Keywords are the heart of SMS messaging and allow you to easily build your subscriber list.  

Here's an in-depth walkthrough on creating a keyword so you can launch your first texting campaign!

Choosing your Keyword

Start by selecting Keywords in the menu bar on the left. If you like shortcuts, you can also jump right into adding a new keyword by clicking the + icon beside Keywords.

If it’s your first keyword, click on the green Create a keyword button. Otherwise, select Add keyword.

Now you’re ready to really dig in. Keywords can be 3 to 20 characters, contain numbers and letters (but not all numbers) and no special characters. The shorter, the better.  But the most important thing is that you keep them on-brand and memorable. Try it out on your phone, too, and make sure autocorrect doesn’t try and hijack your subscriber.

First, enter the keyword that you are looking for. When you click Save, it will let you know whether the keyword is available. If it’s not, we’ll give you the option to try a new one. 

Next, enter the list that you would like the subscribers added to. Make this something relevant so you can easily identify the subscribers in the list. You can also add the subscribers to an existing list.

Your auto-confirmation message is the first thing your subscribers will see when they join your keyword. It’s kind of like a welcome message. You can communicate any information you want in here including a link or an image. It can be a maximum of 160 characters. 

Compliance Section

Next up is the compliance message. This message is automatically sent free of charge to each new subscriber to keep your opt-ins compliant. Read more about compliance to get up to speed. 

You’ll see your keyword name at the beginning of the compliance message followed by the required compliance information. You can adjust the frequency by clicking on the + and - buttons. Frequency (X msgs per month) indicates the approximate number of times you are planning on sending messages to your subscribers per month. It’s not set in stone, but it's best to keep this as close as possible to your actual message volume.  

Triggers

Triggers are sort of like sub-keywords. They allow you to customize some additional messaging after the initial keyword is texted. You can add as many triggers as you need by clicking on Add trigger. You can learn more about triggers here.

Additional Parameters

By checking the boxes in Additional parameters you can enable a couple of options. 

By checking the first box, you can have the auto-confirmation message delivered to the same subscriber if they text it multiple times. Keep in mind this will use 1 message credit each time it’s texted. Most users leave this unchecked, but there are some use cases where it can be helpful, especially if you’re testing a keyword response. 

Want to know each time someone joins your list? Forward opt-ins via email will send a message to the specified email with the subscriber's number each time someone joins your list.   

Forward opt-ins to your cellphone will send a text message to the number you enter each time a new subscriber joins your list. This is a great feature if you need to know right away when someone joins. Note: It will use an extra message credit with each opt-in because it’s sending a message to the subscriber and to you.  

Now make sure you click Save. Your keyword is active, so go ahead and text it now to 555888 to see how it works!  

You can edit a keyword at any time by going to Keywords on the left, selecting the 3 dots beside the keyword, and clicking on Edit.  Always make sure to Save after editing any details!

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