Making effective QR codes takes work. To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes. By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.
Today we look at a QR code that can be found on the back of a yummy cookies & creme pie from Edwards Desserts. Most of the time, desserts like this are not as good as they look (at least, to me) but I was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty fantastic. Plus, it had a QR code! What could be better?
Unfortunately, it started to head downhill from there. At least it tasted good…
Oh, and the QR code was a little less than 3/4 of an inch square with a call-to-action but no URL.
The encoded data is: http://www.edwardsdesserts.com/qrcodeCookiesandCreme
Overall rating: 3 out of 5
7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes
Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:
Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?
- There is a good call-to-action
What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?
- The QR code elements are the standard black elements on a white background.
Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?
- This QR code is fairly easy to find on the back of the box.
What happens when you scan the code?
- You are taken to a 404 Error page
If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?
- The landing page is designed very well for an error page.
If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?
- The encoded URL does feature a redirect but at this time, it is not working.
Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?
- The landing page does not provide much value to the customer (error page)
What We Can Learn
There are times when reviewing QR codes emotionally hurt. You know those times where everything looks great but a small mistake can cause the whole task or project to flop. This is one of those times…
The Schwan Food Company could use a little help with their QR code. They have a good call-to-action but no URL. When you scan the code, you can tell it uses a redirect and is obviously associated with the company. It is a bit long for a QR code, but that is minor. Now, here comes the pain: when you scan the code, you land on an error page.
I’d like to think that customers all over the world have spent countless hours writing the company about this error and that the company is working, as I type this, to remedy the situation. Of course, that’s most likely, not the case.
Once you navigate around the site a bit, off of the error page, you will realize the big redeeming feature: the website. Most responsive websites are good. Some are bad and some are downright awful, but every so often, you find a good one. That is the best way to describe this site. It responds well in landscape or portrait mode, it provide good information and value to the visitor, and it looks great. Pitty, most people won’t realize how good it is since they land on an error page.
How can we help the Schwan Food Company ?
Although this small mistake has a huge impact when it comes to the QR code flow, there is an easy fix. All that is needed is to change the redirect to point to the correct page. If the encoded URL is not suppose to be a redirect (it is possible but with the keyword qrcode in the URL, it’s kinda hard to think otherwise), it should be easy to add one for that particular URL. One simple line of code could turn this campaign from a problem to a success.
In the future, if a redirect is going to be used anyway, encoding a shorter URL will result in a simpler code. Small detail but it might come in handy.
When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure, I mean really, REALLY sure, that your QR code works before you start selling products that have your QR code. Redirects help, but nothing beats whipping out a mobile device and seeing what happens when the code is scanned.
- Shorter URLs result in simpler, smaller QR codes. That may not be important in your situation but as a whole, simple things usually break less often. The more complicated a QR code is, the more difficult it is to decode.
We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products. I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peas, brake pads, silicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more. What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?
If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help. If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.