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How to Choose a Keyword for Your SMS Marketing Campaign

keyword sms marketing campaign
March 17, 2023

SMS keyword campaigns are a very effective way to market your business. They give your customers a very quick and efficient way to interact with your brand. If you’re ready to try a new medium to market your company, text message marketing could be just the thing you need. Keep reading to learn how you can choose an SMS keyword for your new campaign. 

What Is an SMS Keyword?

An SMS keyword is a word or short phrase that people can use to opt-in to receive text messages from a brand. These are powerful marketing campaigns because they’re usually short, which makes them easy to remember. You could easily advertise your SMS keyword campaign in online ads, on billboards, or even on TV. An example use of SMS keywords would be sending a message like “Thanks for scheduling your appointment! Reply OKAY to receive appointment reminders.” In this example, “OKAY” is the keyword.

How to Choose an SMS Keyword

An SMS keyword could be any combination of letters and numbers, but making sure they aren’t random can mean they are more memorable.

Keep It Simple and Memorable

Your goal with an SMS keyword campaign is to capture and convert as many subscribers as possible. For this reason, keywords should be simple and easy to remember. You’ll want to keep most keywords to 4-7 characters at most.

Plus, make sure your keyword is memorable. Numbers may be more difficult to remember, for example. Both the keyword and the shortcode should be easy to remember. As an example, “Text SHIP to 3456” is easier to remember than “Text SHIP924 to 3456.”

Align With the Campaign

It probably goes without saying that the keyword you choose should fit with the campaign it is a part of. Is your campaign meant to inform customers of upcoming events or to drive redemption of a coupon code? The keyword you choose should immediately convey the value of the promotion. For example, if a restaurant was running a promotion for to-go orders, the keyword could be “EASYTOGO” or “FOODTOGO.” Both options clearly tell customers what they are signing up for.

Choose Where to Share

Obviously, you’ll be sending your messages over text. But you’ll also need to consider how you are going to get the word out about your campaign. Maybe you’ll share in an upcoming email newsletter, on your online checkout page, or on your social media accounts. You should choose a combination of mediums that make sense for your target audience. Consider where they are most likely to see the message.

Avoid Special Characters

While you want your SMS keyword to be unique, you should probably avoid using special characters. As an example, don’t use “&” instead of the word “AND.” While it might seem clever, it is just another thing for people to forget about when they finally get around to texting you. This could end up costing you a potential subscriber.

Only Use One Word

Your keyword might actually be more of a key phrase. On the back end of your campaign, you probably want to reserve a version with spaces between the words and a version without. So if your code is “FREESHIPPING,” you might want to also include “FREE SHIPPING” to ensure you don’t miss out on any subscribers who typed it wrong.

A/B Test Your Campaign

After you’ve run a few SMS keyword campaigns, you should have some valuable data about what works and what doesn’t. One way to get even more information is to run A/B tests within your campaigns. You could choose to send your campaign to two different segments of your audience and see which one performs better. Or, you could promote two different keywords, one on social media, and one in person, to see which one gathered the most responses. This information will help you make an even better campaign next time.

Use $29 Text for Your SMS Keyword Campaigns

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