How to grow your Email List with a Text Keyword


Growing your contact list used to be a long and tedious process, but if you’re using text message marketing, also called SMS marketing, you can build your list with a simple keyword. Just ask your customers to text a keyword that you select to a specific number, and you can add contacts to your list with ease.

How do keyword campaigns work?
From the marketer’s end, a keyword campaign is a relatively simple three-step process.

1. Choose a relevant keyword
This is the word that customers will send to a business to sign up. For companies with various locations, such as national franchises, each location may use a different SMS keyword to help segment their mobile subscribers for tracking. In the example below, the keyword “PAPAMURPHYS2” is specific to the franchise’s Orlando stores.

SMS Keyword for Subscriber Location Tracking

In the case of a nationwide campaign for a product or service, the keyword may be more specific. Benjamin Moore used the keyword “CARPET” in the ad below as part of the company’s “Simply Irresistable Flooring Days” campaign.

Nationwide Campaign Email Example

2. Promote the keyword and short code in all marketing material
Companies should advertise the campaign on social media, websites, print media, broadcast media, in store, on receipts, on company vehicles, at events and in email signatures.

The international airport in Houston used signage to give flyers the opportunity to earn more miles by either scanning a QR code or texting the keyword “FLYIAH” to a specific short code, which is just a shortened telephone number.

Promoting Keyword and Short Code Example

Be sure to give clear directions in your call to action and state the benefit to the customer. For example, “Text DISCOUNTS followed by your email address to 12345 to receive discounts on future orders.”

This type of message also allows businesses to collect email addresses, making integration with email marketing a simple process as well.

3. Track your campaign results
There are countless types of metrics that you can use to evaluate your keyword SMS campaign’s results. Just a few include:
• Delivery rate
• Response rate
• Click-through rate, if you included a link
• Segment response, e.g., geographic location
• Coupon redemption rates
• Opt-out rates

What are the benefits of keyword campaigns to build a contact list?
In additional to being incredibly affordable and easily integrated with other forms of marketing, the reach of text messaging is like that of no other channel. The Pew Research Center reports that 92% of American adults own a cell phone.

The speed of reach is also unrivaled, as Textedly reports that 98% of all text messages are read within five minutes. This is especially important for messages that are promoting a short-lived promotion or being sent to in-store customers.

The CMO Council reports that it takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text message. There’s simply no faster way to build a list of contacts.

How can businesses decrease opt-outs?
Once a business builds a list with keyword campaigns, they’ll need to use best practices to retain those customers, including:

• Set up auto-reply to give the customer confirmation that they’ve been subscribed.
• Only send relevant texts or emails.
• Avoid sending too-frequent texts or emails.
• Do not share customers’ information unless specifically stating that you plan to do so in advance.

Businesses that live up to their customers’ trust will retain and grow a strong list. Juvlon can help you with this.