QR Codes Aren’t Dead. Really!

Quite the opposite! QR Codes are making a strong comeback and they work remarkably well when used as the entry point to spark conversation in your messenger marketing chatbot.

Ditch Your Business Cards, I Dare You.

The Chatbot QR Code Business Card: For the past year I have been experimenting with using a QR (Quick Response) Code saved on the lock screen of my phone instead of a business card.

When I’m out networking at a conference, chatting with someone at the airport, or making conversation at my co-working space, I never carry a business card.

Scan The QR Code Instead.
Instead, ask the person I’m chatting with to whip out their phone, I pull out my phone and ask them to scan my QR code on my lock screen.

What Happens?
In less than two seconds they have scanned my QR code and are now having a delightful interaction with my Messenger Marketing personality, called my BF – Bot Friend, in Messenger as their face light up with curiosity and the “How did you do that?!” look. 😍

Plus they are now connected with all of my information and I can continue the conversation online.

The Power of a Chatbot Subscriber

In one single scan, the user is now subscribed to my Bot, tagged with how they entered, added to my Facebook Custom Audience, added to my Messaged Page Facebook Audience, knows how to contact me on Facebook and find my info, and is now on a first-name chat basis with me.

Why is that important? I can serve customized Facebook and Instagram ads to this person based on what they are interested in and how they interacted with my Messenger Bot. I can also send this person a Sponsored Message in Messenger in the future.

If all of that is making you say “Huh? What?” … in short it means I am doing ZERO data entry and opened up channels of communication and marketing.

Did You Know You Don’t Need A QR Code App To Scan This?

1. Open the camera app on your phone.
2. Hover over the QR Code below like you are going to take a picture (but don’t snap & tap the notification that appears (Opens in Messenger).
3. Tap the “Get Started” button in Messenger.

Scan this code with your phone's built-in camera:

Can’t scan because you’re reading this on your phone?
Click here: https://m.me/thedigitalgal?ref=welcome to get the gist of the user experience.

Apple Loves QR Codes ❤️
Now if you’re on an Apple device, this was a breeze for you and you are currently having a heyday poking around in my Bot’s contest examples, finding the free download, checking out how my BF-Bot Friend has conversations with you. It’s kind of fun, eh? (Yes, I’m Canadian, eh? 🇨🇦)

Does It Work On Android?
Here’s the one hitch, at the time of writing this not all Android devices love natively scanning QR codes. Here’s the thing … most will scan a code from your native camera, but when you tap the notification that pops up to send you over to Messenger, it doesn’t want to send you there. Why? Google doesn’t love sending you to a random untrusted link embedded into a QR Code.

Facebook Can Scan QR Codes Too!
1. In Facebook’s search bar, type “QR Code Scanner”
2. Open Facebook’s QR Code Scanner and hover your phone over the QR code you want to scan.

Do I need a Static QR Code or Dynamic QR Code?
What’s the difference?

A static QR Code is pointing to one URL that cannot be changed.

ManyChat’s built-in QR Codes that you create using their Growth Tools is using a static QR Code, however, ManyChat allows you to change what conversation flow you have attached to that QR Code, so it can still act just like a dynamic code.

A dynamic QR Code points to a routing system that acts like air traffic control and sends the user to the link of your choice that you can choose to change at any time. In other words, the QR Code will dynamically update the URL it points to.

Most services that allow you to create dynamic QR Codes are a paid service and you can easily find free static QR Code generators online.

Examples Of How You Can Use QR Codes & Messenger Chatbots
All of the fun aside, how are these actually being used in real practice for businesses? Here are a few examples…

Business Card Chatbot
Like the example above, you can have your QR Code scan to a Messenger Bot ‘business card’. Essentially, your chatbot conversation will provide all of the information you would normally put on a business card including your email, website, phone number, social profiles, etc.

I put my QR code for my business card bot on the lock screen of my phone and I have people scan this instead of buying physical business cards. Of course, you could also put the QR code on a physical business card as well!

My business card bot is the best networking tool and conversation piece I have ever used at any conference. I highly recommend it.

