10 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating QR Codes

Mar 16, 2021
a sad dog lying on a big black and white QR code
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Have you ever wondered how to put QR codes to good use? Many people and businesses have never adopted the use of QR codes, therefore, missing out on the benefits completely. Or even worse, spending time making QR codes that have mistakes as a result of not knowing how to utilize the easy-to-use QR code generator software. Marketing teams and management must know what works and what doesn't. When created correctly, marketing campaigns with QR codes can increase sales, profit, make marketing strategies more efficient, and lead to customer satisfaction and interaction. QR codes are simple and fast to make but if one doesn't know how, it can be costly and a waste of marketing effort.

Many industries can benefit from creating QR codes. They can be placed on a wide range of materials and surfaces that are flat and clear to read. If the idea of incorporating another tech tool into your marketing strategy is discouraging, think again. Make QR codes that are eye-catching with your logo and branded colors on Supercode's QR code generator in just a few minutes. Create QR codes that are exciting for customers who scan as well as marketing teams to design.

Are you eager to take a few minutes to learn what 10 common mistakes to avoid when creating QR codes? We are enthusiastic about helping marketing teams overcome wasted time, stress, and unnecessary costs so you can succeed in creating serious digital marketing campaigns with QR codes that work.

Mistake #1 - Going for QR code types that don’t work for your goals

Choosing the correct type of QR code makes a big difference in the efficiency of adding it to your marketing strategy. Is your goal to pass along contact information or to connect with others on social media? Or is your goal to share inspiring content, with AR and VR experiences, PDFs, and even links to your m-commerce store with a dynamic QR code? Would you like to get feedback on your services and products? Make a clear list of goals about what is important for your success and the benefits of the person scanning and then choose a code that is right for each objective.

Know the difference and choose the type of QR code wisely: 

Static vs Dynamic QR codes:

  • Static codes are great for pre-written content that does not need to be modified later and cannot be changed once the code is made. 
  • Dynamic codes can be edited after creation as many times as necessary. These are fantastic for constant updates or fixing mistakes without generating a new physical code. 

Every scanned code is measurable for tracking your campaign's success.

Unlimited scans vs Single-use codes:

  • A QR code with unlimited scans can be used by many people to share a wide array of content and stimulate customer interaction. 
  • Single-use codes are great for one-off coupons and discounts which can be generated in bulk for many customers to use only once.

Single vs Bulk QR codes:

  • Make a single code, (not to be confused with a single-use code), which can be used again and again for one purpose whether static or dynamic. Great for linking them to your landing page, e-store, or social media accounts so people can scan them repeatedly. 
  • Bulk QR codes can be made all at once by importing a CSV file. These can be used for registering many people for an event or class, or even single-use coupons that are unique to each scanner.

Type of QR code depending on the purpose of its use:

There are QR codes for every purpose so please choose carefully:

URLSocial mediaPlain textSMSFeedbackvCardEmail, and • Bulk

Mistake #2 - Choosing the wrong materials to print on

Here are some of the materials to avoid:

Glossy reflective materials: 

Glossy materials reflect and therefore are difficult for scanners to read and scan. 

Stickers that get wrinkled: 

While QR codes on stickers are a great marketing material, make sure when applying the sticker to a surface, it is not wrinkled and therefore will not be read in a QR code scanner.

Clothes tags that wash off easily: 

Clothing tags are a great place to put QR codes as long as they are done properly. Avoid tag inks and materials that will wash off easily. Use embroidery or special inks that won't wash off for a perfect scan every time. 

The clothing company Stone Island has incorporated QR codes correctly into their garment tags for authenticity and if the QR code does not scan in accordance with its code number then it is fake and should be reported immediately. This code cannot be washed off tags.

stone island clothing tag with qr code
Image source: Stone Island

Clear background on windows for QR window stickers: 

QR codes printed on shop windows should always have contrasting colors, not just glass behind printed squares as reflections and moving images behind the window will make it difficult for QR code readers to scan. Although QR Code is much more tolerant of color than UPC, there must be sufficient contrast differences between the QR Code symbol and its background for the scanner to be able to detect it.

Mistake #3 - Making your QR codes hard to scan

Size is an important factor:

QR codes that are smaller than 2''x2'' could be too small for scanning apps or cameras to recognize. Very big QR codes should be for scanning from farther away, as the camera will have to be able to capture the entire code which can't happen with a larger code that is very close and too big for the scanning screen.

Placement matters:

If QR codes are placed too low it would be difficult for people to position the camera to scan the code. QR codes placed too high have the same problem and if it's challenging people just won't bother to scan. QR code printing is simple as long as they are placed in a visible, convenient location.

Location matters:

QR codes only work in areas that have internet connection but if there is a place where a code is necessary without internet connection, choose an SMS QR code if it is information that should be transmitted that way.

