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SMS Marketing with QR Codes

27th May 2011 - Posted by in category Text Message Marketing Advice

With the amazing QR code statistics in the USA, I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to incorporate QR codes into a SMS campaign. See below for an example of how a local video game store, Reset Games incorporated a QR code into their own SMS campaign.  Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do this for your own business.

Learn how to create a QR code for your business text messaging campaign
1. First you want to download a barcode scanner for your mobile device to test the campaign once you are done. I have an iPhone and I use i-nigma, but here is a full list of barcode scanners for both the iPhone and other mobile devices.

2. Secondly you want to create a SMS campaign. I recommend using Tatango, but I’m obviously a little bias. You will need the SMS shortcode and the mobile keyword associated with the campaign.

3. Once you have downloaded the barcode scanner to your mobile device you are ready to create your QR code. I recommend you create your QR code on http://www.sparqcode.com/ as the service is free, easy to use and most importantly it has the capability to initiate a text message from a QR code. To create a QR code that initiates a text message, you will want to click here and following the numbered instructions below.

Create a QR code that allows a customer to subscribe to your text message marketing campaign

  1. Click the SMS tab
  2. Enter in the SMS shortcode number associated with your SMS campaign. If you’re using Tatango for your text messaging campaign, your short-code number will always be 68398.
  3. Enter in your message. In this field you will want to enter in the mobile keyword associated to your campaign that customers would normally text to the SMS shortcode to subscribe. As an example my mobile keyword is the word “DEREK” as my customers always text DEREK to 68398 to subscribe to receive my text message alerts.
  4. On the right hand side of the screen you will now see your QR code being generated. Once it’s finished loading, you are now ready to download the QR code image.
  5. To download the image, simply click “Download” and it will be downloaded to your computer in a .gif format. If you need higher resolution images of your QR code you will have to create an account on http://www.sparqcode.com/

4. Take that QR code image that you downloaded and place it on all of your marketing collateral. (postcards, business cards, coupons, flyers, etc.) The QR code image below is active, so feel free to scan it with your new barcode scanner which you downloaded.

Example of a QR code that subscribes a customer to a text message marketing campaign.

5. Once you scan the QR code on your mobile device, it will open your SMS application and pre-populate it with the short-code and keyword for your campaign. Pretty cool huh?

Example text message after customer scans QR code on their mobile phone

6. Now all you have to do is hit “Send” and you will be subscribed to that SMS campaign. Pretty simple.

Free Guide to Growing SMS Marketing Subscribers



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