15 QR Code Best Practices: Follow These Tips and Get More Scans

Update:  January 21, 2024
15 QR Code Best Practices: Follow These Tips and Get More Scans

There are 15 QR code best practices that you should follow to ensure that your QR code will get more scans and traction from your target audience.

QR codes may be a great marketing tool, but you still need to be aware and follow certain guidelines to ensure that they are indeed effective. Because, at the end of the day, they are just simple images of pixels inside a square.

What can you do to get them recognized and scanned right away?

Below are the QR code best practices today you should follow to make your a successful QR marketing implementation.

QR Code Best Practices that you should follow

Without further ado, here are QR code tips you can employ when creating your QR codes using the best QR code generator online:

1. Only implement the action that you’re promoting in the QR code

Real estate QR codeDo not add any unnecessary extras to your QR code’s landing page.

If you have a call-to-action in your QR code that says “Download PDF” or “scan to watch a video,” then lead them to a video or a PDF document and nothing else.

Do not distract your scanners, and don’t gather too much data.

Make the user experience short, brief, and concise, and don’t waste their time. Automate what you can automate.

Make a unique code for every media you’re advertising:

  • A magazine ad: 1 code
  • Newspaper ad: 1 code
  • Flyer: 1 code
  • A sign outside a store: 1 code

2. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Adding a call to action in your QR code is one of the QR code design best practices you should never forget.

With many ways a QR code can function, there is no way for a person to recognize what yours will do. So, don’t just put a QR code without any context.

Instead, put in a call-to-action to give an idea of what it will do.

Most people don’t bother to try when they don’t know what a QR code does. They fear that it will just waste their time.

However, if you put in a call-to-action (CTA), people get to know if they are interested in what you have to offer and make the conscious decision to scan it.

Some great call-to-action lines include “scan to know more,” “scan to receive a surprise,” and “scan to play a game.” It should urge them on what to do and tell them what to expect.

Related: Get More Scans: Create a "Scan Me" QR Code Frame


3. Do not invert the color of your QR code

Inverted QR code

Inverting the color of your QR code is a bad idea.

If you do this, your QR code will be hard to scan, or worse, it will never get scanned at all.

Bear in mind that the foreground color of your QR code should always, always be darker than the background color.

Furthermore, it is also important that you provide enough contrast in your QR code color.

It is also important that you avoid light colors as it is hard for the QR code reader to detect codes with lighter colors.

Related: 12 Reasons Why Your QR Code is Not Working

4. Generate your QR code in a dynamic, so it is not pixelated

One thing you know about QR codes: It’s always a better idea to generate them in a dynamic code.

Dynamic QR code does not directly store the information but only contains a short URL.

Whereas its static counterpart embeds the information in the code. 

The more information embedded in the static QR code, the more pixelated it gets, which makes them hard to scan.

5. Make sure you have a high-quality QR code image

Don’t make blur QR codes; make sure the image of your QR code is sharp and high-quality enough so it gets scanned easily.

6. Optimize your landing page for smartphone users

Literally, all of the people who are going to scan a QR code are going to use their smartphones.

Nobody will dare use a device that is capable of comfortably running a desktop site.

Therefore, always link your QR codes to the mobile version of websites.

7. Add your image or logo of your brand

One QR code best practice is actually making the code a part of your overall brand and not just having it as a creative design.

A customized QR code with an added logo of your brand gives your customers a sense of security and confidence that it’s a legitimate QR code and not a spammy one.

You can create your on-brand QR codes using the best QR code generator.

Branded QR code leaves an impression and garners a higher conversion rate, which results in getting 80% more scans than the traditional monochromatic QR code colors.

8. Consider the right sizing of your QR code

Your QR code won’t be able to perform its purpose if it doesn’t get seen. This is where size gets in the picture. Don’t make it too small so as to be recognizable by an audience.

Also, if it is too small to be recognized by a smartphone camera, it would be the same as being completely useless.

9. Consider the environment setting

When putting a QR code, consider whether or not the environment is conducive to its consumption. Is there an internet connection?

Are the people present usually have time, or are they in a hurry? Can they sit, or do they have to stand?

A QR code is only as good as how it can be consumed.

If people who get access to it are not in an environment to be able to scan it conveniently, it won’t get the attention it deserves.

This is one of the more crucial QR code best practices.

10. Provide a Purpose

What makes QR codes sell is the purpose they provide.

They make things more convenient and accessible. Stay true to that purpose by providing QR codes that link to quality content and functionality.

Never make a QR code perform mediocrely.

Don’t direct to dull written content or anything without value. Instead, give the best experience to your scanners so that they are left coming back for more.

