My department has been using the very easy-to-use QR code maker in InDesign, but now we have requests to know how many people have scanned/clicked on a QR code. Is it possible to find that information?
In what medium? I think Publish Online has some access metrics available, but in general, you can only track online clicks with server-side code and support, or by passing the link through one of the ad-tracking or click-tracking services.
Hi! Thanks for your response James.
Basically, my colleague adds in the QR Code within InDesign for a print project. The question came up for how many people used the QR code. It seems like this is a bad/dead-end service without a place to access the QR code data. I've use sites like the-qrcode-generator.com to create the code, drop it into InDesign, then access the click data at a later date. I was hoping there was a way to do the same thing with the QR code generated directly in InDesign. I'm guess not?
QRcodes have no inherent "back end." They are just encoded data. If you want to track clicks, there is really only one option: to encode the URL so that it passes through a click-tracking service, whether you host that yourself or use one of the services. Once you have that tracking link set up, it will work whether someone visits the link manually, by clicking an online link, or by visiting it by grabbing the URL from a QRcode. All QRcode generators would work exactly the same for this purpose.
For your own purposes, it's easy enough to set up a redirected link. Instead of going directly to .../sales.php, it would go to .../QRsales.php and the web code can be configured to count the redirections from that unique entry page.
We did not create a unique URL for tracking. If all QR code generators work exactly the same, then how do I access the data for that QR code generated by InDesign?
All a QR code does, no matter what utility or service is used to generate it, is encode that information. It can be a simple text string, a URL/web address, or a complete contact-info vCard. After that, it's just a static element, readable by any QRcode-enabled device. It doesn't have any inherent link to a service or database or application.
If you want something to happen with a QRcode, you have to encode the right information into it. Using a tracking-enabled URL is the only way to know if someone clicks on the code (reads it)... and then visits that URL. (I, like many, have my reader show me the URL first, and I sometimes opt not to continue to the web site. There is no way to track this action.)
If you don't use a third-party tracking service, such as is used for web ads and link-tracking on things like newsletter email, you have to do something with the link at your end to count or track the visit. Giving the QR code a unique address that is counted as having come from that click, and then redirecting it to whatever page you want them to visit, is a simple, front-end method. Your web developer can implement more sophisticated back-end tracking as well.