We’ve written extensively about QR codes, including a story that ran earlier this week about using them as a virtual tourism activity. But an announcement from Hipscan.com caught our attention about how you can actually use these curious codes to generate hard cash money.

Hipscan’s Web site can be used by anyone to generate their own custom QR code, and what is interesting is how you can alter the referring location that the code leads to quite easily, with just a few mouse clicks and keystrokes. For example, once you create your code, you can have it set to go to a particular URL, or bring up your Twitter page, or display a particular image. You change its properties by going to the Hipscan web site, as you can see here.

So where does the money thing come into play? Hipscan worked with Verizon marketing campaign that offered San Francisco consumers the chance to win a new smartphone if they scanned the QR code as they entered any Verizon cell store and shared the code with their Facebook friends. If the friend bought a Verizon two-year phone contract, the original customer would receive a free phone.

During the week-long promotion, Verizon’s sales increased 200 percent, generating $35,000 in addition revenue. Verizon reached 25,000 Facebook pages as a result of all the code sharing. The total cost of the campaign? A mere $1,000 to develop the Facebook app and print up the materials.

Hipscan provides a variety of website creation and design services built around QR codes. For example, for a monthly fee of $9 and a setup fee of $149, they will create a custom mobile website and promote it too. Given how this benefited Verizon, it might be worth a closer look.