SMS Keywords: A 5-Step Guide to Boosting Your SMS Campaign Performance

A 5-Step Guide to Boosting Your SMS Campaign Performance

SMS marketing is no longer a hidden gem in the marketing world. It’s a powerful tool businesses leverage to reach customers directly, engage with them, and drive conversions. One of the critical components of a successful SMS marketing campaign is using SMS Keywords.

We’ll explore what SMS Keywords are, why they’re essential, and how you can create an SMS keyword campaign using OtterText. Let’s dive in!

What Are SMS Keywords?

An SMS Keyword is a unique word or phrase that customers can text to a specific number to interact with your business. Whether it’s to sign up for a newsletter, receive a special discount, or get updates on an upcoming event, SMS Keywords make it easy and convenient.

For example, an outdoor adventure company might use the Keyword “EXPLORE.” Once the customer texts the Keyword, they receive an automated response with a special offer or information. 

Why Use SMS Keywords?
Immediate Engagement

SMS Keywords create an instant and direct connection with your audience. Unlike emails that might get lost in the clutter, SMS reaches the recipient immediately, often read within the first 3 minutes of receipt. This ensures that your message gets seen and acted upon, providing immediacy that few other channels can match.

Builds Subscriber List

The simplicity of SMS Keywords encourages more sign-ups. By texting a Keyword, customers can easily opt into your subscriber list. You can also use different Keywords for various campaigns or segments of your audience, allowing for more targeted and effective communication. 

Personalized Marketing

SMS Keywords enable you to send personalized offers or information that aligns with the customer’s interests, enhancing the customer experience and making them feel valued. 

Measurable Results

One of the standout features of SMS Keywords is the ability to track metrics like opt-in rates, engagement, and conversion. These insights are vital for understanding the success of your campaign and making immediate adjustments to optimize performance. 


Compared to traditional advertising channels, SMS marketing with Keywords is often more affordable and provides a higher return on investment. By targeting specific segments with relevant Keywords, you ensure that your marketing efforts are directed efficiently, making the most of your resources.

Enhanced Brand Recognition

Selecting Keywords that resonate with your brand helps reinforce brand identity. A well-chosen Keyword can create a memorable interaction, keeping your brand at the forefront of the customer’s mind. 

Versatility and Adaptability

SMS Keywords can be used in many ways, from promotions to event registrations to customer service inquiries. Their adaptability across various industries, whether retail, healthcare, real estate, or others, makes them versatile.

Compliance and Ethical Considerations

SMS Keywords provide a clear and transparent way for customers to opt into your communications, aligning with legal and ethical standards. By allowing customers to easily opt-in (and opt-out), you give them control over what they receive, enhancing trust and satisfaction.

SMS Keyword Examples

Here are some examples that illustrate the breadth and adaptability of SMS Keywords:

  • Retail Stores “SALE”: Retail businesses can use Keywords like “SALE” to notify customers about exclusive discounts and promotions. Texting “SALE” could grant access to a special coupon code or early access to a seasonal clearance event.
  • Healthcare Providers “APPT”: Healthcare providers might use a Keyword like “APPT” to allow patients to request appointment reminders or receive information about available services and clinics.
  • Fitness Centers “FITNESS”: A gym or fitness center could employ the Keyword “FITNESS” to provide workout tips, class schedules, or special membership offers to those interested in health and wellness.
  • Educational Institutions “ENROLL”: Schools and universities can use “ENROLL” to guide prospective students through the enrollment process or provide information about courses, scholarships, and campus tours.
  • Non-Profit Organizations “DONATE”: For charities and non-profits, a Keyword like “DONATE” can facilitate donations or provide information about volunteering opportunities and upcoming charity events.
  • Outdoor Adventure Companies “EXPLORE”: As previously mentioned, an outdoor business might use “EXPLORE” to connect with adventure-seekers, offering updates on trips, discounts on gear, and outdoor safety tips.
  • Real Estate Agencies “HOME”: Real estate agents can utilize “HOME” to provide potential buyers with listings, virtual tours, or information about open houses in their desired location.
  • Firearm and Ammunition Stores “GUNS”: Firearm and ammunition stores can use a Keyword like “GUNS” to provide information about new products, sales, or safety courses. However, it’s crucial to implement age-gating in this scenario to comply with regulations. Before giving any information or offers related to firearms or ammunition, the store must verify that the individual engaging with the Keyword is of legal age to access such content. This could be done through a follow-up text requiring age confirmation or a link to a webpage with an age verification process.
How to Market SMS Keywords: 7 Strategies with Examples

Marketing SMS Keywords effectively involves using various channels to reach your target audience:

  • In-Store Advertising: Place signs or posters with the Keyword and instructions, capturing customers when they are engaged with your brand.
  • Social Media Promotion: Share posts with eye-catching visuals and Keywords, reaching a broad audience that can spread the message organically.
  • Email Marketing: Include a call-to-action with the Keyword in newsletters, targeting existing subscribers.
  • Website Pop-Ups, Banners, and Webchats: Display banners or pop-ups with Keywords on your website, or use webchats to engage visitors and prompt them to text the Keyword. For example, a webchat might say, “Want a 10% discount? Text ‘SAVE’ to 12345 now!”
  • Print Advertising: Use flyers or magazine ads with Keywords to reach a targeted audience with a direct call-to-action.
  • Radio and Television Ads: Include memorable Keywords in radio or TV ads to create immediate engagement.
  • Collaboration with Influencers: Partner with influencers to promote Keywords, leveraging their dedicated followers.
A 6-Step Guide to Creating an SMS Keyword Campaign Using OtterText
Step 1: Sign Up for OtterText

First things first, you need to have an OtterText account. You can try OtterText for free for 14 days.

Step 2: Navigate to the Dashboard

Once you’re logged in, head to the dashboard. From there, select “automation” and then “keywords.”

Step 3: Type Your Keyword

This is where the magic happens. Type in the Keyword you want to use. It should be relevant to your campaign and easy for your audience to remember.

Step 4: Customize Your Message

You can include a custom message or attach an offer or coupon. This is a great way to incentivize your audience to engage with your Keyword.

Step 5: Collect User Data (Optional)

If you want to collect user data, you can do so at this stage. OtterText allows you to collect information such as first name, last name, email, and birthday. This data can be valuable for future targeted marketing.

Step 6: Activate and Save

Finally, activate your Keyword and save your settings. Your SMS Keyword campaign is now live!


SMS Keywords aren’t just a trend; they’re a game-changer in marketing. From immediate engagement to personalized offers, they offer a unique way to connect with your audience. Whether you’re in retail, healthcare, education, or any other industry, SMS Keywords are adaptable, versatile, and ready to boost your campaign’s performance.Sign up for OtterText today and begin your journey toward more engaging and effective SMS campaigns. Create your unique Keywords, connect with your audience, and watch your business grow. Start your free 14-day trial, and let’s make your marketing messages seen and acted upon.