A keyword is a single-word phrase used to identify a message or trigger a specific response within an SMS. Keywords are most commonly found used in conjunction with a short code messages.
When running an SMS campaign, many businesses choose to incorporate keywords into their text messages. Keywords can be used for a number of reasons and can generate a variety of outcomes. Here are some of the times when a keyword could work well for you in your campaign:
- To send out coupons and discounts: a popular way to use keywords is to offer your customers a discount via SMS. This saves printing out unnecessary paper versions which are likely to get lost, damaged or ignored. Sending out a text message containing a memorable keyword to customers will then allow them to opt-in to this service to receive these special offers. The automated reply activated by the keyword request will then contain the coupon or code that, when presented the next time they are shopping, will earn them the discount.
- To provide more information on a product or service: texting a keyword can allow customers to receive more information on a particular product or service. A simple, unique keyword such as ‘Text ‘INFO’ to 83345’ will instantly trigger more information straight to their mobile phone via a follow up SMS to help broaden the recipient’s understanding of what your business is offering.
- To allow customers to vote in a poll or competition: this is one of the more popular and well known uses of keywords in SMS messages as they are often used as a means of voting for contestants on popular reality TV shows or to enter competitions. One example of a keyword you could use to get customers to enter a competition could be: ‘Text ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ to 81115’ with customer’s texting in the letter corresponding to the correct answer. It is then up to you to select the winner from the list of people who texted in.
- To remind customers of bookings they have made: this can work for any business from medical practices to restaurants and football stadiums. It is important to reduce the number of patients who fail to show for appointments or customers who forget they have booked a table or seats in order to save money. Therefore allowing your customers to text a specific keyword such as ‘REMINDER’ to receive reminders close to the date of their appointments or bookings can help to reduce the number of no-shows.