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Many businesses are using QR codes these days, and for good reason—the simple, fast delivery of information! But it’s a technology that can also be implemented poorly. Follow these best practices to successfully use this tool in your self-storage operation.

Robert Priester

February 16, 2023

5 Min Read
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Reprinted with permission from StoragePug.

QR codes are handy tools for delivering information, but there are right and wrong ways to employ them. Used correctly, they can have tremendous positive impact for a business and be extremely helpful to customers. Implemented poorly, and they can be unscannable and worthless. Here are some best practices to help you successfully leverage this technology as part of your self-storage operation.

An Overview

A QR (quick response) code is a machine-readable label containing an array of information that can be captured by a camera on a smartphone. It’s similar to a barcode, except it can be read vertically and horizontally. As a self-storage operator, you might use it to drive customers to your website, one of your social media pages or an online payment portal.

QR-code technology is simple in concept, but that doesn’t mean the implementation is easy. There are many ways to misuse a code and diminish its effectiveness. For example, there might be a flaw in the design that renders it unreadable. Maybe you make a poor placement or present the data in a way that isn’t well-optimized for your self-storage customers.

Following are some key best practices. You can use these to get the most out of your QR codes, whether you’re using them to market your self-storage facility or help customers do things like rent a unit or pay their bill.

Use Visually Clear Code

This may seem obvious, but it’s pretty common to find QR codes that are blurry or pixelated. Make sure that your code is visually clear so that phones or QR readers can properly scan it.

The colors you choose—including the ones bordering the code—must have high contrast. It’s best to use black and white for the code itself, but it’s possible to use other colors so long as they’re different enough. A very light color on a white background, for example, doesn’t have enough disparity. Also, never invert the colors. The background should always be a light color, with the foreground considerably darker.

Incorporate Your Branding

Whenever possible, incorporate your self-storage branding into your QR code. You can include company colors, logo and other customizable options. This way, when customers see your code, they recognize the overall look and feel and know they’re scanning something trustworthy.

Use Dynamic Code

Avoid using static QR codes, which contain fixed information and can’t be changed once created. Instead, use a dynamic code, which is customizable and can be edited after completion. In fact, both the code and the content to which it leads can be changed as often as needed.

Dynamic codes use a short URL to drive the user to a place where they can download or view a file, or visit an online page. They’re also trackable, which makes them particularly useful for your self-storage marketing.

Choose the Right Size

Choosing the right size for your QR code is extremely important. Anything smaller than 2-by-2 centimeters will be difficult for a reader to accurately scan.

Also, pay attention to how placement affects size. For example, if the user will be right up next to the code, don’t make it so large that they can’t fit the entire code in their phone’s screen view. If the user will be farther away, make sure the code is large enough to be detectable. In general, try to apply a 10:1 distance-to-size ratio.

Optimize for Mobile

Almost every self-storage customer who interacts with your QR codes is going to scan them using their phone, so keep this in mind when creating the content. If you’re sending them to a web page, make sure it’s optimized for mobile viewing. If you’re asking them to view or download a file, make sure it’s readable on a phone.

Incorporate a Call to Action (CTA)

Using QR codes for your self-storage business can be a smart way to deliver information, but they won’t be effective if your customers don’t understand what they are or why they should use them. For this reason, it’s important to include a CTA and possibly even detailed instructions. It could be as simple as including “Scan me” on a sign or as complex as creating a complete visual guide to code scanning and use.

For example, a good CTA for a self-storage facility that offers contactless rentals is “Scan here to rent a unit.” When the customer scans it, it takes them to the company’s online rental page.

Give Your Code a Single Purpose

To piggyback on the CTA best practice above, make sure each of your QR codes has only one purpose—that is, one reason to be scanned. Avoid sending customers to a website landing page where they’re given many choices, such as buttons to rent a unit, contact you, pay their bill and learn more about your facility. If you need every one of those options available as a QR code, create separate ones and post them where relevant. Lumping multiple purposes onto a single code can confuse or drive away customers, particularly if they aren’t tech-savvy.

Be Thoughtful About Placement

Placement really matters when it comes to displaying a QR code for your self-storage business. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the code is clearly visible and easy to scan.

  • Don’t place the code in places where you can easily use a hotlink instead, such as an email or website. They work great on printed materials like signage, fliers, brochures or business cards.

  • When possible, put your code on a non-contact surface so it won’t be dirtied, scratched or worn down to an unreadable state. All it takes is just a little bit of the pattern to be disrupted to render it ineffective.

  • Make sure the code is in a phone-friendly environment and not an internet dead zone.

QR codes can be an effective way to provide information about your self-storage business. You can add them in your office, around your property, on your social media platforms and in your marketing materials to create a dialog with existing and future customers. Follow the best practices above and your facility will surely benefit from this technology.

Robert Priester is a content writer at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. He enjoys creative problem-solving and writing content that’s informative and interesting. For more information, call 865.240.0295.

About the Author(s)

Robert Priester

Content Writer, StoragePug

Robert Priester is a content writer at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. He enjoys creative problem-solving and writing content that’s informative and interesting. For more information, call 865.240.0295.

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