Keywords are a concept that every marketer is familiar with, usually in relation to search engine optimization (SEO). But SMS messages give keywords a higher place of prominence for your audience. Instead of just sourcing information, texting a keyword allows customers to start a messaging conversation that is relevant to them in a way that is intuitive, easy, and fast.
For decades, marketers have pushed out information, promotions, and messaging in a one-way format based on their timeline and what they want to say. Buyers and customers have minimal opportunity to respond in the moment, let alone take control of the conversation. Even with social media, brands aren’t responding as quickly or as well as customers would like.
Email remains the channel of choice for marketers. Marketing automation has enabled them to schedule more email to be sent on a schedule in a set-it-and-forget-it sort of way. But these emails are mainly outbound, one-way pushes of information. Response rates have plummeted to around 4%, yet marketers are still saying this channel is the most effective tool in their technology stack.
Even if response rates climb to 10% or 20%, will this be enough? It’s not likely, as more marketers are tasked to prove contribution to revenues, customer retention, and account expansion from their marketing programs.
SMS messages for business can change this lack of responsiveness. Yes, the technology has been around for 25 years, but it’s also the most used function on smartphones today – above email and internet. Everyone texts. Young and old, most of us find texting to be a reliable form of conversation. Many of us prefer it to any other form of communication.
Research has found that millions of customers have opted-in to text with businesses. Thirty-seven million of them in 2017. With a 90% open rate and a response rate of 45%, text messaging with your customers is certainly worth consideration.
A keyword is a word tied to a short code or text-enabled phone number and used for a customer to opt-in for messaging based on the promise of the keyword.
For example, you can use a keyword to invite your customers to opt-in to a loyalty program by putting this notice on your website or in a confirmation email after they’ve purchased a product:
Text “VIP” to 123456 to join our loyalty program and receive exclusive promotions and discounts.
Or, let’s say a business executive has just finished reading a blog post about some new research your company has conducted. You could have a call to action at the end of the post that invites them to text a keyword to get the full report:
Text “Research” to 123456 to get the full report.
You can use keywords to invite your prospects and customers to start conversations with you about anything relevant to them and to your business. The key is that they get to choose to do so on their schedule and at their convenience.
The expectation when texting is near-immediate responsiveness. An advanced messaging platform can help you blend automated messages with the human touch to seamlessly converse with your customers.
Should David reply with the keyword “Question” an alert is automatically sent to Sam so he can step in and respond personally.
Keywords not only allow your customers to start messaging conversations, but they allow you to continue them. They help you identify what your customer is interested in and share information back and forth, rather than just pushing it at them as you do with email.
SMS messages are meant to be conversational. It’s intuitive and easy for your customers to use. Your conversations will be more relevant because you’re allowing your customers to control the conversation. And it’s hard to argue with the open and response rates you can get with messaging.
If you’d like to see how intelligent messaging works,
Text “DEMO”, “FirstName”, “YourCompanyEmail” to