Advertising your mobile keyword helps you grow your SMS subscriber list quickly, which generates more donations, purchases, volunteers, support, signatures, leads, and votes from your text message campaigns. In this blog post, we break down how to choose a keyword and short code that effectively advertise your SMS campaign, then where to advertise your keyword and short code to drive the greatest number of new subscribers in the shortest amount of time possible.
How Do Keywords and Short Codes Work?
First of all, there are two essential components in SMS marketing campaigns: short codes and keywords. When used correctly, they form a strong foundation for building your subscriber list. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Instead of using traditional 10-digit phone numbers, many organizations and campaigns use short codes. These are usually five- or six-digit numbers used to advertise and build support for the marketing push.
Short codes have some clear advantages over longer phone numbers when it comes to SMS marketing campaigns. They’re easier to remember and communicate quickly. Especially with ads on podcasts, radio, television, or online video, a potential customer may only see or hear the short code once or twice. The simplicity of the number helps it stay in the customer’s mind.
The short code also lends itself to signs, billboards, and other physical ads more easily than long phone numbers since it takes up less space and can be easier to integrate into the visual design.
Short codes are usually easier to share, too, considering they take up less space in character-limited texts and branded messages. Short codes can also help set a brand apart, providing a more official presentation than a number masquerading as an individual’s contact information.
Some short codes are random, but customizable codes (known as vanity short codes) are an option for brands who want to choose a visually simpler or more memorable number. Using short codes together with keywords can help a company’s SMS marketing campaign build steam quickly.
A keyword is a word that a customer texts to a short code, such as “VOTE” or “OHIO”. Texting a keyword to a short code is part of the opting-in process for marketing texts. Opting in is legally required for all SMS campaigns. An SMS marketing software system like Tatango will recognize the keywords and add customers to the correct subscriber list or segment.
Keywords often serve multiple functions in a campaign to help organizations understand their customers better. Organizations can compile and extrapolate valuable data (such as interests, locations, or causes) for future projects, or segment text message campaigns, using unique keywords for each campaign or advertising push.
Keyword Best Practices
Keywords should be short and easy to remember. Multiple words or tricky spellings can hurt an advertising push, especially if the ads are in a non-visual medium. It is also a bad idea to incorporate special characters or confusing letters in keywords. It should be very clear when a character should be an “-o” or a “-0” (a letter or a number) or a “-l” or “I” (a lowercase “L” or an uppercase “i”).
Another factor some brands may fail to check is autocorrected words. Organizations should test their keyword to see if autocorrect changes the spelling of a word when someone types it into their phone. If autocorrect changes the spelling of a keyword, a potential subscriber may not notice when texting in, and the organization will miss out on that new subscriber. It’s best to be as clear as possible since you may not have a second chance to add the potential subscriber to your list.
Some marketing campaigns use shared short codes, using the same number as countless other organizations. Keywords are vital here. They help ensure subscribers get the correct information and subscribe to the right lists. For many organizations (especially political ones) it’s worth getting a dedicated short code, which only a single brand owns and uses. A dedicated short code allows a brand to gain a more detailed understanding of their customers through many different keywords. A dedicated short code also makes it easy for subscribers to their favorite organizations to their contacts. Let’s check out some good and bad examples.
Examples of Short Codes and Keywords
Here are some different ways to combine short codes and keywords and some examples of what to avoid.
A political campaign could use this message: “Text DEMOCRACYNOW to 12345.” The personalized short code may make this number easier for people to remember, but the keyword is way too long and combines two words. Keep it simple and clear, especially when trying to grow a subscriber base.
An environmental organization’s SMS marketing campaign could have a sign like this: “Text OCEAN to 12345 to claim your limited-time t-shirt!” While the short code is randomized, the simple and memorable keyword is perfect for helping people sign-up painlessly.
Now that we have looked at a few examples, let’s go through potential places to advertise your keyword and short code.
Advertising Your Keywords
The more places people can see your short code and keyword, the better. The larger your subscriber list, the more donations, registrations, and votes you can receive.
Here are some examples of where to advertise your keywords:
- Online ads
- On your website
- Ads on YouTube
- TV ads
- Radio ads
- Podcast ads/sponsors
- Print ads
- Business cards
- Email signatures
- Email campaigns
- Marketing signs
- Blogs and articles
- Bumper stickers
- Public transit ads
- Restaurant menus
- Political campaign vehicles
- Yard signs
The main goal with keywords is for people to notice and remember them. As subscriber lists expand, brands and campaigns can grow and understand their base better. Standing apart from the competition can be challenging, especially in a world where ads are everywhere. Making your keywords memorable and active can take your brand far.
In addition to promoting your short code and keywords, help customers understand the potential benefits of opting in. Will they get discounts, deals, exclusive behind-the-scenes, or updates? Use your keywords to show your strengths and gain an advantage over your competition.
Partner with Tatango
If you need a hand setting up and expanding your SMS marketing push, contact the experts at Tatango. We’ll help you choose the best short codes and keywords for your campaign and help get your message out there.