Wrong QR code vs Good QR code

Lack of analytics

Including analytics is crucial when generating a QR code. Because QR codes are usually used in a marketing context, it is important that we track as many metrics as we can. We need to know if the QR is doing the best it can for us. Otherwise, we’d be wasting valuable resources.

One way to include analytics is to embed Google Tag manager into your landing page. Once that is done, you have to add UTM tags to the URL as a query string. You could add a utm_source and utm_medium to track the QR code.

If the previous sounds too complicated, we have good news for you. We have been working on a QR code generator that would do it all for you. If you generated the QR code using our Dynamic QR code generator, you could see many statistics like the device types, location of the users, number of visits and more. It is all free of charge using our platform.

Not using a dynamic link

One of the most frustrating mistakes many people make when they generate their barcode for the first time is that they directly point the QR code to their website. This is a problem because your website might change and your code would be already printed and pointing to the wrong place.

The best way to solve this problem is creating a short link like Google Shortener or Bitly. After generating a link, you can create a QR code pointing to that link. You can print that QR code safely, and if your website ever changes, you just need to log in to your URL shortener provider and change it.

As an alternative, we would like to offer our Dynamic QR codes. They are super fast and you can even design mobile optimised landing pages for your QR codes.

Too much data

If your URL or data is too long, the QR code will be really big. One consequence of this is that it would have to be printed at a bigger scale, and if it ever get’s damaged, it is more likely that people would not be able to scan it.

The main advantage of reducing the data is that you’d save a ton of space in the QR code. That space that you would save by reducing the data would be better used with a good frame calling the user to action. There are many frames and ways to increase the effectiveness of a QR code.

So… the quick tip is to use a Dynamic QR code generator that uses a URL shortener. This way the QR code will be as small as it can be. If you are in the search for a QR code generator, we have created one that you can totally use.

Too much data vs normal QR code
Too much data is a common mistake

Printing too small

When the code is too small, we have a similar problem than when we include too much data. The code is vulnerable to damage and your customers would have a harder time trying to scan it. We can not afford letting customers down when they made the effort of scanning the QR code for us.

QR codes should have a size so that customers can scan it from a reasonable distance, which depends on your medium.


  • If the code is meant to be displayed in a bus, the QR code should be big enough so that people walking on sidewalk could scan it.
  • If the code was to be printed in a book, it should be big enough so that a standard phone could read it from about 20cm. The QR code should be about 3cm x 3cm.

Therefore, the trick is to prevent this problem is to ensure that the code is readable at a reasonable distance. If you have doubts, compare your code with other products that already use QR codes.

Small code vs normal
Avoid making your QR code too small

Not calling to action

It is critical to call the user to action! Most customers have already seen QR codes and they know how they work. However, it is very likely that they don’t know what is behind your QR code. Many QR codes lead nowhere or become even dangerous.

Therefore, you need to let your users know what is behind the QR code. And you must ensure that they understand what they’d be missing out if they don’t scan the barcode.

There are hundreds of ways to bait the user into scanning the QR code. Marketing is a field that deeply explores these oportunities. QR codes are just another marketing tool, and it should be used in company of other marketing ideas.

To ilustrate this, there are some common CTAs (Calls to actions):

  • “Collect your reward”
  • “Give your feedback”
  • “Buy now”
  • “Download now”
  • “Listen for free”
  • “Watch for free”
Add a clear Call To Action

Remember, QR codes are just another marketing tool, and we have to use it with a good Call To Action. The user will respond scanning the QR code.

Not testing the QR code

Finally, it is extremely important that we test the QR code before publishing it. This rule applies to most things in life, and it a good practice to get used to. However, we have seen many products that are already comertialised, but the QR code in their packaging is leading users to a broken page.

To prevent this problem, test your QR code multiple times and with multiple devices:

  • Test on iOS
  • Test on Android
  • Test before printing
  • Test after printing
  • Test after prototype
  • Test after production

You should test it before printing and once you have created a prototype of your product. Then once again after the production starts, because it is possible that the QR code is not printed correctly during the production phase.

