Can QR codes enhance my attorney marketing?

If you look at any recent magazine, you will notice that many of the advertisements contain black-and-white patterned squares. You may know that these designs are quick response codes or QR codes, a technology developed by Toyota in 1994. QR codes are similar to bar codes and contain digital information that can be scanned and read with a cell phone's camera or bar code reader. While bar codes are used to provide pricing information and are limited to 20 characters, QR codes can contain thousands of characters' worth of information. The QR codes in advertisements often direct consumers to websites where they can find coupons, recipes or more information.

QR codes can be used to:

  • Give any type of information in text form

  • Mark events in a calendar

  • Add contact information to a cell phone

  • Create an email

  • Dial a phone number

  • Provide directions to a geo-location

  • Text message

  • Direct the reader to a URL

  • Provide Wi-Fi access

  • Share a Vizibility profile

QR codes aren't just for advertisements. They are used on business cards (to quickly add contact information to cell phones), product packaging, museum displays, and t-shirt tags. I recently spoke to a personal injury attorney who was considering adding QR codes to his newsletter.

It's too soon to know if QR codes are the next new thing in attorney marketing, but use of QR codes is growing. A year ago, only 1% of Americans used QR codes. Now that rate is 5%; that's about 15 million users.

While QR codes aren't going to replace your law firm marketing efforts, they can be an inexpensive, creative way to draw traffic to your law firm website. The attorney who was considering adding QR codes to his newsletter had the right idea. A QR code could be added at the end of a newsletter piece to refer the reader to a practice area page or an in-depth article on the same topic on the attorney's website.

QR codes are free through Google's URL shortener or a number of Google apps. You simply type in the URL, and Google generates a QR code. You can copy the QR code and paste it right into your newsletter. Easy.

Great Legal Marketing keeps you informed on the latest trends in attorney marketing. To learn more, contact Great Legal Marketing at 703-591-9829.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.