here’s a readily available comparison chart that compares all of them transparently.
9. Are QR Codes safe to use
QR Codes, on their own, are not unsafe for use. They are nothing more than barcodes being used to store information.
But the ‘information’ stored in them could sometimes be a problem. That’s why some fraudsters try exploiting people by storing malicious data in the QR Code.
However, here’s a complete checklist you can use to make sure the QR Code you’re scanning is safe.
10. Are QR Codes always black-and-white
Not necessarily. In fact, QR Codes need not be black and white just because barcodes are.
You can customize them by adding colors or even an image or a CTA. There are two ways in which you can add design to a QR Code:
a. Custom logo design: As the name suggests, it helps you add a logo to the center of the QR Code. This logo could be an image (such as a company logo) or event text (CTA). In addition, it also helps you add your brand colors. In addition, you can even choose to change the color of its background or even keep it transparent
b. Custom background design: Here, you can use an image as the QR Code’s background. Think of it as the QR Code superimposed on an image. However, you can’t change the QR Code color here. This is done to keep it scannable
So to answer your question, QR Codes don’t really ‘need’ to be black and white. You can get creative with them the way you like.
11. How can a QR Code be tracked
You can track dynamic QR Codes for their scanning activity. And exactly what parameters you can see depends on your QR Code generator.
For example, using the Scanova QR Code generator, you can monitor the following details:
- Total number of scans by date and time
- Scans by location (city/country)
- Browsers used by the end-users
- Devices used to scan the QR Code
- Handsets used by the audience
- Exact GPS location of scans
Other than these, you can even choose to see what the end-users do after ‘scanning’ the QR Code. For example, do they click on the ‘Download PDF’ button or not? This is made possible using an advanced feature called Event Tracking.
Performance tracking helps you see how your campaign performed. This data also comes in handy to improve your campaigns in the future.
12. Which businesses use QR Codes
Before starting out, many organizations think whether the others in their niche QR Codes or not.
Believe us when we say that almost every industry today is using QR Codes in both direct and indirect ways. Now there’s no list that can give you the exact account of the businesses using QR Codes. But here are some of the many industries that Scanova caters to:
- Media and Advertising
- Sports and games
- Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
- Information technology (IT)
13. How large should the QR Code be
The size of the QR Code essentially depends on how far you expect the audience to scan it from.
For example, assume that you add a QR Code to a magazine. Your audience will scan it from just a couple of centimeters away. So the QR Code can be a couple of inches big.
But imagine a QR Code on a billboard. People will probably scan it from at least a couple of meters away. So it will have to be fairly larger than the one in the magazine.
Ideally, the QR Code should at least be 1/10 times the estimated scanning distance. That means the ratio of QR Code size to the scanning distance should be 1:10.
We hope these FAQs answered all your queries about QR Codes. In case not, you can let us know in the comments.
And in case you need to create a QR Code, you can get started here: