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What is the difference between Keywords and Series?
What is the difference between Keywords and Series?
Updated over a week ago

Gloo has many powerful features, and understanding the similarities and differences between them can help you craft holistic strategies for communication and engagement with your church. Here is a brief comparison of Keywords and Series.



Customizable responses

Users must opt in

Doesn't use natural language processing- must be texted in exactly and alone

Can have Effects added

Single response

Sequence of responses

Multiple types, customizable scheduling

What is the same?

Keywords and Series share many similarities. Both are used to send automated, customizable messages in response to people’s texts. Users must opt into both by texting the appropriate trigger word or phrase to your Gloo number - users cannot be manually added to receive the Keyword/Series responses.

Next, the keywords to activate a response in each case must be texted in exactly and alone. Gloo will not recognize misspellings, variations of keywords, or keywords in the middle of sentences. Those will instead be marked as unresolved messages.

Pro tip: Check out some tips and tricks for setting up effective keywords!

Finally, both Keywords and Series can have Effects added to them. These helpful tools can be used to add extra administrative functions that will happen each time a user texts in the keyword, such as adding the user to a group, or sending a team member a notification email.

What is different?

The biggest difference is the amount of messages sent. Keywords send single responses, whereas Series send multiple responses. If your church has a mission trip coming up that you want people to sign up for, then setting up a “mission trip” Keyword that sends people to the signup sheet is the way to go. When someone texts in the keyword, they’ll receive one response. But if you want to send out messages every day the week before the trip to have people pray for the participants as they prepare, then setting up a “mission trip prayer” Series would be the better option. Instead of just receiving one response to the keyword, people who opt in will receive a message every day that week that you’ve set up in your Series.

The second difference is related to timing. Keywords only function “live,” meaning a keyword is triggered at any time by a user texting in, and they will receive the response immediately. Series work the same way at the beginning - a user must text in the keyword associated with the Series in order to opt in, and they will receive a message titled “Sent when subscribed.” But after they’ve opted in, you have additional options when scheduling the consecutive messages. Rolling Series send the messages on days and times relative to when each person opted in, while Fixed Series send the messages to everyone on predetermined dates and times.

What are some common misconceptions?

One misconception is that you need to set up a keyword in the Keywords tab to opt into a series. This is not true - the keywords used to opt into a series are set up in the series itself, and they will not appear in the Keywords tab.

Pro tip: You can now manually add subscribers to your Series. Check out how here!

If a keyword is already associated with a Series and you try to create the same keyword in the Keywords tab, or vice versa, you will get an error message.

Another misconception is that Keywords and Series use natural language processing. This isn’t true. If you set up a keyword for “mission trip,” then only a text that says exactly “mission trip” will activate the keyword. “I want to go on the mission trip,” “when is the mission trip,” “mission trips,” and a misspelling like “mision trip” will not work.

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