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How to Choose between SMS Text and QR Codes for Your Marketing Campaign

If you haven’t done an SMS text campaign before, perhaps you’ve seen one at a store or in an ad you’ve seen. An advertisement might say something like this: “Get exclusive monthly discounts; text SHOP to 55555.” (In this example, SHOP is called the keyword, and the five-digit number is called the short code.)

When a user does this, he’s added to a database from which you can send him future text messages.

SMS text is popular with marketers, but QR Codes may be a better alternative. Here are some advantages that the QR Codes have over SMS text campaigns:

  • Scanning a QR Code is easier than sending a text. QR Codes involve no typing, just button pressing and scanning.

  • QR Codes can directly link to rich media, whereas SMS text gives you a link that you have to click to access content.

  • QR Codes have a newness factor that SMS text doesn’t. It’s new, easy, and cool — just the things consumers like.

  • QR Codes are visual and more attractive and enticing to consumers than a keyword and short code. QR Codes can also be customized with color or artwork.

  • QR Codes can link to just about anything, not just a URL.

  • QR codes can store more than 4,000 alphanumeric characters.

  • Using a QR Code means no text charges from your telephone carrier.

Still, marketers need to consider their audience before swapping QR Codes for SMS text. Consumers are still warming up to QR Codes, and not everyone owns the smartphone needed to scan them.

Your best bet may be to include both SMS text and QR Codes in your next campaign and measure the response to each one before choosing which is right for you.

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