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SMS Marketing Glossary: 60+ Terms You Should Know in 2024

SMS Glossary of Terms

An SMS marketing glossary is a reference guide outlining the key terms and acronyms used in text message marketing campaigns.

It acts as a comprehensive resource, offering detailed definitions and context for every phrase, assisting professionals, hobbyists, and marketers in fully understanding the complex details of SMS marketing.

This glossary attempts to clarify the technical terms and vocabulary used in text message marketing campaigns, providing a thorough resource for people who want to learn more and become more adept at using SMS as a tactical marketing tool.

Also, you can use this as your one-stop shop for understanding the lingo used by professionals in this area and deciphering reports or discussions about your own SMS marketing efforts.

Benefits of using an SMS common terms glossary

  • Clear communication: Ensures everyone involved in your SMS marketing understands the same terminology.

  • Improved reporting: This helps you interpret reports and data from your SMS platform more effectively.

  • Informed decision-making: This enables you to make better choices about your SMS campaigns based on accurate data analysis.

So, whether you're just starting with SMS marketing or a seasoned pro, an SMS marketing glossary can be a valuable resource for navigating the jargon and maximizing the success of your campaigns.

Let's dive in!

A - C

1. API (Application Programming Interface)

A robust set of protocols, tools, and definitions enables seamless integration of SMS services into diverse software applications, allowing for efficient communication and interaction between systems.

2. A/B Testing

A strategic methodology comparing two distinct versions of an SMS campaign to ascertain which performs better, typically based on metrics like engagement rates or conversion statistics, aiding in campaign optimization. 

3. Autoresponder

An automated system designed to promptly send predefined SMS responses based on specific triggers, such as keywords or user actions, ensuring timely and personalized communication. 

4. API Integration

The process of seamlessly incorporating SMS functionalities into various software systems or applications using APIs, facilitates smooth communication and interaction across multiple platforms.

5. Bulk SMS

The practice of dispatching a large volume of SMS messages simultaneously to a targeted audience, commonly employed for promotions, notifications, or disseminating information end masse.

6. Blacklist

A compiled record containing numbers or contacts barred from receiving SMS messages, typically utilized to filter out unwanted recipients and prevent spam or unsolicited communication. 

7. Bounce Rate

The percentage of undelivered SMS messages within a campaign, often attributed to factors such as invalid numbers, network issues, or blocked contacts, influencing campaign efficacy.

8. CTA (Call-To-Action)

Explicit directives strategically embedded within an SMS, compelling recipients to undertake specific actions, such as clicking a link, making a purchase, or engaging further with the content.

9. CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association)

A regulatory body governing wireless communication standards, including guidelines for SMS marketing practices, ensuring adherence to industry protocols.

10. Churn Rate

The rate at which subscribers opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving SMS messages over a specified duration, serving as a critical metric indicating customer disengagement or dissatisfaction.

11. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of recipients who engage with embedded links or take desired actions within an SMS, offers insights into the effectiveness of the message and recipient engagement.

12. Concatenated SMS

Lengthy messages exceeding standard character limits, fragmented into multiple parts for transmission, ensuring the complete delivery of comprehensive content.

13. Character Count

The total number of characters utilized in an SMS message, with standard SMS often limited to 160 characters per message or varying character limits based on encoding.

14. CTM (Click-To-Message)

A feature enabling users to initiate conversations via SMS by simply clicking on a designated link or button within an advertisement or on a webpage, facilitating effortless engagement.

D - G

15. Delivery Rate

The percentage of SMS messages successfully delivered to the intended recipients' devices, serving as a crucial metric reflecting message delivery efficiency and contact list quality.

16. Drip Campaign

A meticulously scheduled series of automated SMS messages sent over a predefined timeline, commonly employed for lead nurturing, user onboarding, or guiding recipients through a marketing funnel.

17. Delivery Receipt

A confirmation or acknowledgment received by the sender upon successful delivery of an SMS message to the recipient's device, ensuring message delivery and providing assurance to the sender.

18. DND (Do Not Disturb)

A user preference feature enabling recipients to opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving promotional or marketing SMS messages, respecting their privacy and communication preferences.

19. Dynamic Content

The strategic customization of SMS content based on recipient-specific data, preferences, or behavior, ensuring personalized and relevant messages that resonate with individual recipients.

20. Escalation

The strategic process of sending follow-up or subsequent SMS messages based on recipient interactions, responses, or lack thereof, aimed at re-engagement or facilitating further communication.

