What’s in a Keyword? Three Rules to Using Keywords in SMS Marketing
You’ve probably seen keywords used in marketing text messages you’ve received. They’re short, easy to remember words you can type into a text message reply. A common example you’ll see is something like “reply STOP to unsubscribe” at the end of marketing text messages. STOP is the keyword.
But they really could be any words right?
Technically yes, but some are better than others.
Just think about what you want to use a keyword for. They are a mechanism you provide your customers, clients, or members to reply to your text message. Now consider that your customer is typing their reply on a small keyboard on their mobile phone. Even those who excel at texting (almost anyone under the age of 18) don’t want to have to type in a long word. So keeping it a short word is the first rule of keyword choice.
Beyond using simple, short keywords to instruct your customers (like “STOP”), you can use keywords to help track marketing campaigns. Whether you are running a contest, promoting a sale, or looking for feedback, choose a unique keyword for each campaign. This will let you determine which campaigns are the most effective. The second rule is use as many keywords as needed. Imagine you are an electrical retailer running a discount campaign using SMS messaging. You could have a single keyword such as “BARGAINS” for the customer to access a list of prices for all items but wouldn’t it be better to break the list down? How about “TV” for televisions, “HIFI” for music systems and “CAMERA” for photographic. Response rates and conversion rates will benefit by sending prospects straight to their area of interest.
Many of the text messages I get use different keywords. For example, a music venue frequently sends me texts asking me to reply in order to win tickets to a show. They could simply ask me to send the keyword “Enter” or “Yes” in order to enter the contest. But they don’t. For each musical act, they use a keyword related to the artist: their name, portion of the name, or a song title. This helps me know, or realise in the moment I’m texting, what exactly it is I’m agreeing to in my reply. And that’s the third rule, make the keywords make sense. For brands this might mean using a product name, or the brand name itself.
Bear in mind also that you can use keywords in conjunction with either SMS shortcodes or VMNs (Virtual Mobile Numbers). For a fuller explanation of these click here.
Following these three rules of keyword choice should help you in creating effective text marketing campaigns. You can always learn too, from the marketers texting you. Have you received any awful keyword choices? Please share with us in the comments.
Twitter is a great place to quickly scan and see what is going on in the world, or in a particular niche topic. I was looking around at SMS related topics the other day and found many good (and some not so good) articles. But I also found many more pleas for votes from musicians, bands, and even illustrators.
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.
Here's a great real life example of how a retailer used text messaging to offer out a discount voucher to customers who had visited their store. Their approach is simple and intelligent and very focused on one segment of their customer base, those who had recently visited a store.
Part 1 of a 2 part article comparing Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMNs) and SMS Shortcodes as means of receiving inbound SMS messages. The first part focuses on how VMNs work, what they are typically used for and what they cost. Part 2 follows with details of SMS Shortcodes.
When you start using SMS marketing, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether or not you’ll need to get replies. If you do, then you’ll need to decide between shortcodes and a virtual mobile number (VMN, also called longcode). If you don’t, then that’s alright too.
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.
Keywords are a big deal in SMS marketing. They’re more important than ever, whether you use a shortcode or a virtual mobile number (VMN) if you’re planning on using two-way messaging. Here's what you need to know to help you choose the right keyword for your SMS marketing campaign.
If you are looking to get going with SMS marketing it's worth learning a bit about the "tricks of the trade" so you avoid the common pitfalls and get off on the right foot. Read about three important marketing concepts that will maximise your success in this venture.