I'm struggling to fully grasp what keywords are used for in Salesforce Marketing Clouds Mobile Connect.

So I understand that when importing lists you attribute a Keyword to them, and likewise when sending an SMS you can assign a keyword, where I am getting confused is where STOP and HELP keywords differ from the keywords I assigned to my SMS sends Are there some Keywords you would class as 'Campaign Keywords'?

For example:

I assign the Keyword STOP to a short code '80XXX', I then send an SMS to a list which has the keyword 'Campaign1' assigned to it, I also send another SMS from the same short code to a second list with the keyword 'Campaign2' attributed to it.

If the recipient replies STOP to one of these short codes, do they only opt-out of the specific campaign?

If this isn't the case, could someone better explain it...

1 Answer 1


The confusion is understandable, because keywords serve a dual purpose:

  • they act as sort of code words that let the system know what should be done with an inbound message (STOP, HELP and custom keywords that trigger Info Capture, Text Response messages, etc.)

  • at the same time they are treated like subscription lists where people can get opted-in and opted-out - they're essentially what you call 'Campaign Keywords'. When you import contacts to a keyword you're essentially saying that those contacts should be subscribed to this list (or campaign).

Having said that, STOP unsubscribes from all keywords under a specific code - it's treated as if the client declared that they no longer wish to receive messages from a given number.

If you would want a process that unsubscribes from a specific keyword, you need to do some development, but it's said this feature exists in Australia already and there's an idea (that you can vote on) to enable it everywhere.

  • That's great, thank you for this!
    – Rob Ox
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 16:06
  • Is there any documentation/post that describes what needs to be done to unsubscribe from specific keywords? And is one workaround to get another short code and send from that? Or is unsubscribe account wide? Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 11:17
  • @user3274635 See this article for an import definition that unsubscribes from a keyword: help.salesforce.com/… - this is something you could use with Custom Keywords that govern you unsubscribe process. If the customer sends STOP (you can't disable it), you need to respect that to be GDPR compliant, but technically the unsubscribe is limited to all keywords under a number the STOP was sent to. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 12:16
  • 1
    So basically you have one stop keyword for each keyword. And when someone replies, you add this to a data extension. Then you have a process that looks at the unsubscribes in these DEs and resubscribe the contact to the ones that hasn't been opted out? Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 12:44
  • Yes, but I don't think it's possible to resubscribe someone with import definitions Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 12:58

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