SMS Keyword Campaign Strategies for Better Text Marketing

The EZ Guide

What You Need to Know About Text Marketing Keyword Campaigns

VIP Program Text Message

A Keyword is a unique term (letters and/or numbers) that people can use to communicate with you via a short code (which we’ll get to in a moment). A particular Keyword is unique to a particular short code, which is a 6-digit bulk text code. In other words, you can see the same Keyword used across multiple short codes. These two things are key when considering an SMS keyword campaign, a cornerstone of any text marketing strategy. 

What to Consider When Choosing an SMS Keyword

A simple way to think about the relationship between Keywords, dedicated short codes, and shared short codes is to compare them to domain names and subdomains. If you purchase your own domain name, you can create as many unique subdomains ( as you like. Each one will take visitors to a particular page or service. You can think of a Keyword as similar to a subdomain. If however, you do not have your own domain name, some website hosting companies will allow you to rent a subdomain, as long as no one else is using it (

How you are planning to use your Keyword in a text marketing campaign makes a huge difference in what word or words you're going to choose. You want to make it memorable and make sure it won't get autocorrected by someone's mobile phone. Here are some more tips for choosing an SMS keyword

Your use case, however, is the most important thing when determining your SMS Keyword marketing strategy. For example, commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates West L.A. uses Keywords from EZ Texting for every building that is available for lease — even for buildings that aren't currently for lease also have billboards with a custom SMS Keyword.

Therefore, when a prospect texts the Keyword to the number on the billboard, the real estate agents know which building that prospect is interested in, and they can also glean other types of information about the lead, like the type of location and size of the building so that if that particular building doesn't work out for the customer, they can easily find other properties that will. Watch the video to see how Lee & Associates WLA is leveraging SMS keyword responses. 

How to Market Your SMS Keyword Campaign

Most times when you encounter an SMS Keyword, it comes with an offer or a customer benefit, like "Text JEWELRY to 858585 to receive monthly sale alerts before anyone else!" Determining a sellable benefit like a promotion or a coupon also works really well, but no matter what the value to the customers, they have to be aware of the Keyword and the number to text it to in order for your SMS marketing campaign to work.

All that budget you're spending on signage? Make it do double duty, and include your Keyword, number, and opt-in benefit. Here are some other places that you can put your SMS Keyword campaign message front and center:

  • Napkins
  • Receipts
  • Company bio on your Facebook and other social media platforms
  • Business cards 
  • Window sticker for the door 
  • Roll-up banner
  • (Last but not least) Word of mouth

When the town of Searcy, Arkansas, needed to get their town's attention to join a their campaign to get voted to win a Hulu show called "Small Business Revolution," they went all out and even got the Arkansas governor's office to promote their SMS Keyword campaign. Once people opted in with the Keyword, they were able to send them reminders to vote each day during the voting process.

For this small town, the campaign meant $500,000 invested in its local businesses, and the chance to learn from pros like Ty Pennington. Check out the video to see all of the innovative ways that the town of Searcy had for marketing their SMS Keyword.

Crafting Your SMS Keyword Response

Auot-Reply Product Screenshot

We should tell you right now that it's absolutely necessary to set up an SMS Keyword autoresponder before you launch your campaign. When someone texts your Keyword to your number, they're opting in to receive your marketing text messages, which is great. That means that they want to hear from you, and therefore will be more receptive to your texts. But to provide the best service, you should confirm the customer's opt-in and make it clear how to opt out with a well-crafted SMS Keyword response.

You can easily set that up with our text autoresponder when you get your custom Keyword. This is also a great chance to prove the value your text marketing campaign is going to provide and what type of SMS messages they will receive. And don't feel like your Keyword auto-response has to be cut and dry. It could be a great place to insert a little humor if you feel like that fits your brand — and don't forget to include the discount code, promotion, or mobile coupon that you promised them originally!

SMS Keyword Examples to Test Right Now

As we said, Keywords are an extremely powerful tool when it comes to building a successful SMS marketing campaign. The best way to understand what Keywords can do is to look at some examples. We’ve set up three Keywords on 858585 that you can test out right now and see how easy it is for your customers to work with them.

The following three Keywords are active examples. Text them to 858585 right now. Our text messaging system will automatically reply to you with the text shown:


This is the EZ Texting demonstration Keyword. We use it to give our clients unfamiliar with keywords an idea of how they work. The reply you should get is: ‘Wasn’t that EZ? Collect #s, run contests, polls, surveys & more! Supercharge your current promotions & get your own keyword today! Reply STOP EZ to end.’

EZ Keyword Text Message


This is an example of the power of mobile coupons. When you encourage your customers to text in to receive a coupon, you also collect their phone number, which you can use for future marketing campaigns (with permission). You'll receive: ‘Thx for joining our VIP text club! Show this to your server and get 2-4-1 appetizers all night. Reply STOP 2FOR1 to end.’

2FOR1 Keyword Text Message


This is an example of a marketing alerts campaign. Build loyalty by letting interested customers know about specials before everyone else – ‘Welcome to David's Jewels preferred customer program. We'll send you exclusive invites to trunk shows to attend before the general public! Reply STOP JEWELRY to end.’

Jewelry Keyword Text Message

Are you ready to try Keywords out for your business? EZ Texting's free trial includes a free SMS short code Keyword.