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Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Texting Acronyms in Business

Sep 29, 2021

SMS campaigns help communicate promotions, sales and valuable information to your customers. But when you have a lot to say, it can be tough to keep your message short and sweet. Texting acronyms help you stay within character count limits without diluting your message's value, helping your business create valuable customer connections. 

In this guide, we’ll share how to use texting acronyms in business the right way:

  • Why should your business use texting acronyms?
  • What’s the difference between text message acronyms and text abbreviations?
  • 50+ common text acronyms for businesses
  • Text acronym usage examples
  • Business texting acronym DOs and DON’Ts

Why Should Your Business Use Texting Acronyms?

Texting acronyms have become so mainstream that you might not remember a time when you didn’t use them.

In the early days of texting, cell phones required multiple presses on the number keypad to generate each letter. So it wasn’t long before abbreviations became commonplace to save keystrokes and avoid additional phone charges for lengthy messages.

Once mass texting came along, it was only a matter of time before marketers adopted texting acronyms for relevance and brevity. 

What’s the Difference Between Text Message Acronyms and Text Abbreviations?

Texting acronyms are abbreviations of phrases expressed as letters to save time, like GR8 for “great.” Common text slang abbreviations shorten singular words, like “4,” “2,” and “C” (for, to and see). 

Keep in mind that too many text acronyms and abbreviations can be distracting, hard to read and end up looking unprofessional. Therefore, limit your usage of both acronyms and abbreviations in your SMS messages.

Learn more SMS terms in our SMS Marketing Glossary

50+ Common Text Acronyms for Businesses 

Are you regularly Googling text acronyms? Many popular text abbreviations are natural and make sense, especially considering limited text real estate and audience attention span. Using popular text acronyms correctly can help get your message across naturally, achieving your communication goals while saving time. 

Here’s an alphabetized list of common text abbreviations you can safely use in your business communications:

 

Acronym

Meaning

1.

AKA

Also known as

2.

ASAP

As soon as possible

3.

ATM

At the moment

4.

BRB

Be right back

5.

BTW

By the way

6.

COB

Close of business

7.

CTA

Call to action

8.

DIY

Do it yourself

9.

DM

Direct message

10.

DND

Do not disturb

11.

EOD

End of day

12.

FAQ

Frequently asked question

13.

FTFY

Fixed that for you

14.

FYI

For your information

15.

GR8

Great

16.

ICYMI

In case you missed it

17.

IDK

I don’t know

18.

IIRC

If I recall correctly

19.

JIC

Just in case

20.

IMO

In my opinion

21.

IRL

In real life

22.

JK

Just kidding

23.

LMK

Let me know

24.

MMS

Multimedia messaging service

25.

MSG

Message

26.

N/A

Not applicable or not available

27.

NP

No problem

28.

NSFW

Not safe for work

29.

NVM

Nevermind

30.

OOO

Out of office

31.

POV

Point of View

32.

QOTD

Quote of the day

33.

RFP

Request for proposal

34.

RN

Right now

35.

ROI

Return on investment

36.

SME

Subject matter expert

37.

SMS

Short message service

38.

T&C

Terms and conditions

39.

TBA

To be announced

40.

TBD

To be determined

41.

TBH

To be honest

42.

TGIF

Thank God it’s Friday

43.

TIA

Thanks in advance

44.

TL;DR

Too long; didn’t read

45.

TMI

Too much information

46.

TMRW

Tomorrow

47.

TTYL

Talk to you later

48.

TY

Thank you

49.

TYT

Take your time

50.

UGC

User-generated content

51.

WDYM

What do you mean?

52.

WIP

Work in progress

53.

W/O

Without

54.

YW

You’re welcome

PRO TIP: While it’s not mandatory to use text acronyms in all caps (as shown above), it’s often helpful to set them apart from the text for easy reading.

Text Acronym Usage Examples

Now that you have over 50 text acronyms to choose from, how do you use them successfully? Here are some text acronym usage examples.

Promotional SMS Texts

ICYMI, our weekend sale has been extended until the end of the month! Show this message at any of our retail stores and get an extra 20% off your purchase.

Appointment Reminders

Anne, thank you for booking a cut and color at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Please text CONFIRM or CANCEL. LMK if you need to reschedule by calling 555-555-5555.

Customer Service Texts

Thank you for contacting [Company Name] customer service. One of our support specialists will reach out to you shortly. Also, feel free to check out our FAQ at [link].

Event Promotion Texts

[Music artist] will be returning to the concert stage next year! Tour dates are TBA but stay tuned for more information and updates.

6 Business Texting Acronym DOs and DON’Ts

If you plan on using texting acronyms in your SMS marketing campaigns, you should be mindful of a few guidelines for maximum impact. 

Here are six DOs and DON’Ts for using SMS abbreviations.

1. DO Assess Your Audience

Remember to use acronyms and text lingo that your target market understands. If you have a broad customer base, segment your SMS marketing to tailor messages to each group so that your language and messaging are appropriate. 

Younger audiences (aged 18-34) generally text more than any other age group. Therefore, you might consider lowering the text frequency and use of text acronyms for older customers.

2. DO Keep it Simple

Using a ton of acronyms in a single text message can end up looking like a word traffic jam. If your recipient has trouble “decoding” your message, they’ll skip or delete it. Limit usage of acronyms to one or two per text message.

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. If sending a photo or image illustrates your point better, attach or link to one rather than being too wordy or using too many abbreviations.

3. DON’T Use Outdated Acronyms and Slang

As tempting as it is to use the latest acronyms, they’re often the ones that become dated the fastest. Sticking to standard text abbreviations keeps you from defeating the purpose of communicating quickly and concisely. When in doubt, spell it out.

4. DO Watch Your Spelling

It’s easy to confuse acronyms that have similar spellings. Avoid potentially embarrassing misunderstandings by double-checking your message before hitting “send.” 

5. DO Be Professional 

You should never use acronyms that include obscenities in business scenarios, whether it’s a  group text to employees or an SMS marketing promo. There are plenty of creative ways to express your message. 

Not only is profanity unprofessional, but it’s also offensive to many people, detracting from your message and tarnishing your reputation. Err on the side of caution and keep your texts on-brand but family-friendly.

6. DON’T Abbreviate Gratitude

While various forms of “thank you” exist (TY, TYVM, TIA — thank you, thank you very much, thanks in advance) and are widely used, reconsider shortening expressions of gratitude. In our fast-paced world, saying thank you often gets brushed aside. 

Spelling out “thank you” consistently may help set your business apart by fostering teamwork, bolstering your brand and strengthening customer loyalty.

Connect With Your Customers Through Textedly 

Running text campaigns that get results can seem complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Textedly offers simple SMS and MMS solutions for businesses in every industry.

Textedly is one of a few companies that offers a 300+ character limit message, enabling you to send longer texts than the traditional 160 character limit. Provide your customers with more comprehensive communications that drive engagement and sales.

Sign up for a free Textedly trial today!

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