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Online Survey, QR Code

How to make QR Codes for your surveys

Find out how you can create a QR code for your surveys and increase the chance of getting your offline surveys answered.


What are QR Codes?

QR Code or QRC is an abbreviation of “Quick Response Code”. Originally the naming has nothing to do with survey and responses. But it’s a cool coincidence, because we are going to show you exactly how to collect responses for your surveys in a quicker way!

You have probably seen these codes everywhere, they look like squiggly barcodes made with lots of squares. The codes are usually black and white but can practically be any color.

QRCs were invented in Japan to be used in automotive industry, but because those little patterns (codes) could hold so much data they became interesting for lots of people, including marketers.


How do they work?

QRC generators take information in form of text or a picture, translate it into a visual code and save it as an image. Then you can print that image which holds the data, as tags, stickers or on a simple A4 paper and carry it with you.

To be able to read the data you need a QRC reader, for instance an app on your smartphone or tablet. The reader scans the code using the built-in camera of your smartphone or tablet and decodes the data in it.

These small tags can be put almost anywhere and do different things depending on the data that is saved in them.

But to make it simple, you can just consider them as normal links. Yes, links that you see and click on, every day while surfing the web. You click on a link and it opens a new webpage for you, right? But instead of clicking on these codes, you can just scan them with your smartphones and open them in a web-browser, right inside the phone!


How can I use them for my surveys?

When you create an online survey or a questionnaire using SurveyLegend, our system generates a unique link for it. Copy the link and send it to your target audience by putting the link in your blog or website, send it via email or SMS and ask them to answer your questions. This is as easy as it gets when you share your surveys online.

pisst…! you can also have a look at embedding surveys in your site or blog here


But you may also need to reach other groups of people in situations where it’s not possible to click on a link. For example, you may have an advertising campaign and distribute some beautiful posters or flyers in the city; or you may want to put a little billboard in a bus station, or perhaps give catalogues or forms to you clients.

However, the most common scenarios are companies or researchers that conduct an offline survey parallel to their online survey campaigns. They print the same survey that they are doing online, and after data has been collected, they merge the statistics with the results gathered via their online surveys.


Make it easy for you and for them

But honestly, everyone hates transferring all collected data on paper, into a computer program. Additionally, there is a high risk that the data gets lost in the transfer process, due to expectable human mistakes. Sometimes the collected data from paper-based surveys may be incomplete, or even respondents may skip questions which are compulsory to answer, or their handwritings might be hard to read. All these situations will be very frustrating for you as surveyor and lots of time and money investment might be wasted. These situations can be prohibited or dramatically reduced when using online surveys.

Moreover, respondents do not usually have time or desire to fill-in paper-based forms. Such surveys or forms can be intimidating and not specially inviting compared to an easy and quick online survey that can be done on the go.

So, if you have to do a parallel paper-based survey for any reason, make sure to include the possibility of taking the online version of the survey for your participants. You can simply write a nice introduction page for your offline survey, and inform them that they can to go to your survey link, by typing it manually in their web-browsers.

You want to do everything in your power to motivate your target audience to participate in your survey. Typing a URL can be also hard for some people, they might type it wrong, get to an error page and give up.

To avoid these issues make a QRC tag and place it in your offline survey’s introduction page, together with the short URL of your survey. This way you prevent as many mistakes as possible.

This increases the chance of people answering your questions. At least you can be sure that you have done all in your power to make an easy to reach survey; which will save both your and your respondents time.


How to make QR Codes

Hey, let us tell you one thing first. It’s super easy to make QRCs!

Now the fun begins ; )

1) Choose your favorite QRC generator

There are tons of free online services that can generate QRC tags for you. A simple Google search for “QRC generator” will give you lots of sites to choose from. Here are some good suggestions for you: Kaywa, GOQR.mef, Visualead, and QR Stuff.

Keep in mind that some of these services give you the possibility to track and analyze performance and traffic. Some may even let you design a code that’s unique to your brand. For example, it can contain a logo or an image in it.

In this tutorial, we choose, which is an open source QRC generator.


2) Link your survey

It's is very easy to make QRCs for your online surveys; and it is free, just like SurveyLegend!


Step 0: Go to the “Share” step of your survey, and copy the short link that is presented there.

Step 1: Go to, make sure that “WEB address” is selected…

Step 2: then simply paste your survey link into the textbox there.

Make sure that https:// is included in the beginning of your survey URL! This will make a secure connection to our servers, and data that your respondents put in, will be encrypted and then sent to SurveyLegend. This makes their answers invisible to any 3rd parties that might be watching their network connection. But if you just type www. or http:// in the beginning of your URL, the connection will not be encrypted. Read more about our security features here.

Step 3: This is totally optional, but you can click on the “Options” button, and activate the “URL shortening” setting. The main benefit of activating this setting is that there will be less data to encode in the QR code, which makes it less visually detailed and easier to print in a small scale. A detailed code might lose some of the small black squares when it is shrunk, which can result in error for those who scan the code.

SurveyLegend has a built in URL-shortener which already creates super tiny URLs for your online surveys so you do not really need to activate the URL-shortening setting in this QRC-generator tool. Do it if you are sure that your QRC has to be displayed or printed in a very small size.

Step 4: Click on the “Generate” button.

Step 5: Now that the QRC is generated for your online survey, you can save it in two ways.

  1. A) By clicking on the “Download as EPS” button
  2. B) By right clicking on the QRC image and choosing “Save image as”
  3. C) Dragging and dropping the QRC image on your desktop

If you do “A” or “B”, you will get a PNG file, which is a very nice image format for such usage and will work perfectly fine on the web or for printing. However if you want to print your QRC at a very large size like a roll-up, poster or billboard, then it’s better to download it in EPS format.


3) Use your QRC

Now you can easily Print the QRC on your paper-based surveys, put it on your site or in an email, when you send your survey link to the target audience.

It is a good idea to type the survey URL right underneath the QRC, in case the recipient don’t have the possibility of scanning the code, they will still be able to type the URL manually in their browsers and reach your online survey.

So what do you think? Do you like to have a built-in QRC generator in SurveyLegend? Let us know your about your ideas and opinions by responding to our feature request survey by going to this link.

Scan to preview in mobile phone

Or simply scan the QRC to preview this survey on your smartphone.


About the Author

Kiarokh Moattar

I eventually grew up after painting on many walls, getting too many scars, watching loads of animated movies, taking care of lots of injured animals, and inventing crazy strategies to bypass the "dictatorship" of the adults, and got a B.A. in Psychology. Shortly after, I grew up a bit more and got two M.A. degrees in art & design. Today, after growing up slightly more, I realize that I've been working with many companies and brilliant people, inventing new tech solutions, designing & coding cool stuff, making cute illustrations; while still truly enjoying, loving, and adoring the mother nature and all amazing cuddly creatures out there.

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