Marketers are going QR-code crazy lately; you can find black-and-white squares on everything from cereal boxes to billboards. So what can you do to use this scanning trend to your advantage? How do you make the most of QR codes for your giveaway items?

You can’t simply slap a code onto any personalized product and expect it to yield results; you have to strategize first. But take a deep breath and relax. This may be new technology, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Here are seven practical ways to use QR codes in your promotional efforts:

  1. Create a code that calls your business when it’s scanned. This eliminates a step or two for customers and makes it easier for them to contact you.
  2. Allow trade show attendees to scan a QR to be automatically entered in a drawing. They’ve just gotten a chance to win the prize, and you’ve gained their contact information. Just don’t abuse it!
  3. Directly link your code to your company’s Facebook or Twitter account to encourage interaction. Look into setting it up to auto-tweet about your company or like your brand’s page once it’s scanned. Make sure you test the codes before printing them, though. Social media URLs can be tricky!
  4. Create separate codes for special offers or coupons you’re offering. This allows you to target giveaways to corresponding offers and lets you track the popularity of each.
  5. Send interested customers to a video demonstration that specifically discusses the product or service you’re promoting.
  6. Build your email subscription list by generating a QR that links to your subscription box. Try offering a valuable perk in exchange for the signup, like an additional discount or a free e-book.

Are you on the fence about how or where your code should direct people? Create a QR code that directly links to your website. This is an obvious choice but it’s also the most popular. Just make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices.

Now, on to the giveaway suggestions! First, know that some promotional items work better for QR codes than others. Since a flat surface is required in order for scanners to pick it up, it’s not wise to print on products like pens or perfectly round stress balls. Also, think of big-picture stuff; different products use different printing methods and receive more wear-and-tear than others. Consider products that will hold up to repeated use, because QR codes won’t work properly once the imprint has worn away.

Of course, there are hundreds of other options when it comes to QR codes and your promotional products. The giveaway item you select heavily relies on the event you’re promoting, the tastes of the recipients, and the overall budget you have to work with. If you’re ever in doubt about a specific item in regard to printing codes, then simply ask us before placing your order. We’re always happy to assist you!

About the author

Kyrsten Ledger

Kyrsten is a promo expert with a passion for branding . Her vast knowledge of promotional giveaways and marketing has led to several articles and published work for PPB Magazine, a publication from the Promotional Products Association International.