Keywords and shortcodes are a great tool to aid SMS marketing. Using them on collateral, advertising, posters, products; all sorts of things really, is guaranteed to draw in new customers, new opportunities and increase data accuracy. However, there are some easy pits to fall into when choosing a keyword.
Here are some of our tips on how to ensure you are selecting the best keywords for your SMS marketing campaigns:
1. Keep it simple
You are expecting someone to text you a WORD not a sentence, so don’t jumble several words together, or try to make a phrase. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to reach you with the shortest keyword you can.
2. Make it relevant
If you are running a specific campaign or offer on the keyword, it’s best to use a word which reflects that, a lot like you might for offer codes or URLs. For example, a summer sale might use “SUMMER” or a 20% off offer might use “EXTRA20”.
3. Ensure that it’s clear that it is a keyword
Don’t make your keyword part of a sentence in your collateral, make sure it’s clear to the consumer that you intend them to use it in their message. The less clear you are, the less obvious you are, the more likely you are to receive the wrong messages, making inbounds difficult to manage.
4. Make sure it’s unique
Other than STOP, which is the standard opt out for all numbers everywhere really, you should be keeping your campaign keywords much more unique. You need to make it as easy as possible for users to recognise the purpose of the keyword and use it.
What does success look like?
Keywords that work best are relevant to the brand, product or campaign they are working for, easy to spell, easy to remember and obvious. When you are creating your campaign materials, think carefully about what you are going to offer your audience in exchange for their information, remember you are asking them for a pretty personal piece of data, always try to make it worth their while and ensure they have a reason to get in touch.
Managing a keyword campaign needs to be as easy as possible too, so once you have set it up you can reap the rewards with minimal effort and respond to those that engaged easily. A few tips on that too:
Automated message handling
Your SMS software should support you with message handling rules, which can accept an inbound message, recognise the content and perform actions. For example;
- Respond to the message – as standard practice you should thank all contacts that send you a message, for customer service and satisfaction, this also gives you an opportunity to give them their reward.
- File the message – placing the message in a specific folder will make it easier to report on for your results.
- Forward the message – you could either forward to a number, email or even a database, for example to update a CRM with the information.
- Respond with one message to a specified number of people and then a different message to all others – for example for a competition where the first 50 people win.
Reporting and analysis
For small campaigns, reporting shouldn’t be too difficult, you can export the messages and report on things like the most popular time of day for sending in messages, or the proportion of new contacts to existing.
For larger campaigns this is still possible, but the data may be difficult to manage manually. Using automated export to an external FTP you can schedule a regular report to be run of your inbound messages which can be exported in your own data warehouse or CRM and analysed there.