Question: QR Codes and Business Cards

32 replies
I am just getting into Offline Mobile. I was going to get some business cards printed up and then I thought about the print and QR Codes Scanning properly.

What kind of card-stock and ink is good to use---glossy, flat... Does it really matter? Does regular plain ole white card-stock work for scanning codes?

Also, what about flyers---Do the codes scan without a problem?
#business #cards #codes #question
  • Profile picture of the author midasman09
    Banned
    Here's a small Card da Gummit sends out. Notice the Code at bottom right.

    These QR Codes are on Bank Deposit Receipts....they're on advertising sign inside retail shops....they're everywhere.

    Here's a Money-Making idea for you.

    Go into any Beauty Salon or Restaurant or anywhere you are handed a Receipt for your Payment.

    Offer to set up a Mobile Website that contains a "Discount Coupon" for their Next Visit. An "Incentive" to Return!

    You set up the Mobile Site....$297....and....you provide a Card that has the Mobile Website address on it AND....a QR Code that brings up the Mobi Site you created. (1000 Cards for $100)

    Just a 1 page site will do.

    So....with every payment the cashier hands the customer a Card that has an incentive to Return.

    Now....you could simply have them hand customers a Card with $1 off their next order. (This is one of my programs I made GOOD MONEY with a few yrs ago. I called it "The BEE BACK Card"...with a cartoon image of a yellow and black Bee)

    However....we are now in the "electronic age"....so....you could provide cards with QR Code on it.....or....there's a way to get the QR Code PRINTED ONTO Sales Receipts...so you don't have to provide Printed Cards.

    Don Alm...remembering one of my past BIG Hitters.

    Just imagine....you could make money on everyone who eats at participating restaurants. My favorite restaurants serve 200 meals a day. What if YOU were paid just 50cents on each meal. $100 a Day!
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
      Thanks Midasma, these are fantastic ideas that I can use. In fact I think I will go out and try it at a restaurant tonight.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

      Here's a small Card da Gummit sends out. Notice the Code at bottom right.
      Man, you'd be doing very well to scan that QR code - it's tiny. I would have it about 4-5 times the size of that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
        Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post

        That's a good idea (check to see if they have samples). By the way you have a great looking WSO, I will check it out more a little later.
        Thanks Steve!
        Anytime Anthony, and thanks for your WSO comments there!

        Most printers will be glad to send you samples of their work, but I've never had one include anything with a QR on it, so just be sure to specifically ask about printing QR codes.

        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Man, you'd be doing very well to scan that QR code - it's tiny. I would have it about 4-5 times the size of that.
        I tried it now and it worked fine, but I'm surprised that 1) they don't use some simple instructions with it like "scan this code with your smartphone" and 2) it takes you to their regular website which is a nightmare to navigate and read on a smart phone. :confused:

        Cheers
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        • Profile picture of the author midasman09
          Banned
          If you are referring to the Sample Card I posted....it's from "da Gummit" which is short for the "United States Government".

          This is a US Gummit card probably a few million sent out and...."No Mention about Scan the Code"....and...when you do...you get a bunch of gobbly-gook....what do you expect from "da Gummit"! These are "Gummit-Workers"!

          Don Alm....
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      • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Man, you'd be doing very well to scan that QR code - it's tiny. I would have it about 4-5 times the size of that.

        Hey Will---We just picked up your course and the updates. We will be using your stuff to build the Mobile Marketing part of our offline business. For those on the fence---grab Wills WSO now!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    I've tried scanning some QRs local auto dealers use in the regular newspaper without success - but I would think just about any kind of business card with a high res QR code would work well for most.

    Don't know how many cards you're looking to get, but I'd check with the printing company and ask if they have any sample cards with QR codes printed and/or print up a smaller amount for yourself until you know they scan well.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
      That's a good idea (check to see if they have samples). By the way you have a great looking WSO, I will check it out more a little later.
      Thanks Steve!
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    This is a real nice idea-
    Step 1) Pitch a restaurant that does catering and holiday parties. Hand out the cards or do a postcard mailing with QR codes pointing to a mobile site with packages and or discounts.