Free Download Chatbot
I teach Faceobok Ads including Messenger Ads for chatbots. When I do a workshop, I usually include a QR Code on any handout materials so that students can grab a free download of my Facebook Ads Glossary to help with training. You can grab a copy here for yourself, and yes, this link opens in Messenger: https://m.me/thedigitalgal?ref=glossary

Speaker Presentation Chatbot
This one blows minds when done right! You can use your QR Code in your powerpoint presentation and audience members can hold up their phone, scan the code, and start a Messenger converstaion with your bot during your presentation. Engage your audience. Deliver freebies, ask multiple choice questions, have them play a game, give them your contact details, get the conversation started!

Sticker Chatbot
This is the one everyone is asking me about. I have printed my branded QR Codes on 2″ x 2″ stickers that I can now place anywhere I want including on the back of my conference badges, as a treasure hunt around a store, on my coffee mug … pretty much anywhere!

How To Make A Sticker Chatbot
1. Create the Chatbbot using ManyChat
2. Generate your QR Code
3. Order Stickers

1) Create Your Chatbot
I’m using ManyChat and you can set up a free account to start using the QR Code Features. Go to www.manychat.com and connect your Facebook Page.

If you need to learn Chatbots from the ground-up, I suggest checking out ManyChat’s free beginners course taught by my good friend Kelly Noble Mirabella of Baby Got Bot, and watch her latest YouTube video on creating a Business Card Bot: https://youtu.be/qeqcXK_5JRk

2) Generate Your QR Code
Using ManyChat, create a new Growth Tool and select QR Code. Connect it to the flow (conversation) of your choices. 

You have the option to include your logo in your QR Code generated from ManyChat, change your background and foreground colours, and download the code in various sizes from 100 – 2000 pixels.

If you want a more stylized & fancy look with more control over your colours, QR Code body, eye, and eyeball shape (the blocks you see in the corners of your QR Code), you can use a third party QR Code generator such as QRCode Monkey: https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/

Keep in mind some third party QR Code generators expire your QR Code after a period of time.

3) Order Your Stickers
Personally, I am a HUGE fan of the quality & speed of Stickermule: https://www.stickermule.com/

I order my Digital Gal stickers from there and I top up my supplies every time they run a sticker deal which is often. They are durable, weather resistant vinyl stickers with a special laminate that protects them from exposure to wind, rain and sunlight. I’m pretty sure you can even run these stickers through the dishwasher without issue.

Set Yourself Up For Success
Most people don’t realize that native QR Code scanning is now built into their phone camera and that they don’t need a third party app.

For this reason, trying to get people to engage with your messenger marketing chatbot using stand-alone print materials such as postcards, mailers, table toppers, or random stickers is not going to have a very high useage rate.

Instead, while we are in the transition of QR Codes making their way back into mainstream use, I recommend using them alongside in-person interactions such as networking events, conferences, and in some cases, presentations.


2nd Scan Glitch:
Occasionally I come across a user trying to scan a new QR Code to my bot who previously scanned one of mine before, and Messenger relaunches the old original chatbot flow, not the new one. I just ask the user to re-scan again and it sorts itself out. This is likely to do with how the information was cached and stored and is a tiny little glitch in the system.

Not everyone uses Messenger:
Facebook Messenger is popular in some circles, but not in all. And we all have that one (or two) friends who greatly dislike Facebook and don’t have the Messenger app. QR Codes scanning to your Messenger Marketing Chatbot are a great way to engage and caputre a large segment of your audience, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

Android Phones:
When you scan the QR Code with some Android devices, Google doesn’t like sending their users to an unknown URL embedded in the QR Code. Instead, the phone will scan the code, offer to open in Messenger, and then end up at a blank screen. The workaround? Ask the user to open Facebook, search for “QR Code Scanner” and scan the code that way.

Older Phones:
Still hanging onto that old iPhone 4? Not all phones have an updated operating system that enables QR Code scanning natively from the built in camera.

Scanning Success!
I have been testing this at several conferences and networking events starting back when Messenger used to have unique scan codes. Facebook retired the use of Messenger Scan Codes back in August 2019. Hence why we are now seeing the emergence of QR Codes associated with messenger marketing chatbot use.

I would estimate that about 80% of the people I interact with scan my codes successfully with no issues. I expect that percentage to increase as it becomes more widely known that you can scan QR Codes with your built in mobile camera.

Happy Scanning!

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  1. I love, love, love that idea about the scavenger hunt! One of my business pages is a community-focused page and I can have a lot of fun with a scavenger hunt campaign. Hmmm. Maybe Easter!

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