When playing around with online QR code generation software tonight I came across one site in particular that I was thoroughly impressed with in terms of how they monetize their site.
As you can see in the video below, I find their subtlety and uniqueness very clever. It’s certainly not your standard everyday banner ads or long text copy. There’s something much more clever at play, or so it appears from where I am sitting.
First, It’s Not A Hypey Site, Easing Any Potnetial Skepticism
You know as well as I do that when people use the word “FREE” today, it’s difficult NOT to put your guard up. What’s this dude trying to sell me when they want to drill it down my throat that something is free?
Well, this site does in fact offer a free tool to generate QR codes. But do they indicate as such? No, they let you figure that out on your own when they allow you to generate your code, within seconds, and walk away with “product in hand” so to speak.
But, if you are like me, you have to wonder why someone is offering something for free. Then you glance over and see some AdSense ads running. It’s enough to make you feel comfortable that you are not being sold in any way.
There Appears To Be Some Clever Monetization Strategies Integrated Into The Site
Like I said, you can generate your code within seconds and be on your merry way. But, I decided to play around with some of the features.
What’s this print button? Well, it turns out the print button generates a set of unique products (such as business cards, flyers, etc.) with your QR code, ready for you to purchase from Zazzle. There’s no call to action or anything hypey, just a simple printer icon. When clicked it says “generating items to print for you” or something like that and then there’s a link to your own personal store with products with your QR codes on them.
My guess is that the site has some sort of affiliate relationship with Zazzle and it’s being handled in a very subtle way.
Look Below The Fold For Some More Subtle Advertising
Then, below the fold you spot some attractive colorful QR codes. There is no reason for you to scroll down there but of your own free will. There’s no call to action bringing you there. It looks like it’s part of the site and links to “more information” but really, the entire thing (although in separate parts) is a giant ad (I believe).
And they are affiliated with a company that looks like they don’t just accept any average Joe as an affiliate. So there is a unique partnership there it seems. I didn’t dig too deep but I don’t see any affiliate sign up links on the site at all. That way you aren’t competing with everybody and their uncle in that space.
And well, the site I’m going on about ranks high for “QR code generator.” How much do you want to bet that is a hands free giant money making vehicle?
And the monetization was done very cleverly and in very good taste.
Gives you something to think about.