If you are planning to run a marketing campaign, you’d already have a lot to look after. And you’re probably going to use QR Codes as a part of your campaign.

So you want to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes with them. But here’s the thing—while it’s only natural to make some mistakes, a serious marketer would always put effort into avoiding them.

Hence, you’re looking for a checklist of some common QR Code marketing mistakes and their solutions. That way, you can stay informed and make sure you don’t repeat them.

In this article, we have compiled an exhaustive list of common QR Code marketing mistakes that you must avoid:

A. The most common mistakes while with QR Codes

1. Only adding a QR Code without answering the audience’s question

Imagine seeing a standalone QR Code on some promotional flyer or banner. Would you bother to scan it?

Probably not. Because simply seeing a QR Code is not a good enough reason for anyone to scan it.

This is one of the most common mistakes that marketers make.

It eludes the idea that the marketer doesn’t know what he wants the audience to do with it. It leaves the audience clueless about what’s in it for them?


The solution is pretty simple. If you want your audience to scan the QR Code, give them a reason. How?

By adding an appropriate CTA (Call-to-Action) with the QR Code image. It is a small text that tells people what they need to do or what to expect after taking the required action. This small nudge goes a long way.

how not to use QR Codes in basement

For example, you can add a statement such as:

Scan here to visit the website or Scan here to grab your free coupon!.

This way, your audience will know what to do and why.

2. Limiting QR Codes to only drive web traffic

QR Codes are generally thought to have limited functionality of driving traffic to a website. But it can be much more than that. They’re like a button that can connect your offline audience to any form of content in the digital world.

But many marketers either forget or are unaware of this fact and just focus on web traffic acquisition using QR Codes.


You can create a QR Code for any use case. For example, if you want to share a document with your audience, create a Document QR Code rather than adding the document to a cloud storage service and then adding its link to the QR Code.

Similarly, there are QR Codes that can help your social media followership, share contact details, share multimedia, etc.

Here are some of the most common things you can share via QR Codes:

  • Images
  • Audio
  • Documents
  • Texts
  • Sending emails
  • Mobile-optimized landing pages
  • Providing product information
  • Directing to Social Media
  • Linking to apps
  • VCards (digital business cards)

The list goes on and on. For your convenience, here is a list of all the different types of QR Code categories. You can select the right one as per your use.

Generate a QR Code For Your Unique Case

People Scanning QR Code

3. Underestimating QR Code’s design capabilities

One of the most important aspects of marketing is branding. While you may want to do everything right, you may overlook the fact that you can leverage QR Codes for the same.

Hence, many marketers simply create black-and-white QR Codes. And the problem is that they’re not only quite dull to look at but also dilute the visual appeal of your promotional creatives.


You must design the QR Codes that are intended for promotional use cases. How? Well, by adding your company’s logo and colors to them. Or by adding an image as their background.

Customized QR Codes grab the audience’s attention to maximize campaign engagement.

Here’s what a customized QR Code looks like:

Custom QR Codes

4. Not considering the download format

After creating the QR Code, you have to download its image. This is another important point where many people make mistakes.

They go for any image format and dimensions without giving a second thought. This can make the QR Code look unclear and, hence, become unscannable. Now that’s not what you’d like to end up with, right?

QR Code marketing mistakes


You must select the right image format and dimensions as per your use case. For example, if you are planning to use QR Codes on print media, go for vector formats such as SVG, EPS, and PDF. These formats don’t pixelate no matter how much resizing is done.

On the other hand, if you are going to use them for digital displays, you can go for raster formats such as PNG, JPEG, and JPG.

5. Not selecting flexible and measurable alternative

Do you know that QR Codes can be static or dynamic?

Dynamic QR Codes are editable and trackable. That means you can edit the content encoded anytime you want without the need to recreate one again. Plus, you can also monitor their scanning activity. After all, no marketer likes running a campaign if she can’t track the results.

On the other hand, static QR Codes are non-trackable. And once generated, you can’t change the encoded content.


While static QR Codes may be suited for some use cases, dynamic ones are the most preferred among professionals.

So see if your QR Code generator offers dynamic QR Codes with suitable content categories.

6. Selecting design over functionality

Many marketers often commit the mistake of overdoing the design of their creatives. And the problem arises when it leads to poor contrast between the QR Code and its background. Why? Because that renders the QR Code unscannable.


Remember that when working with QR Codes, less can be more. Hence, first, you must leave some space around the QR Code to make sure scanners recognize it. Second, ensure it has a high contrast with the background.

That means if the QR Code is dark, the background should be light-colored and vice-versa.

7. Bad QR Code placement

Where you place your QR Code can actually boost the campaign performance. And you don’t want people to feel irritated or missed out because it is in the wrong place.

For example, putting a QR Code with a web link in an area with bad internet connectivity would not be appropriate. Similarly, adding it behind a fast-moving vehicle would again be a bad decision. After all, you can’t expect people to chase the vehicle to scan your QR Code.

QR Codes marketing mistake


Always think carefully about your QR Code’s placement. And while doing that, here are a few things you can check:

  • Does your QR Code need people to have a good internet connection?
  • Is it well within the reach of your target audience?
  • Is the QR Code image of the right size?

Always make sure the QR Code is of the right size as per the scanning distance. These two factors are very important for its scannability.

Lastly, always test scan the QR Code before adding it to your campaigns. Try to think about what distance your audience is likely to scan it from and what kind of light environment they will have around.

Test your QR Code under similar conditions using 4-5 different devices. Doing so will make sure your QR Codes perform well for all your audience members alike.

B. How to create QR Codes for marketing

Now that you know which QR Code marketing mistakes to avoid, it’s the time you get started on creating a QR Code. Here are various ways to do that:

I. Create QR Codes one by one

Does your use case not require hundreds and thousands of QR Codes? Then this is the right choice for you. It offers you a wide range of QR Code categories to choose from. For example, Event QR Code, Website URL QR Code, Product QR Code, etc.

To create one, you simply need a QR Code generator. To help you get started, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create QR Codes.

II. Create QR Codes in bulk

In case, you want to create QR Codes in bulk, you can go ahead with this option.

Here, you’d need a bulk QR Code generation service. It allows you to create up to 100,000 QR Codes in one go. Thus, it eliminates the need to generate QR Codes one by one and saves you a lot of time and effort.

To make use of it, you simply need to upload a data file in XLS, CSV, or XLSX formats. This file needs to have all the data to be encoded in the QR Codes. Once done, you just have to wait for the QR Codes to be generated and download them in a zip folder.

For more information, here is a detailed guide on how to generate QR Codes in bulk.

III. Create QR Codes programmatically

If you want to integrate QR Code generation into your own information system, QR API can help you do it.

With QR API, you can generate QR Codes programmatically in real-time. Hence, there is no manual intervention required to create the QR Codes.

That’s it. These are all the common QR Code marketing mistakes and their solutions. In case you are interested in learning how to use QR Codes for marketing, here’s a detailed guide.

Generate a QR Code For Your Unique Case

People Scanning QR Code

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