Moving targets:

QR codes should never be printed on changing TV screens, but on the bottom of the screen is fine if it stays put when scenes change. Another thing to be avoided is billboards on drive-by-only streets and highways as the driver is in constant movement. Billboards on streets with foot traffic are great. Also, vehicles that spend time parked such as catering vans or waiting in front of airports are a fantastic marketing solution. QR codes should never be scanned while driving.

Mistake #4 - Ignoring design options and leaving black and white squares  

Creativity pays off when marketing teams create QR codes with style. Adding frames, colors, and a company logo with a clear CTA is key in encouraging customer interaction through scanning. If design options are ignored, people don't recognize the boring black and white squares and if there is no CTA they won't be scanning mystery codes. Incorporating general branding and making it eye-catching only takes a few minutes and the look is an outstanding investment to ensure codes being scanned more. These are easy steps to take using Supercode's QR code generator software.

Bonus Tip: When printing QR codes, make sure that the pattern isn't compromised by placing a logo over the 3 small squares on the outside and the shape is the same as when you created the code. 

qr code made of bottles, boots, cameras, power tools by david sykes
Image source: Peta Pixel

This photographer, David Sykes took it a step further and photographed real objects on an 8-foot wide canvas and printed the photographs with the QR code for mailers. The code scans to his creative photography website. 

Mistake #5 - Forgetting to test the code

While this is an obvious mistake the costs could be tremendous. If a business has printed the code on physical materials such as business cards with wrong contact information, brochures to be given out at trade shows, and merchandise at fairs, having the wrong information linked to the code makes your marketing efforts null. According to this Mashable article, QR codes have a 30% error correction rate, which means people have made simple mistakes when created that have simple solutions when tested before committing. With dynamic QR codes, the information can be changed at any time without reprinting a physical code. However, with a static code, this isn't possible. Please do choose the type of code wisely and no matter which one you go for, always test especially before printing. It only takes seconds to generate a new code but once it's printed, it can be costly and affect your reputation. 

Mistake #6 - Having disorganized campaigns

Supercode's dashboard has an easy-to-use section for folders that are customizable for all of your campaigns. Please take advantage of this. Especially when large marketing teams are using the platform or many campaigns are being juggled at once. It is easy to make codes and become disorganized, leaving them out of folders. It would be costly to use codes from another campaign or even an expired code by mistake. This is also dangerous if you have created codes in bulk that you don't want to get confused with others in the same batch. It is time-efficient to organize and takes seconds to save in a folder immediately. It is time-consuming to get your codes confused, taking ages to rearrange them and sort them out.

Mistake #7 - Ignoring analytics and not improving your digital marketing campaigns

 To achieve great results and maximise MROI, companies should pay careful attention to performance statistics for scanned codes and take action. If marketing teams ignore statistics and don't pay attention to what works and what doesn't then their marketing strategies don't get improved and the effort was wasted. It's simple with Supercode's clean dashboard with analytics to track every scanned code.

Mistake #8 - Overlooking QR codes’ expiration dates or number of scans if they are limited

This mistake normally occurs when companies select free platforms or make free accounts for generating QR codes. Usually free or cheap is associated with expiration dates on codes or limited numbers of scans. Marketing teams should be aware of these numbers when choosing their QR code generator software. Printing QR codes on leaflets or packaging and then realizing that time and scans have run out is costly and embarrassing for the company because of its inefficiency for the person scanning. Moreover, the information in the codes cannot be updated once this happens either. Supercode offers quality and cost-effective plans with unlimited scans on codes that never expire.

Mistake #9 - Forgetting to update old codes

Updating old QR codes is imperative to linking the most current information possible. Without changing the physical code, dynamic QR codes can be modified as often as necessary. Always update informationally and for promotions that are no longer relevant.

Mistake #10 - Not committing to one professional QR code generator software

Using different QR code generators will only confuse marketing teams and companies when creating QR codes for many different campaigns. Part of a successful marketing strategy is keeping track of your digital assets and doing so all in one place. Combining different platforms will only force companies to pay more to keep the codes later on and using multiple QR code generators will cause them to pay for multiple platforms, which won't keep the work organized and cause problems later on. Without payment, digital assets become lost and then you have QR codes out there that aren't scanning, making your digital marketing campaign ineffective and disorganized in front of the consumer.

Implementing QR codes into your marketing strategy can be a smooth and uncomplicated process with Supercode's QR code generator software. Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, creating QR codes for the digital marketing campaign that you have always wanted will bring you measurable success. 

Sign up for Supercode's QR Code Generator. Use our beautiful design system, easy-to-organize folders for your campaigns, and track the analytics of every scanned code on our clean dashboard. Generate QR codes that effectively bring a clear MROI and optimize your marketing strategy.

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