What is a keyword?

Read this article to learn about keywords, which make it easy for people to opt in to your SMS campaigns.

Sean Griffith avatar
Written by Sean Griffith
Updated over a week ago

A keyword is a word, phrase, or other combination of numbers and letters that allows people to receive SMS marketing and communications messages.

Keywords provide an easy way for people to opt in and receive messages sent by an individual, volunteer organization, church or synagogue, business, nonprofit, school, or governmental agency.

Keywords can be advertised and/or promoted anywhere and anytime!

They can be featured prominently on websites and social media pages, mentioned in radio and/or television ads, printed at the bottom of receipts, featured on restaurant menus, added to billboard ads/outdoor advertisements, tucked into email newsletters, included on business cards, featured in church programs or new student orientation packets, and more.

Pro tips:

  • Keywords are NOT case-sensitive

  • Keywords can be a combination of 3-20 letters and numbers, but not ALL numbers

  • Short and memorable keywords are great to use if your subscribers are hearing your advertisement on the radio or seeing it in a fast-paced environment (such as driving past a billboard at highway speed)

  • Longer keywords, however, are just as effective in situations where potential subscribers have a few seconds to opt in right then and there

  • Keywords are unique to each SimpleTexting account. A keyword is your SMS marketing and communication campaign’s unique “address” for sending and receiving messages via your phone number

Keywords in action:

Barbara Q. owns a food truck in Memphis and she specializes in—you guessed it!—barbecue chicken and ribs.

Business is good, but it could be better. Because Barbara’s truck changes location every day, it’s been difficult for her to build a consistent customer base. To solve that problem, Barbara comes to SimpleTexting.

Barbara wants to use the keyword BARBECUE so her customers can sign up to receive text coupons, weekly specials, and daily location updates.

Barbara creates an account here at SimpleTexting, then attempts to reserve her first-choice keyword: BARBECUE.

Unfortunately, she receives an error message indicating that the keyword BARBECUE is already in use by another SimpleTexting customer.

After spending a few minutes brainstorming, Barbara comes up with the following alternatives:






and (because she has an offbeat sense of humor) BARBIEQ.

She’s in luck! It turns out that all of her choices are available.

She chooses BBQ as her keyword and configures it in just a few minutes.

Immediately, Barbara begins promoting her keyword on social media and her website.

She even adds a line to the bottom of her receipts: “Text BBQ to 541-761-1923 to receive coupons, weekly specials, and location updates.”

Within three weeks, she has over 100 subscribers … as well as several new subscribers every single day.

Each morning, she sends a quick message to her subscribers that includes the day’s menu and location … as well as a link to the address on Google Maps.

Within six weeks, Barbara’s already achieved an obvious return on her investment: No matter where her food truck is located on a given day, people know how to find her.

And … they show up. Regularly.

Within three months, Barbara’s food truck business is so busy (and so popular) that she hires a part-time employee.

Business has never been better, so Barbara upgrades her SimpleTexting plan to include more messages.

She also signs up for a refresher SimpleTexting 101 session and learns how to poll her customers before adding new items to her menu.

And, to keep her business going (and growing) during the slower winter months, Barbara creates a Text-2-Win contest.

She creates and configures two more keywords—BBQHOLIDAYS and BBQPARTIES—to spread the word that her food truck can accommodate holiday catering orders and private parties.

What else can keywords do for you? Check out our Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing to learn more.

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