QR codes for Business Cards – good idea or bad?

QR codes are popping up everywhere, and I have been asked several times about their use on Business Cards. Does a QR code belong there?

Here’s a few points to consider:

1) Is it relevant to your business? If you are selling to a tecy-savvy market, or maybe the packaging industry, then it can be used to show that you and your company are at the leading edge of the latest technology.

2) Can you integrate it into your card design so that it blends in? Think about using a color to match your logo or corporate color. Or a more attractive “custom” code can integrate graphical element.

3) Do your employees understand it? If the person carrying the card can’t explain the reason for the QR, or how to use it, the idea could backfire.

4) Where does the QR code take you? Some options are your company or personal LinkedIn page; a welcome page on your website; or if you want to go crazy, a custom “it was nice to meet you” page on your website, with some useful links for the visitor. I’d avoid your standard homepage, for fear of disappointing the user.

There are many pros and cons. I’ve just started using a QR code on the back of our cards for sales people, which goes to a “social media” page that has our Twitter feed and Youtube videos – it’s too early to say if it’s been successful yet!

QR Code on back of Business Card

What’s your experience?


Published by Steve Cummins

Marketing leader; B2B marketing professional with global experience, specializing in technology products; Digital marketing enthusiast. Opinions are my own.

5 thoughts on “QR codes for Business Cards – good idea or bad?

  1. Steve – Nice article. You forgot one important thing – since space is a premium on business cards and you don’t want to look too crowded, plan on using a URL shortener if your website has even moderate length so that you can make the code smaller and cleaner to read. I like your use of the code to a social media page.

  2. Hi,

    I am new to QR codes. I put my company name, name, phone, email, website and Facebook business info on a QR code, which I’m testing to add to the back of my business cards. When it is scanned, all the info comes up, but none of it is a clickable link to the sources listed, unless you email to yourself. I used quirify to create it. Am I doing something wrong? Oh, and I do not own a smart phone or hand held device that scans. A friend did it, and she never used this feature of her phone before either, so are we missing steps?

    1. Hi Melanie,
      I’m glad you’re trying to use QR codes. You’ll find that there’s “art” not just science involved with creating and using QR codes. One of the issues is that each smartphone, and each QR Reader app on the smartphone, may read the QR code differently.

      Try using a QR generator that can create a “Vcard” format, which is intended exactly for your purpose – an electronic business card.

      For example, at http://www.qrstuff.com, choose the “Contact Details – VCARD” option and select the “Link to VCF file for download” button. This should then allow a phone number or website to be clickable.

  3. We typically suggest directing the QR code’s url to a vCard. Another great use is to direct it to a business card specific url. (www.yoururl.com/greattomeetyou.html) This way you can alter that page with relevant information dynamically.

    To package QR codes together for all users we combine the option to use SMS text. This is just in case they don’t have a smart phone or a QR reader.

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