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News, tips & advice from FastSMS

In SMS messaging keywords are used to qualify an inbound message sent either to a Virtual Reply Number or a Shortcode.

Firstly a keyword is required to identify the recipient of a message on a shared shortcode. To have exclusive use of a shortcode, e.g. 87007 is expensive, several hundred pounds per month. Consequently most users opt to share a shortcode with use of a keyword that uniquely identifies them. So if your keyword is FRED then texts to 87007 would be formatted as “FRED + message body”.

With Virtual Mobile Numbers this is usually different. VMNs don’t cost a lot so there is no pressure to share. In this case keywords can be used to prompt a reply. For example the keyword might be a product code and the system would respond to that code with a price and/or stock availability. Equally a keyword texted in which relates to a property code might cause the system to respond with sales details of the property.

Getting to grips with the underlying psychology of how audiences react both consciously and subconsciously to your message is key to achieving the maximum effect in any type of marketing. All kinds of things come into play with different media, from colours and shapes to images and videos. Even the way things move can have a powerful effect on a viewer. Unlike many other forms of marketing, however, SMS marketing is unique in that the only tool you have is words - and not many of them. But armed with a basic knowledge of consumer psychology, 456 characters is more than enough to get the desired effect. In this article, we present our six top tips to take advantage of the psychology of SMS messaging.


If you are new to SMS Marketing, you may well be wondering how to create a campaign that generates real ROI. The answer lies in setting out SMART objectives built around the profile of your customers. Read this article to learn how use the SMART approach to create effective and powerful SMS Marketing campaigns that really get results.

We’re all familiar with shortcodes without actually knowing what they are. Shortcodes are the 5 to 6 digit numbers that businesses use for sending and replying to their text messages. To keep costs low and to get into the mobile space as quickly as possible, your small business needs a shared shortcode, here's why.


Whether you have a VMN or a shortcode, you probably want to use keywords for your SMS marketing. In Part 2 of this series you’ll find out how to pick keywords and what can happen if you don’t follow those general guidelines.


Keywords are important in SMS marketing. In order to use them, you have to have two-way messaging. But does it matter if you have a VMN or shortcode? Yes, and no. In principle, they are the same. But practically there are differences. Find out all about them in this blog.