QR codes are turning up everywhere these days – on postcards, websites, magazines, television, and even billboards.  The technology is a few years old now, but the fitness industry tends to be a few years behind, so it is perfect timing for you to implement this marketing strategy.

What is a QR Code?

QR stands for Quick Response, and it is essentially a barcode that you can place on all of your advertising that will send people to a destination of your choosing (Facebook page, Youtube video, your website, etc). Your prospect will need to have a smartphone and have downloaded a QR reader app.  Most smartphone users have a QR code app on their device.

Why Use QR Codes?

Last month alone, over 15 million U.S. mobile phone users scanned a QR code.  Most of the users were between the ages of 25 and 44 and a high percentage of these people earned over $100k/year.  Not only does your ideal target market use QR codes, they are also very easy to implement into your current marketing strategies.

As popular as QR codes are and how many businesses worldwide are using them, most fitness businesses have been reluctant to incorporate them into their marketing. Probably the main reason clubs haven’t adopted this strategy is simply lack of understanding of how it will benefit their business.

How to Create Your QR Code

You can simply do a Google search on your computer for “QR code generator”.  My favorite, and the one that created the QR code within this post, can be found at www.youscan.me.  The code was created in less than 20 seconds.  It simply asks what you want to happen when someone scans your code.  Then it gives you a QR code you can download, print, email, add to your website, print ads, etc.

How to Scan a QR Code

Even if you’re not familiar yourself with how it works, the majority of your prospects do.  It doesn’t hurt for you to understand the process though. Grab your smart phone right now.  If you have an iphone, download the free app “Qrafter”.  If you have an Android phone, download the free app “Zxing”.  If you have a Blackberry, download the free app “QR Scanner Pro”. If you have a Nokia, download the free app “Mbarcode”.  If you have something else, I assume it won’t be hard to search “QR Code” in your app store and you’ll find one you can use.

Now that you have the app loaded, open the app to the scanner and hold your phone up to the computer screen right now to scan the QR code to the right.  When you go to the URL, you’ll notice what pops up is a link to a Facebook Fan page.  Click the LIKE Button to see what happens.  What should happen is that you have successfully become a fan of this blog and the Fit Biz TV show (as long as you’re logged into Facebook).  You can do the exact same thing!

In addition to getting people to like your Facebook page, you could have the QR code link to a Google map to your facility, a video introduction of you and your services, your website, opt in forms to get a free report or your newsletter, a printable trial pass, a coupon or any number of things.

Here are some things to remember when using QR Codes

Try to incorporate them into all of your marketing, including both print and digital.  Put them on your website, your direct mail, your business cards, gift cards, fliers, brochures, in the window of your gym, on your vehicle, billboards, on t-shirts, and more.

Give people a reason to scan your QR code.  Offer a discount, a free trial pass, a free weight loss report, to enter a contest, to watch a video tour of your club, or anything else you would normally promote.

Also, it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway…Make sure you test your QR code before you begin promoting it.  Make sure it is tested on all smartphones.

Even if you aren’t personally interested in QR codes, your prospects and members are.  It’s not about what you want; it’s about what your audience wants.

Follow these basic rules and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing the effectiveness of your QR code and driving new leads to your business with the latest technology.

Have you used QR Codes effectively?  Do you have any questions?  Be sure to let me know below…