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Why you should use a text message keyword campaign instead of a QR code

QR codes, or Quick Response Codes, are a communication tool for businesses. The first QR code became available in 1994 when Toyota began putting them on vehicle parts so they could be easily scanned for inventory or other purposes.

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Since then, QR codes have become almost ubiquitous in our everyday lives. They are all around us – in store windows, on products, and even lately on social media. And the latest data, from 2018, shows that 25-30% of our population are still using them.

What is a QR code?

But what exactly is a QR code? A QR code is simply a matrix barcode that you can scan on your phone. Most commonly, QR codes are used to redirect users to a specific webpage. QR codes are good for sending customers to web pages with long URLs. In addition, QR codes can be used to view virtual stores, make online bank or credit card payments, and for website and wifi login or any other landing page or online information.

This is what a QR code looks like.

QR code evolution

When QR codes originally came out as a product customers could use to connect with businesses, an app had to be downloaded in order to scan a QR code. However, most smartphones can scan a QR code from the camera app now making QR codes more usable.

Mobile devices and SMS messaging technologies have fueled the evolution of QR codes for marketing.

Problems with QR codes

Although, even with the advent of cameras that can scan QR codes, you are at the mercy of the user. First of all, if a user scans your QR code and then bounces from your site, you can’t track or engage further with the user. You likely have no idea why they bounced and no chance of changing their mind.

QR codes on a business card.

Second of all, not everyone has a smartphone that can scan QR codes. If a potential customer has a cell phone that can’t interact with a QR code, then that’s a lost opportunity to engage with and make a sale to a customer. So what is the best QR code alternative?

QR Code Alternative: Keyword Campaigns

So what can you do to ensure that you can digitally engage more customers and even secure an opportunity for your business to follow up if they bounce from your URL? Simple. It’s called a text message keyword campaign. A keyword campaign overcomes the downfalls of using a QR code and is the best QR code alternative. Anyone with any kind of phone can text a word to a number which you can set to trigger a message flow to engage them, send them to a URL, or both. And when customers text your keyword, you automatically capture their phone number, so if they bounce from your site, you can still engage with them; and who knows? Possibly make a sale!

SMS Keyword Campaign examples on Business Cards.

Types of Keyword Campaigns

With the recently launched text messaging platform called TextSanity. There are two main types of keyword campaigns. The first is a single message campaign, which allows you to return only one message which can include a link to a URL or any file you would like to attach. The second type is a multiple message campaign, which allows you to engage a customer with a message flow that you set up.

This will allow you to collect or disseminate as much or as little information as you’d like. The trick on this one is that it starts with the legal opt-in message which the customer must respond to affirmatively in order to continue. This is required for you to have TextSanity perform its automated robo texting for you.

Single message campaign example

Text LINCOLN to 505-465-8101. You can try this keyword campaign right now on your phone. Go ahead. Check it out!

Multiple message campaign example

Text CANDIDATE NAME to 702-718-6606. Again, you can try this keyword campaign right now. Give it a go!

How to set up a keyword campaign

Keyword campaigns are extremely simple to set up. In the two examples above, the set up is minimal. As you can see below, it’s effortless.

The versatility of keyword campaigns

A keyword campaign can do so much more than simply take a customer to a URL. Keyword campaigns can be adapted to everyday life since text messaging is pervasive. Unlike QR codes, there are many different paths a keyword campaign can take, and that’s one reason its the greatest QR code alternative. Keyword campaigns can gather information with questions, send a link to a phone, and even send files (with images, pdfs, etc.).

The beauty of keyword campaigns is that whenever and however customers engage with you, their information is automatically captured and stored in a secure, downloadable file. This way you can follow up by call or text. Not to mention, you can tag the contacts that come in from each different keyword campaign so that you can stay on top of your marketing attribution.