QR codes have gone a long way since their inception in 1994 as a solution to track car parts. They started as static QR codes that you couldn’t change after generating – like 1D barcodes but with way more space available.
Then, in the late 2000s, they became dynamic QR codes. Unlike static QR codes, the dynamic ones could be updated multiple times, even after being printed.
That’s the single innovation that changed everything and made QR codes unescapable. And believe us, we know a thing or two about dynamic QR codes: QR Code KIT was launched in 2009 as the first dynamic QR code generator ever. We were uQR.me back then.
In this guide, we’re gonna cover everything related to dynamic QR codes. From how they work to how to create dynamic QRs, customizing them, tracking their performances, the best tips for successful dynamic QR campaigns, and much more.
You’re in for a great ride. Let’s begin!
What is a QR code?
In case you’ve been on an interplanetary mission during the last 30 years or so, a QR code (Quick Response code) is a type of two-dimensional (2D) barcode that can be read easily by a digital device and stores information as a series of pixels in a square-shaped grid.
QR codes are frequently used to track information about products in a supply chain, and – because many smartphones have built-in QR readers – they are often used in marketing and advertising campaigns.
QR codes can store up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters, and if a high level of error correction is used, up to 30% of the image can be smudged and still be recognized.
QR codes are considered an advancement from older, uni-dimensional barcodes and were approved as an international standard in 2000 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
What is a dynamic QR code?
A dynamic QR code is a QR code that can be updated over time, changing its content and behavior when scanned by someone. A dynamic QR code can be edited as many times as needed, even after it’s been printed on tens of flyers, hundreds of business cards, or thousands of copies of a magazine.
To elaborate a bit on that, you might say that the QR code universe is broadly categorized into two: static QR codes and dynamic ones. While both serve the fundamental purpose of quick data access through scanning, their functionalities differ considerably.
A dynamic QR code, as the name suggests, is dynamic in nature. It allows marketers or users to modify the underlying content it points to without the need to regenerate or reprint the actual code.
This feature is particularly beneficial if you need to update information regularly. For instance, a restaurant could use the same QR code on its tables but update the linked digital menu daily, reflecting specials or changes.
In contrast, static QR codes, once generated, point to a fixed data set, be it a website URL, text, or other data type. Any changes to the content necessitate a new QR code generation.
How do dynamic QR codes work?
Dynamic QR codes work through redirections. Instead of directly encoding the information required, a dynamic QR code is generated with a unique URL inside: a short URL that, in turn, points to the desired resource or destination. The short URL never changes, while the content it points to can be swapped infinite times.
When a user scans a dynamic QR code, the scanner doesn’t directly access the end content like with a static QR code. Instead, it communicates with an intermediary server, which then redirects the scanner to the actual content or URL. This indirect process is what allows the content to be changed without altering the QR code itself.
Several benefits arise from this system. Let’s take a quick look at them.
Dynamic QR codes are editable
Dynamic QR codes can be edited even after printing, which makes them more useful and flexible than static QR codes.
If there’s a mistake in the linked content or if a promotion changes, users can swiftly modify the destination without the need for new print materials.
Dynamic QR codes can be tracked
Dynamic QR codes offer the ability to track QR code scans and performance, which is not possible with static QR codes.
Users can discover when, where, and how often a code was scanned, the type of mobile devices used, and even the geographical location of the scan. This data is invaluable in adjusting marketing strategies, understanding customer behaviors, and enhancing user experiences.
Dynamic QR codes are customizable
Dynamic QR codes are easy to customize. Users can adjust colors, insert a logo or an image, change the QR shape, and add frames with CTAs.
A custom QR code attracts up to 200% more traffic than a black-and-white static QR code.
Dynamic QR codes have more versatile features
Beyond just URL redirection, dynamic QR codes offer features like scan limits (limiting the number of scans for a particular campaign), password protection (restricting access to certain content), and expiration dates (making the QR code valid only for a specific duration).
In addition to that, dynamic QR code scans can be tracked with GPS location up to an approximation of 15 meters.
Dynamic QR codes are cost-effective
Dynamic QR codes are economical and can save money in marketing campaigns.
You don’t have to reprint paper materials if there’s a mistake in a URL or if something needs to be updated – which also makes dynamic QRs more environmentally sustainable.
In addition, a dynamic QR code can be recycled for multiple campaigns.
Dynamic QR codes are easy to integrate
Dynamic QR codes can seamlessly integrate with various software platforms, be it for e-commerce, CRM, or even social media.
This makes it easier to run diverse campaigns, from product promotions to event registrations.
Dynamic QR codes increase engagement
Dynamic QR codes can be used to retain customers and amplify customer engagement.
