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SMS Keywords: How They Work and How to Use Them

Responding to and engaging with contacts without lifting a finger – sounds like a dream, right? With text keywords, that dream can become a reality. In this article, we’ll explore what text keywords are, how you can use them to transform your communication strategy, and best practices to follow when using them. 

What are Text Keywords?

A text keyword is a word or phrase that triggers a corresponding automated text message. Keywords help keep recipients in the loop without teams taking the time to respond to contacts individually. Whether it's gathering feedback, confirming appointments, or promoting events, text keywords simplify interactions with your audience.

To initiate a text keyword campaign, send a text to your contacts that includes one or more keywords. Your contacts will then reply using their mobile phones with the specific SMS keyword they choose. This action will automatically trigger a response text message from the system.

The Role/Benefits of SMS Keywords in Mass Texting

SMS keywords offer numerous benefits by using automation to reduce the time spent responding to your contacts. Here are some of the main benefits of using keywords in your mass texting strategy:

  • Instant Response: Automatic replies from keywords ensure that contacts receive an immediate response, even when you’re unavailable, enhancing customer satisfaction and responsiveness.
  • Increased Engagement: Keywords enhance engagement by encouraging participation. In addition, they drive higher engagement rates.
  • Cost Savings: Keywords ensure you only message contacts who want to receive information about specific subjects and events. This, in turn, saves you messaging costs.
  • Time Savings: Automated replies save valuable time and resources by eliminating the need for manual responses to common inquiries or actions, allowing you to focus on higher-priority tasks.
  • Insights: Keywords provide real-time data on recipient preferences and behaviors, which guide strategic decision-making. 

SMS Keywords in Practice

Let’s explore some ways to use text keywords in your everyday text messaging strategy:

Text to Fill

Streamline your shift fill process by finding out which employees are willing to pick up certain shifts. Invite employees to register their interest by texting a designated keyword such as “FILL.”

“Good afternoon; we have a few shift openings from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Please respond with “FILL” if you’re interested in picking up a shift. Thank you.”

Text to Vote

Empower your audience by encouraging them to vote on polls or surveys with a simple text message. For instance, "VOTE" to express their opinion on a particular topic or decision.

“Want to have your say about next month’s featured cookie? Text CRUMBS to 12345 to vote for a flavor! Reply STOP to opt out.”

Text to Win

Boost employee morale and engagement by organizing fun contests or giveaways. Encourage participation with a compelling call-to-action like "WIN" to enter a raffle and win exciting prizes.

“Team, it's time for some fun! 
Text TEAMWIN to enter our exclusive employee raffle for a chance to win a team dinner! 
Let's celebrate our hard work together. Good luck! Reply STOP to opt out.”

Text to Confirm

Reduce no-shows and confirm appointments effortlessly with SMS Keywords. Prompt recipients to confirm their attendance by replying with "CONFIRM" or request a reschedule with "RESCHEDULE."

“Hi [First Name], you have an appointment today at 11 a.m. To confirm, please respond to this message with CONFIRM. If you need to reschedule, respond with RESCHEDULE.

Text to Volunteer

Mobilize volunteers for your upcoming events or initiatives by inviting them to participate via SMS. Encourage individuals to sign up by texting "VOLUNTEER" and provide further details on how they can get involved.

"Good morning! We have a volunteer opportunity this Saturday at 3 p.m. Please respond to this message with VOLUNTEER if you're interested and would like more information. "

Best Practices for Implementing SMS Keywords

While SMS Keywords are a convenient way to split your contact groups and make sure your contacts are only receiving content they’re interested in, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid. Here are a few best practices for using SMS Keywords in your mass texting strategy.

Choose Simple and Straightforward Keywords

Your keywords should be short, easy to type, and relate to the content you’re sharing. Keeping these keywords short will help reduce mistakes and user errors.

If you’re using Text-Em-All, use these requirements when creating your keywords:

  • Include letters or numbers
  • Do not include special characters
  • Keywords must be at least one word, but can also be more than one word. For example: CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

Share Your Keyword(s) in Your Message

You should never assume that your contacts will remember a keyword that you’ve shared with them in the past. Instead, include the keyword(s) that you wish for them to use in each message.

Avoid Using Too Many Keywords at Once

Using too many keywords at the same time could confuse your contacts and cause more work for you if your contacts are responding with the wrong keyword and receiving the wrong information.

Engage Your Contacts with Text-Em-All Keywords

Text keywords open up a new world of two-way engagement with your audience. They allow you to remove friction, boost interactivity, and gather valuable data – all through the simplicity of a text message.

If you're ready to start leveraging SMS keywords to grow your business, sign up for a Text-Em-All account today and experience the difference firsthand!