When the marketing arm of your business makes the move toward SMS, you’ll have to do a little keyword research to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. In the SMS world, keywords are unique, often containing letters and numbers that pertain to your product, service, or brand. Combined with a short code, these transmissions allow you to invite prospective customers to opt-in to your customer loyalty programs, or receive a special perk like a coupon or offer code.
When coming up with a keyword for your SMS mobile marketing campaigns, there are several facets of this medium that you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Keywords must be kept short and simple. A keyword should reflect your brand, as well as whatever product or service you provide. You must, however, keep your keyword as sensible and sweet as possible. Often keyword designers will strive to make their terms autocorrect friendly. The best keywords are easy to remember, like, “Text the word DONOVAN to 24568 for a 10% discount on your next order!” (Also, keep in mind that you do not know when your customers will see these keywords, and they might not be able to write down the keyword and short code at the time they do.)
- Do not use alternative spellings or special characters. Alternative spellings like “GETTAWAY” or “PHASHIONISTA” might seem clever, especially if the keyword you prefer is unavailable. Most consumers, unfortunately, find them difficult to remember or simply unprofessional. Also, special characters are particularly unseemly and force mobile users to search their keypads for the correct characters. (Bad examples: “IT @ LIANO” or “$ALON CHIC.”)
- Always use a single keyword. Never attempt to create a keyword with multiple words, as this can quickly get confusing for the customer. Suppose your intended keywords are “BOOK WORM.” Many of your potential customers will be lost because they texted the single word “BOOKWORM” to the short code, receiving nothing for their efforts. (While it’s possible to work around this by purchasing both derivations of your keyword, it’s a costly solution to a problem that’s best avoided all together.)
- Link your keyword to other media to provide further access. Since text messages are limited to 160 characters, you can and should use keywords to link to your other Internet properties. You could link to a website, a product page, or simply a blog where you provide more information about your brand and your product.
- Place your keyword in other marketing materials. Your print ads, in-store ads, website, and all of your other marketing efforts should include your keyword as well. This allows you to synergistically connect all of your marketing campaigns and improves the odds of potential customers opting-in to SMS correspondence.
Take these five ideas into account when creating your keywords. There is a great deal you can do with an effective keyword over SMS text message exchanges, and you are limited only by your imagination.