This capability allows marketers to create campaigns that are more engaging and interactive, which can increase customer loyalty and retention.
How to make dynamic QR codes
Unless you need your QR code to be set in stone forever – and why would you want that? – a dynamic QR code beats a static QR code any day of the week. But how do you create one for your purposes? There are a few simple steps to follow.
1. Select a dynamic QR code generator
This might be the most important thing to do.
We have a detailed guide about how to choose the best QR code generator for your needs. While we warmly recommend taking a look at it for further suggestions and tips, here are the main requirements that a good and reliable dynamic QR code generator should meet.
Several dynamic QR code types available
QR codes offer the versatility to connect to various digital media. Whether it’s linking to a standard URL, downloading a vCard or a file, showing a YouTube video, or providing directions to places, the options should be plenty and varied. After all, a QR code generator should cater to your needs, not vice versa.
QR codes designed for specific purposes are what we call QR code types. You can have a code type for web pages, a code type for SMS messages, a code type for app downloads, a code type for multiple links, a code for mobile landing pages, multi URL QR codes, smart QR codes, WhatsApp QR codes, etc.
On QR Code KIT, for instance, you have all these QR code types that you can choose from:
Connect your QR code to whatever URL destination.
Build your own optimized mobile landing pages or pages with rich content easily. No coding is needed.
The link-in-bio QR code type. A code to connect to all your social platforms and more.
The digital business card. Upon scanning the code, your info is added to the phone’s contacts.
Download any type of file when the QR code is scanned.
Digitally register people and manage access through the code.
A code that contains contactless versions of all your menus.
Get messages from leads and customers in your inbox.
Automatically open a WhatsApp conversation when the code is scanned.
Provide directions to reach places through the code.
Collect feedback from visitors and customers.
A code to show videos or connect to entire channels.
Collect payments and receive donations with a scan of a QR code.
Send people to the right store to download your mobile app.
Connect visitors with specific landing pages within your mobile app.
Automatically drive visitors to the version of your site in their language.
Give out discounts and vouchers easily with a code.
Collect contact info and provide rewards.
If you’re into stats, you can also discover what are the most popular QR code types.
Features to generate custom QR codes with logo
The best QR code generator offers customization features to enhance the visual appeal of your QR code. It allows you to modify the color palette, soften the edges, and even integrate your personal logo at the center of the code.
A full range of printing format options
The dynamic QR code generator you select should offer a range of export options, enhancing the versatility of how you utilize your QR codes. The ultimate goal is to have flawless quality when printing QR codes.
Analytics and reporting tools
Dynamic QR code statistics are a must-have for your QR code generator of choice.
The gathered data can clearly indicate the frequency, location, and target audience of your QR code scans, among other details. This information can also guide you in assessing if the call-to-action requires adjustments.
Even better if you have the opportunity to connect your QR codes with your Google Analytics account for enhanced metrics – exactly like QR Code KIT does.
Dynamic QR code safety and data protection
Ensure the QR code generator you’re evaluating employs a dedicated mechanism to identify both passive and active threats, potentially leveraging external cybersecurity services.
Additionally, it’s crucial for the generator to prioritize data security, such as adhering to GDPR standards – recognized globally for its stringent data protection measures.
For a deeper dive into this subject, refer to our detailed article on safe QR codes.
Team and content management
A top-tier QR code generator provides options for inviting multiple team members to collaborate and categorizing your QR codes into distinct folders, projects, or campaigns (the exact terminology varies by platform).
If you’re juggling several marketing initiatives, each with its unique QR codes, these organizational features can alleviate initial management challenges.
Custom domain option
A solid QR code generator will give you the opportunity to swap the default domain of your QR code short URLs with your own domain.
For instance, instead of qrcodekit.com/qrname, you might have qr.yourdomain.com/qrname.
QR code custom domains are ideal to strengthen the brand and reassure visitors.
Batch and bulk actions
If you plan on generating a large amount of dynamic QR codes, you will need this type of feature to create them, edit them, or download them all at once.
Going over 100s of digital business cards to change every single website URL individually if your company switches domains is something that you want to avoid.
The best dynamic QR code solution presents a variety of plans tailored to fit different budgets.
Usually, options range from free subscriptions with essential yet impactful features to comprehensive packages encompassing all the functionalities we’ve mentioned.
A good option to test all these features and more is to register for a 14-day free trial with QR Code KIT.
Highly recommended to cut through the noise and instantly get a comprehensive overview of what a top-tier QR code generator can do.
2. Set up your dynamic QR code
Once you’ve made your QR code generator choice, it’s time to finally create your dynamic QR code.
