• Mindy Gross

What's In a Keyword?

Updated: Nov 2

Your keyword, the word or phrase customers text to a short code to subscribe to your SMS program, should represent your brand. If it’s too vague, consumers may not recognize it as your opt-in SMS program. Initial opt-in keywords for the AGE SMS platform need to be 3 or more characters with no spaces.

Not sure where to begin? Start with simply considering your business name. A business’ name is the most common keyword for SMS service. If it’s not available on the short code you’re using, consider using your tagline (if it's short) or product or service you’re best known for. Finally, create the auto reply that new subscribers receive after opting in. A common response might read: Thank you for opting into AGE Media’s text alerts. Stay tuned for new product announcements and SMS marketing tips. Follow us on Facebook: Fb.com/agemediapromo. Msg&DataRatesMay Apply. 4 msgs/mo. Reply HELP 4 help, STOP 2 opt out. (Note: with the AGE SMS platform, your reply can be up to 240 characters. Many SMS providers limit messages to 160 characters.)


Make sure your opt-in reply includes the following:

(1) Your business name

(2) What you will be sending them (marketing promotions, tips, event news and updates)

(3) Estimated number of text messages you will send per month (This will vary based on your industry. A maximum of 6 messages per month is realistic. (Ex: Up to 6msgs/mo.)

(4) Let them know that standard message and data rates may apply. (Ex: Msg&DataRatesApply)

(5) Inform them how they can opt out or request help. (Ex: Reply HELP for help, STOP to end)



Social media image promoting keyword to short code
Example of social media post promoting text club

When you have secured your keyword, think about all the print components you use to promote your business. Add your keyword to short code in a prominent location on all your marketing and communications collateral.


The Left image was printed out and inserted in napkin dispensers and displayed on TV screens at each bowling lane. It was also published on social media.

*Giveaway no longer valid.)

The AGE SMS platform offers unlimited secondary keywords. This means after you collect your subscribers through one of our primary methods (keyword to short code, kiosks or online), you can separate them into subgroups using “secondary keywords”.


How to Use Secondary Keywords

• Create a panel for feedback from your subscribers/customers. Send a message to all

subscribers with a keyword that moves them into a unique group to receive short surveys for

feedback and suggestions.


• Provide additional details about your business. Examples include CONTACT/ HOURS. A message to all subscribers might read: For our contact info, reply CONTACT. For our hours, reply HOURS. The auto reply can include those details in the text or a URL, email

address, or phone number.


• Text to win. Hold a contest for your subscribers that opt in with a unique keyword. Announce your contest in a message to all subscribers that might read: We’re excited to announce our holiday giveaway exclusively for our loyal customers! Reply PICKME to register for a chance to win a $50 gift card. We will contact the winner on 10/31/20.

Good luck!

Keywords are sometimes also called “text words”. Whatever the name, it is key in representing your business’ high-quality service and products and up-to-date methods of engaging with customers. Texting your customers can build a personable connection and “community” that is priceless.


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