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Using QR Codes with m. and .mobi

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Yesterday we attempted to explain the difference between using m.domainname.com and domainname.mobi for your mobile website.

Our bottom line was that it all depends on how long your domain name is, and if you want your domain name to exactly match your jewelry store's name.

Shortened mobile domain names really do help users. Bank of America uses "bofa.mobi" on all of their mobile marketing literature.

Typing B O F A . M O B I on a mobile device is a lot easier than typing out M . B A N K O F A M E R I C A . C O M.

Although, the people over at Bank of America are clever because if you type bofa.mobi in the smartphone, it redirects you to www.bankofamerica.com/mobile/richui.do#_home, and that's a much longer URL that no one would want to type into their smartphone.

Continuing with this perfect example, there is another good use for very short domain names, and that's the QR Code.

QR Codes are those square barcodes that you see all over the place now. A smartphone is able to scan these barcodes and usually the scan will bring you to a website. If the marketing company correctly did their job you will see a mobile website and not the regular PC website.

It takes many technologies to make the QR Codes work. You need to encode a website address into dots, program the mobile website to work, track the scans of the QR Codes, and then you have to rely on the printing company to produce a sharp, scanable code.

If you're using the QR Code in a newspaper ad you really need to pay attention to the number of dots in the code. Newspapers, money mailers, and other low budget printing services sometimes produce fuzzy images through their 4 color printing presses.

Back to the number of dots in a QR Code...

The "bofa.mobi" example above would yield a code with 441 dots.

The "m.bankofamerica.com" URL would yield a code with 625 dots.

And the "www.bankofamerica.com/mobile/richui.do#_home" would yield a code with 841 dots.

The number of dots inside the QR Code keeps growing and growing very quickly, but the physical size of the QR code does not change. That means the dots are getting smaller and smaller. Smaller dots also mean it's more difficult for a printing press to create sharp images, which in turn makes it difficult for the smartphones to scan.

Small dots and difficult scans lead to one result: Epic QR Code Failure. That's what we call it here at jWAG.

The bottom line of today's Daily Golden Nugget is that you can't simply slap "m." at the beginning of your domain name and call it a mobile website. You need to figure out how and where you plan on showing your mobile domain name, and if you are planning on using it in QR Code marketing.

There is no simple answer; you really need to talk about all these options with your expert marketing guy, and if he doesn't understand mobile and QR Codes, than just give us a call.
AT: 05/01/2012 10:55:22 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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