Ever thought about using text marketing for your business? If you’ve researched your options online, chances are the results were kind of intimidating. Most software tout their ability to provide you with keywords, short codes, and other tech-heavy terms.

Let’s talk keywords and short codes, and what they really mean to your small business.


Keywords are words you choose and claim for SMS marketing purposes that you give to consumers to help them opt in to your messages. They’re anywhere from 2-20 characters, and can be a mixture of letters and numbers (but not just numbers).

Keywords should be simple, easy to remember, and — here’s the kicker — totally unique to your business.

Short Codes

Short codes are a little tricker to understand. These are sequences of 5-6 numbers you give consumers to get in touch with your business and opt in to your messages.

It’s not the same as your business phone number. And you can’t just make this number up. So where does it come from? Your SMS provider will give you a short code. Some providers share the same short code for all their customers, and others will let you pay for custom codes.

You shouldn’t have to worry about keywords and short codes. Choose a software, like Thryv, that integrates these decisions with your text and email marketing campaigns you already send. Thryv lets you choose keywords you want from inside the software, and even text enables your business phone number.