QR codes are becoming increasingly popular. Brands and customers are starting to recognize the true value of fusing the physical and the digital.
To avoid QR code blunders and dead ends, it’s important to have a trusted solution in place. It’s imperative that your customers aren’t running into dead ends and that your organization is protected when using QR codes.
Creating QR codes in BL.INK
When the QR code add-on is enabled, BL.INK automatically generates a QR code for each link created. We’ll walk you through how to create a new link and download the QR code for that link.
Start by selecting your domain from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Then click New Link > Branded Link.
Enter the long URL in the first field. In the second field, BL.INK will generate a random keyword. To customize the keyword, highlight the characters and then type in your keyword.
For this example, we’ll use QR-test.
So the new link will be https://blink.news/QR-test To save the new link, click Save, in the upper right.
Now that the link has been created, we can download the QR code. BL.INK offers the QR code in PNG, EPS, or SVG formats. When you click on the link to your preferred file format, the QR code will automatically download to your computer.
The QR code will point to your short link.
Why is it important to use short links for QR codes?
Typically, QR codes are intended to be printed. Whether you’re using them on business cards, mailers, brochures, or product packaging, once the QR code has been printed, it’s around indefinitely – or at least until you run out of the printed materials.
But what happens if the destination changes? It’s costly to update packaging for an error or broken page, and can end up leading your customers to a dead end.
But, in BL.INK, everything can be edited. Since the QR code is tied to the short link, the destination can be changed at any time. It’s super easy to edit the link’s destination – and then you don’t have to worry about dead ends or unusable printed materials.
To edit the link in BL.INK, click on Links > My Links. Use the search and filter options to find your link and then click on the keyword.
This opens the Link Details page. In the upper right, click the pencil icon to edit your link. Enter your new destination and click Update to save your changes.
The short link stays the same, and the QR code stays the same– even if the final destination changes. This means that the QR code you have printed on potentially millions of items will not have to be reprinted.
Using QR codes with dynamic links
BL.INK offers dynamic links, which we’ll cover more in depth later, that allow you to route your customers to a different destination based on day, date, time, language, location, and/or device.
Coupled with QR codes, dynamic links are extremely powerful and flexible, returning the right content to the individual on the other side of the scan.
For example, if a customer in France scans the same QR code as a customer in the US, they’ll be taken to the correct destination according to the rules set in your dynamic links.
Or, you could set time-based rules, so that if one campaign ends, the QR code will now redirect to the new campaign, so that your user never hits a dead end.
Tracking and analytics for QR codes
Since BL.INK uses short links for the QR codes, the analytics are all available within the BL.INK dashboard. You can view analytics for a specific link or for a group of links.
We offer click (or scan) data for clicks by day, by hour, and by location down to the city level. BL.INK also offers device information – so you can easily tell which device a customer is using when they click your link or scan your QR code.
All of the BL.INK analytics are in real time and can be accessed from the BL.INK dashboard or via the API.
Supporting your brand’s guidelines
We believe that it’s important for our clients to showcase their own brand – not our brand. With BL.INK Enterprise QR codes, we offer the option to customize your QR codes with colors, logos, and styling to fit your branding guidelines.
Since QR codes are tied to short links, this offers another opportunity to showcase your brand. When a customer scans a QR code, they’ll immediately see the domain in the preview. It’s important that the domain matches their expectations so that they trust the link and click through.
When your customers see and recognize the link, they’re more likely to click through and view the content on the other side of the QR code, and they trust that the link is not shady or malicious. Using a branded domain helps to build and maintain your customers’ trust and boosts engagement with your links.
BL.INK QR codes are protected – and so are you!
The re-adoption of QR codes has landed many organizations in court due to patent violations around the technology. BL.INK is the only QR code system that is in full legal compliance with existing patents and our customers may use the technology without violating existing patents.