Jumpstart Your Sales with QR Codes

Want to boost your company’s sales with an easy and value-add idea?  Adding a QR code sales program just might be the ticket.  Below I’ll give you a brief explanation of what the heck a QR code is, tips on engaging clients with this new idea, how to create the QR code, how to print, and some tips on checking to make sure your QR code is properly set up and working.

Let’s start with a brief explanation on the definition of a QR code.  You’ve probably seen this in stores, on some packaging, or maybe out somewhere.  A QR code is the boxy maze like barcode that is steadily growing in popularity.  QR is an acronym that stands for “Quick Response”.  The code is set up to be used with scanning devices on dedicated barcode readers and now smart cell phones.  What’s exciting about this technology is the development of an infinite number of creative applications.  Common applications that companies are using this technology include information sharing via a vCard, links to website URL’s, pre-written text displays, e-mails, or to connect to a wireless network.

Don’t think it’s been used for t-shirts?  Do a quick test and Google QR Code T-shirt and check out how other shops are already using this technology.  Jay Berman with Visual Impressions in Milwaukee, WI says, “More of our customers are looking to jumpstart their social media campaigns.  QR codes printed on tees can give our customers traditional billboard t-shirt advertising but allow them to connect on a much larger platform as well.  Recently, Zaffiros Pizza in Milwaukee printed their QR codes on all the staff uniforms at Summerfest (A 10 day Music Festival in Milwaukee).  They use the QR code to link patrons with a site that gives them a chance to win pizza for a year.  It promotes the restaurant by posting to the patron’s Facebook network that they have just enjoyed Zaffiro’s Pizza and signs them up for a chance to win a reward.  It’s a win-win transaction.  QR codes are here to stay and are not just for print advertising and the backs of business cards“.

Selling a QR code program can be pretty easy, but what you need to sell is the idea of how this can be used to add value to the t-shirt print.  (Like Visual Impressions did with Zaffiro’s Pizza)  That is going to drive your sales.  A restaurant or store can use it to link to a coupon or sales offer.  A company can link this to their Facebook page so they can build their “Like” program.  A non-profit or church can use it to link to their donation page.  Bands can use it to link to a YouTube video of them performing.  The list is endless, but you get the drift.  Stop and think about how you can engage your clients with this technology, and how you can help them achieve their goals and selling this program will be a no-brainer.

There are many apps and software that can create the QR code, but we only have space for one – so I’m recommending that you utilize www.delivr.com/qr-code-generator.  This is a free service that not only allows you to generate a QR Code and download the small icon in .eps or .png formats…but allows you to instantly set up and track usage.  You can create reports on where your users are scanning the code, what phone they are using, and the day and time of the usage.  Here’s how you demonstrate the value of the QR code program, as you can deliver a weekly or monthly report on the code’s usage rate.

If you have a modern smart phone you can download free apps that will allow you to interact with QR Codes.  For iPhone users, it’s recommended to use QRafter or Blazerfish.  For Android users (like me) use Blazerfish.  For Blackberry users, download Q Scanner.  All basically work the same and will allow you to scan and use the QR Codes that you find.

Once you’ve set up the code (I would rename the file “Client X QR Code” or something so you can keep track of the file easily) you can apply it to your artwork.  The whitespace around the code is important, so make sure that it’s free from obstruction and works – make sure you test the code before sending the art approval to the client.  The art will print just like any other image, but make sure it prints cleanly and that all parts of the code are correct.  I’d scan the first shirt off the belt to ensure it’s working before running the entire job.

For easier scanning, here are some tips: Keep the phone as level or parallel as possible to the code.  Scan in a well-let area and keep the code in the scanning rectangle, as large as you can.  Move your phone around for best placement…and you can visually see the phone trying to scan as small dots will appear in various areas of the QR code.  Note there are many scanning apps available for different models of phones, and this is new technology that people are just starting to employ.  It may take some time to catch on, but forward thinking companies are already using this technology to their advantage.

Last tip: Use this technology for your company’s marketing and promotions too by developing a QR code program that links to your website or a promotion.  Print the QR code on invoices, hangtags, carton labels, delivery vans, etc.  Get ahead of the curve and drive more sales to your door!

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