What is a keyword or sub keyword?

If you choose to use one of our shared Short Codes, you will also need a keyword or a sub keyword to link your identity to the Short Code, because other MessageBird customers also make use of it.


A keyword is a word you can reserve and use in combination with one of our shared Short Codes to communicate with your target audience. Take the example of the keyword 'BIRD'. This keyword allows you to receive all messages sent to the shared Short Code that start with the word 'BIRD'.

The benefit of a keyword on a shared Short Code is that it's a less costly alternative to a dedicated Short Code.

Sub keywords

A sub keyword is a word used in addition to a keyword that is owned by us. We own the keywords “to”, “set”, “mail”, “go”, “start”, “win” and “poll”. For example, instead of reserving the keyword 'BIRD' for your target audience, you can choose to use 'BIRD' as a sub keyword in combination with our keyword 'START'.

The main benefit is that a sub keyword is even cheaper than a keyword. A great solution whenever you wish to use multiple variations. An example: you would like your customers to either start a service that is called bird, or another that is called message. By reserving the sub keywords 'BIRD' and 'MESSAGE' you'll be able to let your customer opt for either one by texting 'START BIRD' or 'START MESSAGE'.