QR Codes

Drive your offline to app use cases using Branch QR Codes.

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QR Code Access Required

Access to Branch's QR Code API and SDK requires premium product access. Please reach out to your account manager or https://branch.io/pricing/ to activate.

Overview

QR codes (Quick Response codes) are a type of matrix barcode first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. While they received some wider adoption initially, it wasn’t until Apple and Android camera apps were able to scan them directly when they started becoming mainstream — first in Asian markets, and within western markets as a result of COVID accelerating this trend.

QR codes leverage existing channels like physical store locations, store receipts, flyers, direct mail campaigns, product packaging, print media, desktop website, and even over-the-top channels, you can use them to reach various user segments to convert them into loyal app users. By using QR codes to reach new users and bring your existing user base into the app, you can unlock greater user LTV, in-app revenue, and hit your app growth goals.

QR Codes Use Cases

  • In-Store Signage, Posters, Flyers, etc.
  • Purchase Materials (receipts, bags, cups, etc.)
  • Physical Mailers
  • TV Ads
  • Email
  • Cross Device Engagement:
    • Desktop Web to App
    • Auto-Login
    • Referrals
    • Promotions, Coupons, etc
    • In-app Sharing

How does it work?

  1. User is presented with a QR code.
  2. User uses their phone's camera to scan the QR code.
  3. User is routed to the App/Play Store to download the app.
  4. App install & downstream app events are attributed to QR code.
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Integration Guide

There are a couple of options for creating QR Codes with Branch. Both have a specific purpose and you can determine which one to use through the Best Practices section.

Static QR Codes via Quick Links

The Branch Dashboard allows you to create Quick Links for a single one-off purpose. Each Branch Quick Link that is created is accompanied by a QR Code that can be downloaded as a JPG or SVG.

1. Log in to your Branch Dashboard

2. Create & Configure a Quick Link

Additional details on creating and configuring your Quick Link can be found here.

3. Download QR Code

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4. Print or Place QR code based on use case

Dynamic QR Codes via API or SDK

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Premium Access Required

Using the API or SDK method is a Branch Premium product. Please reach out to your account manager or https://branch.io/pricing/ to activate.

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Developer Required

Developers knowledgeable with APIs & Web Development are required.

Branch offers an API and an SDK method that can be used by developers to programmatically customize and generate a Branch QR Code.

1. Generate & customize QR code

2. Print or Place QR code based on use case

Changing QR Codes

For QR codes, you can change redirects but note there are certain limitations.

Updating the link data will not affect the QR code design.

It's only if the structure of the URL changes, for example, you change the URL structure from app to web-only. As an example, going from app.example.com/param=here to a web only app.example.com/e/param=here link, that changes the URL.

You do not need to re download the QR Code if you are:

  • Updating app redirects on a non-web only Quick Link (i.e., adding link data to send users to a different content in the app)
  • Updating web redirects for a web-only Quick Link (i.e., still sending users to web-only, but updating the web URL for the redirect)

Best Practices

When to use which QR Code creation option

Your scale and use case will determine which integration option you should implement for using Branch QR codes.

If you are just looking to use a one-off static QR code then you should create QR Codes via Quick Links.
Examples:

  • A static QR code that goes on your Desktop Website
  • A static QR code that will go on direct mail, clothing tags, out-of-home (OOH) signage

If you are looking to use many different QR codes that allow for more robust reporting & analytics or more advanced customization then you should create dynamic QR codes via API or SDK.
Examples:

  • Unique QR codes for different restaurants that promote the app.
  • Change the color, logo, etc. of the QR code
  • Programmatic QR code generation

Reporting & Analytics

Your QR codes' performance will be available in Branch's aggregate and log-level reports. Whether you're looking at metrics on the Branch Dashboard or looking at downstream app performance on your analytics platform, you will be able to filter out campaigns run with your QR codes. Please use the following best practices to get the best out of your reporting and analytics:

  • Make sure you are using the appropriate QR code for your use case
  • Apply proper analytics labels to your Branch QR Codes
    • ~channel
    • ~campaign
    • ~feature
    • ~tags
  • Confirm that your mobile app is tracking events

Deep Linking from QR Codes

Because these QR codes are essentially Branch Links, they have the same attribution and deep linking capabilities as any others used in channels like sharing, email, etc. To ensure your QR codes are deep linking users into specific in-app content, ensure you have the following set up:

You can follow our guide on deep linking here.


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