8 Benefits of SMS Marketing for Small Businesses

One of the most efficient ways to keep in touch with leads and customers is through Short Message Service (SMS), commonly known as text messaging. But have you ever heard of SMS keywords? If not, don’t worry — we’re here to explain what they are, why they matter, and how to effectively use them in your text campaigns.

What Are SMS Keywords?

SMS keywords are short words or phrases that you text to a designated phone number to trigger specific actions, responses, or information. They act as shortcuts, making it easier for businesses and people to engage customers using text messages. 

When you text a keyword to a particular number, a predefined action is automatically initiated, such as subscribing to receive texts, receiving information, or even joining a loyalty program.

Why Do SMS Keywords Matter?

SMS keywords have an important role in text message communication. Here’s why they matter:

  • Simple: Keywords are short and easy-to-remember words or phrases, making them user-friendly. This simplicity encourages more people to participate in your campaigns or access your services.
  • Efficient automation: Keywords automate processes, reducing the need for direct involvement. For example, a restaurant can use keywords to let customers reserve tables without needing help from the staff. These automations not only save time but also improve customers’ experience.
  • Enable promotions and marketing: Keywords are a great tool for running promotions, contests, and marketing campaigns. For example, texting a keyword can enter someone into a giveaway.

How SMS Keywords Work

Let’s break down the process of how SMS keywords work.

  1. Choose a keyword: As a business, choose a keyword that’s relevant to your campaign or objective. For instance, a pizza restaurant might choose the keyword “PIZZA” for their promotional campaign.
  2. Connect to a number: Choose a phone number for people to text the keyword to. This number is specific to your campaign, and when the keyword is texted, your predefined action is triggered.
  3. Define actions: You determine what action will occur when someone texts the chosen keyword to the shortcode. This action could be opting in to receiving more texts, getting a discount code, participating in a contest, or accessing specific information.
  4. Respond with automation: An automated response is triggered when someone texts the keyword to the number. This response can be a message, a link to a webpage, or further instructions. Automation tools make this process seamless and instantaneous.

How to Use SMS Keywords Effectively

  • Choose relevant keywords: Select keywords that are closely related to your brand, service, or campaign. Keep them short, memorable, and easy to spell. Avoid using complex terms or acronyms that might confuse people.
  • Have a clear call-to-action (CTA): Clearly explain what action texting the keyword will trigger. People should know what to expect when they interact with your keyword.
  • Provide value: Make sure the action triggered by the keyword provides value to people. Whether it’s instant information, exclusive offers, or quick solutions, delivering value keeps text subscribers engaged and willing to use your keywords or interact with other texts in the future.
  • Promote the keyword: Promote your SMS keywords through various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and offline advertisements. Highlight the benefits of using the keywords to encourage participation.
  • Track and analyze: Your text message platform should have tracking tools. Use those tracking tools to monitor the success of your SMS keyword campaigns. Analyze open rates, engagement rates, conversions, and other relevant metrics. Use the information collected to personalize future messages and offers to enhance your customers’ experience.

Examples of SMS Keyword Usage

  • Text Opt-in: Text “YES” to receive ongoing messages.
  • Retail: Text “SALE” to receive notifications about upcoming sales and discounts.
  • Restaurants: Text “MENU” to get the latest menu offerings and daily specials.
  • Nonprofits: Text “DONATE” to contribute to a cause or receive more information about the organization.
  • Media: Text “NEWS” to receive breaking news alerts.
  • Events: Text “RSVP” to confirm your registration for this event. 

Start Using SMS Keywords

SMS keywords let you communicate conveniently and consistently with leads and customers.

Start setting up unlimited keyword campaigns and transforming your communication strategy with Skipio — a conversational texting platform that helps businesses like yours engage leads and keep customers longer. Schedule a demo to see how to use Skipio’s keyword campaigns at your company.