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Dynamic QR Codes 101: What they are and how to create, edit, and use them effectively
What is a dynamic QR Code? How can you create, edit, and use them effectively? Read this ultimate guide to learn how.
Last Updated:  December 3, 2021
“We print hundreds of thousands of flyers, brochures, etc., each year, and knowing that we have access to dynamic QR Codes means that we don’t have to worry about reprinting when our URLs change. Customer service has also been a real plus.”
A dynamic QR Code is a functional QR Code that has the flexibility to be edited even after its creation. This is because unlike static QR Codes, which have the information directly encoded, dynamic QR Codes follow a redirection mechanism.
Dynamic QR Codes are preferred over static ones as they offer QR scan tracking, online retargeting on Google and Facebook, and are faster to scan.
Why is a dynamic QR Code the preferred choice for digital-first businesses?
The 2020 pandemic changed the way consumers consume information. And, a brand’s digital presence is not a choice anymore. QR Codes have been instrumental in connecting the physical brand’s assets, such as stores, flyers, and products to digital experiences. But the question is, why is a dynamic QR Code and by that extension, a dynamic QR Code generator preferred. Is a static QR Code not good enough? The short answer is, no. Let’s understand why that is the case.
Benefit 1: Editable QR Codes keep your campaigns up-to-date
Think of a coffee packet with a dynamic QR Code. This QR Code can link to cold coffee recipes in the summer, steaming cappuccino & mocha recipes in the winter – not to forget – keeping up with the Dalgona coffee trend! Basically, a dynamic QR Code empowers you with flexibility. Starting with a static QR Code might be limiting as you scale up, but that’s not the case with dynamic QR Codes.
Benefit 2: Dynamic QR is faster to scan
Smooth CX is the key to loyal customers. Imagine if your consumer was struggling to scan your QR Code. She would not only miss out on the designed experience but also have an unpleasant experience with your brand.
Dynamic QR Codes, on the other hand, are shortened URLs converted into QR patterns. Given that the URL is short, the data patterns are not as dense as regular QR Codes. Scant data patterns make it easy for cameras and QR scanners to detect them. This not just makes your QR Codes look cleaner but also amplifies the consumer experience.
Benefit 3: A dynamic QR Code is trackable
QR Code is a call-to-action button on the physical world. And just like any other campaign, it’s essential to measure to improve them. The regular static QR Codes lack that capability. With dynamic QR Codes, you can track the scans, monitor user behavior, and know consumers better.
Here are 3 different ways to track dynamic QR Codes:
Head to the Beaconstac dashboard and check out the analytics for your dynamic QR Code. This is the easiest way to track scans and attribute numbers to certain GPS locations, devices, or even time slots.
You can also connect the Beaconstac dashboard with Google Analytics using our integration and understand your user’s demography and interests better.
Benefit 4: A dynamic QR Code makes future expansion a breeze
Static QR Codes are limiting. Once you add them to a packaging or marketing collateral, you cannot reuse them. That’s not ideal for growing businesses. You are launching new campaigns, announcing new stores, and testing new product positioning every month or even week.
Instead, if you use dynamic QR Codes, you can always upgrade your offering, location, contact details, and more to what’s most relevant.
4. Choose the QR Code type you want to create under the ‘Dynamic QR Code’ section.
5. Fill in all relevant information for the type of QR Code chosen.
6. Customize the QR Code by trying out different templates, eye-balls, brand logos, patterns, and more. Ensure excellent scannability and click on ‘Next’.
7. Save the QR Code and download it in your desired format, and use it wherever required.
Note: Test the code to ensure it leads to the correct destination before deploying it.
You can also watch this short video tutorial (<2 minutes) on how to create a dynamic QR Code:
How to edit or modify a dynamic QR Code once it’s created?
Dynamic QR Codes’ biggest advantage is that they can be updated even after their creation. And Beaconstac makes editing/modifying dynamic QR Codes a breeze.
