You probably have been seeing more QR codes lately.

These are two-dimensional codes (most often in black-and-white but sometimes in color) that you scan or snap with your smartphone. They usually take you to a website where you can access content, get discounts, watch videos, and experience a wide variety of marketing content right on your phone.

What is most exciting about QR codes is that they grab the viewer’s interest at the very moment it is piqued—walking along the street, riding the subway, or reading a magazine. Your customers don’t need to go anywhere. As long as they have an Internet-enabled phone and a QR code reader, they can snap a picture of the code and access the content right away.

Interested in using QR codes, but don’t want to direct people to a website? Here are some great ways that QR codes can make your marketing collateral, trade show graphics, manuals, direct mail pieces, and business cards even better:

Email
Want people to respond to a promotion by email? When the user snaps the code, it automatically launches the email application and populates the “send to” address with the email address you choose.

Phone number
Want people to respond to a promotion by phone? When the user snaps the code, it displays the phone number and automatically launches a button for the user to dial. No more lost sales because the prospect dialed a wrong number.

Plain text
Users can access plain text too. They can scan the code to view exclusive portions of an interview or access a discount code. If they are visiting a trade show, they might see the booth number of the company they want to locate.

Business card
With one snap, you can populate the user’s mobile phone contacts with your name, address, phone number, email, and URL.

Calendar
Want to remind users about a scheduled event? Once they snap the code, your event’s date and time are stored in their phone. If they have a calendar app, users can select the reminder function so their phone alerts them when your event comes up.