Oct 29, 2010

Fast List Signups on Mobile Devices with QR Codes

An example of a signup form QR Code

QR codes, those strange siblings of UPC codes, are starting to gain some mass appeal as more and more people buy smart phones with cameras and apps smart enough to read them. QR codes store information like a web page location that is unlocked when scanned using one of the many free or cheap apps for iPhone, Android, and other mobile platforms. They’ve been making frequent appearances on movie posters, such as the one below for Iron Man 2, which points people to a companion website containing the trailer, and lots of bonus content. It’s sort of a little reward for those curious enough to explore.

Iron Man 2

QR codes aren’t just for movie posters. How about posting one at your next event or at your business
pointing your customers to your mailing list signup form? Now that would be fancy indeed! Creating a QR code is
a piece of cake. Here’s how to set things up:

  1. First, grab your signup form URL from MailChimp in Lists > Forms. You’ll find the signup form URL just under the forms/emails menu as shown below.

    Signup form URL
  2. Now use Bit.ly, a popular URL shortener, to create the QR code. Just paste your signup form URL into Bit.ly and click the "shorten" button.
  3. Bit.ly can convert any of its shortened URLs into a QR code just by adding .qrcode to the end. Paste your signup form URL into the browser, append .qrcode to the end then press enter (example: http://bit.ly/9Gcm68.qrcode). Viola! A QR code pointing to your signup form is born!

Now you can print the code, or save the image and drop it into a sign or poster you hang anywhere your customers will see it. Scanning a QR code with a mobile device is a lot easier than typing in a convoluted URL. Fancy pants indeed!