Blog Post

Best Practices for SMS Keywords

What are SMS keywords?

SMS keywords are a form of automation used within business texting. When a specific keyword is texted into a phone number, the keyword triggers an automated message to be sent back in response. For example, a person can text in the keyword “PROMO” to receive an automated text back providing more information on current promotions, or text in the word “EVENTS” to learn more about upcoming events. Keywords allow for easy opt-ins, and are an important tool to increase engagement and automate your SMS marketing.

What are the benefits of SMS keywords?

SMS keywords save time through automated text replies, but also help companies grow their subscriber list by giving prospects and customers a simple way to opt-in to their SMS marketing. Keywords also provide an easy way to segment contact into groups based on what they’ve expressed interest in, allowing companies to target those contacts with relevant content and get better results from their SMS campaigns.

What are some ways SMS keywords can be used?

SMS keywords can be used in a variety of ways within business texting, such as

  • Simplifying opt-ins and growing a subscriber list for SMS campaigns
  • Providing quick answers to common questions, such as business hours
  • Inviting customers to text for promotions or upcoming events
  • Creating simple polls to gauge interest in certain products
  • Allowing customers to sign up to receive notifications or alerts

What are the best practices for creating SMS keywords?

  1. Keep it Simple
    With keywords, simpler is better. Avoid long words or short phrases, and use only a single single word for your keyword. The goal is to create a simple keyword that’s easy to remember and easy to promote.
  2. Avoid Special Characters
    Using special characters such as &, $, or * can make your keyword harder to remember, and can increase the likelihood of someone mistyping your keyword. Keeping your keyword simple will help ensure your keyword can be texted in successfully.
  3. Make it Memorable
    Making your keyword memorable will help get more people to text in your keyword. You can tie the keyword your brand, your campaign, or use common terms. For example, you can use the keyword “JOIN” as an easy way to opt-in subscribers, or use the keyword “SEATS” to help promote season ticket sales.
  4. Plan for Autocorrect and Mistypes
    As with all forms of communication, texting in a keyword is prone to human error or autocorrect gone wrong. To ensure you don’t lose out on a subscriber, test your keyword on multiple mobile devices and create additional keywords for any potential autocorrections or mistypes.
  5. Determine Your Automation Flow
    If you need more touch points to get contacts further down the funnel, or if you want to further segment your contact list, you can create multiple keywords to achieve a text automation flow. Be sure to include what they should text in next within your auto response, e.g. “If interested, respond back with ‘DEMO’ to schedule a live demo.”
  6. Promote Your Keyword
    For best results, promote your keyword across multiple channels such as digital and print ads, website landing pages, signage, social platforms, and other marketing collateral. This will help ensure you reach a broader audience and get better success from your keyword campaigns.

How does TextUs support SMS keywords?

TextUs offers unlimited SMS keywords and customizable auto responses with our premium add-on Keywords. TextUs Keywords is designed to drive better engagement and increase the impact of your business texting channel in a way that’s simple to implement and scalable for any type of business. Whether it’s simplifying opt-ins or using keywords to segment contacts into groups based on what they’ve expressed interest in – Keywords adds an important layer of functionality that can help you get better results from your SMS campaigns.


Interested in learning more? 

Reach out to your TextUs Account Manager or request a demo.

Already have Keywords

Click here to learn how to set up your keywords in TextUs. 

2022 State of Texting

We gathered data from TextUs users and outside sources to bring this insightful look at how texting will shape better business results in 2022.  We covered industry trends across many verticals and shed light on texting insights that you can use to establish best practices across your organization.

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