People love to tease QR codes. “They’re as outdated as floppy disks and VHS!” As it turns out, those naysayers are dead wrong. Take a look at this study published by Statista. In 2019, 10.44 million households scanned a QR code. The number is expected to grow in 2020.
A QR code is a type of barcode made specifically for “quick reading” on mobile devices. Like the barcodes you find on packaged goods at the grocery store, QR codes communicate information when scanned. But instead of a price, QR codes hold things like links, addresses, contact information, and text messages.
In this past, you needed a special app to scan QR codes. Now, anyone can scan and read a QR code on their phone. Just open your iPhone or Android’s camera app and hold it up to the code as if you were taking a photo.
What happens next is up to whoever designed the code. It could redirect you to a web page, a download, or in our case, open up a pre-written text message.
Want to see how it works? Scan this QR code now:
If someone sees your QR code somewhere, they can take out their phone and scan the code to automatically open their native SMS app and pre-populate the number and message fields. This opens the door to endless possibilities. You can use QR codes to:
In short, any way you would use a text to communicate with your subscribers, you can translate into a QR code to capture new eyes.
There are a lot of tools on the internet that help you create text-enabled QR codes. One of the easiest to use is this free QR Code Generator. All you need to make your code is:
For this example, let’s pretend we’re a realtor who wants to create a QR code for their next open hours.
When you open the QR code generator, select SMS.
From there, enter the number you want subscribers to text in (our short code for real estate customers is 41404).
If you’re using a 10-digit number, don’t include parentheses or a dash as it won’t work for iPhone users.
In the message section put in whatever message or keyword you’ve created for your open house.
Once your information is input, you’ll want to click the save icon to download your QR code as an image.
Add your QR code to all of your marketing materials. Anywhere you would normally advertise your keyword you can include the code. Now anyone who views the advertisement has the option to text the number and keyword on the spot, or if they’re in a hurry, hold their phone up and scan the QR code.
When their phone reads it, it will automatically open their messages app with the short code already in the “To” section, and the keyword in the body of the message. All they need to do is click send!
If you’re not a graphic design wizard, tools like Canva make it easy to put together quick advertisements like this one!
QR codes aren’t destined for the same fate as payphones, Walkmans, and the Rolodex. They’re easy to create and useful to scan, which means they’re not going anywhere for years to come.