Here’s how you can edit a dynamic QR Code –
1. Log in to Beaconstac’s dashboard and navigate to the ‘QR Codes’ list.
2. Click on ‘Edit’ next to the QR Code you want to edit/modify.
3. Update the contents for the existing QR Code.
4. Enter the new content that will be displayed upon scanning the QR Code and save it.
5. That’s it! You have successfully updated your QR Code and can redirect users to the new destination without having to reprint the code.
How do dynamic QR Codes work?
QR Codes are encoded versions of a URL or information. In a regular QR Code, the data is directly encoded into squares and dots and redirects straight to the destination URL upon scanning.
However, a dynamic QR Code works differently. Instead of pointing directly at the information, it points at a short URL. You can later decide where the short URL should redirect.
Best dynamic QR Code solution?
Choosing software is not straightforward. Bloggers, in their recommendations, gravitate towards the highest affiliate commissions, and companies boast about their features. To answer the question – Which is the best dynamic QR Code solution – I am keeping it simple. Let’s look at what people are recommending.
Here are six things that only Beaconstac’s QR Code generator can do –
With so many QR Code solution options available on the internet that have overlapping functionalities, it’s challenging to pick the one that works for your business. So, instead of comparing features, I thought I’d showcase unique and essential things you can do only with Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Code solution.
First, an API for creating dynamic QR Codes
Beaconstac is the only QR solution that has an API for dynamic QR Codes. This superpower helps global brands like yours integrate QR Code creation at a large scale with the rest of the marketing process.
Second, retargeting users who scan dynamic QR Codes
Think about the last time you retargeted a user on Facebook after they visited your website. The merits of that are apparent – reminding users what they loved about your brand helps win them over.
The same marketing flywheel is possible with consumers who visited your physical store, or attended an event, or used a trial pack of your product.
When users scan a Beaconstac QR Code in their physical world, it stores a cookie on the user’s smartphone. As a result of this, you can retarget them on most social media channels.
Third, Google Analytics powered user insights
Dynamic QR Codes are the easiest and most cost-effective way to know your users, understand their interests, and even monitor their behavior.
QR Codes themselves don’t track a user. However, when you connect your Beaconstac account to Google Analytics, the website that the user visits is tracked.
As a virtue of the information Google possesses, you can deduce the users’ interests, the gender ratio, and so much more.
Fourth, the safest dynamic QR Code platform
We understand security is a deal maker or breaker, and we take it very seriously. However, one can never be complacent about security measures.
Therefore, we ran our current procedures and systems by security experts. These experts certified us as SOC-2 compliant. SOC-2 compliance, in simple terms, means we are better prepared to handle any threat coming our way.
Fifth, a dynamic QR Code with unlimited scans
To be honest, the number of scans depends on the plan you subscribe to. However, if you are expecting anything more than 100,000 scans, you can upgrade to our Enterprise plan that supports unlimited scans.
If you’re looking at that option, reach out to our sales team, and they’ll indeed work out the best pricing for your needs.
Sixth, dynamic QR Codes coupled with DIY mobile landing pages
Like all great combos – dynamic QR Codes and DIY mobile landing pages – are built for winning campaigns!
Just like you build a drag-and-drop website with Wix or a DIY survey with Typeform, you can use Beaconstac to make a mobile landing page for your QR Code campaigns.
You could choose from templates or build one from scratch. But either way, it doesn’t take more than 10 mins or a developer.
And the reason I say the combo works best is because every time you plan to change the campaign linked to your QR Code, you can build a quick and easy landing page or just change the copy on it. All these changes are implemented in real-time.
Cost of a dynamic QR Code generator
You can create 3 dynamic QR Codes as low as $5/month.
To scale up, you can create 50 dynamic QR Codes for $12.5/month.
You can also upgrade to higher plans for more QR Codes and a higher number of scans.
Dynamic QR Codes redirect to different types of content
Are you wondering what these different tabs represent? These are the types of dynamic QR Codes that you can create. In order of popularity, the top three types of dynamic QR Codes are –
Website QR Code – Convert any URL into a dynamic QR Code. This is preferred if you already have a website URL in mind.
Restaurant Menu QR Code – This is specially designed for restaurants looking to switch their physical menus with a digital QR Code menu. It is a sophisticated and comprehensive depiction of an efficient digital menu.
