• AGE Media Writing Team

What's In a Keyword?

Updated: Feb 24

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.

Determining your keyword should not be overwhelming. 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 tips. Follow us on Facebook: Fb.com/agemediapromo. Msg and Data rates may apply. 4 msgs/mo. Reply HELP 4 help, STOP 2 cancel. (Note: with the AGE SMS platform, your reply can be up to 240 characters. Many SMS providers limit messages to 160 characters. Your message needs to end with how a subscriber can opt out—future messages should include that as well.)



When you have 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.


(Left image was printed out and inserted in napkin dispensers. Example only. Giveaway no longer valid.)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

• Collect feedback from your customers/ subscribers. Send the link to your online survey. (Make sure to use the Bitly tool to shorten the URL.)


• 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 a URL, phone number or email address.


• 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 to win a $50 gift card. We will choose random phone number on 10/31/20 and call the winner! 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.