Apr 14, 2011

VCARD and QR Codes - Tracking and other issues

Several people have asked me about how to track QR Codes embeddded with contact info (such as a vcard). Below is my answer:

"There is no real way to track how many people scan a QR Code embedded with contact info.

But since it is possible to track URL's, one possible solution is to use a QR Code embedded with a URL. For example, when people scan your QR Code they will get a URL which leads to an online page (this is the page you will track) that could say "click to download my vcard" or "click to add me to your address book". So just put your vcard file online (i.e. on your web server) and create a web page with a link to it. You can track this page using Google Analytics (as explained in an earlier blog).

*Issue: iPhone's Safari browser (and some other phones) cannot directly download a vcard file from the web. But if emailed to the iPhone as an attachement then it can be opened and added to the address book. That means iPhone users have to provide their email address to get your vcard (which may or may not be a bad thing). You can program a form on your page that will email your vcard file to the submitted email address.

The above requires some programming skills, but your local web guy/gal should be able to do it..."

*Since extended contact info in a Vcard contains a lot of data to embed in a QR Code it usually results in a QR Code image that is too dense for some mobile phones/reader to scan and process. That is another reason to use the solution above for QR Codes and contact info. The QR Code Creator at QRickit.com allows you to make a QR Code embedded with basic contact info (MeCard and vCard).


  1. I would like to know if it is possible to track QR Code Location. I mean, when someone read my Code I should be able to know the location where it was read (this would allow me to know where the object or material is when it was read!).

    1. QR Codes are just static (i.e. unchanging) barcodes holding URL data. They don't do anything by themselves. It is the reader APP or the landing web page the URL directs to that contains all the functionality.

      If you put Google Analytics (Tracking) on the landing web page you can track the location of users when they accessed the URL (i.e. usually the place where they scanned the QR Code).

      A good programmer can also make an app or web page that can detect the user's location when they access a URL and push certain content according to location.