Create SMS Keywords

You can create keywords that a contact can subscribe to in order to receive SMS and MMS messages that are tied to the keyword.

About this task

SMS keywords are words or names used to distinguish SMS messages on a given short code. Your account will have one short code, but you could have many keywords. This allows you to have keywords for different types of content you want to provide. For example, you could have a keyword for a big sale you are having, and another keyword for mobile updates you provide. There are two types of SMS keywords:
  • Subscription - Subscription based keywords require a contact to choose to receive SMS messages from you (via a webform or by texting in to a given keyword). Contacts who subscribe to a subscription based keyword will be added to a list so that you can send SMS messages to them in the future.
  • Basic or Non Subscription - Basic, or non-subscription based keywords, are meant for individual transactional interactions. With non-subscription based keywords, a recipient texts in to a keyword and a response is sent back. The interaction ends there. The recipient is not added to a list because they have not agreed to receive future marketing messages from you.
Overview Details For An SMS Message

To create an SMS keyword:


  1. Go to Messages > SMS Keywords.
  2. Click Create Keyword.
  3. Type in the name of the keyword you want to create in the Name text box.
    The keyword must be 3–16 characters in length and can only contain letters and numbers.
    Warning: The keyword name cannot be edited once it is saved!
  4. Add a description for the keyword in the Description text box.

    The description is an internal designation you use to describe what the keyword is for.

  5. Add the message content for the keyword in the Message Content text box.

    The message content is what is sent back to a contact when they text in to a keyword (in other words, they send an SMS to your short code containing this keyword).

    Note: When a person texts in to a keyword, the keyword must be the first thing contained in the SMS message they are sending to you. Additional content is allowed, but the keyword must be first.

    Contacts manually added by you to a keyword subscription list from within the application will not be sent the message content. They will, however, receive the confirmation message. Contacts who text in to a subscription keyword will receive the message content and the confirmation message.

    Note: The message content for the keyword can be a maximum of 160 characters.
  6. Optional: To make a subscription based keyword:
    1. Click the Keyword is subscription based check box to make the keyword subscription based.
      Warning: Once this setting is saved, you can not go back and switch a keyword from subscription based to non-subscription based.
    2. Choose the monthly frequency cap settings for the keyword.

      The monthly frequency cap setting defines the maximum number of SMS deliveries that can be sent to a given keyword over a rolling 31 day period. Best practices dictate you should limit SMS deliveries to 30 or less per month for a given keyword.

    3. Add a confirmation message in the Confirmation Message text box.

      The confirmation message is sent when a contact confirms their subscription to a keyword, either by texting in to the keyword or, by you manually adding them to a keyword subscription list.

      Note: We automatically append Txt STOP to <XXXXX> to end, HELP for info. <XX>msg/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. to all SMS confirmation messages.
      • We automatically append Txt STOP to <XXXXX> to end, HELP for info. <XX>msg/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. to all SMS confirmation messages.
      • Any time an SMS call-to-action is used (for example, Text Helptest to 33233 to receive a coupon), you must clearly display the following terms of service/conditions text:
        Contact: or 888-276-6861. STOP to end. Msg&data rates may apply.
        This includes SMS calls-to-action in emails, tweets, Facebook posts, webforms, web pages, and any form of print communication.
      Note: The confirmation message can be a maximum of 83 characters long.
  7. Click Save.