QR codes are everywhere these days, but do you use them in your marketing? When used properly and to their full potential, QR codes can enhance many aspects of your child care business — especially lead generation.

Read on to learn what QR codes are, how they work, and how you can use them as effective marketing tools. 

Why QR Codes?

QR codes were first invented in 1994 in Japan to replace the commercial barcode, and by the 2010s, QR codes had become a popular marketing tool worldwide.

However, their popularity was short-lived in the U.S., where their convenience and utility went largely underutilized. That is, until 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic created a need for sanitary, contactless everything. Now, QR codes are everywhere, foreshadowing a future of increased flexibility and convenience.

QR codes are often used in restaurants in place of menus, by professionals in place of business cards, and on wedding invitations in place of an RSVP phone number. QR codes can represent virtually anything digital, and since Apple and Android have built QR scanners into their phone cameras, scanning them is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Using QR Codes for Lead Generation

Let’s say a parent comes in for a tour. They scan the QR code at the front desk, which takes them through digital forms they can complete with all the tangible information you need to turn that parent into a lead — the age of their child, what program they’re interested in, etc. After completing the forms, the parent is redirected to a digital packet of information, including the history of the school, enrollment information, and more.

With the information gathered by the QR code itself, you can retarget the lead later with relevant offers or simply maintain them in your nurture sequence.

Another example: We have a client right now using a QR code in their mailers that redirects to a special offer. You can’t click on a URL printed in a physical flyer, but you can scan a QR code.

Infographic: The Complete Guide to Generate Leads Using QR Codes

Using QR Codes to Market Your Child Care Center

The success of your QR code marketing efforts will depend on a combination of two very important factors: where you place your codes, and where you send the ensuing traffic. If you can align these two factors, your efforts should reap rewards.


There are many places where QR codes can enhance your customers’ experience around your school.

  • The front desk. A QR code at the front desk can update parents with seasonal information about activities, summer camps, and more.
  • Outside the building. This addresses the nose prints left on your windows of people coming by on weekends and after hours! A QR code outside the building can guide a parent through a 360 tour, all the while providing additional contact information and/or an information packet.
  • Classrooms. Using QR codes in classrooms to offer unique information for parents such as schedules, activities calendars, and weekly menus can be a great way to promote a custom experience. 
  • Paper packets. Let’s say a parent on a tour wants to send a copy of their information packet to their spouse who is at work. With the convenience and flexibility of QR codes, now they can!
  • Job fairs. With QR codes, potential employees can apply for your school’s job openings on the spot.

Another example of great placement and destination is a code on sanitation equipment that leads to a copy of the school’s safety and sanitation practices and policies. Parents can scan the code and instantly be reassured that the school is safe and follows best practices for sanitation. In a post-pandemic world, small touches like this can make all the difference.

Where To Send Traffic

Once someone scans a QR code, they end up at a predetermined online location. It’s up to you to decide where to send them when they scan your code. The options are limitless — and they don’t have to be reserved for prospects!

  • Customized landing pages for special offers
  • Enrollment forms
  • Your parent portal
  • Digital information packets
  • Weekly lunch menus
  • School calendars

How To Get Started With QR Codes

The first step to implementing QR codes into your business is deciding which type of QR code is best for you.

There are two types of QR codes: static and dynamic. A static QR code can’t be changed once created or tracked, so it is less useful for many marketing applications.

We prefer dynamic QR codes, which can be edited as many times as needed, and is our preferred choice for marketing and lead generation. For example, a dynamic QR code leading to your school’s monthly calendar can be updated on the first of every month. Dynamic QR codes also track where and when the code is scanned. You can integrate dynamic QR codes with Google analytics and Facebook pixels to gather additional marketing insights as well.

It’s a good idea to map out your goals for QR codes. They allow you to get creative and really think outside the box, so don’t be afraid to go big. But keep in mind that it’s the little things that matter most to your customers. 

Decide what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you looking for a competitive advantage? Added convenience for your customers and your staff? Lead generation? Once you zero in on your goals, you can begin to design a strategy to accomplish them. 

If you’re new to using QR codes in marketing, you may want to team up with a trusted marketing partner who can walk you through the setup. A marketer experienced in working with QR codes will be able to help you with integrations like Google Analytics and Facebook pixels so that you get the most out of your marketing dollar.

Once you learn how to use QR codes in marketing your school, a whole world of possibilities will open up. Why not give it a try?



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