21. Geotargeting

A sophisticated targeting strategy deploying SMS messages based on recipients' geographical locations or proximity, allowing for highly localized and targeted marketing campaigns tailored to specific regions or areas.

H - N

22. Interactive SMS

SMS messages featuring interactive content or elements, such as surveys, quizzes, polls, or interactive buttons, fostering active user participation and engagement.

23. Integration

The seamless incorporation of SMS services into various platforms, applications, or systems, ensuring harmonious communication and functionality across diverse channels and interfaces.

24. Keyword

A specific word or phrase strategically utilized in SMS marketing campaigns to trigger specific actions, subscriptions, or responses from recipients upon usage or mention.

25. Keyword Advertising

The strategic utilization of specific keywords within SMS marketing campaigns for advertising, promotions, or marketing initiatives, attracting targeted audiences based on keyword relevance.

26. Keyword Response

Automated responses triggered by specific keywords included in received SMS messages, facilitating user guidance or providing relevant information based on the specific keyword used.

27. Long Code

A standard, full phone number utilized for sending and receiving SMS messages, often employed for person-to-person communication or establishing two-way messaging channels.

28. Landing Page

A dedicated web page linked within an SMS message, directing recipients for additional information, actions, or engagement, commonly used to drive website traffic or facilitate conversions.

29. Loyalty Program

A structured program offering rewards, incentives, or exclusive offers to frequent customers or subscribers via SMS promotions, fostering brand loyalty and customer retention.

30. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

A messaging service allowing the inclusion of multimedia content, such as images, videos, or audio, within SMS messages, enhancing the richness and engagement of message content.

31. Masking

The practice of displaying a different or masked sender ID or phone number to recipients instead of revealing the actual sender's details, providing anonymity or brand representation.

32. Message Templates

Pre-designed and standardized formats or templates utilized for creating SMS messages, ensuring consistency, compliance, and ease of use for specific purposes or campaigns.

Check out this blog to explore 50+ SMS marketing templates.

O - R

33. Opt-in

The explicit process through which recipients voluntarily agree or consent to receive SMS communications from a specific sender or brand, often requiring affirmative permission or subscription.

34. Opt-out

The process allowing recipients to unsubscribe or cease receiving SMS messages from a particular sender or SMS campaign, usually initiated by the recipient's request or preferences.

35. Open Rate

The percentage of recipients who open or view an SMS message, serving as a key metric to gauge engagement or interest levels in the delivered content.

36. Personalization

The intricate customization and tailoring of SMS content to incorporate recipient-specific information, such as utilizing their name, preferences, or past interactions, creating highly personalized and relevant messages.

37. Promotional SMS

SMS messages explicitly designed and disseminated to promote or advertise products, services, discounts, or special offers to recipients, aiming to stimulate sales or drive conversions.

38. Reseller

An intermediary entity that procures SMS credits or services in bulk from providers and subsequently resells them to end-users, businesses, or clients for their SMS campaigns or communications. 


39. Retargeting

A strategic approach involving the sending of SMS messages to users or recipients who have previously interacted with a brand, website, or campaign, aiming to re-engage or reignite interest for conversion.

40. Rich Communication Services (RCS)

An advanced messaging protocol transcending traditional SMS/MMS, enabling enhanced multimedia content, interactive features, and improved user experiences within messaging.

S - U

41. Short Code

A concise numerical sequence typically comprising 5-6 digits utilized for sending and receiving SMS messages, commonly employed in marketing campaigns or user interactions for ease of recall or response.

42. Segmentation

The meticulous process of categorizing recipients into specific groups or segments based on predefined criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or preferences, facilitating targeted and personalized messaging strategies.

43. Sender ID

A distinctive name, number, or alphanumeric string representing the sender's identity in SMS messages, playing a pivotal role in establishing brand recognition, credibility, and recipient trust.

44. Sender Reputation

The perceived credibility, trustworthiness, and reputation of the sender in delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable SMS messages, significantly influencing deliverability rates and recipient engagement.

45. SMPP (Short Message Peer-to-Peer)

A robust and standardized protocol employed in telecommunications to facilitate the exchange of SMS messages between short message service centers (SMSCs) and external systems, ensuring reliable message transmission and delivery.

46. SMSC (Short Message Service Center)

A pivotal component of a telecommunications network responsible for the storage, routing, and transmission of SMS messages between mobile devices, ensuring efficient message delivery and seamless connectivity.