App download QR Code – Placing app download links on a packaging or poster is tricky because in most cases there are 2 links – App Store and Google Play. However, with a dynamic app download QR Code, it’s taken care of. Depending on the device used for scanning, the QR Code presents one of those two links.
8 examples and inspirations for a dynamic QR Code campaign
Restaurants use a contactless menu solution via QR Codes
Have multiple digital menus – breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and drinks. But instead of having separate QR Codes for lunch and dinner menus, you could use a dynamic QR Code that redirects based on the time of the day. That means when diners scan the QR Code menu during lunchtime, they only see the lunch menu.
On a certain day of the week (determined by you), you can also automatically redirect diners to a special menu or a trimmed-down menu.
Consumer packaged goods keep their customers engaged with QR Codes
Brands like Cocokind and Lush want to keep their millennial audience engaged by sharing their sustainability story. But these stories evolve. The latest and greatest in sustainability sets new benchmarks every month or every quarter. However, changing the QR Code on the product packaging every month is absolutely impossible. This is where dynamic QR Codes are super useful.
Brands can also keep updating the QR Code on the packaging with the latest YouTube video, or the latest products launched.
Schools & universities use dynamic QR Codes to make learning interactive
Universities and libraries such as Barrhead Public Library use dynamic QR Codes for interactive story walks in their community, show book recommendations, and share videos – all in a rotatable fashion.
Boost app downloads with a single dynamic QR Code for all app stores
Brands, such as Canva, are using QR Codes to promote app downloads. This works great for businesses that have a majority of their website visitors via desktop and want to boost app downloads.
With Beaconstac, you can create a single dynamic QR Code for your app on multiple app stores. Upon scanning, the QR Code will automatically redirect the user to the respective app store based on the mobile OS, eliminating the need for a separate QR Code for each app store.
Efficient inventory management via QR Codes
With barcodes lacking the ability to store large amounts of data and the flexibility to update information in real-time, QR Codes are a much better solution for efficient and effective inventory management.
Using dynamic QR Codes, businesses can ensure faster scans, enhanced inventory accuracy, real-time asset tracking, and much more.
Top realtors use QR Codes to boost engagement with prospects
As COVID struck the real estate industry, top real estate agents leveraged QR Codes to display available properties, offer virtual tours, share contact details to boost engagement with prospects in a safe manner.
Moreover, realtors use dynamic QR Codes to retarget prospects who have scanned the code and taken a specific action but haven’t converted yet.
QR Codes on CBD packaging for better transparency and legalization
Various states in the US, such as Indiana, Texas, Utah, Florida, New York, and Oregon, have made it mandatory to include a QR Code label on CBD packaging. This helps companies become more transparent with details such as product ingredients, certificate of analysis, retailer’s license status, and more.
With dynamic QR Codes on CBD packaging, you can update product information whenever required and keep consumers updated, eliminating the need for reprinting QR Codes on packaging material.
Connect your audiences’ offline and online worlds with QR Codes
QR Codes are a great way to connect the offline and online worlds for your audience. Use QR Codes on flyers, banners, direct mail, and other print marketing material to share discount coupons, videos, campaign landing pages, your business location, app links, and much more, to drive desired business outcomes.
5 tips to make your dynamic QR Code campaign a success
Customize your dynamic QR Code
Gone are the days when the QR Code had to be square-shaped and black and white in color. To make it more appealing and generate more QR scans, it is recommended to customize your dynamic QR Code.
You can get really creative with your QR Code by trying out different templates, eye-balls, data patterns, frames, and more. Additionally, it is recommended that you add your company logo so users can easily identify your brand and trust the QR Code.
Add a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA)
It is crucial to add a clear CTA to your dynamic QR Code that explicitly tells the user what they can expect upon scanning. Moreover, you can make the CTA compelling by talking about the value consumers can expect upon scanning the QR Code.
Some examples of an ideal CTA include ‘Scan to get 50% off’, ‘Scan to download ebook’, ‘Scan to watch the video’, and more.
