QR Code Tracking: Make Your Marketing Strategy Better

Say you’re a marketer and you’re doing print media promotions to market a product.

Before starting the campaign, you made some goals. And you want to analyze whether you’ve met them or not. Gauging conversions is important to understand your audience after all.

But how do you track conversions for a print media campaign? Can you track how many people saw your ad or responded to it by taking action?

Well, you can actually do that. Keep reading to know how.

A. How to track conversions for print media

When you hand out promotional material to your target audience, you want them to take action. It could be anything such as visiting a website, following you on social media, or downloading an app.

And there are two ways to track how many people actually responded to your promotions:

1. Via a weblink and Google Analytics

Say your end-goal is to get the target audience to visit your website. Here you’ll add the link to your website on promotional material such as flyers, brochures, and banners.

To track how many people actually took action, you can customize the link. How? By adding tracking parameters. Tools such as Campaign URL Builder help you do this.

You can then set-up Google Analytics to monitor exactly how many people visited your website.

Though you’ll be able to track your conversions this way, there’s a problem. To visit your website, people will have to pull out their phones to open the browser, tediously type the entire link, and finally visit the website.

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

So what you should do here is—make it easier for them to respond.

2. Via a QR Code

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

QR Code tracking: website

You can use it for multiple use cases. For example—getting people to visit your website, watch a video, see an image, listen to an audio file, download a PDF, or download an app.

A QR Code is actionable too. People just need to scan it using their smartphone and they’re good to go.

And it also helps you monitor your conversion. How? By QR Code tracking. Yes, that means you can monitor how many people have scanned it.

A dynamic QR Code helps you do it.

B. Dynamic QR Codes

Based on how the target data (such as text or a URL) is stored, QR Codes are of two types—static and dynamic.

The data is directly encoded into a static QR Code. And it is permanent in nature. That means once you create it, you cannot edit it. To do that, you’ll have to create a new QR Code altogether. And a static QR Code doesn’t allow you to track its scanning activity either.

On the other hand, the data is never directly stored in a dynamic QR Code. It only stores a short URL that takes the end-users to the actual data.

Hence, a dynamic QR Code is both editable and trackable. That means once you create it, you can edit the data anytime you want. Yet your QR Code will remain the same.

And you can also monitor its scanning activity. For example—how many people have scanned your QR Code, where did they do it from, or when did they do it.

Say you start a QR Code campaign to give away discount coupons to your audience. As your campaign ends, you no longer want the QR Code to work. In such cases, a dynamic QR Code also helps you deactivate it.

You now know what dynamic QR Codes are. Let’s now discuss what’s QR Code tracking and how it works.

C. QR Code tracking

QR Code tracking helps you know how many people have scanned your QR Code. Each time a user scans the QR Code, its scanning activity is recorded to provide you meaningful insights.

For example—number of scans, scans by time, GPS location, device, and browser.

You can then understand where your target audience is. What is the best time to reach out to them. Which mobile and browser do they use.

This data will help you know what you’re doing right and what improvements you need to make in the future.

D. What data can I get via QR Code tracking

Different QR Code tracking tools usually provide data based on parameters such as the number of scans, date and time of scan, and location of the scan.

Using Scanova QR Code generator for a demo, here’s what all data you can monitor:

1. Analytical data via your Scanova account

It allows you to monitor the data based on the following parameters:

a. Total Visits

It helps you see the total number of times your QR Code has been scanned for a specified time frame.

b. Visits by time period

It is a much more comprehensive analysis. Here you can see the number of visits for a day, a week, or a month for a specified time period.

QR Code tracking: total visits and visits by time period

c. Visits by campaign

Say you’re running two different campaigns to promote your products. And you’ve created three QR Codes for each one of these campaigns.

Visits by campaign

What you can do here is—organize these QR Codes in two different folders (called campaigns).

It will help you monitor the analytics for each folder separately.

d. Visits by QR Code

It allows you to track the scanning activity for each QR Code individually.

Visits by QR Code

e. Demographics

Demographics help you to see where your QR Code has been scanned from. Here you can get details such as nation, state, and city of scans.


f. Visits by exact geolocation

It helps you track the exact GPS location of each scan. That means you’ll get to know the location coordinates, full address, and zip code information for every scan. So QR Codes are now frequently used in shipping and logistics to keep an eye on the movement of goods.

