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What is an SMS Keyword?

Updated: Jan 29

A memorable keyword (or text word) is critical as one method of building your text list.
SMS keywords help grow your SMS database

Your keyword, the word or phrase customers text to your unique toll-free texting number 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. Opt-in keywords for the AGE Texting platform need to be three or more characters with no spaces.

Not sure where to begin?

  1. Start with simply considering your business name. Business names are the most common keywords. With the AGE Texting platform, each customer is provided with a unique toll-free texting number exclusively for their texting service. This allows you to create any keyword—as long as it is 2 or more characters.

  2. Create your keyword reply. This is what your subscribers receive when they text in your keyword. You can include up to 240 characters in your keyword reply including emojis. 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> Msg&DataRatesApply. 4msgs/mo. Reply HELP for help, STOP to opt out.

  3. What to include in your opt-in reply?

  • Your business name

  • What you will be sending to your subscribers (marketing promotions, news, new product announcements)

  • Estimated number of text messages per month

  • Standard message and data rates may apply (Msg&DataRatesApply)

  • How they can unsubscribe to text alerts (Ex: Reply STOP to end, STOP2end, STOP 2 end

When you have secured your keyword, think about all the print components you use to promote your business. Add your keyword to toll-free texting number in a prominent location on all your marketing and communications collateral. Restaurant marketers should consider printing table tents or napkin holder signage.


Secondary Keywords

The AGE Texting platform offers unlimited keywords which create an unlimited number of segmented groups.

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 suggestion. For example, send a text that reads something like this: We value your feedback. To participate in our quick monthly surveys, reply POLL. Then, you can send quick survey questions to the POLL group.

  • 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 direct them to a URL.

  • Text to Win Contests—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 customer. Reply PICKME to register for a chance to win a $50 gift card. We will contact the winner on 12/15/22.

  • Gamification/ Trivia—Send a trivia question to your subscribers with a one word answer. If they text back with the correct answer, send them another question. Create a fun experience for your subscribers.

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How to use your keyword to grow your database

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QR Code: Easily generate a QR code using the QR code generator built into AGE Texting's platform. Just choose the group you want the new subscribers to be added to.

When a user scans the QR code, their phone opens its texting app with your keyword pre-filled as the message and your texting number as the send to phone number. The mobile user simply sends the text to opt into your text service. Include your QR code in print ads and onsite marketing signage. If you are an online retail business only, print stickers and put them on packaging or add to your invoice template. Restaurant or pizza shop? Place stickers on delivery and takeout boxes as well as tabletops.

Create a clickable universal opt-in link with your keyword. Attach your opt-in link to a mobile banner ad. Click or tap the banner below to see how the SMS opt-in link works. If you are on a mobile device, you'll see how your phone's SMS app opens a pre-filled text with the opt-in keyword and texting phone number. If you are on a desktop, you will be directed to an opt-in landing page.

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Promote on Social Media: Promote your keyword to texting number on social media.


Keywords are sometimes also called “text words”. Whatever you call it—they are a "key" component to building a quality text list. AGE Texting offers multiple opt-in methods.

Contact us today for ideas on using keywords to grow your SMS database.

Updated 11/28/22

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