Ensure perfect sizing for your dynamic QR Code
Simply put, if your dynamic QR Code is not perfectly sized, users might not be able to scan the code, which in turn, can lead to lost revenue.
Based on where you want to use the QR Code, the sizing varies accordingly. While there is no fixed minimum size for a QR Code, it is recommended for it to be at least 1 cm*1 cm (38*38 resolution).
You can take the 10:1 distance to QR size ratio as a rule of thumb while sizing your dynamic QR Code. For example, for a QR Code on product packaging/business cards, the typical scanning distance is 10-15 cm, so your code should be at least 1-1.5cm * 1-1.5cm.
To ensure maximum scans for your dynamic QR Code, it is important to share it wherever possible. Include it in your print marketing material, email signatures, websites, product packaging, business cards, etc.
Ensure that the QR Code isn’t intrusive or hard to scan in order to prevent a bad user experience.
Automate repetitive tasks with integrations
Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Code generator allows you to integrate with platforms such as –
Whenever someone scans your dynamic QR Code, you can use these integrations to do the following –
Receive real-time scan notifications on Slack,
Automatically create a new row with customer data in a Google Sheet,
Send welcome emails to subscribers, and much more.
Frequently asked questions about dynamic QR Codes and a QR generator
1. What is the difference between a static and dynamic QR Code?
Static QR Codes always redirect to the same URL, i.e., they cannot be edited after their creation. However, with a dynamic QR Code, you can change the destination URL whenever required.
Also, dynamic QR Codes are trackable and scan faster, while static QR Codes lack these capabilities.
2. Do I need a dynamic QR Code?
If you are looking for QR Codes with editing, tracking, retargeting, and fast scanning capabilities, then dynamic QR Codes are highly recommended.
Static QR Codes are recommended only for one-off marketing campaigns that don’t need to be edited or tracked.
3. Is a dynamic QR Code free?
Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Codes are free to use during the 14-day free trial period. After the trial period expires, you need to upgrade to a paid plan to continue using your dynamic QR Codes (Beaconstac’s QR plans start at as low as $5 a month).
4. What is the purpose of a dynamic QR Code?
It depends on your requirements – a dynamic QR Code can lead to your website URL, business location, app download page, campaign landing page – and much more.
Dynamic QR Codes are preferred over static ones as they can be edited after creation and can be used for online retargeting and tracking.
5. How do you make a QR Code changeable?
To change or edit QR Code contents after they have been deployed, you need to use a dynamic QR Code. Static QR Codes cannot be edited after their creation.
6. How can you tell if a QR Code is dynamic?
Dynamic QR Codes have less dense data patterns and a shorter URL as compared to static QR Codes.
7. How do I create a dynamic QR Code for free?
You can sign up for Beaconstac’s 14-day free trial to create a dynamic QR Code at zero cost. After signing up for a free trial –
Log in to Beaconstac’s dashboard.
Go to the ‘QR Codes’ section and choose the QR type you wish to create.
Enter all relevant information.
Customize your dynamic QR Code.
Generate, test, download, and deploy the code.
However, keep in mind that you need to upgrade to a paid plan after the trial period ends to continue using your dynamic QR Codes.
8. Do dynamic QR Codes cost money?
After the 14-day trial period, you need to pay for dynamic QR Codes. Beaconstac offers multiple plans depending on your needs, starting at $5 a month.
9. Are dynamic QR Codes safe to use?
Absolutely! A Dynamic QR Code is a way to trigger an action but with the consent of the user. The user has to interact with a notification initiated to proceed with the link.
10. Is a multi-URL QR Code the same as a dynamic QR Code?
Multi-URL QR Code is not the same as dynamic QR Code. Multi-URL QR Code provides multiple link choices to the user to choose from. Whereas, a dynamic QR Code is a smart redirection.
11. Can dynamic QR Code creation be automated?
Yes, you can automate the process of creating dynamic QR Codes by using Beaconstac’s API. You can also create QR Codes directly from a Google Sheet using our Zapier integration.
12. How do I track a dynamic QR Code?
Login to the Beaconstac dashboard to monitor the performance of your dynamic QR Codes. You can slice and dice the scans by device, location, and campaign.