So your church wants a direct and quick response from a program flier it has created and distributed to the community? You wait for the recipients to read your URL, go to their computer and find your site. However, chances are, many will forget. Solution: QR codes. QR codes are an excellent way to connect print with mobile media and generate an immediate and measurable response. More than 35 percent of Americans own a smartphone; this is a great incentive to use this technology for effective marketing.
What is a QR code?
QR (Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that you can scan or read with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled smartphone. With a simple free app, anyone can scan a QR and link to whatever is attached to the code.
Getting one is easy
A church can get a QR code from a QR generator online (like Kaywa) and decide where to connect it. When you request a QR code, the site will ask where you want the user to go. Simply put in the address. Then save the QR code graphic to place in your ad, bulletin, prayer journal or newsletter.
Use a QR code to link to digital content on the web or to activate phone functions, such as email, instant messaging and short message service. Churches can use QR codes to link to special events – conferences, retreats, outreach and community happenings. Potential visitors will feel more comfortable when they know what to expect upon their first visit. Connect them to digital content that welcomes them and shares something about your church. As new people begin to connect to different ministries, use QR codes to help them learn, call, text or otherwise participate in the life of the church. Praying is one of the most powerful things we can do. With a QR code in the bulletin or on the bulletin board, a church can connect people to its prayer chain.
In the community
QR codes can make the programs of the church more accessible for the church family and reach people in the community as well. Put a QR code on any marketing materials you create, signage at the church, VBS registration or anywhere else you want someone to find more information or engage in programming. The individual can use a QR code reader app like i-nigma or Qrafter (iPad) to scan the code with their camera and access the “call to action” you created. People can get directions easily, see the website, watch the latest sermon and find other valuable information.
Beauty is timeless
Many in our churches are aging. With age can come wisdom. Wisdom might suggest that using technology like QR codes will connect with the younger generation. They are hungry for God in their life and have a tendency to gravitate to newer technologies.
Artistic and beyond
An interesting fact about QR codes is that they have a 30 percent tolerance in readability. If you have creative people in your church, you can have fun with clever designs. Several services like QR Arts will create design-specific QR codes for you. Even beyond QR codes, some companies like Digimarc work with watermarks you can embed subtly in your publications or art. Just as your smartphone app can read a QR code, this app will read the watermark and link you to digital content without the digital code look.