5 Tips for Picking the Right SMS Keywords

by Victor Green
3 mins read

It’s no big secret that great SMS campaigns rely on several attributes to truly fire on all cylinders. Proper timing, a strong message or indication of value, and playing by the rules of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and other regulations all make the cut on this front. However, the greatest key to your success in the world of SMS marketing might not come from any of these practices, but rather via the selection of powerful and relevant keywords. With this in mind, here’s five quick and effective tips for picking SMS keywords that are sure to steal the show during your next mobile marketing campaign.

Focus on Versatility

At the top of the list for tactics that can help you pick the right SMS keyword, according to Business Review Canada’s Adam Groff, is focusing on a selection that is both versatile and flexible. While some might take this to mean picking a keyword with dual meanings, Groff explains that this is actually the act of placing an emphasis on a choice that has traction in other forms of marketing as well.Versatile keywords can serve as the “cornerstone” that connects your SMS marketing with other advertising facets, so picking something that translates well to everything from in-store print to online ad spot purchases is vital to your success. As you mull over various keyword possibilities, stop and ask yourself “does this keyword fit other platforms as well?” If the answer falls into the affirmative category, then you have the beginnings of an immersive and complete SMS campaign that has the ability to span multiple advertising opportunities.

Pass the “Auto-Correct” Test

Outside of finding ways to tether your SMS keyword to other marketing endeavors, Groff also points out that your selection needs to pass the “auto-correct” test. Essentially, this test focuses on having your brand pick a keyword that is both free of special characters and not prone to changes via the various mobile messaging auto-correct systems. Generally, running potential keyword selections through tests on multiple mobile operating systems should help confirm that your choice is ready to take center stage on these devices as intended.

Connect Your Keyword to the CTA

Another major characteristic of a great keyword is the ability of this tool to slide in effortlessly into multiple calls-to-action (CTAs.) At the end of the day, a great SMS campaign leans heavily on its value proposition, so it makes sense for your keyword to fit into any coupons, discounts, or special offers held within these messages. The best part about making sure this developmental overlap exists is that your brand will be able to garner additional use out of this keyword, thus leveraging even more of the aforementioned versatility into the useful lifespan of this offering.

Short and Straightforward Goes a Long Way

One of the biggest slip-ups committed by brands looking to reach out via mobile devices, according to Derek Johnson of Mobile Marketing Watch, is the inability of these organizations to “trim the fat” off of potential keyword choices. Yes, you want these words or phrases to be descriptive, but sometimes this approach leads to excessive or clunky keyword offerings.Johnson goes on to note that a better way of tackling this dilemma is to keep things short and sweet. Great keywords don’t scare off subscribers by being over-the-top or longwinded. Instead, they avoid multiple words when possible and serve as an attractive morsel that lures the reader into a longer viewing of the text message or a visit to your relevant landing page. In other words, the “less is more” concept is in full effect when it comes to choosing keywords for your next SMS campaign.

Make Your Keyword Memorable

The final tip on the list, also from Mobile Marketing Watch’s Johnson, points to the fact that your keyword needs to be memorable. Viewers only afford most messages a quick glance or two before closing their text apps, so it’s imperative that your keyword jumps off the page. Whether you choose a selection that easily identifies your brand, or you aim to stun the reader with something exciting and unexpected, the fact remains the same; if you’re not memorable, it won’t be long before your message is out of sight and out of mind.Thankfully, with the tips covered here leading the way, your next SMS campaign doesn’t have to succumb to such a tragic marketing demise. Instead, you now have everything you need to find the perfect keyword for your marketing messages that is sure to take the mobile inbox by storm.

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