On QR Code KIT, the process is very streamlined and fast:
- Pick the QR code type that fits your needs.
- Fill in the required information. If it’s a Website QR code, you must enter the destination URL. If you are creating a vCard, you’ll have to include your name, email, phone number, job position, etc. If you chose a Google Maps QR, you need to provide the coordinates of the location, and so on. Since you are making a dynamic QR code, you can fix any typos later on or change the content if needed.
- Save your work.
You have finished! You can proceed to customize the appearance of your QR code or directly download it in the desired format – vector is better for printing, and raster is okay to show it on digital media.
A quick guide to making custom QR codes
We have mentioned how customizing a QR code can dramatically improve its performance. We have an amazing article about how to create custom QR codes that will help you succeed with your QR code campaigns.
To summarize it briefly, the options are as follows.
Adjusting the QR colors
Dynamic QR codes can be customized by varying their colors to align with your brand or personal taste.
Remember to always use darker foreground colors against a lighter background in order to keep the QR code perfectly readable.
Inserting a logo
Your logo in the center of your QR code is the best solution to foster trust in scanners.
Adding a logo to a dynamic QR code can help establish brand recall and make it more attractive and engaging. Just keep in mind that simple icons without text work best.
You can also use an image to make your QR code stand out.
You can alter the shape of the QR code elements, making them rounder of spikey.
This applies to the “dots” in the pattern of the QR and to the bigger squares in the corners, the so-called “eyes”. You can also edit them individually to obtain a more unique effect.
Adding a frame and a CTA
Adding a call-to-action (CTA) to a dynamic QR code explaining what visitors will get or encouraging people to scan will increase the traffic and improve overall results.
Using a frame for your QR code that incorporates the CTA is an even more elegant and effective way to achieve these goals.
Make sure that the custom QR code you have created is still readable by testing, testing, testing.
If you are using QR Code KIT, our system will tell you at every step whether the QR code can be still scanned efficiently.
Dynamic QR code campaign examples and inspiration
Dynamic QR codes have been at the heart of numerous successful campaigns across different industries. Their versatility and real-time adaptability have made them a favorite tool for marketers.
Here are a few instances that showcase their potential:
Restaurant digital menus
With the rise of contactless services, many restaurants have adopted dynamic QRs to provide digital menus. Customers can scan the code, view the menu on their smartphones, and sometimes even place an order directly.
A dynamic QR code on an event ticket can link to schedules, maps, or even last-minute changes, ensuring attendees always have updated information.
Retail product information
Retailers place QR codes on product labels. Scanning them can provide detailed product information, reviews, or even a virtual try-on for items like sunglasses or jewelry.
Some brands have integrated into their billboard advertisements. Scanning the code could lead to an interactive website, a promotional video, or a special discount.
Hospitals and clinics utilize dynamic QR codes for patient check-ins, providing a contactless method that can also convey real-time wait times or urgent notifications.
Institutions have embedded QRs in textbooks or study materials. Scanning them can redirect students to supplementary digital resources, videos, or interactive quizzes.
Real estate listings
Realtors use dynamic QR codes on ‘For Sale’ signs. Potential buyers can scan the code to view detailed property listings and virtual tours or even schedule a viewing.
Businesses integrate QR codes into their loyalty programs. Customers can scan to check their points, redeem rewards, or access exclusive promotions.
Travel and tourism
Tourist attractions and cities can use dynamic QR codes on informational boards or brochures.
When scanned, tourists could access multilingual guides, videos, and interactive maps to enrich their experience.
Fitness & wellbeing
Gyms and health clubs can place a QR code on exercise machines. Members can scan to watch tutorial videos, log their workouts, or even access personalized training programs.
Museums and galleries
Art pieces or exhibits can have QR codes beside them. Visitors can scan to delve deeper into the history, artist interviews, or augmented reality experiences related to the artwork.
Dynamic QR codes on bus stops or train stations can provide real-time schedule updates, delays, or alternative route suggestions.
Farmers can use a QR code on produce packaging. Consumers can scan to learn about the farm’s practices, the crop’s journey, or even recipes related to the produce.
Charity & nonprofits
Organizations can integrate QR codes into their fundraising campaigns. Donors can scan to watch testimonial videos, learn more about the cause, or make a direct donation.
Dynamic QR codes can be used in public spaces to report issues like broken equipment in parks, potholes, or street light outages. Citizens can scan, report the issue, and later check for updates on its resolution.
Workshops and training
Instructors can provide QR codes on training materials. Participants can scan to access supplementary materials, online resources, or feedback forms post-session.
Again, this is only an initial list: the possibilities are endless with dynamic QRs.
