5 Tips for Better SMS Keywords

SMS Keywords are opt-in phrases that supporters can send to trigger a conversation with your movement. In Strive, you can create an unlimited set of keywords and assign them to your message flows. Keywords are a great method for getting the word out, base building, and collecting opt-ins.

Whether your keywords are verbs or nouns, using them will diversify your organizing strategy and help you grow your list of supporters. But how do you know you are getting the most out of your keywords? Check out these 5 tips for better keywords:

1.) Keep them simple

A keyword that is easy to remember is more likely to be used and shared. We recommend that you make your keywords a single word, and avoid multiword phrases or long, hard to spell words like “maneuver”.

A complicated keyword is harder to capture. While keyword synonyms can account for some variations, a strong keyword that is memorable and easy to spell will rely less on synonyms to do the heavy lifting.

2.) Assign synonyms

Synonyms expand the library of terms Strive will parse for in your incoming traffic. The more synonyms you assign to your keywords, the more likely you will capture a member’s message.

Include common typos and abbreviations in your list of synonyms. To identify potential auto-correct terms, it’s helpful to type your keyword into a mobile device.

In this example, the organization used common abbreviations “NY” and full phrase terms “Empire State" as synonyms to capture a range of possible keyword variations.

3.) Dedicate keywords to different channels

Keywords are great for collecting opt-ins. But don’t forget, they can help you track the source of opt-ins too! With Strive, you can create unlimited keywords and dedicate them to organizing events, social media channels, holidays, or historical moments.

When a member messages in your keyword, they are automatically added to a corresponding keyword group. We recommend dedicating a keyword to various outreach channels so that you can understand where new members come from, and which sources are helping you grow the fastest.

4.) Advertise and incentivize

Once you’ve created some keywords, it is time to share them! Whether you are sharing a keyword in your social media bio, on a post, at an event, or via mailer, it’s important to always incentivize your call to action. A sentence like “Text VOTE to 77655 for updates on voter registration deadlines” helps your audience understand what the payoff will be after texting in your keyword.

This organization included “join our movement and receive a free Clean Water 4 All sticker!" in their call to action to incentivize their ask.

5.) Create keyword automations

With keyword automations, you can assign keywords to trigger flows. When a member messages in a keyword, they will automatically trigger your assigned flow. Create a welcome keyword and assign it to a welcome flow, or create a keyword just for volunteers and assign it to a custom volunteer questionnaire flow. Supporters that message in your keywords are interested (and motivated!) to interact with your organization – so it’s important to always have a message ready to engage them. 

Check out our resource guide to get started creating keywords for your campaign!

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