8 Features and Capabilities to Look for in a QR Code Generator

Amber
8 min readJun 29, 2023

There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Just imagine the number of technologies at your disposal! A few decades ago, all you could do as a marketer was write an ad and give it in a newspaper or magazine. Those with higher budgets could reach TV ads.

About a decade ago, the internet became the go-to marketing channel and SEO and Google Ads were on the lips of every marker.

Fast forward to 2023, and the possibilities are endless. Metaverse, shoppable TV ads, Virtual Reality, and the list of marketing opportunities don’t end.

Of these, QR codes have slowly, without making much noise, become one of the biggest marketing innovations of the 21st. Just imagine being able to open a website by simply opening your camera — no need to manually type the URL.

And that’s just one of many applications of QR codes in marketing. You can use QR codes to share information PDFs, app download links, product information, digital business cards, and the list is endless.

However, if you want to truly leverage QR codes for marketing and user engagement, your QR code generator will play a vital role in it.

But with so many QR code platforms in the market, how do you select the right one? I’ve got you covered.

Unlike other “Top Solutions” lists where vendors promote their products in the name of providing an unbiased list of the best platforms, I’ll tell you what to look for in a QR code platform and choose the right one.

Based on this checklist, you can review the QR code platforms available in the market and select the one that best fits your requirements.

And if you want me to try all platforms and post a detailed review of each, let me know in the comments.

That said, let’s delve in.

Static and dynamic QR codes

Though obvious, the first thing to look for in a QR code platform is the ability to generate dynamic QR codes.

Here is a quick trivia if you’re new to QR codes. They’re of two types: static and dynamic. In a static QR code, the alphanumeric data is embedded directly into the QR code. Hence, you can edit static QR codes or view their analytics.

On the other hand, dynamic QR codes can be edited, and you can also view their analytics. Hence, they’re better suited for marketing campaigns where you need to track conversions.

Both static and dynamic QR codes have their set of uses, so always go for a QR code generator that helps you generate both static and dynamic QR codes.

Basic customization

Modern-day marketing is a lot about graphics and visuals. Brands that can successfully stimulate the visual senses of consumers will always have the upper hand. Check out the marketing campaigns of brands like Casper, Headspace, Dropbox, and Sonox, and you’ll understand what I’m saying.

QR codes, by design, are black and white, square-shaped. But many tools now allow you to change the color and even the shape of QR codes.

Hence, you can now ditch the boring B&W QR codes and design QR codes that grab eyeballs, align with your brand, and engage users.

Let me demonstrate this right now.

Pick a random brand, let’s say, Shell. Here’s what the Shell logo looks like.

After researching, I found that the red and yellow in the Shell logo are Pigment Red (#ED1C24) and Cyber Yellow (#FFD500).

I’ll use these colors to create a logo. Let’s pick a circle for the image to make the QR code more aesthetic.

And I’ll also put the Shell logo in the middle of the QR code.

Implementing all these, here’s what I came up with.

If you’re wondering, I created this with a QR code generator called QRCodeChimp. This is not a promotion. You can use one of many QR code platforms available in the market.

See what customization can do to a QR code?

Now, the customization features can vary from platform to platform. Some solutions will have basic design options like choosing the QR code’s color, whereas others will allow you to change the QR shape, add stickers, and more.

The amount of customization you need will depend on your preferences. But it’s important to go for a QR code generator that offers at least some basic customization options, like changing the color and adding a logo. The more, the better.

Real-time analytics and tracking

Remember we discussed in the first section that you could view the analytics of dynamic QR codes?

QR codes are a serious marketing tool because of their tracking capabilities.

Let’s say a brand puts up a billboard to promote its new product. How would the marketing team know how many people actually saw the billboard and took action? There’s no foolproof way to measure the effectiveness of the billboard.

Now, imagine having the same billboard but with a dynamic QR code taking people to the product page.

This has two colossal benefits.

1. User experience is drastically improved, as they can simply scan the QR code to buy the product.

2. When someone scans the QR code, it gets registered in your QR code platform’s dashboard.

From there, you can see how many people scanned your QR code and measure the performance of the billboard.

