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Should I create a new list or use alias keywords?
Should I create a new list or use alias keywords?

Is it better for your organization to create a new text message marketing list or should you use alias keywords instead?

Judd Bobin avatar
Written by Judd Bobin
Updated over a week ago

Some organizations may have the need to keep a certain set of subscribers' mobile phone numbers separate from others. While the majority of organizations use alias keywords to separate subscribers, there's actually two different ways to do this. Below we'll help you determine what method is best for your organization, based on some of the functionality that Tatango offers.

  • If you're an agency managing SMS lists for completely different organizations, or a single entity with completely separate organizations, you will want to create different accounts for each organization (no ifs, ands or buts about it).

Option 1 - Separate Lists

Within your Tatango account, you can create multiple lists. These are essentially different lists of subscribers that are completely separate. There is a wall between lists and for a subscriber to be on both lists, that subscriber would have to opt in twice. Ninety-nine percent of Tatango customers do not need to use separate lists with the same short code. Before creating additional lists, consider if it might be better to take advantage of a new, separate short code.

Option 2 - Use Alias Keywords

Keywords are the words used by subscribers when they join your list via mobile opt-in. For example, a subscriber may text "JOIN" to 12345, to be added to a list. However, you can create multiple keywords such as "VOTE" or "CHANGE" (be creative!) that subscribers can use to be added to the list. This allows your list to be segmented by the signup keyword. Hosting events in multiple cities over the next few weeks and want to add subscribers from those events? Create keywords such as "RALEIGH" or "ATLANTA". In the future, you will be able to target just those subscribers that joined your list using the keyword "RALEIGH".

Things to Consider

There are benefits to having one list using multiple keywords. Since a customer can only be subscribed to a list once, there's never the possibility that a customer will receive a message multiple times. If an organization decided to use separate lists, and a customer subscribed to both lists, if the business sent the same message to both lists, that specific customer would receive the message twice.

By creating one list, a subscriber is simply able to text STOP to the short code the organization is using and they're unsubscribed from the one list.

If instead of creating one list, an organization used multiple lists, and a subscriber was subscribed to multiple lists, unsubscribing becomes a little more tricky. If a subscriber is subscribed to multiple lists, when they attempt to opt-out by texting STOP to the short code used for the lists, they'll only be opted-out of the list in which they last received a message from. (You can read more about how Tatango processes opt-outs here). This means that subscriber will still receive text messages from the lists that they didn't unsubscribe from.

Talk to your Customer Success Team to help you decide.

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