SMS keywords that make text messaging more personal

Profile photo of author Roger Lu
Roger Lu
4min read
SMS marketing
October 7, 2020
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Marketing is all about personalization.

Whether you’re segmenting your audience, creating a flow, or sending a promotional text message, the right automation platform will let you personalize every SMS. 

To personalize your text message marketing campaign you need to use SMS keywords. These are single words or multiple phrases that you add to your SMS tool so that you can receive messages from the sender. For example, an apparel store could add the term ‘fashionista’ and create a send a text-to-join campaign for their new fashion.

What are custom SMS keywords?

Custom SMS keywords allow you to create a unique keyword your customers can use to subscribe to your text marketing. With custom keywords, you can personalize the journey for each SMS subscriber. 

Use a SMS tool to create a custom SMS strategy

How can you use the keyword in your text marketing strategy?

There are various ways to use the keyword. Some options include:  send a new customer through a unique SMS welcome series, send a special promotion to customers acquired through a flash sale keyword, or build an upsell campaign tailored to customers who joined from your Instagram account. 

Custom keywords are flexible and give you creative options to grow your SMS list and personalize the customer experience. 

Use custom keywords to create new text campaigns

Using the SMS keyword to customize the brand conversation.

Using custom keywords can help you tailor your SMS subscription experience specifically to your brand. Instead of using a generic keyword like “JOIN,” you can create a custom keyword that matches your brand and is more recognizable and unique. 

For example, if you’re selling socks, you can use “SOCKS” as the keyword used to subscribe to your SMS marketing. Or if your brand is all about the outdoors, you may choose a keyword like “CAMP” or “HIKE.”

Once you choose keywords for your brand, you can place them everywhere so both visitors and customers can subscribe. 

SMS marketing tips that elevate your brand strategy

All you need to do is instruct people to text your keyword to your SMS subscribe number. It would look something like this on your website: 

Image shows an example of an SMS message with a dog.

Or like this in an email:

Image shows an example of a custom SMS message.

You can use multiple custom keywords for different uses. For example, you may have a standard custom keyword to join your main SMS list and then use other keywords for special sales and promotions.

Keywords like SALE10 or VIP50 signal there’s a discount available. 

Once someone texts the keyword, they’ll subscribe to a list of your choosing and can then enter a welcome series. This is when you can personalize the experience for any keyword. 

SMS brand strategies that help set your brand voice

Do you have any SMS keyword use cases?

Using the outdoor equipment company example, a first-time subscriber who texts HIKE might receive content and discounts geared towards hiking, while a person who subscribes with CAMP might receive emails tailored to a camping lifestyle.

Alternatively, a keyword like TENT20 could be used strictly to promote a 20 percent discount off your tents. 

Custom keywords allow you to personalize the way you talk to your customers based on how they found you and what they’re interested in. 

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Roger Lu
Roger Lu
Roger is a Product Manager at Klaviyo working on our SMS product. Outside of work, Roger loves traveling to new places and exploring the food scene there.