How to Use QR Codes for Lead Generation

Apr 29, 2021
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Lead generation is the action of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business's products or services. The process is an important part of the sales cycle, which ensures that businesses aren't going out blindly looking for customers but create a sustainable, scalable and easily repeatable process of identifying and targeting ideal customers. Recently, QR codes have started to appear as a powerful lead generation tool: low in production and integration costs and effective in terms of usage rates and deliverables. By using QR codes for passersby on shop windows, in lobbies, at trade shows, in newspapers or online publications, and more, businesses can collect data about who is interested in their products and services, utilize the data to either approach potential clients directly, or set up targeted advertising and marketing campaigns to nurture customers.

When it comes to inbound marketing and sales efforts, QR codes are effectively used for attracting new clients and converting them into leads. Since dynamic QR codes are very practical for quickly and easily distributing the content (by redirecting customers to websites, video content, documents and more), this technology adds significant value to inbound marketing by converting visitors into qualified leads once they respond to the QR code.

Static codes like vCards and emails, empower people to contact your business within seconds simply by scanning a code, making QR code technology an efficacious part of your inbound sales strategy for your business. 

There are several ways to use QR codes for lead generation and various types of QR codes can be used differently to achieve companies’ objectives and contribute to the sales process. Here are some ideas:

1. Share contact details with vCard QR codes when you design business cards

Placement and the distribution channel are important when designing business cards. People showing interest in your brand will scan, opening up your inbound marketing methodology so strangers can become leads. Even placing a business card with a vCard QR code in a shop window will initiate interest in someone who wants your service and make it easier for you to build leads. Upselling is also possible once the customer has already connected to the salesperson directly after scanning the vCard QR code and establishing a contact through phone and email.

Tips: Create a vCard on Supercode so that your contact details automatically get saved in the phone of the person who scans your business card. When creating a code, carefully insert all the information you would like to share with others, including the company name, your position at the company, the website and your contact details. We also recommend adding internal notes, naming your QR code, and saving it to a folder, so that it’s always easy to find the code. 

create vcard qr code on supercode
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

2. Inspire people to email you

Put an email QR code on shop windows, surveys, business materials, and more to generate leads. When people see and scan the code, the email app will automatically open on the phone with a new, prewritten email and the business email address already inserted, making it effortless for interested customers to reach out without any extra steps. All businesses need to do is ensure that the QR code is getting scanned and people press the ‘Send’ button in the email app. The rest of the lead generation process is automated. 

Tips: When creating a code, double-check the prewritten message and your business email address to ensure there are no mistakes. Once you start working on the design of the code, make the QR code eye-catching so people want to scan and engage with the business. 

create an email qr code on supercode's dashboard
Image source: QR Code Generator

3. Make it easier for people to reach out to you via SMS 

Just like with static email QR codes, SMS QR codes work the same. When people see an eye-catching code and are able to contact a business with an SMS directly, they do it as a matter of convenience. This will help businesses collect phone numbers to generate leads and convert them into paying customers later.

Tips: When creating an SMS code, double-check the number of the receiver to ensure all SMS are delivered and add a message that you would like to automatically appear for people who scan the code.

When working on the design of the QR code, ensure that your call-to-action is clear. Include an easily understood message like “Scan to send SMS”. 

design a qr code on supercode's dashboard
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

4. Create a lead generation form with an incentive

Use QR codes for generating leads by creating a form where the user will leave their contact information for an incentive. 

A great example would be to offer a free voucher like a 2x1 deal at a restaurant in exchange for contact information. Have them leave their name and email address in the lead generation form so you can email them the voucher and add them to your lead list.

Tips: Always make sure the user has a worthy reason to scan and write that plainly in the frame of the QR code such as, "Get your 2x1 coupon here". Give more details on the landing page so they will continue the process. If you have to email them something in return like a prize, reward, voucher, or otherwise, they are sure to enter information if it's worth it to them.

red and white qr code with black frame and pizza logo
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

5. Use on banners and merchandise at events

Putting QR codes on banners and other products at events is beneficial to you because you are in a place where people go specifically to find services like yours. This is the perfect place to build connections and generate leads using your QR codes. When people leave their contact information depending on what type of QR code you use, you can collect their data that way.