Being lazy or forgetting to test the QR code are common mistakes that can cost you the entire campaign. Please, test your QR codes!

Helping you

We are a bunch of people passionate about technology and QR codes. If you have any questions, please let us know at [email protected] and we will help you deliver great products and campaigns!

If you are struggling, we’d love to suggest trying our Dynamic QR Code generator. We have put a lot of effort into creating a neat experience that would solve most of your problems regarding QR codes.

We are very excited because we have been accepted as an Alpha Startup in the Web Summit Lisbon 2019!

This means that we are currently preparing for the event, and as part of our preparation, we learned a few things that could be useful to other people attending this or future events.

1. update Company profiles in mayor sites

As part of your application, you might be asked to provide the URL to some of the most relevant company directories around the internet. It is a good idea to have them all updated and ready for investors and other visitors to see.

The most important platforms to update are:

2. complete your profile early

Ensure you don’t miss the deadline to complete your company profile. They need this information to print the Exhibition board, and if you don’t provide it on time, your company might not receive the exhibition board or even be assigned a spot to exhibit your product.

Web Summit 2019 Exhibition board for Wisertag
Web Summit 2019 Exhibition board for Wisertag

3. Record a demo video

An image is worth a thousand words, and a video even more. If you have a product, it would be a great idea to prepare a small demo video to show potential investors, visitors and anyone interested.

One of the advantages is that you could potentially present the demo video to the Machine Demo contest. You can present the product in stage and get some healthy (or unhealthy but useful) feedback.

  • Shorter than 1:30 minutes
  • Very quick introduction to problem
  • Clearly demonstrate the user solving the problem using your product
  • Close with a link to your website or email to learn more
  • Upload it to YouTube (you could start a YouTube channel if you don’t have one).
  • Upload it to Vimeo
  • Apply to the Web Summit Machine Demo contest

4. Prepare your pitch

Preparing the elevator pitch is critical, and quite a challenge for most people. I am by no means an expert on this topic, but it’s always simpler to give advice than to apply it to yourself.

  • Read the Web Summit tips
  • Shorter than 60 seconds
  • Start with a hook line. It should be something that intrigues the listener. Look for clickbait inspirations like the title of this article ;).
  • Write a simple deck with notes to clear your thoughts.
  • Record yourself doing the speach as many times necessary. Many things that we write down don’t really make sense when we say them outloud. Practicing speaking is critical.
  • This elevator pitch would be a great tool in your toolbelt anytime you meet someone interested in the product.
  • Apply to the Web Summit PITCH contest

5. Prepare something catchy to give away at the event

People love freebies, and that is a great oportunity to spread your word. You should come up with an interesting idea to give away!

  • Look for something cheap and interesting. This way you could give more, without bankrupting your company.
  • It should be catchy. People would love it if it catch their eye.
  • Think about that ahead of time, because time passes quickly. Otherwise, the day of the event will come, and you will not have time to prepare anything.
  • Think about the necessities of a crowd of 80000 people in a technology event. I bet people will have battery shortage, so giving away USB chargers could be amazing to attract the crowd. Candies and ice cream always work too :).

Good luck!

We look forward to meeting you all at the event!

Wisertag Team.

Wisertag - NFC Ready

We are passionate about NFC and the possibilities of this technology. For this reason, we are working hard to deliver Connected Things solutions that would increase our engagement with mundane things.

Our mission is to connect things with people, from a houseplant to a high cuisine dinner plate. We ultimately want to people to love the things they owe and interact with.

The product of our choice for most applications is NTAG 213. It is a beatiful NFC chip that has enough memory to store a simple NDEF URL pointing to a web application. Combined with a barcode, it allows everyone to connect with the thing in question.

We are here to solve any NFC related questions you may have! Please get in touch with us!