Thursday, November 03, 2011

Free QR Code Generator - The Next Gen of Marketing

I know you know what QR Codes are:

(Link to my QR Code Generator web page.)

A Quick Response Code is a very compact type of scannable "bar code." I say compact because it can hold a great deal of data. The one above contains the basic data needed to take you to a specific web page. But you can also create a code that contains all the data for a vCard contact (Firstname, Lastname, Email, Telephone, Organization, Position, Address, Address Line2, City, State, Zip, Country, and URL).

That vCard can contain a lot of data. As a result, the graphic will be more dense, like this:

Depending on the medium you are using to display your QR Code (business card, brochure, bus, billboard, menu, etc.), you may want a more basic web page QR Code rather than a complete vCard. You will need to have a resolution that is very usable and scannable by most devices. A surface that is too slick or laminated may perform very poorly, especially if there's lots of data. You may have noticed that some conferences now put QR Codes on your name tags. But all too often they're printed on paper and then slipped inside of plastic, so you can't scan them easily.

Free QR Code Generator

Webmaster John and I created a tool at Small Biz Thoughts so you can create your own QR Codes - for free. Just go to Free QR Code Generator. Basically, you can choose whether you want a simple web site or a full vCard. On the vCard, you can simply leave blank any fields you don't want in your QR Code. This will reduce the graphic density of the image.

Once you submit, the page echoes back with your QR Code in a nice big graphic. Right-click on the graphic to save it to your machine. After that you can place it on business cards, brochures, etc. The coolest one I've seen was painted in lights on the roof of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. And it was easily scannable.

My friend Mark Germanos wrote a great little article about using QR Codes, with lots of examples. You can read that on Small Biz Thoughts as well. It's called: Say Hello to QR Codes.

Mark Germanos is a fellow technology consultant, long-time business owner, speaker, and author of Escape the Cubicle . . . How to Leave Your Corporate or Government Job for Something Better.

Mark is available at

For more information on Escape the Cubicle, visit . . . SMB Books.

QR Code Scanners

Many phones now come with basic QR Code Scanners. But if you want a really good one, Google QR Code Scanners and find one that's highly rated. A "good" scanner is one that can read the address and send it to your GPS application, read the vCard and add it to your contacts list, browse the web site automatically.

My Blackberry was horrible at scanning QR Codes. It worked, but was very finicky about the print quality of the QR Code. Since I'm scanning someone else's code, I had no control over the quality. Now I use QR Droid for the Droid 3 and it is very nice. It automatically scans without have to take a "picture" and brings up options for all the data it finds.

As with everything else, you need to try a few things and see what works for you. Once you find a good scanner (or two), you can start showing them off to your clients. There are some good billable labor projects to be had helping your clients use QR Codes effectively.

Generate Your Free QR Codes


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  1. I've been having fun with QR codes by inserting logos, changing the colors around, rounding off the edges, etc.

  2. That is absolutely brilliant.
    This QR Code is awesome and actually scans!

  3. FYI, you can embed links in a Blogger blog by just typing the html code for it

    &60;a href=""&62;


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