At trade shows, build lists by placing QR codes on free merchandise for scanning, t-shirts, brochures, leaflets, posters, souvenirs, and name tags. Now it will be easier than ever for you to keep in touch with leads and vice versa when they automatically stored your information in their mobile phones by scanning your QR code and sending you SMS and email messages, or scanning a vCard code and contacting you directly later on. Trade shows are an amazing way to generate leads as the Exhibitor Online reports, "The good news, however, is that despite the industry myth that 80 percent of leads never receive post-show follow-up, four out of 10 respondents report that upwards of 80 percent of the leads they collect at trade shows and events do receive follow-up communication." 

Tips: Add incentives for scanning like winning a contest or a prize. Use them for raffles and ask for an email address to be able to enter online. This will make people intrigued by your offer and in turn, generate leads. 

hand holding a cell phone with qr code at trade show
Image source: Medium

6. Advertise in the media

One of the reasons QR code advertising is becoming so popular is because it is a powerful tool for lead generation. There are different ways to go about QR code ads and the type of code the business chooses to use for advertising depends on the goals. 

In case the objective is to collect customers’ details to then include in the sales campaigns, putting email and SMS codes in the media is a brilliant idea. That way people can easily reach out to your business and your sales team will have their contact information and can generate a list of leads.

If the objective is to generate leads while driving traffic to the website or social media accounts, adding a URL or a social media QR code can be more beneficial. Additionally, with a QR code, you can ask for contact details or subscribe to a newsletter as soon as people land on your website. As an alternative, you can use cookies to include your QR code visitors in your advertising campaigns.

These are all proven lead generation strategies that work great for both small and large businesses.

black magazine article with beige mini cooper and qr code
Image source: Pinterest

One great example of this was when Lacoste put a QR code on an ad during a live tennis match on one corner of the screen that didn't change with the picture. As long as the QR code isn't a moving target and people aren't getting in the way of the game by scanning it, it is a great method to not only increase sales in the short-term, but to generate leads with those clothing sales in the long-term.

djokovic tennis match with lacoste qr code
Image source: NBCUniversal

Tips: Test QR codes just before sending them into print. Then, just print a sample material before thousands to make sure the code scans well if you are choosing paper and ink materials. To learn more about best practices for printing and distributing QR codes, read our dos and don'ts guide

7. Direct people to a "request a demo" link

When people ask you for a demo and give you their contact information it will give you leads. It helps businesses remove barriers because it is such a user-friendly option and introducing QRs into your inbound marketing strategy is another channel that will get you recognized. Since QR codes are so fast and convenient for prospective customers it adds another reason to request a demo and any information you collect will help turn your leads into customers.

URL QR codes are best for inspiring customers to request a demo. People will be simply redirected to the web page with the form where they can insert their details and ask for a demo. These details people leave aren’t just helpful to reach back out to them but also enable businesses to qualify the leads (which is the next step after the lead generation).

Tips: Design your QR code in a way that it adds to your brand identity and makes it easier for people to recognize your brand. Customers always connect easier to those brands that have a strong brand identity. 

8. Invent fun competitions 

Making QR codes for a competition where people can sign up with their emails or phone numbers is great for generating leads. Having a fun incentive like a possible prize at the end of the competition is worth it for people to participate. Moreover, it encourages potential customers to enter the competition so they can possibly win a product or service they have never sampled before. Collecting data from this sort of contest will help you generate a list of leads for your business.

Advertising your campaign on street advertisements like billboards, displays in front of stores, or on your website and social media accounts is a great way to get people motivated to join. Have the QR code route to your landing page asking for a name, email address, and any other necessities to add people to your list of leads.

Tips: Use your branded colors on public advertisements for brand recognition. Place a message on your frame that says "Enter competition here" or something of the like, so people are compelled to scan and participate. Additionally, bulk code generation can also be done if you prefer that people register for the competition with separate codes and their own unique registration numbers, but this requires many printed codes for each individual, like on postcards at a trade show for example.

9. Create a waiting list for customers to sign up for

A good way to collect details of those interested in either new products or for sold-out products is the “be the first to know its back in the store” strategy. When you collect their contact information to contact them about available products, you can add the information to your list.

Social media and URL codes are perfect for that purpose. While redirecting customers to a waiting list form online, ask them to sign up for the general newsletter or follow your social media accounts. That way you can connect with the customers in the long term and use cookies to create targeted advertising campaigns in the future. 

Tips: Provide a clear message and a call to action so that customers know why they are scanning the code and how your business will use their information in the future. 

Try Supercode's QR code generator software for yourself to experience the tremendous benefits of adding a simple QR code to your digital marketing campaign to generate leads. Our codes are safe and easy to make and will add value to your lead generation strategy.

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