    Step 2) Get the sale, go to Fiverr and get a graphic design for the post card, using the restaurant's website for theme ideas/branding. Go to Vista Print, use a 25% off coupon and get 1000 postcards for under $100 delivered. Probably $85. Build the mobile website, collect $500 and activate it.

    I'm catching on to the idea that a mobile website can be whatever you want. it can be a baby to the main site or a simple one page site for promotional purposes, entirely separate from the main site. It should absolutely be a list building machine for future SMS offers.
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    • Profile picture of the author webass
      Originally Posted by Huskerdarren View Post

      This is a real nice idea-
      Step 1) Pitch a restaurant that does catering and holiday parties. Hand out the cards or do a postcard mailing with QR codes pointing to a mobile site with packages and or discounts.

      Step 2) Get the sale, go to Fiverr and get a graphic design for the post card, using the restaurant's website for theme ideas/branding. Go to Vista Print, use a 25% off coupon and get 1000 postcards for under $100 delivered. Probably $85. Build the mobile website, collect $500 and activate it.

      I'm catching on to the idea that a mobile website can be whatever you want. it can be a baby to the main site or a simple one page site for promotional purposes, entirely separate from the main site. It should absolutely be a list building machine for future SMS offers.
      Hi,
      are You connecting this idea with the upcoming christmas holidays?
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      • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
        Originally Posted by webass View Post

        Hi,
        are You connecting this idea with the upcoming christmas holidays?
        yes. I have a little BBQ shop in mind that I am going to approach. It has small, medium, and large corporations nearby. If it pulled in a few extra Christmas party catering jobs, that would be awesome for their bottom line. Big companies are leery of Christmas parties because of the boozing and liability from that. I've seen several go to a catered lunch instead during work hours.
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyddd
    Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post

    I am just getting into Offline Mobile. I was going to get some business cards printed up and then I thought about the print and QR Codes Scanning properly.

    What kind of card-stock and ink is good to use---glossy, flat... Does it really matter? Does regular plain ole white card-stock work for scanning codes?

    Also, what about flyers---Do the codes scan without a problem?
    Hi Anthony,

    Regarding your query on ink and stock. If you are having them litho printed, then I would ask the printer to apply a machine sealer if it's a Gloss or Matt paper - you don't need it if it is an Uncoated paper. This is to stop the ink rubbing, which will happen if you put your business cards in your wallet as I do. Smudged ink "can" effect the QR Code - but mainly, it doesn't look as nice when the card is all smudged. If you are having them digitally printed, I would ask for a laminate to be applied - same reason as above - to prevent smudging.

    I work for a group of printers (until 23rd of Dec and then I'm self employed :-D ) - litho, screen & digital - and speak from experience, not only for my own business cards, but clients.

    Regarding ink - don't worry about it - it doesn't really have an impact - as long as the QR Code is prominent enough i.e. don't go for a yellow QR Code on a white background - fairly obvious, but thought I'd point it out.

    hope this helps - Toby
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  • Profile picture of the author LBO
    Gloss can mess up a scan sometimes be careful about that one
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
      Toby---Thanks for the insights. I would have never thought about the ink smudging but I know that it does happen.

      I hope you enjoy your "self employment"!
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    • Profile picture of the author tobyddd
      Originally Posted by LBO View Post

      Gloss can mess up a scan sometimes be careful about that one
      This only happens if you have a light coloured QR Code and a fairly bright @ LBO - light as the light sometimes limits the phones ability to focus on the code. A sealer tends to dull the gloss sheen a touch and I've never found any problems with this.

      @ anthonyk - Ohh I will :-D 16 years with the same employer and it is definately time to move on and go it alone - although I've a business partner for a number of projects. I can't wait ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author syncjam
    I have a QR Code on my biz card and it scans no problem. The card has an aqueous coating which is like a dull gloss.
    The main thing is to make sure the QR Code you create is high quality to begin with. Some QR Code creators make a small filesize and when you send it to print, it's too low res.

    I had a crappy quality QR Code and just went into Photoshop and using Levels was able to clean up the edges via high contrast.
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
      I will definitely double check the file size. I do not use photoshop so I will need to get it right the first time. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author carsonben
    Just keep in mind that QR Codes should always scan to something that's mobile friendly. And yes some kind of direction for the customer is always helpful.

