Static QR Codes vs. Dynamic QR Codes: Learn the Differences

How often do you scan QR Codes to access products, services, or information? Like most people, your answer is probably quite often. 

Quick Response (QR) Codes have become the heroes of marketing, event planning, transaction management, and many others. Still, quite a number of people don’t know that there are different types of QR Codes, especially because they look the same. 

Most business owners often compare RFID tags and QR Codes or Aztec Codes and QR Codes, assuming their work is done once they choose one. 

However, QR codes offer two main choices: Static and Dynamic. You need to understand what each one is to choose the right option. 

Read on for an in-depth look at Static vs. Dynamic QR Codes.

What is a Static QR Code?

You probably already have an idea of what a Static QR Code is, as the word “static” is quite telling. Let’s confirm what you’re already thinking—a Static QR Code is a two-dimensional (2D) version of a barcode that can’t be changed once it’s created. This is because the information it carries is encoded in the code itself. 

There are various types of Static QR Codes, including Email and Text QR Codes. Since these codes carry data directly on their patterns, you may notice congested patterns when you link them to a lot of data. Typically, the more data, the more modules required. 

Use cases for Static QR Codes

Despite their rigid nature, Static QR Codes are quite popular in business and event planning. They facilitate seamless communication by bridging the gap between physical and digital mediums. Here are some common use cases:

Single-event use

As an event planner, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression on your attendees. Since guests often spend this time at check-in desks, this is where you need to ensure efficiency. Static QR Codes can help you with that if you’re hosting a one-time event. 

Simply embed a QR Code that confirms guests’ registration on tickets or passes. This way, check-in staff only need to scan the code to grant attendees access to your venues. This is undoubtedly faster than manually comparing each guest’s identification against a list. 

If you’re holding a wedding, consider adding Static QR Codes for weddings to your RSVPs to allow guests to confirm their attendance. A Static QR Code is sufficient since an attendance confirmation is a one-time thing. 

Permanent installations

Static QR Codes are also sufficient when you don’t need to update QR Code content or track results. This means you can use them to convey information about items you never expect to change, like a historical monument in a park. You can use a Static Code to encode information on its builders, date of erection, purpose, or historical significance. Such information will always stay the same, so you’ll never need to update your QR Code. 

Instruction manuals

This type of QR Code is also applicable to product manuals. You can use it on manuals to build appliances, electronics, or furniture, as those instructions will be consistent for users who purchase those products. If you buy a piece of furniture today and buy the same type of furniture ten years from now, the assembly instructions will likely be the same. As such, customers can scan the same code. 

What is a Dynamic QR Code?

As its name suggests, a Dynamic QR Code is the more advanced type. It has a short URL encoded onto its dimensions, which leads scanners to your desired landing page. Therefore, you can change its content and destination whenever you need to update the encoded data without printing new QR Codes.

Further, this type of QR Code provides scan statistics, which are vital in marketing campaigns. You can get insights into the number of scans, their locations, the time and date of the scans, and the operating systems used. This is valuable information for any business looking to improve its campaigns or identify where its primary target audience is based. 

Use cases for Dynamic QR Codes

The possibilities for Dynamic QR Codes are endless. Because of their flexibility, you can use them for everything from collecting customer feedback to enhancing marketing campaigns. Here are some common use cases:

In the government

Many of us know how tough it can be to keep up with a government institution’s office hours. They often change, and the office is unclear about when it’s closed and open (especially during the holidays). A sign or billboard isn’t easy to fix or update, so why not use a Business Page QR Code instead? 

This makes it easy for government offices to update their hours whenever necessary and allows seamless appointment booking, preventing a whole lot of grumpy feedback! Furthermore, government offices looking to improve their services can collect feedback using a Feedback QR Code.

QR Code idea in government buildings
Government offices can use QR Codes on building fronts

Increase app downloads

Let’s say you’re a mobile game company looking to gain more users for your app. The majority of companies will use the typical download link on their websites. But what if a user is on a desktop? This means they need to get their phone and then find a way to get to that link or search for the app in the appropriate app store.

In a world where 70% of customers are willing to pay more for convenience, this won’t cut it. In fact, they may give up on the download or even download a competitor’s game if the process is more convenient. 

Luckily, the solution lies in Dynamic QR Codes. Reduce the effort required for customers to download your app by adding an App Store QR Code directly to your website so they can scan it and immediately begin playing. The beauty of Dynamic QR Codes is that you can update their destinations. For example, if your app is only currently available on a single app store, you can add the links to other app stores in the future when you expand your availability. 

QR Code can be used to increase app installations from mobile app stores
Easily increase app downloads with an App QR Code

Gather reviews for your restaurant

According to TripAdvisor, 70% of its survey respondents consider reviews to be critical when deciding where to eat. Reviews and ratings are a crucial part of the hospitality industry in general and are a big factor in determining whether a customer comes to visit you or not. 