Therefore, it’s absolutely critical to select a QR code platform with a comprehensive, intuitive, and simplified dashboard.

Moreover, some platforms provide more data than others. With some providers, you’ll only get the scan number and location, whereas some advanced solutions also give you device information, unique vs. total scans, and browser information.

Certain providers even allow integration with Google Analytics to help you integrate the QR code data with your overall marketing strategy.

Depending on your requirements, you may or may not need all these features. So, consider them when looking for a QR code platform.

Bulk QR code creation

If your requirement is a couple of QR codes, then you don’t need to be too considerate about this feature. But if you want to create QR codes at scale, you need to find a QR code generator with bulk QR code creation features.

Bulk creation allows you to create tens, hundreds, and even thousands of QR codes at once. You need to enter the QR code data in an Excel sheet and upload it to the QR platform’s bulk creation module and initiate the bulk creation.

However, it’s vital to look for providers that offer an easy-to-use bulk creation module with a minimal learning curve. This way, people outside the tech team will also be able to seamlessly generate QR codes in bulk.

Collaboration and access management features

Sharing access to QR codes and setting permissions are important features to look for in a QR code management platform.

If you’re managing QR code campaigns for a client, these capabilities will allow you to share QR codes with them for seamless collaboration. You should also be able to share QR codes with your team and manage their access (editing, viewing, etc.).

Two collaboration features to look for in any QR code platform are folders and subaccounts.

The folders feature enables you to organize QR codes in different platforms, set access permissions for each, and view collective analytics of QR codes in a platform.

The subaccounts feature allows you to add users and give them view or edit access. It’s a must-have for teams that want multiple users to access and manage QR codes in an account.

Support for various QR code types

New applications of QR codes are emerging every other day. Apart from sending users to a website, you can point them to app download links, PDF files, digital business cards, presentations, gamification experiences, and more.

Therefore, selecting a QR platform that allows you to create various types of QR codes is essential.

Now, some vendors offer more QR code types than others, and you may not necessarily need them all. However, here are some QR code types to look for in a QR code vendor.

  • URL QR code
  • PDF to QR code
  • Digital business card/QR code business card
  • Coupon QR code
  • Social media QR code
  • Location QR code
  • App download QR code
  • Menu QR code

Overall, ensure that your QR code provider supports all the essential QR code types.

QR codes with landing pages (digital business cards, app download, etc.)

QR codes are a robust tool for marketing and lead generation. You can use them in your advertising materials to bring people to landing pages and capture leads.

However, certain QR code types even allow you to create a landing page with the QR code. This way, you don’t have to separately invest time and effort in creating a landing page.

Many QR code platforms have a no-code landing page builder that allows you to create a custom landing page without any technical know-how. Thus, users will land on the landing page upon scanning the QR code. This gives you more control over how users interact with your brand.

Some QR code types for which you can have a landing page are:

  • Digital business card
  • Pet ID tag
  • Image/PDF gallery
  • Coupon QR code
  • Menu QR code

Depending on the vendor, you’ll get more or less page-type QR codes. So, the one you choose will depend on your specific requirements.

Branding and white labeling

If used correctly, QR codes can be a strong branding tool. By adding a logo to your QR code, you can make it a branding asset that boosts brand recall and engagement.

Hence, go for a QR code platform that allows you to add a logo to your QR code.

White labeling is another crucial feature to look for in a QR code platform, especially if ensuring brand consistency is your priority. With white labeling, you can replace the QR code vendor’s URL with your company’s domain, resulting in consistent branding.

Therefore, the platform you choose should support domain white labeling.

Conclusion

Overall, there are many QR code platforms in the market, and you can choose anyone you like based on your requirements.

But to identify which platforms are better than others, you must know what to look for in a QR code solution. In this article, I’ve tried to break down all the factors you need to consider to select the best QR code generator for your business and personal use.

Now, you have a complete checklist that you can follow to sort and filter QR code platforms in the market.

Did I miss anything? Do let me know in the comments.

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