    You can get QR codes that scan to the "Like" button for a businesses Facebook page too. It goes in the phone history and they can always come in and show that they've "Liked" your page to receive a special offer etc.

    My favorite for a restaurant business card is a QR code that scans to their mobile friendly menu. Even better a QR Code scan that automatically adds them to a mobile database to receive more special offers and discounts.
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    • Profile picture of the author syncjam
      Originally Posted by carsonben View Post

      Even better a QR Code scan that automatically adds them to a mobile database to receive more special offers and discounts.
      What do you have that would automatically add them to a database?
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
        Banned
        "Even better a QR Code scan that automatically adds them to a mobile database to receive more special offers and discounts"

        Right ON!

        When I first started seeing comments about "Making Mobile Sites for existing Websites" (using Re-Directs)....I knew there would be "problems".

        Sure nuff....many folks talking about, "Hey! I have to get the "Passwords" to their websites!...so I can upload the Script to THEIR site!"

        Many....I mean Many....website owners do NOT want to "give out" their "Passwords"! And....if the site owner wants you to "work with" their "Web Guy"....HaHa!

        So....my approach to the "Mobile Scene" has always been...."Provide something that;
        1) Does NOT require "permission" from the site owner
        2) YOU can "Control"

        So....my "answer" is to set up "Mobile Site Directories"....that I control. A "Directory" that is Limited to ONE...or at the most THREE....in each Category....thus making each and every participant WANT....to be included and....be willing to PAY to be in their Category.

        In the early days of the Net....almost every web directory I saw was, "FREE" to participants. I wondered HOW are these companies were being Paid and...by WHOM!

        Later...I found they had "conned" da Gummit or "Investment Bankers" out of BIG BUX....and...we all know waht happened when "Silicon Valley" went bust.

        Don Alm.....INdependent and lovin' it
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        • Profile picture of the author WillR
          Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

          Sure nuff....many folks talking about, "Hey! I have to get the "Passwords" to their websites!...so I can upload the Script to THEIR site!"

          Many....I mean Many....website owners do NOT want to "give out" their "Passwords"! And....if the site owner wants you to "work with" their "Web Guy"....HaHa!

          So....my approach to the "Mobile Scene" has always been...."Provide something that;
          1) Does NOT require "permission" from the site owner
          2) YOU can "Control"
          That's great but it doesn't solve your clients problem of visitors coming to their website on a mobile device and being met by their standard website. The whole point of a mobile optimized website is so those who are visiting their regular website on a mobile device, will be automatically redirected to a nice mobile optimized version.

          Your idea doesn't solve this problem. It's great having a mobile version of my site in a directory but if no one see's that directory, then it's worthless. As a business owner if I am doing my marketing right, the majority of people who are going to need my mobile optimized website will be those coming directly to my website.

          The only way to set that up for customers is to install the detection and redirection script on their main website. For those who don't want to give out their login details I simply provide them with a set of very brief instructions on how to copy and paste the code into their current website. Very easy stuff.
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          • Profile picture of the author midasman09
            Banned
            "That's great but it doesn't solve your clients problem of visitors coming to their website on a mobile device and being met by their standard website. The whole point of a mobile optimized website is so those who are visiting their regular website on a mobile device, will be automatically redirected to a nice mobile optimized version.

            Your idea doesn't solve this problem. It's great having a mobile version of my site in a directory but if no one see's that directory, then it's worthless."


            Hi Will.... I agree totally. I did not include HOW my "Target Market" (people WITH Mobile Phones and...who are HUNGRY) ....will find my "Directory"!

            I am doing something with HOTELS....making my "Mobile Directories"... EASILY FOUND by Room Guests (aka Tourists).

            People renting rooms in Hotels (these days)
            1) HAVE a Mobile Device they can either Scan a QR Code with or...simply enter in a URL of my Directories.
            2) Do NOT carry Food with them. They're HUNGRY and looking for;
            a) Places to Eat...or
            b) Have Food Delivered to their Rooms

            My "Mobi Directories" answer that problem and....each Guest is made Aware of HOW to "log in" to it.

            Don Alm
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      • Profile picture of the author webass
        Originally Posted by syncjam View Post

        What do you have that would automatically add them to a database?
        Thats an interesting question.

