How to Grow Your Email List with QR Codes

Around 81% of small and medium-sized businesses depend on email marketing as their main channel to grow their business. But to grow with email marketing, you need a growing list — and ideas on how to grow. 

Did you know that you can use QR codes to grow your list? This could be one of the best and most effective tactics for business growth. 

What is a QR code?

QR code example with traffic being sent to

A QR or Quick Response code is a barcode, which when scanned, redirects the users to an app or website. 

They are typical squares having a grid pattern with a background in white color. QR codes are read by imaging devices like a simple mobile phone camera. 

When it comes to consumer advertising, QR codes have been proving themselves to be pretty effective. They have become the prime focus of advertising and marketing tactics. 

Over 500 companies globally, including Nike, Nestle, Puma, and Emirates, are using QR codes. These companies use these codes for marketing to reach more potential customers.

What are the benefits of a QR code?

Graph showing market size of QR code transactions

Grow email list

How are people currently signing up for your list? Click a link then fill out a signup form? How can they “click a link” when they aren’t online? Right now, most businesses have people write their email address on a piece of paper, to be manually added to their list later.

Or, someone passes by the opportunity to sign up for your list because they don’t feel like typing a URL into a browser.

This is where QR codes can help. With a quick QR code scan using any smartphone device, anyone will be directed to your email signup landing page. From there, it’s easy for them to sign up immediately or at the next convenient time.

Increases social media followers

QR codes can be linked to your social media pages where you can ask customers to like and share your content. 

Connecting with customers through social channels builds a better brand-consumer relationship. Hence, it becomes more likely that they will happily spread the word about your product or services to their friends and family.

Word-of-mouth is one of the top ways QR codes are being used to increase brand awareness. Social media is the top source people use to spread the word regarding brands they like.

Better CTA experience

QR codes are the most effective way to link a CTA (call to action) to your landing pages or website. Your QR codes can send your customers to how-to videos, product demo videos, product descriptions, blogs or articles, audios, and so on. 

Also, for CTAs like Call Us or Email Us, you can link your QR code that directly connects your customers through calls or emails to your brand.

If you have an exciting discount or promotional deal on your products, you can use QR codes to provide the offer to your customers. Hence, when customers scan the code, they will instantly receive a discount. 

Aside from robust customer convenience, these codes also help in boosting conversion rates. They increase the rate customers come across your advertisements. Also, it guides the interested buyers to the conversion funnel more quickly.

Improves SEO and SMO

QR codes are a great tactic to improve a brand’s search engine optimization as well as social media optimization. And, for businesses to grow online, that is what most marketers strive to achieve in general. 

With QR codes, you can optimize the sharing of most searched articles on your site. Most popular social channels already embed QR codes, including Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

It helps your brand to stand out

QR codes can be customized the way you want them to look. You can easily get creative with their design by using QR code generator websites that allow you to create personalized designs and offer many stylish and unique-looking code options. 

Your brand can create a buzz around its uniqueness in the market by doing so. A blend of attractive colors and designs will attract your site visitors.

You can check QR marketing effectiveness

For growing an email list/business through email marketing campaigns, it is of utmost importance for brands to track and benchmark the results. For this, Dynamic QR codes are a great option as they allow additional tracking metrics. 

You will get your customers’ data, including the country/ city they live in, the time when they scanned the code, which device they used, and even the unique vs. total number of scans.

Further, you can measure different aspects of QR codes, including which CTAs, colors, and frames are gaining the most attention from your customers. So, that you can customize your QR campaign accordingly.

Build a connection between offline and online media

In general, traditional print media, including flyers, billboards, brochures and business cards, do not link themselves directly to your online media like your social channels or website. But, adding QR codes optimizes all print media.

It allows your customers to reach your brand without a contact number or web address. Allowing your customers to reach your landing page with a simple scan.


Starbucks has been adopting QR codes in its various print media to boost its coffee sales. They incorporate QR codes in its advertising campaigns, like in print advertisements in the People magazine. 

Aside from this, Starbucks also uses outdoor ads in various big cities in the USA with flyers that integrate QR codes. Also, it supports cashless payments through QR codes.

Starbucks ad using qr code

Customers prefer QR codes due to their ease of use

QR codes allow customers to visit the website or other content more quickly. Here, they don’t need to remember contact information or a web address. This makes it easier and convenient for customers to connect with brands. 

And the easier you make a customer find your brand, the more you increase the chances of conversion.

People prefer contactless transactions. Hence QR codes are seeing much more growth in usage. As of March, estimates state that around 60-65% of people prefer using QR codes for their everyday needs for transactions and other marketing purposes.

Top ways to grow email list with QR codes

A known and effective way to build your email list is with the help of lead-generating website pages. But, e-marketers are also showing interest in employing offline channels to boost lead generation. Hence, QR codes can be useful in this scenario.

Around 45% of online buyers have scanned a QR code in the USA. 

Here are the top ways you can use QR codes to encourage people to sign up to receive your newsletter and grow your email list:

Print ads, posters

Printed ad for Volkswagen's Seat with QR code

Hand out materials

Hand out flyers or brochures to your potential customers. Make it easy for them to sign up for your email list with a dedicated QR codes sending them to your newsletter signup page.

Marketing flyer with qr code
Image from The Addressers

Business cards

Printed business card with qr code
image from Beaconstac


Do you have swag that you give out to customers or prospects? This is perfect place to put a QR code.

QR code on keychain swag
Image from

Trade shows

A trade show is a great way to encourage email signups. Display your QR everywhere – on handouts, display and table top flyer.

AWeber at a trade show using a QR code to increase signups

Receipts, order forms

If a customer just purchased a product from your store, include a QR code on their receipt with an incentive to signup for your email list.

4 steps to start growing you email list with QR codes

Growing your email list using QR codes is quick and easy, just follow these 4 simple steps:

1. Determine your offer

Offer something in return, such as a lead magnet, to potential email subscribers. For example, free access to e-book pdf or coupon codes. 

2. Generate your QR code

Create a QR code using a QR code generator. 

3. Create an email sign up landing page

Link your QR code to a dedicated lead generation landing page for consumers to complete. 

Provide a lead gen form for filling in details to access the coupon or e-book you are offering them. The QR code will direct them to this dedicated landing page.

Here you will collect their email addresses as well as other critical customer information.

4. Place your QR code

Place your QR code in your marketing materials along with an appealing Call-To-Action. For example, “Give a quick scan to the QR code above to sign-up and receive our email newsletter to stay up-to-date with our product launches and most recent blogs.

Here are a few example of where you can place your QR code:

  • Add QR codes to your printed ads like a brochure, billboard, magazines, bus placards, newspapers etc
  • Hand out printed flyers during the tradeshows. Add QR code and logo of the brand on either side of the postcards
  • Provide minimum information like a brief business description or contact number
  • Incorporate it into your business cards

Here’s an example of a virtual business card using a QR code:

Virtual business card with qr code


There are many benefits to using QR codes, especially in building a highly qualified email list. 

These codes help grow your business. And enhances your customers’ experience with your brand by offering them the greatest convenience. 

It is also a touchless and quick way to connect business with customers. Hence, it is one of the best advancements at times of pandemic.

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