Tracking Your QR Codes to Bring Offline Marketing Online |

Tracking Your QR Codes to Bring Offline Marketing Online

By Daniel Bianchini / February 10, 2012

Over the past few years, QR Codes have become more mainstream and can be seen in most day-to-day activities. There are examples of some very good uses of QR Codes as well as some badly thought out QR Codes.

QR Codes are great for getting offline marketing messages online quickly. Adding QR Codes to typical offline marketing material such as posters, flyers, business cards or event badges allows the user to see the message instantly.

With all these offline marketing activities being used, how can the business track what is working and what isn’t? Well, with Google Analytics and I am sure most other analytics packages, you can put tracking codes directly into the QR Code and track when users scan the code.

Below is a step by step guide to tracking QR Codes in Google Analytics.

1. Choose the URL that you would like the QR code that you are generating to return once scanned.


2. Now create your campaign tracking code that you will use to identify the traffic that you receive from the different marketing activity you are running. You can do that by either using the Google URL Builder tool or my GDocs campaign tracking spreadsheet.


Campaign Source: University-Flyer
Campaign Medium: QR
*Campaign Content:
Campaign Name: OxonDigital4

This will provide you with the following URL to use:

*Using the campaign content tag you can differentiate between the ads. In the example above I could have used the Campaign Content to differentiate between the different campuses (Wheatley, Headington, Botley).

3. Now that you have your URL with the correct tracking code, you need to find a QR Code generator or use one of the following:

The example below shows the outcome of what we have just created. Give it a try by scanning the QR Code on your smart phone.

4. Now place the QR code on the relevant marketing material that you are going to distribute.

5. To see the results of the tracking code, you need to go to Traffic Sources > Campaigns

6. Now that you have your campaign data you are more than likely wanting to delve further into your analytics to see metrics such as types of devices and locations.

To do this you will need to create an advanced segment or two. This can be done in a number of ways, two of which I have shown below.

Segment 1

Include > Metric = Medium > Exactly Matches > Campaign Medium (QR)

This segment will bring back results that were generated using the campaign medium name of QR.

Segment 2

If you are using lots of different QR Codes you might want to split them by campaign name and campaign medium to delve into the specific marketing channel at the time.

Include > Metric = Medium > Exactly Matches > Campaign Medium (QR)


Include > Metric = Campaign > Exactly Matches > Campaign Name (OxonDigital4)

Once you have created your segments, you will be able to delve further into the data you have received.

The above shows you how you can track your QR code. So whether you put them on a poster, event ticket, t-shirt or coffee cup, you will be able to see what traffic they have generated to your targeted page and/or website.

How do you use QR Codes? Are you making sure that you are tracking your offline marketing channels with techniques such as QR Codes? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @danielbianchini

Thanks to Dan Barker for help on some aspects of this post
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Daniel Bianchini


Daniel Bianchini is the Director of Services at Having been in digital marketing since leaving University, Daniel has worked both agency side and in-house, working with many leading UK brands.

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