        As an SMS campaign would be some similar, but not a database collection just through a scan of a QR code.
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyk
      Originally Posted by carsonben View Post

      Just keep in mind that QR Codes should always scan to something that's mobile friendly. And yes some kind of direction for the customer is always helpful.

      You can get QR codes that scan to the "Like" button for a businesses Facebook page too. It goes in the phone history and they can always come in and show that they've "Liked" your page to receive a special offer etc.

      My favorite for a restaurant business card is a QR code that scans to their mobile friendly menu. Even better a QR Code scan that automatically adds them to a mobile database to receive more special offers and discounts.
      That is yet another great idea! I am learning that this can be a huge gateway to upsell services to local biz.
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  • Profile picture of the author syncjam
    Nice idea Don, but you STILL have to make sure there's a reason to be in the directories. Namely that they will be on page 1 of any related search results. Can you guarantee that?

    That would be my main concern. And if the directory is not a specific niche, it would be even harder to get on page 1. What are your thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author javarog
    I use redirects from time to time but mostly not. My main concern is businesses doing print ads because it makes it a easier sale with relatively little objections of associated costs building a mobile site while maintaining a nice monthly fee.

    If qr codes are positioned in the correct places and have relevant content then the redirects really become secondary.
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    Don is right about mobile directories. I just got back from a visit and the guy asked me if his site would go into any directories or how would people get to the site. He liked the mobile demo.

    I paused and then thought of something. I said 'Do you have a relationship with the Holiday Inn up the hill?' He said yes, he knew the GM. I told him I would approach the guy and ask him if we could create their in-room TV Guides and put local businesses on the card.

    His eyes lit up because he made the connection. I told him we could put a link on his mobile site to a Flickr account if someone wanted to have a virtual tour of the restaurant and food. We could put up a discount only for Holiday Inn customers, their menu, the phone number and directions. That got him excited.

    Oh, and so far, the bars and restaurants I've approached tell me they are getting inundated with calls from national companies trying to sell them SMS.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Hogwash on the BIG Boys trying to glomp onto local biz.

      When I show a biz owner HOW...I can get HIS "Mobile Web Page" in "The NOSE" of a "Tourist looking for a place to eat"....their eyes gloss over and they give me their money!

      Don Alm....done IT and still doin' IT!

      Extra: Today is the day b4 Turkey Day, 2011, 4:30pm as I'm writing this....and I just came from visiting THREE restaurant owners (since 1:30pm)...and ALL 3 GLADLY forked over moolah (one guy CASHOREENO)
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  • Profile picture of the author Scitknot9
    I have a QR Code on the back of my biz card with the words 'scan me', nothing else. I have noticed that just having those words on there starts people asking questions about how to scan the code (if they don't already know) which then progresses on to how they can be used and then onto mobile sites, SMS etc. It's a great talking point and gets prospects on the subject of mobile marketing! The code is high res and is about an inch square so easy to scan.

    It takes users to a mobile optimised squeeze page which gives a little info about my company and a contact form! It seems to be working ok so far!

    Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author syncjam
      Originally Posted by Scitknot9 View Post

      I have a QR Code on the back of my biz card with the words 'scan me', nothing else. I have noticed that just having those words on there starts people asking questions about how to scan the code (if they don't already know) which then progresses on to how they can be used and then onto mobile sites, SMS etc. It's a great talking point and gets prospects on the subject of mobile marketing! The code is high res and is about an inch square so easy to scan.

      It takes users to a mobile optimised squeeze page which gives a little info about my company and a contact form! It seems to be working ok so far!

      Scott
      Good idea! That's what I have also. But in small print I show where users can get a QR scan App. Just in case someone grabs my card and I'mnot there to explain what it means.
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      • Profile picture of the author rlhurst
        Why not put the code on the FRONT of your card? That's what I had done. Plus, you can get a custom designed one to match your color scheme... and... it shows off another example of your list of services.
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        • Profile picture of the author syncjam
          Originally Posted by rlhurst View Post

          Why not put the code on the FRONT of your card? That's what I had done. Plus, you can get a custom designed one to match your color scheme... and... it shows off another example of your list of services.

          Funny, that was my original design! I felt it crowded out the front too much, though. And at $10 per 1000 I can always change it back if I want to!
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