Best practices: Keywords in your journeys

When you configure keywords for your Two-Way Journeys™ , consider the following best practices:

Use numbers and letters for your keywords

Although Attentive allows you to use words or characters as keywords, results have demonstrated that numbers and letters outperform words in Two-Way Journeys. In part, this is due to the fact that subscribers must enter the exact keyword to join the journey; otherwise nothing happens.

Consider the full list of pros and cons in the table below when determining your keywords.

  Pros Cons
Numbers or single characters
  • Higher response rates
  • Easier for subscribers to reply
  • Less room for error when subscribers send a keyword
  • More difficult to track
  • More difficult for subscribers to understand what they are opting into
Full keywords
  • Easier for subscribers to understand what they are sending you
  • Easier to keep track of each keyword's functionality
  • Lower subscriber response rate
  • Higher room for error, which does not trigger the journey

Inform subscribers of your journey with a campaign

Any time a subscriber sends you a configured keyword, they will initiate a journey; they do not have to receive a message from you to be eligible. We recommend informing subscribers of these with a conversational campaign. You can also mention it in other assets including web pages, social media, and email signatures.

Add multiple keywords to your journey

At this time, you can only have one Two-Way Journeys™ active at a time. Because of this, we recommend incorporating multiple keywords and associated journeys in your texted-a-keyword journey. You can add up to 20 keywords per journey.

Use keywords sparingly

Because each keyword triggers a unique journey, there are limitations for reusing them. Consider the following limitations as you determine your keywords:

  • Each keyword can only be used once. This applies across all of your active journeys.
  • Keywords are not case-sensitive. Attentive will process the subscribers’ response if the casing differs from yours. However, you cannot reuse this word with different casing in the future.
  • Keywords cannot contain special characters or spaces. This includes: !, @, or $.

Define and collect custom attributes in your keyword

We recommend collecting custom attributes to understand your subscriber preferences early on. After you capture their custom attributes, you can further build or refine your subscriber segments accordingly.

Use simple keywords

If a subscriber’s keyword reply is not exactly accurate, they do not enter the journey. Because of this, we recommend keeping keywords simple to mitigate room for typos.


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