Using Keyword Responders Effectively
  • 27 Jul 2022
  • 5 Minutes to read
  • PDF

Using Keyword Responders Effectively

  • PDF

Provide fast and automatic replies to your customers' and prospects' information requests using Keyword Responders. In our platform, the process for setting up these keyword-driven responders is very simple. Our goal is to enable you to provide instant information to your audience about specific topics. 

Example Use Cases

  • Text MENU to get sent a link to our restaurant menu
  • Text CONFIRM to confirm your scheduled appointment
  • Text COUPON to receive our latest offers
  • Text DONATE to learn how to contribute to the cause

Carrier Compliance Recommended Responders

To abide by a number of regulatory and compliance frameworks for SMS/MMS, there are several important Keyword Responders that every business who is utilizing texting as a channel, should have in place. These responders should be active on any text-enabled line that you are using to interact with your customers or prospects.

  • Providing Help Information (HELP)  - In this instance, it is required that when mobile users text in the word HELP to your text-enabled business line, that you provide information about your business, how to contact you, and the purposes of your messages. An example template is: {Business & Description} Alerts: Help at {source of help #1} or {toll free number}. Msg&data rates may apply. {Message frequency}. Text STOP to cancel.
  • Managing Opt-Out Requests (STOP) - Many carriers will automatically take action on this Keyword if texted in by a mobile number, but it is required that you also take action. You should setup at least one Keyword Responder that is specifically in place to allow your subscribers to opt out of receiving text messages from your business line. While STOP is most common, others can be used as well (END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT). It is also required in your first outbound message to them, that you inform your subscribers how to unsubscribe. Mobile users who have used that Keyword Responder should not be contacted again via text by your business on that specific outbound phone line.
  • Managing Opt-In Requests (UNSTOP - or similar for opting in/subscribing) - Allowing your subscribers to opt-in to receiving messages from your business. This subscription is on a per line basis. While no single keyword is required like HELP or STOP, it is important to instruct the mobile user the specific keyword they can supply to indicate they are opting in to receive texts from you. Examples included START, UNSTOP, SUBSCRIBE, etc.

Best Practices

As a general rule of thumb, it is important to have awareness of all of the responders you have configured across your phone lines. This will ensure that you do not have overlap and potentially create unintended responses to your customers. Our platform does not impose any limitations on the number of responders that you can setup on a given line. Responders include both Keyword Responders and Auto-Replies.

  1. Make note of the existing keyword triggers you have setup across your Keyword Responders. Avoid duplication in both the keyword used and what lines they are assigned to.
  2. It is recommended to keep your keywords short. Typically, keywords are a single word and are easy to type.
Responder Prioritization
In the event that you have multiple responders configured on a phone line AND an inbound text message matches multiple responders, e.g. a Keyword Responder and an after hours Auto-Reply, our platform will prioritize sending the Keyword Responder over the Auto-Reply.

Setting Up a Keyword Responder

NOTE: Only Admin users can create Keyword Responders.

Navigate to the Responders menu in the header navigation and select "Keywords" from the submenu. 

Once on the Keyword Responder page, you can either create a new responder by clicking the "Add Keyword" button or edit an existing responder. In each scenario, there are three pieces of information that are required to define a working Keyword Responder.

  1. Keyword - This is the actual keyword that will be used to trigger the responder.
  2. Message - Within this text area, you can type up your message (up to 500 characters) and choose to add emojis or add an image.
  3. Lines - This dropdown will allow you to select which phone lines this Keyword Responder will be active on. A single responder can be active across multiple lines.

Custom Opt-In and Opt-Out Keyword Responders

Our platform gives you the ability to define custom keyword responders that will set contacts' opt-in/out status. Some carriers support STOP and UNSTOP by default, but within our platform we can offer customization on what triggers an opt-in or an opt-out for a contact. We manage these statuses independent of the carriers to ensure we have the most up to date information. 

It can be very beneficial to have options when managing Opt-Out/Ins, especially in offering your customers more intuitive keywords. For example, to collect opt ins, you could define a keyword of START or SUBSCRIBE might be more suitable for your business. 

To specify that a Keyword Responder should influence the consent status of a contact, check the box in the setup panel that states "This Keyword needs to update the opt in/out status." After that you will need to specify if it should set the status as opted out or opted in.

QR Code Generation

A feature add-on available for keywords is a unique generated QR code. Mobile contacts can scan the QR code and will have the assigned keyword auto-populate on their messaging app that they can then send to the designated phone line. The unique QR code will automatically be generated upon creation of any keyword and can be found in the column labeled "QR Code" on the main Keywords page. Clicking the QR Code logo will bring up the QR code on your screen so that it may be downloaded for collateral use. 

Keywords can be assigned to multiple lines and each line will have it's own QR code associated with it. Selecting a different line on the dropdown menu will display the correlating QR code for that line. 

NOTE: A new QR code is generated whenever a change is made to the keyword. If any changes were made, please make sure to update your QR code at every location it may be at the time (website, posters, etc).

Editing & Deleting Keyword Responders

On the Keyword Responder page, there are a few options for modifying the existing responders.

  • Editing - To edit a responder, simply click on the Edit button for the responder you'd like to modify. This will open a modal that will allow you to modify the Keyword, Message, and Line assignments.
  • Enabling/Disabling - On the page, you will see a column that has a status toggle. By default, all newly created responders will be set to Enabled. There are some instances where it makes sense to disable a Keyword Responder. Disabling will retain the responder but will deactivate it from sending messages on the assigned lines. This can be useful if you have Keyword Responders that you want to be able to turn on/off quickly without recreating them.
  • Deleting - If you want to permanently delete a Keyword Responder, you can click on the trash can icon next to the Edit button. You will get a confirmation modal confirming your desire to delete the responder. Please note: deleting a responder will immediately remove any associations to phone lines. A responder is not recoverable once deleted.