47. Subscription Management

The systematic management and administration of subscriber lists, preferences, and opt-in/opt-out requests within SMS marketing initiatives, ensuring compliance with regulations and delivering relevant content to engaged audiences.

48. Transactional SMS

SMS messages explicitly related to customer transactions, confirmations, alerts, or notifications sent by businesses or service providers, providing timely and relevant information to recipients based on their actions or transactions.

49. TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)

A federal law in the United States regulating various aspects of telemarketing, including SMS marketing, with the primary aim of protecting consumer privacy rights and regulating marketing practices within the telecommunication industry.

50. Text-to-Screen

A specialized feature or service allowing the display of SMS messages sent by users on screens or displays in real-time, commonly utilized in events, gatherings, or public venues for interactive engagement, feedback, or live interaction.

51. Text-to-Vote

A user-participation voting system or service utilizing SMS, enabling users or recipients to cast their votes or express their opinions by sending a specific keyword or code via text message, fostering interactive engagement and participation in various contexts or scenarios.

52. Text-to-Win

A promotional contest or campaign conducted through SMS, enabling participants to enter or win by sending a specific keyword, code, or phrase via text message, fostering audience engagement, excitement, and participation through incentivized interactions.

53. Time Zone Optimization

A strategic approach involving the scheduling and timing of SMS messages to ensure delivery at optimal times based on the recipients' time zones or local timings, maximizing the likelihood of messages being read and acted upon effectively.

54. Two-Way Messaging

The operational framework facilitating bidirectional communication through SMS, enabling both sending and receiving of messages between users and businesses or within communication systems, fostering interactive and responsive communication channels.

55. Unicode SMS

SMS messages utilizing characters, symbols, or languages beyond the standard GSM character set, accommodating multilingual communication and diverse content representation, enabling enhanced linguistic diversity and communication flexibility.

V - Z

56. Virtual Number

A virtual, non-physical phone number specifically designated for sending and receiving SMS messages, frequently utilized in marketing or communication systems, offering anonymity or specialized functionality for diverse use cases.

57. Whitelist

An exclusive list comprising authorized or approved numbers, contacts, or entities permitted to send or receive SMS messages, ensuring that messages from whitelisted sources are not blocked, filtered, or obstructed within communication systems or platforms.

58. Word Count

The total number of words utilized within an SMS message, impacting the message's length, content delivery, and readability. It is a crucial factor to consider in crafting concise and impactful SMS content.

59. Waiting Period

A designated time interval enforced between successive SMS messages sent to a particular recipient. This period aims to prevent overwhelming recipients with a high frequency of messages and ensures compliance with regulations or guidelines governing message frequency.

60. Web Opt-In

The process through which users voluntarily subscribe or opt-in to receive SMS notifications, updates, or marketing content via a website interface. This method allows users to proactively sign up for SMS communication, typically by providing their phone numbers and consenting to receive messages.

61. WAP Push

A method utilized to send content to mobile devices through Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). This functionality triggers the automatic opening or display of content, such as links or multimedia, on compatible devices upon receiving the WAP Push message.

62. Webhook

A powerful mechanism facilitating real-time communication between disparate systems or applications. In SMS marketing, webhooks are commonly employed to trigger specific events, actions, or notifications based on predetermined conditions or user interactions, enhancing automation and response capabilities.

63. Welcome Message

An introductory SMS or welcome message is dispatched to new subscribers or users, serving to greet, onboard, or orient them to the brand, service, or subscription. These messages are pivotal in setting initial impressions, providing essential information, or establishing expectations for future communication.

64. Word-of-Mouth Promotion

A strategy leveraging SMS to encourage recipients to share promotional messages, offers, or information with their contacts or social circles. This approach harnesses the influence of referrals and recommendations to expand outreach, engagement, and brand visibility within networks.


Studying this vocabulary has made the many tools in SMS marketing more apparent. Each phrase denoting a strategic component of successful campaigns ranges from "A/B Testing" to "Word-of-Mouth Promotion."

Comprehending these terminologies entails more than just picking up words; it also involves utilizing effective techniques to attract, obey, and engage listeners.

Marketers may successfully navigate and thrive in the ever-changing world of SMS marketing by using the terminology and techniques provided by this glossary.

So, next time when you encounter an unfamiliar term, don't panic! Just grab this glossary, brush up on your lingo, and keep crafting those text messages that make your audience hit that reply button. Happy texting! 

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