How to run successful marketing campaigns with dynamic QR codes
The strategic incorporation of dynamic QR codes can significantly elevate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
The real magic, however, lies in how these codes are used. Here’s a deep dive into strategies to harness their full potential.
Automate QR code campaigns
Integrate your dynamic codes with marketing automation tools.
For instance, a scanned code at an event booth can automatically trigger a follow-up email with more information about the product or service showcased.
Gather and act on analytics
The data collected from QR code scans can provide insights into user behavior, location, and preferences.
This information is instrumental in refining marketing strategies, segmenting audiences, and delivering targeted content.
Enhance experiential retail
Retailers can use QR codes to create immersive in-store experiences.
For instance, a QR code next to a product could launch an AR experience, allowing customers to visualize how a piece of furniture would look in their home.
Retain and engage customers
Use QR codes in post-purchase scenarios. A code on a product could link to user manuals, tutorial videos, or a platform to register the product and claim a warranty.
This not only enhances user experience but also provides avenues for upselling or cross-selling.
Implement timed promotions
Set expiration dates on your QR codes to run limited-time offers.
Scanning the code post-expiration could redirect users to a sign-up page for future promotions, ensuring you don’t lose out on potential leads.
Feedback and reviews
Place QR codes on receipts or product packages prompting users to provide feedback or write a review.
This not only aids in gathering user sentiments but can also help in online reputation management.
Geotargeting with dynamic QR codes
Use different content for QR codes based on the geographical location of the scan.
A brand could provide region-specific offers, information, or even language-specific content – this is easy with QR Code KIT’s multilingual QR code.
Remember, while dynamic QR codes are powerful, their effectiveness is amplified when aligned with a clear marketing strategy, objectives, audience understanding, and creative execution.
Common mistakes to avoid when creating a dynamic QR code campaign
When designing a dynamic QR code campaign, it’s crucial to sidestep typical pitfalls that can hinder the campaign’s effectiveness.
Beware of the following frequently made errors:
- Unclear purpose: Merely placing a QR code without explaining its significance can lead to poor user interaction.
- Wrong QR code type selection: Picking an unsuitable QR code type for your initiative may dampen engagement and outcomes.
- Subpar aesthetics: QR codes with lackluster designs might pose scanning challenges and deter users due to their unappealing look.
- Ambiguous directions: Failing to offer a straightforward call-to-action can impact user interaction and overall results.
- Excessive QR code usage: Bombarding users with too many QR codes might overwhelm them and tarnish your brand’s reputation.
- Foregoing QR code testing: Neglecting to verify the QR code’s functionality can introduce technical hitches and affect its efficacy.
- Neglecting performance analysis: Overlooking the assessment of QR code metrics might lead to overlooked chances to refine the initiative and boost its success.
Overall, avoiding these common mistakes can help businesses and marketers create successful dynamic QR code campaigns that enhance customer engagement and increase brand awareness.
We are entering a new age in the digital era. Augmented experiences are becoming the norm. The world is shapeshifting into a Metaverse. The global pressure for more transparent product information and circularity is increasing.
The need for tools that seamlessly connect our physical and virtual experiences is paramount.
As we look towards the future, the importance of dynamic QR codes, also beyond marketing, is set to amplify. The proliferation of smartphones, coupled with users’ growing comfort with QR code scanning, will only expand the horizons of their applications.
Businesses that can leverage dynamic QR codes more strategically, ensuring they add genuine value to the user experience, will undoubtedly stay ahead of the curve.
From manufacturing to retail, media to education, the applications of dynamic QR codes are diverse and transformative. Their ability to integrate seamlessly with various software platforms, coupled with their user-friendly generation process, makes them an essential tool for companies. With features like real-time content modification, in-depth analytics, and geotargeting, they offer a level of granularity and adaptability that few other solutions can match.
Given this backdrop, choosing the right platform for dynamic codes is essential. QR Code KIT emerges as the natural choice for several compelling reasons:
- It’s the most established dynamic QR code platform, pioneering the field since 2009.
- The platform boasts an impressive array of QR code types, including the unique dynamic email QR, an offering unparalleled in the industry.
- Its robust management utilities, such as multi-user capabilities, teams, batch, and bulk QR creation and management, ensure streamlined operations.
- With top-notch cybersecurity measures, SSO login, and stringent GDPR compliance, QR Code KIT guarantees an airtight safety environment for its users.
Embracing dynamic QR codes is no longer a mere trend but a strategic imperative, and with platforms like QR Code KIT, businesses are well-equipped to leverage their full potential.
Try QR Code KIT for 14 days and unlock the true potential of dynamic codes. Generate QR codes, manage them, and track analytics with advanced tools. No credit card is required.
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