How to Create a QR Code that Sends a Text Message

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Learn how to incorporate QR codes into your SMS strategy. From growing your subscriber list to creating interactive advertisements.

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 “They’re as outdated as floppy disks and VHS!”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.

What is a QR Code?

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:

Ways to Incorporate QR Codes Into Your SMS Strategy

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:

  • Grow your SMS list. Create a QR code that sends a keyword to your number or short code.
  • Provide customer support. Add a QR code to your business card, brochure, or flier that says, “Scan this to get in touch with our team.” It can pop up a pre-written text that says, “I need some help with your product.”
  • Collect emails. Create a QR code that launches a Data Collection prompt. Collect phone numbers and emails in one go!
  • Drive downloads of your app or e-book. Create a QR code that generates a text requesting a link to your digital product. This way you can grow your subscriber list and provide valuable content!
  • Facilitate reservations. Create a QR code that sends a text requesting a reservation or to be added to a waiting list. Your code can also serve as an RSVP for an event like a webinar or get-together.

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.

How to Use a QR Code to Send a Text Message

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:

  • Your text-enabled number (Sign up for a free trial of SimpleTexting to get a complimentary number.)
  • A keyword or message to auto-populate upon scanning
  • A CTA (call-to-action)

For this example, let’s pretend we’re a realtor who wants to create a QR code for their next open hours.

1. Input Your Information

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). In the message section put in whatever message or keyword you’ve created for your open house.

2. Download Your QR Code

Once your information is input, you’ll want to click the save icon to download your QR code as an image.

3. Combine Your QR Code and CTA

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.

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