All Collections
SMS Strategy
Creating Your First Text Message Campaign
Creating Your First Text Message Campaign

Use Autoresponders to create a text message campaign and extend your reach to your target markets.

Josh avatar
Written by Josh
Updated over a week ago

Just about everybody has seen an advertisement to text a phrase to a phone number. This usually looks like: Text PIZZA to 999-888-1898 to get a coupon for 10% off your first order!

Or it can look more like: Text SUBSCRIBE to join our loyalty member text list!

But, most business owners assume you need a full team, an expensive service and some advanced skills to set up a campaign like this.

We disagree 👊

In this article, we’ll show you how you (or any Small/Medium Business) can launch a marketing campaign and build customer texting lists via keyword messaging campaigns.

First we'll walk through creating a campaign and then we'll go over the steps on how to get the word out. Feel free to jump around with the quick links below ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

Table of Contents:

If you haven't explored our Autoresponder feature yet, you may want to quickly give it a once over. We'll be going in depth in this article but beginners may want a simpler introduction.

How to Start Your Campaign 🧐 :

Let's create a campaign for a local business. The goal of this campaign is to drive order volume by offering a discount, the other objective is to build a list of phone numbers for future campaigns.

Each campaign is based on 3 things: The Keyword, The Autoresponse, and the list subscribers get added to once they text the keyword.

We go over all 3 below.

1. Create the Keyword

The Keyword is what the contact will text to enter the campaign. In MessageDesk you get full control over what this word or phrase is.

Popular examples include:


  • 'JOIN'

  • 'RSVP'

  • 'REDEEM'

  • 'PROMO'

2. Create the Auto Reply

The Auto Reply is the message that gets sent immediately to the contact after they text in the keyword. This message would contain the discount or the special offer or simply a "thank you for subscribing" message.

3. Creating the List

As more and more contacts enter your campaign you'll want to keep track of them. This is why MessageDesk automatically adds contacts to a campaign-group once they text the keyword.

When setting up a text campaign/autoresponder in MessageDesk you'll choose a new or existing group to add the contacts too.

From here, you can message this group with additional offers, timely reminders or export the list into a different messaging tool (Great for email campaigns, or targeted advertising)

How to Advertise Your Campaign 🤔 :

At the end of the day, having a keyword autoresponder requires little to no effort. It will collect all of the information and put it into the group of your choosing. The difficult part is telling people about it.

What makes any campaign effective is your reach. In other words, how many people can you get to sign up!

Basically, how many places can you put your "Keyword" so people can text it in and join the campaign?

We go over popular solutions below ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

1. Engage Your Existing Customers

  • If you have an in-store location, put out a sign with your keyword and MessageDesk number on it. Put your keyword and number on your receipts so customers can join your loyalty list.

  • Throw it up on your website so that visitors can sign up for your campaign that will make them more likely to convert into paying customers.

  • Use existing communication lists such as email lists to garner more responses for your keyword. Texting is better than email, read more here.

Think about using one autoresponder for your in-store location and another for external advertising so you can track where signups are coming from.

2. Include Message on Existing Advertising

Already advertising somewhere? Maybe it's newspapers, billboards or paid ads on the web.

Either way, you could include a text message campaign on those advertisements and give your audience more than one way to redeem.

Include a keyword message such as: Text PIZZA to 999-999-8888 to get a coupon for 10% off your first order!

This can be the focus of the ad itself, or it could be included on other promotional material. It is so easy to integrate such a short message into advertising that you are already doing.

3. Create Physical Fliers, Handouts, Business Cards

If you already work with your customers in a face-to-face manner why not include your promotion/keyword on the things you already handout?

For a restaurant this might mean you put the Keyword somewhere on your menu

For business owners maybe you update your business card so it says "text 'SCHEDULE' to sign up for your next appointment'

For nonprofits why not print a banner to hang at your next community event that says "text 'DONATE' to".

Overall, this is a great way to drive engagement from the people already in your audience. And often times, it's the easiest of the four to set up initially.

4. Use Your Growing Texting List

If you have been using MessageDesk for a while, odds are you already have some groups you can leverage to get more participants in your marketing group.

So why not set up a broadcast and let them know you're running a new promotion or special offer?

This is a great way to drive engagement from existing customers.

Did this answer your question?