11. Think about the proper placement

Magazine QR code

Put them where they can be seen, scanned properly, and appreciated.

You tend to find QR codes pressed against the corners of packaging and magazines.

If it gives the impression that they are being hidden, it is likely not going to capture the interest of your audience.

12. Track Progress

You will never know if your QR code marketing campaign is succeeding or failing if you don’t track your progress.

This will give you an insight into the rate of performance, allowing you to make necessary changes or improve on future initiatives.

With the QR code tracking system of the best QR code generator, you are able to ensure consistent improvement and effectiveness of your campaigns. So, never forget this important QR code best practice.

Related: How to Set Up QR Code Tracking in Real Time: Ultimate Guide

13. Always use dynamic QR codes

With two types of QR codes, it is easy to get torn between the two.

While static ones are usually enough for certain tasks, if you can, always opt for the dynamic option.

You are able to update data and perform tracking.

This helps you grow and expand your campaigns by consistently improving, as well as doesn’t render old QR codes obsolete by allowing them to be updated.

14. Consider the Material

Make sure that the material you put your QR codes on doesn’t alter its look.

That includes being non-porous, excessively shiny, and the like and see to it that it is placed on a flat surface.

While QR codes may be resilient and reliable due to their error correction feature, with enough imperfections, a QR code can become unreadable.

15. Test QR Codes Beforehand

Technology has a tendency to fail unexpectedly. While it may be a one to one thousand chance of happening, there is still the possibility.

As a result, it is always better to be certain that your QR code will function as it is intended by testing it before mass production and distribution.

The least you want to happen is learning that your QR codes don’t work after all the effort you have made.

5 Examples of QR Code Campaigns Employing QR codes best practices

A QR code marketing campaign entails having a start-to-finish plan along with following QR code best practices.

It ensures to get your audience hooked and then leaves them anticipating more. It may sound complicated and tedious, but it really isn’t.

If you don’t know how to come up with one, take a look at these QR code campaigns to get an idea of how to do yours.

1. Heinz Environment-Friendly Packaging

Heinz QR codeThe leading ketchup maker in the US added QR codes on their bottles that, when scanned, will direct people to a mobile contest.

It is a series of questions about sustainability as the company promotes the new environmentally friendly bottles they are using.

It led to a total of 1 million scans throughout the entire duration of the campaign.

2. Verizon Referral Program

Verizon QR code

In their stores, Verizon placed QR codes and urged customers to scan them and then share them on their social media platforms.

If someone scans the QR code of a sharer and a purchase is made through it, they, too, will receive a free phone.

3. Diesel’s Facebook Liking Campaign

The clothing brand Diesel laid out QR codes around their stores.

When scanned, it brings customers to the Facebook page of the brand, where they are urged to hit like.

It extensively grew the social media page of Diesel as people were easily reminded to show support to a brand that they love.

4. L’Oréal Selling Campaign

In a bid to urge people to shop on the L’Oreal website, the brand placed QR codes in New York City taxis. With the scan of an image, they can browse and shop with ease while taking their ride.

The program was so effective in 2012 that it resulted in a total of 80% unique downloads of the L’Oreal app.

5. Kellogg’s Cereal Promotion

It engaged consumers to a point that it kept them coming back for more.

Remember: The Importance of a Running a QR Code Test

Before you make a run to your QR code generator and begin your revolutionary QR code marketing campaign, there is one thing that you should always remember.

That is the importance of testing your QR code.

In the best QR code practices, one of the tips is to test your QR code beforehand.

The purpose is to ensure that you have a fully functional QR code before you mass-produce and distribute it.

So that you don’t end up doing all the effort and spending the money only to have a non-functioning or unreliable QR code.

However, spotting a problematic QR code is much more complicated than you would think.

A single scan won’t tell you anything conclusive.

It doesn’t mean that it worked the first time around; it will continue to do so.

What you would want to do is scan it a couple more times from different angles.

Only when it has consistently worked should you take it as a good sign.

The goal of your QR code is to provide convenience to your consumers.

If it takes them a lot of trials just to consume your content, you are defeating the purpose of using QR codes in the first place.

To make things worse, a faulty QR code will decrease your credibility.

People will now tend to trust your campaigns even less, scanning them less frequently in the end.


Keep in mind the QR code best practices and get more scans

While there may be quite a lot of things to keep in mind about QR codes, it doesn’t mean that it is difficult to use if you follow the best practices.

Instead, they are just small details to boost the efficiency of your marketing campaigns.

Paired with the flexibility of the programs you can implement, QR codes deliver a lot of options without a steep learning curve.

So, QR codes are not difficult to use.

Instead, you just have a lot of options to expand your campaigns and implementations further if you do want to go the extra mile.

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