Joe Pulizzi, a writer at Contracting Business, wrote an interesting post this morning, looking at possible uses that contractors might have for QR codes.

Not sure what QR codes are? Chances are you’ve seen one. They’re the square, bar code-looking things that are meant to be quick directs for smartphone users. The image can be embedded with a bunch of different information – URLs, telephone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, Google maps locations and a lot more – and users just have to take a quick picture of it with a common barcode scanning app and the information is automatically stored in the phone.

There’s one embedded in this story that will take you a signup page for The SmartVan’s newsletter. Which you should absolutely sign up for.

Though adoption of QR codes has been growing, it’s still not a common, pervasive technology. But some interesting uses have been popping up: New York City starting putting them on all building permits, so New Yorkers can scan them and see what’s being built. Also, Nissan has started to put QR codes on the windows of all its new cars, so potential buyers can instantly get more information about the car they’re looking at.

Pulizzi suggests that QR codes are an effective way for contractors to spread the word about their business, and – like the New York and Nissan uses above – provide lots of instant information to people who may be thinking about hiring a contractor, or who need to choose between several contractors for a service. Here are his suggestions:

  1. Put a QR code on your business card.
  2. QR code on your trucks that takes customers to a special discount page.
  3. Use a specific QR code in every piece of print material you have. Not only can a QR code provide an incentive for action, but you can track the effectiveness of individual ads.
  4. QR codes on all outdoor signage (except for billboards).
  5. QR codes in your direct mail or door hangers.

The problem with QR codes is that it’s tough to say if they will ever break in to the mainstream. Regardless, they’re a great way of leaving behind an incredible set of information that you couldn’t do physically. How about putting a QR code linking to great Yelp reviews? Or a gallery of the best work you’ve done in the past. It’s easy to do and can be put on every piece of marketing material – and vans and trucks – that you have.

It’s one of those low-risk, high-reward things business owners should jump at.

ABOUT Corey Lewis

Avatar photoCorey Lewis is an experienced writer, editor, PR pro and marketer with a deep background in technology, social media, and internet tools and culture.