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SMS Marketing Glossary: Common SMS Terms You Should Know

Mar 24, 2021

Each industry has its own lingo, from esoteric terms to alphabet-soup acronyms. And SMS marketing is no different! 

SMS marketing jargon helps us speak and communicate more efficiently. But if you’re new to the game, these terms can become downright confusing. 

If you’ve ever needed an SMS glossary to help determine the difference between A2P, P2A and P2P, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we break down common SMS terms that you might come across while creating your SMS marketing campaigns. 

SMS Glossary: 24 Terms to Know

1. Mobile Network Operator (MNO) 

Mobile network operators (more commonly known as wireless carriers) offer cell phone services to consumers. Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are the most popular MNOs.

2. A2P

A2P stands for “Application to Person” — and refers to software or web-based platforms that let you send one-way SMS text messages to users.

3. Long Code

This 10-digit code is used to send marketing messages. There are three main types: P2P long codes, A2P long codes and toll-free texting. 

4. Toll-Free Texting

Toll-free texting services let businesses send and receive messages from an 800 number, without incurring costs to recipients. It’s commonly used in customer support and sales to provide customers a free and convenient outreach option. 

5. A2P Long Code

This 10-digit phone number is specific to your business and what recipients see when sending them one-way mass marketing messages. Customers are not expected to reply to messages from an A2P long code.

6. Person-to-Person (P2P) Long Code

P2P long codes are a type of business SMS phone number. This 11-digit number follows the same format as your recipients’ regional phone numbers. Messages transfer between individual mobile devices, and recipients can incur text charges for receiving and responding to messages from P2P long codes.

7. Shortcode

This 5 or 6-digit number is used to send SMS or MMS text marketing campaigns to a mobile device. Shortcodes are ideal for one-way, non-personal communication and mass texting. 

8. SMS Keyword

In SMS marketing, keywords are words or phrases that users text your business shortcode to opt into receive text messages from your brand. 

You can create multiple keywords that correspond with specific campaigns to track their effectiveness.

9. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2FA is a security measure that requires users to respond to a cue before logging in. For instance, you can text users a code that they must enter to verify their identity and access their account. 

10. A/B Testing

A/B testing is an experimental process where two variations of a message are randomly sent to subscribers to determine which performs better. You can A/B test copy, calls to action and even send times to optimize SMS marketing performance. 

11. Conversion Rate

SMS conversion rate refers to the percentage of SMS recipients who respond to the intended call to action

12. Cost Per Subscriber

To know where to invest marketing dollars, you need to understand the associated costs. 

Calculate cost per subscriber by dividing your total spend to acquire subscribers by the number of subscribers a campaign generated.  

13. Call to Action (CTA)

CTA refers to the desired action you want a user to take. It could be a visit to your ecommerce site, a sign up on a website, a purchase or a reply to your text.

14. Click Through Rate (CTR) 

While CTA defines the action you want subscribers to take, CTR is the way to measure the effectiveness of your message at doing just that.

CTR measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within a message. High click-through rates indicate a more compelling message.

15. Dynamic Fields

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when they receive a personalized experience. 

Dynamic fields are placeholders that let you insert specific information into messages to personalize your message. Inserting dynamic fields is an effective way to make your message pop and win your subscribers’ attention.

16. Geofencing

Geofencing is the practice of sending relevant messages to SMS subscribers’ smartphones in a predefined geographical location

It’s great for local retailers who want to entice nearby subscribers to come and shop with a targeted offer or discount. 

17. Delivery Rate

You might send 1,000 texts — but how many people actually received your message? 

Spam filters and disconnected phone numbers can prevent your message from getting through. Delivery rate measures the percentage of people who received your message compared to the number of people you sent it to and indicates the health of your subscriber list. 

18. Subscriber Growth Rate

Growth rate refers to the increase in SMS subscribers. A growing subscriber list is a clear sign of a successful SMS marketing campaign and increased ROI.

19. In-Game Mobile Marketing 

In-game mobile marketing is a way to serve up ads to mobile game players. Ads can appear as full-page ads, video ads or banner pop-ups that appear between screen loads.

20. Opt Out Rate (OOR) 

OOR represents the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving text messages from your business. Your opt-out percentage is a direct measure of the value subscribers receive from the program. Healthy opt out rates hover below 5%.

21. Quick Response (QR) Code

Building your SMS marketing list? Users can scan QR code images with their mobile device cameras, directing them to social media sites, designated webpages or your SMS offers.

22. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The TCPA is a set of compliance guidelines that require businesses to follow certain rules when adding customers to a subscriber list, such as obtaining express written consent, including disclosures and providing a way to opt out.
Learn more about SMS compliance.

23. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Texting 

VoIP is a phone service that lets you make calls or send messages from an app run on any internet-enabled device — meaning you no longer need a physical phone or number.

24. Zapier 

 Zapier is a tool that connects your systems and automates workflows with triggers, making marketing efforts seamless and lightning fast.

Textedly: SMS Marketing Done Right

Now that you’re a whiz at SMS marketing terms, you’re ready to get started leveraging the power of SMS for your business. With Textedly’s easy-to-use platform, you can create SMS keyword campaigns and easily connect with your customers on their mobile devices. 

Sign up for a free trial with Textedly and start putting these terms to use in your own SMS marketing campaign today!