Quick response codes (QR codes) are two-dimensional codes capable of holding thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. They are similar to one-dimensional bar codes, except they can hold a lot more information.
By scanning one of these codes with your iPhone, Android or any other camera-enabled smart phone, you can access digital content on the Web, activate an email, IM or other type of message, or connect your mobile device to a web browser. QR readers are standard features now on many smart phones, but there are several free apps if you need to download one.
This technology, developed and popularized in Japan, has been around for about 15 years but is only now becoming popular in the US. Real estate agents are one of the most aggressive early adopters of the technology in the US, placing QR codes on For Sale signs and flyers, for example, to take the viewer on a video walk-through of a property.
Here are few ways insurance agents can use QR codes:
- Put one on your business card. Create a short video about yourself, your agency, your service philosophy or offer to provide a quote … or anything else.
- Use it with direct marketing pieces. Point out the QR code and say, “See how much you can save on auto insurance.” When you use it on a postcard, you can overcome the limited amount of print real estate available by taking viewers to your website, where they can find out more.
- Use it on your next newsletter to send readers to your website for a special announcement, such as an upcoming webinar or a video presentation from the president of the agency. Maybe he wants to announce the agency’s 25th anniversary, announce the acquisition of another agency or let people know that the agency now has someone on staff who specializes in annuities and financial planning.
- Be creative. Put your website’s QR code alongside your logo the next time your print your company t-shirts or mugs.
There are several websites that will create QR codes for you free of charge. Here’s the one I used for the QR code you see here: http://azonmedia.com/qrcode-generator
Try it yourself. It’s fun and people who use QR codes in their advertising claim they get much better than average response.