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SMS Glossary


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keywordsKeywords are special “words” you select that help you communicate with your SMS contacts list. You can have keywords for each of your virtual mobile numbers (VMN) and you can rent a keyword on our shortcode, 87007. Keywords allow people on your list to communicate with you in a simple way. They just need to send the keyword (which can be any alphanumeric combination) to your VMN or shortcode.


One of the most frequent uses for keywords is SMS marketing campaigns. People are invited to text a keyword in order to sign up with a brand or business. Usually there is some incentive to do so, which motivates people to sign up to receive the marketing messages.


Keywords are often used as simple commands as well. “STOP” is a popular one used to tell the owner of the list to stop sending messages. “HELP”, “INFO”, “BALANCE” are other examples used for different purposes.


It’s important that the keyword be as simple as possible. Due to the auto-correct feature on most phones, keywords that are intentional misspellings or a play on words could potentially be corrected to the “proper” form of the word. Incorrect keywords, that is, ones not recognised by the SMS provider, will fail to be delivered. As auto-correct software is self-learning as people type, so it’s impossible to know what will work with every device. The easiest way to avoid this is to choose simple words or number combinations that aren’t likely to be auto-corrected by most systems.


Once you create or rent a keyword, you can define what should happen when you receive one. You can use keywords to differentiate between marketing campaigns. The replies can then be sorted into lists based on the keyword sent.


Similarly, you can set the system to automatically remove someone from a list if they type in the keyword asking you to do so. Another option is to send an automated message in reply to receiving a keyword, like a balance on an account of the person sending the keyword.

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