Note that this data will only be available if the end-user grants access to her location.

g. Visits by device

Here you can monitor which all devices were used to scan your QR Code. For example— mobiles, tablets, and PCs.

QRCode tracking: visits by device

h. Operating system and browser

This option helps you track the operating system of the device used to scan the QR Code. It includes iOS, Android, Linux, and others.

Visits by operating system
Visits by browser

Further, you can also track which browser was used to scan the QR Code. For example— Mobile Safari, Chrome Mobile, Chrome, and Twitterbot.

i. Handset

As the name suggests, it allows you to see which handsets your target audience use. For example—iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Nokia.

Visits by handset

You can get this data by logging in to your Scanova account. And you can also export it in XLS and PDF formats.

2. Data tracking using integrations

It helps you make the tracking process easier. How?

You don’t have to log in to your Scanova account each time you want to monitor analytics.

You can simply use a third-party tool of your interest to do that. And Scanova allows you to integrate your data with two such tools:

a. Google Analytics

As discussed above, integrating the data with Google analytics will make the tracking process more convenient.

Just go to your Google Analytics account and get all the details that you need. No need to login to Scanova separately.

b. Webhooks

This option helps you define the target URL where you’d want to save the data. So we can say that Webhooks act as a bridge between the data and the software where you wish to save it.

For example, say your data is in JSON format. You can command it to a specific URL like Zapier.

You now know what QR Code tracking is and how it works. And now the question is—

E. How do I set-up QR Code tracking

To set-up QR Code tracking for your campaign, you’ll have to follow these steps:

1. Create a QR Code

First, you’ll have to create a dynamic QR Code. And for that, you’ll need an online QR Code generator that allows scan tracking.

Now to find the best QR Code generator for your use case, you’ll have to compare the top ones. And that will take a lot of time.

Don’t worry. Here’s a detailed comparison chart of the top QR Code generators. You can go through it to find the best one for your use case.

Once you decide on which QR Code generator you’ll use, go ahead to create a QR Code.

2. Reach out to your target audience

Now that you’ve created the QR Code, add it to your promotional material. It could be flyers, banners, brochures, or magazines.

And make sure you follow QR Code best practices such as adding an appropriate instruction (call-to-action statement) with it. For example—Scan here to visit our website. It will convey the audience what they need to do or what to expect after scanning the QR Code.

Finally, hand out the promotional material to your target audience. And wait for some time to gather the data.

3. Track analytics

To track the scanning activity, you’ll have to log in to your QR Code generator’s website.

Using Scanova for a demo, here’s how you can do it’

a. Login to your Scanova account

b. Go to the dashboard and click Analytics

QR Code tracking: analytics

c. Select the QR Code or campaign folder for which you want to monitor the analytics

That’s it. You’ll then be able to view the tracking data.

F. How to use the tracking data

The tracking data gives you valuable insights into:

1. How well your campaign has performed. Or simply—your conversion rate

2. The geographical location with maximum scans. It helps you focus on these regions for your future campaigns

3. Browser, operating system, and the handset commonly used by your audience. It helps you optimize your landing pages accordingly

4. Days and months when the scans were the highest. Using this data, you can schedule your campaigns at an appropriate time in future

So, through tracking, you can analyze the output of your performance.

Here is a stunning use case:

A shopping mall in Singapore hired four life-sized QR Code mascots under its QR Code based crusade. The people who scanned them were directed to a contest promo-page. Their task was to like the Facebook page of the mall, VivoCity.

They used QR Code tracking to see the impact of their campaign. And they saw that the QR Code mascots received 8,618 scans. And the new likes generated on the mall’s Facebook page were 4,400. That means a conversion rate of 51%.

This helped them answer some questions easily. For example—Did we achieve our target? Did we meet the expectations or went beyond it? Which day was the conversion highest? From which handset were the maximum scans recorded.

So if you’re a marketer looking forward to running print media campaigns, QR Codes are your way to go. They do not only make it easier for your audience to take action but also help you track your conversions.

Get Started with QR Code Tracking

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Infographic on QR Code tracking