Business cards have been around for a while. In the world of business cards, not much has changed in the past 50 years. That is until using QR codes on business cards became the new and easy way to pass on your information.
One of the greatest things about using QR codes on your business card is that you can fit so much data into the QR code (3Kb to be exact). This means you won’t be limited by the physical space on your business card to provide information.
So, before creating your business cards, lets take a look at what QR codes are and how you can use them to your advantage.
What is a QR Code?
A QR (Quick Response) code is a new version of the common bar code that you see at your local grocery store. The unique thing about QR codes is that they are accepted outside of grocery stores and anyone can make their own code by using a tool.
They can store up to 3Kb of information, which translates to over 4000 characters, which is basically a small article. Although most people use QR codes for web hyperlinks, there are heaps of uses for them. For example, car manufacturers stamp QR codes on all of the different car parts in order to easily identify them on production lines.
You can use QR codes to redirect people to your website, show your vCard (contact information) or even accept cryptocurrency payments. Since there are so many uses for QR codes, they have an attractive use case for business cards.
Why Use a QR Code on Your Business Card?
QR codes provide a bridge between printed media and the digital world. They do this by providing a quick way to view and open links to websites (and other things) that would otherwise have taken a long time to type in manually. This is why they’re a perfect match for business cards.
Instead of writing out your website or email address on your business card, you could simply use a QR code for it. Better yet, you could supply all of your contact information in a vCard format which is visible when the QR code is scanned. That way, the person who scans your QR code gets all of your contact information instantly and doesn’t need to keep your business card if they don’t want to.
Imagine trying to fit all of your contact information into a 3.5 x 2 inch business card whilst making it look nice and stylish. Not an easy feat, is it? Although QR codes can sometimes look a bit out of place on a business card, most of the time, they will actually save you space, and can even help give your card the minimalist look.
Benefits of Using QR Codes on Business Cards
QR Code Scans Can Be Tracked (Sometimes)
The problem with traditional printed media is that it’s very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to track its effectiveness. However, tracking QR scans is possible, at least when opening links to websites.
For example, say you have a QR code that links to your website. Instead of just using the normal link, you could append UTM tracking parameters onto the link which means you can track (in Google Analytics) how many times the QR code is scanned and the link is opened.
This is a huge benefit compared to simply handing over your business card with a printed website address on it.
They might look ugly, but it’s undeniable that they save a lot of space. It’s easy to get carried away when adding contact information in your business card and have it blow out of proportion and look unprofessional. If you have a lot of contact information, generating a QR code that shows your vCard is super easy when using one of the many QR code tools.
A vCard is basically a digital business card that has all your contact information on it. Many modern applications such as Outlook, Gmail, and most smartphones use vCards to store contact information. For example, if you scan a vCard QR code with an iPhone, it will automatically create a contact on your phone with all the information from the vCard on it.
Easy to Use
If you’ve never scanned a QR code, go and scan one today and you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s really easy. Most phones have in-built apps that will scan a QR code.
The process couldn’t be simpler. You scan the code, and it automatically takes you to the website using your browser, and that’s it. If you’re using a vCard, it simply opens the vCard on your phone so you can store all the contact information.
Shows That You’re Techy
No one likes a Grinch that flat out refuses to use technology and exclaims that technology is the devil’s work. Technology is moving at such a rapid pace, that many people struggle to keep up. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Using a QR code in your business card shows people that you’re up to date with technology and know the benefits of the QR code. It also shows that you think outside the square and want to utilize your business card to its full potential.
Has a Mysterious Element to It
Have you ever seen a QR code somewhere with no explanation as to what it’s for? I have, and it really hurts not knowing. So, what do I do when this happens? Scan it, of course.
A QR code is similar to a nicely wrapped Christmas present. You look at the present and immediately want to know what’s inside it. But you can’t know until you open it. The same happens with QR codes. You see it, but you don’t know what it is until you scan it.
Curiosity is a powerful motivator to do things.
Drawbacks of Using QR Codes on Business Cards
People Don’t Know How to Scan QR Codes
Not everyone knows what a QR code is or how to scan it. Although this is by no means a reason not to have a QR code on your business card, it’s definitely a consideration. If possible, provide instructions on how to scan the code. That way, people won’t feel so alienated. Also, if someone doesn’t know what a QR code is, it’s a great conversation starter and a great way to break the ice when handing your business card over.
At the end of the day, some people are averse to using technology and don’t want to try new things, even if it makes their life easier. So, you will get some people who don’t care or aren’t interested in QR codes, and that’s OK. Eventually, if a technology is really good, people are forced to use it.
Looks Ugly (Especially If You Don’t Know What It Is)
I must admit, the first time I ever saw a QR code, i thought it looked really ugly. That is until I learned what it actually was. There are millions, if not billions of people that don’t know what a QR code is.
This is why it’s important to consider who your customers are. If you’re selling gophers to the elderly, it’s probably not the best idea to have a QR code on your business card. However, if you’re in the IT industry, or any other industry where tech is heavily involved, it may be well received when you hand over your business card.
Takes up Valuable Space on the Business Card
Every bit of that 3.5 x 2 inch business card is valuable real estate. You don’t want to waste any space. Having a QR code which takes up around 1/6th of the space could seem like a waste of space.
That is until you remember just how much information the QR code can provide. Then it starts looking a lot more attractive. The only time it feels like it’s taking up a lot of space is when you try to repeat the information that is in the QR code, on the business card as well.
How to Make Your Business Card Better With QR Codes
Website / Social
Adding your company URL is one of the most common uses of the QR code. You can add in any link you want and as mentioned earlier, if you add UTM tracking to the link, you’ll be able to track the number of visits to your website resulting from scanning your QR code. You can also add in your Facebook, Twitter or any other social profiles you wish, such as your company page.
This is another great use of a QR code. What’s better than supplying your digital business card, on your physical business card? Since vCards are used by many devices, it makes sense to include it on your business card and also makes it super easy for the recipient to copy your contact details directly onto their phone.
Providing text in your QR code is a sneaky and genius way to offer discounts to your customers. If they scan the code, you could give them a 10% discount on your products and services or any other offer. You could also use it to write your company slogan or anything you want really.
This is more appropriate for appointment cards, but useful on business cards as well. You can compose an email message using a QR code that will automatically be ready to send when someone scans the code. This is useful if you want potential customers to make a quick inquiry without much effort.
Similar to email, this is a great way to give your customers the option to quickly make an inquiry with your business or ask questions about any products. You can simply include a predefined message that is ready to be sent when the QR code is scanned.
How to Add a QR Code to Your Business Card
Then, upload the image of the QR code onto your business card. You can place the QR code anywhere on your business card and even resize it as you wish. That way, you ensure your business card still looks great, whilst remaining fully functional.
Examples of Business Cards with QR Codes
Check out some of our examples of business cards that have a QR code on them. Try scanning some of the QR codes yourself to see how the vCard shows up on your phone.
Whether you think QR codes on business cards are a good or bad idea, the fact is, they are super-efficient and easy to use. This makes them an attractive option for use on business cards, which have a very limited amount of space for contact information.
Overall, I think QR codes are an amazing technology that will only get more popular as time goes on.