Text or call us at 423-218-0111

What Are Keywords and How Do I Use Them?

Last updated on

Keywords are primarily used for two reasons: to send a preset message to anyone who texts in a keyword; and to build a group of subscribers, so you can update them on that topic as needed.

We’ll explain this more below, along with how to create keywords, manage subscribers, send keyword messages, and more.

Two things to note:

  1. Only Administrators and Managers can access Keywords. For more details, view our User Permissions page.
  2. Like all settings, keywords only work for the text number they were created under. For more details, view our Text Numbers page.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word people text you to receive information on that topic. For instance, let’s say you create the keyword “Coupon.” When someone texts in “Coupon,” they’ll expect to receive info on coupons and similar offers.

You can share coupon info automatically in your keyword response (see below), or you can send coupon info to your group of Keyword: Coupon subscribers as you have updates to share.


How to Create a Keyword

  1. Go to Keywords under your Settings menu option.
  2. Click the Add Keyword button.
  3. Type in your new keyword (e.g. JOBS, Coupons, etc.). This is what people will text you to subscribe to that keyword.
  4. Enter your automated response (see below).
  5. Click Next.
  6. Check the info you’ve entered is correct, and click Purchase.

You’ll now see your keyword, the date it was created, and how many people are currently subscribed to that keyword under the All Keywords section.

A new group will also be created under your Contacts with the name “Keyword: [Keyword].”

About Keyword Responses

Keyword responses are messages that automatically send to subscribers as soon as they text in the keyword. For instance, a realtor could create a keyword for a house, and include the house’s details in the response.

They could tell people to “Text OAKROAD to 423-218-0111 for info on this home!” As soon as someone texts in OAKROAD, they’ll be sent the automated response - details on the home.

Another option is to thank people for opting in to the keyword. In this case, your automated response could be “Thanks for subscribing! You’ll now get updates on [Keyword].”

Responses are optional, but provide great opportunities to get people the information they want instantly.

Note, autoresponses will never be sent in response to keyword texts (opt-ins or unsubscribes).

How to Edit or Delete a Keyword

A keyword cannot be edited (you’d need to delete it and create a new one), but you can edit your keyword response and your keyword group contacts. There are two ways to edit keyword group contacts.

From Keywords Under the Settings Menu

  1. Click Edit under the keyword whose group contacts you want to edit.
  2. In the Keyword Subscribers section, click View. You’ll be taken to its Group Contacts page (i.e. the edit group page).
  3. Add and remove contacts as needed. For more details, view our Group Contacts page.

From Groups Under the Contacts Contacts

  1. Click on the keyword group whose contacts you want to edit.
  2. Add and remove contacts as needed. For more details, view our Group Contacts page.

To Delete a Keyword

  1. Go to Keywords under your Settings menu option.
  2. Click Edit under the keyword you wish to delete.
  3. Click the red Delete button at the bottom.
  4. Confirm.

Note, deleting a keyword does not delete a keyword group or the contacts within it. However, you can only edit a keyword group's name or delete the keyword group after its keyword has been deleted.

How to Send a Message to Keyword Subscribers

If you’ve created a response for your keyword, that message will automatically send to all new subscribers. Aside from the automated response, sending a message to a list of keyword subscribers is just like sending any other group message.

There are two places where you can message a keyword group.

From Keywords Under the Settings Menu

  1. Click Edit on the keyword whose subscribers you want to message.
  2. Click New Group Message in the Keyword Subscribers section.
  3. Your keyword group has been added to your message. Proceed through the steps to send a group message. For more details on group messages, view our Group Messages page.

From the Group Messages Menu

  1. Click New Group Message.
  2. Select the keyword group you want to message from the Existing Groups dropdown.
  3. Compose your message, and click Send. For more details on group messages, view our Group Messages page.

How do contacts subscribe to keywords?

Any contact that texts in just your keyword to the text number under which that keyword was created is automatically added (subscribed) to that keyword’s list.

In other words, if you create the keyword "JOBS" under 423-218-0111, contacts can subscribe to that keyword by texting "JOBS" to 423-218-0111.

You can send messages to these subscribers at will (see above).

How do contacts unsubscribe from keywords?

Any contact that texts “STOP [Keyword]” will be unsubscribed from your keyword list. They can, however, still receive texts from your text number. If a contact texts just “STOP,” you will no longer be able to text that contact. The contact will be automatically archived, too. For more details, view our Archiving Contacts page.

For compliance, all contacts are sent an opt out message the first time you text them. With keywords, the opt out message is “Reply STOP [Keyword] to opt out of [Keyword] messages. Reply STOP to opt out of all messages from this number.” For more details, view our SMS 101 page.

How are you billed for keywords?

Just like text numbers, your account will be billed in arrears for any keywords used during your previous billing period. Keyword charges are based on your plan rates:

  • Starter: $5.00
  • Basic: $4.00
  • Corporate: $3.00
  • Enterprise: $2.50
  • Custom: Custom

View our Pricing page for full plan details.