What Is a Text Keyword & How Can It Help Me?

A text Keyword is a unique term that people can use to communicate with you via a textable number. The basic idea is that a customer texts your keyword to your number and by doing so, are added to your list of contacts.

What Happens When You Text a Keyword to a Number?

Coffee Keyword Text Message

You've probably seen it before: A sign at your favorite coffee shop says "Text COFFEE to 313131 for a free 8 oz. coffee." And, since you want a free coffee, you text 'COFFEE' to the short code. Now two things happen. One, the customer's number gets saved in a special contact group labeled COFFEE, so the coffee shop always knows which campaign you signed up with so that they can send you customized promotions in the future. Two, the coffee shop sends an automatic reply that includes a promo code that you can use to get a free coffee. Yay!

Remember, when a customer texts in a Keyword, they are opting in to the business' text marketing campaign. However, the business should set up an auto-reply to a customer's opt-in text message explaining how to opt out (reply with STOP) and informing the customer of their plans for text message marketing: frequency, message types, and benefits. That way, you don't get more texts than you want, and the business knows you are a valued customer. 

In mass text marketing, Keywords are an extremely powerful tool when it comes to building a marketing contact list that you can bulk text with promotions, alerts, notifications, or other information. Check out our guide for understanding the power of a text marketing service that includes Keywords. Or download our text Keyword guide now.

The best way to understand what a text Keyword can do is to consider some examples. Commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates West L.A. uses custom Keywords on billboards across the city to get new sales leads and advertise the buildings that are available for leasing.

Check Out Some Text Keyword Examples


This is an example of a marketing alerts campaign. Build loyalty by letting interested customers know about specials before everyone else – ‘Welcome 2 David's Jewels' preferred customer program. We will send u exclusive invites 2 trunk shows 2 attend before the general public! Reply STOP JEWELRY to end.’

Jewelry Keyword Text Message


This is an example of the power of mobile couponing. When you encourage your customers to text in to receive a coupon, you also collect their phone number, which you can then use for future marketing campaigns – ‘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 Keyword with two related Keywords, NYC and LA. Threadz is a clothing store. If a customer texts Threadz to 313131 they'll receive the message 'Welcome to the Threadz VIP program. Wherever you are, stay tuned for great specials and promos at Threadz!'

If they text Threadz LA or Threadz NYC, they'll receive a location-specific response. You can use Sub-Keywords for to capture votes, to highlight specials on different days, or — like in this example — to delineate between multiple locations.

Setting up Sub-Keywords is simple once you've set up a Keyword. Find out more about EZ Texting features that can help you acquire, engage, and service customers

Threadz LA Keyword Text Message

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