How Does SMS Marketing Work?
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There are two elements of an SMS campaign: The short code and the keyword. The short code is a five or six digit number that serves as the “phone number” customers text the keyword to. The keyword, then, is the word that goes in the body of the message and signifies which campaign your customers are signing up for.
For example, if you are launching an SMS marketing campaign, you might tell prospects to “Text TACOS4ALL to 123456.” The keyword, then, is TACOS4ALL and the short code is 123456.
To get started, you need to hire a text marketing service; they will provide you with access to a short code for your campaigns. There are two ways to get a short code:
⬥ Share a short code provided by your SMS marketing service. This is by far the most economical option, although it may limit your choice of keywords. Basically, the marketing service has one short code that is shared by all its clients and you use your keywords to identify campaigns. You will have to choose keywords not in use by other clients of that service.
⬥ Get your own short code used only by your customers. This gives you much more flexibility in choosing keywords; you own your short code, so you basically own all the possible keywords for that code, as well. This option is far more expensive, typically costing $1,000 a month or more to lease from your SMS company.
Once you sign up with an SMS marketing company and get your short code, you’ll manage all your campaigns through an online dashboard. Depending on which vendor you choose, you can choose from a variety of campaign management tools including analytics and reporting.