Should your correspondence have a QR code?

Quick Response (QR) codes are becoming as common as normal barcodes these days, and they show up on everything from consumer products to bus stop advertisements. They're a convenient way to connect potential customers to your product or service, as more and more people are carrying smartphones that can interpret the codes.

Should your corporate stationery have one? It's a good question, so we've come up with a few things to think about if you're considering putting one of these bizarre-looking blocks on your letterhead, business card or any other paper items:

  • Make it clear where the QR code will take someone: If the QR code is simply a link to your website, then make sure there's a note saying "Scan to find out more," or something to that effect. Without any kind of direction or call-to-action, it can be confusing to your audience.
  • Only use a code if you're going to present your viewer with something useful: If the QR code takes the scanner to a website that gives them exactly the same information as they found on the item they scanned, then it's mostly a useless gesture. The destination should provide extra details that weren't available on the flyer, business card or letterhead that was scanned.
  • Try to integrate the code into your design: If you want to score points with your viewers, be creative with how you include the code. For example, print it in your company's color scheme (QR codes don't have to be black and white).

Whether you decide to include a QR code or not, you should make sure that you're using only the highest quality paper stock when printing out your fliers, business cards, stationery and any other hard copy items. This will reinforce to your potential customers that your company is professional and takes its business seriously.