Gathering them doesn’t need to be a difficult process. You can use a Rating QR Code to encourage customers to rate your services after visiting your restaurant. Print the code on your receipts, menu, or table decorations and encourage customers to scan them and rate you. When they do, thank them to ensure they continue rating your food and services. 

QR Code idea on a customer receipt
Obtain customer ratings by using QR Codes on receipts

On a resume

If you’re a student or new graduate, you’re probably planning to attend some networking events and job fairs. It’s always a good idea to bring your resume to these events in case you find the perfect job and want to apply. 

Go a step further and make it even easier to get hired by adding a PDF QR Code to your resume. While other applicants submit a stack of papers, which can be overwhelming for hiring managers, you can submit a single sheet and provide additional information through your QR Code. 

QR Code idea on a resume
Turn your CV digital by adding a QR Code

For marketing campaigns

Dynamic QR Codes are every marketer’s dream because of the ability to update them. With a Dynamic QR Code, you can easily change your destination URL or landing page, allowing you to convey a wide range of product information without creating new marketing materials. 

For example, you can change your QR Code’s destination from your website URL to your social media pages depending on where you want to direct your audience. 

With QR Code Generator PRO, you can also change the QR Code type without reprinting or redistributing the QR Code. In the example above, it could be changed from a Dynamic URL QR Code to a Social Media QR Code.

Dynamic QR Codes are also valuable because they provide engagement insights. They offer data such as scan count, location, and time, which is valuable for analyzing a marketing campaign’s performance. You can use the insights to improve future campaigns. 

Why using Dynamic QR Codes often has bigger advantages

As you’ve read for yourself, Dynamic QR Codes are miles ahead of their Static counterparts in terms of functionality and flexibility. Here’s a deeper look at why we recommend Dynamic QR Codes:

Monitor important statistics

The biggest reason why you would opt for a Dynamic QR Code is that it provides a wide range of tracking information. With this type of QR Code, you get to see not only the number of scans your code receives but also when and where it was scanned, as well as the operating system of the device used. These metrics can help you determine whether your marketing campaign is performing as expected and allow you to make necessary adjustments to improve future results.

Add or change information easily

A second reason to choose Dynamic QR Codes is that you can edit them after printing them. Say you want to add more information to your QR Code, update your contact information, or use video content instead of written content; you don’t need to print new marketing materials or change your product packaging. You can easily update the content or destination of your Dynamic QR Code, saving you time and money.

Fix mistakes when necessary

Maybe the link you added to the first QR Code was the wrong one. Or you gave the wrong PDF for download. Dynamic QR Codes erase any worry when it comes to mistakes, once again due to their editability. Instead of making a completely new code, simply edit the code to fix the error, and your problem is solved!

Use short URLs

Dynamic QR Codes use short URLs—links that are simpler and smaller than the actual URLs used to connect customers to whichever information you want them to see. Short URLs offer faster loading times, so they can improve user experience. Furthermore, they are often easier to edit.

Easily update your marketing campaigns

Marketing campaigns are ever-evolving since what works today may not work tomorrow. Dynamic QR Codes allow you to adapt to changing customer preferences quickly because they’re editable. 

With QR Code Generator, you can make tons of modifications to your campaign, including changes to the type, structure, and informational portion of your Dynamic QR Code. 

5 simple steps to create a Dynamic QR Code

Creating a Dynamic QR Code is straightforward when using the right tool. To create QR Codes on QR Code Generator:

  1. Choose the type of Dynamic QR Code: Consider your requirements and the purpose of the QR Code when making your selection. For example, if you want to direct your audience to your business page, choose a Business Page QR Code. 

  2. Add the required basic information: Once you have selected the most suitable type, fill in the required information or add the necessary attachments. This could be a website URL, a social media link, a PDF, or something else.

  3. Personalize your QR Code: Use colors that align with your brand, choose a custom frame, or add your business logo to your QR Code for consistency and recognizability. Choose contrasting colors to prevent QR Code scanning problems and promote a good customer experience. 

  4. Download the QR Code: When satisfied with your custom QR Code, save and download it. You can then add it to your preferred marketing materials. 

Create your very own unique QR Codes today

The main difference between Static and Dynamic QR Codes lies in their flexibility. Dynamic QR Codes are more flexible, as you can change their content and destinations whenever necessary. They also offer valuable tracking data, which marketers can use to improve future campaigns. 

QR Code Generator lets you create a wide range of QR Codes suitable for whichever purpose you have in mind. When you choose Dynamic QR Codes, the tool provides actionable insights at your fingertips, allowing you to assess your campaign’s success in real time. 

Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO to create Dynamic QR Codes, track their performance, and update their content or destinations under one platform.

Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is Bitly’s Vice President of Product. With a background in software engineering, he has a decade of combined experience in product development and the QR Code space. Tobias leads a team that developed one of the most successful and popular QR Code generators available. His entrepreneurial and growth mindset helps build products that continuously disrupt the market. You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn.

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