Text Marketing Terminology

Understanding different terms used in text marketing can help you navigate how best to use text marketing.

What is Text Message (SMS) Marketing?

Text marketing is the sending of transactional or promotional messages for the use of marketing purposes using text messages (SMS). SMS is short for Short Message Service. This is defined as messages sent under 160 characters in length. These messages are commonly used to communicate offers, alerts, updates, and more in a time-sensitive approach. SMS messages are sent to people that have provided consent to your business and subscribed to your text marketing.


What is Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) Marketing?

MMS marketing is the sending of mobile advertising that requires the use of MMS services through your cellular service provider. With MMS, you have the capability to send messages that are up to 1,600 characters in length in a single message. In addition to message length, MMS also can support photos, videos, and multimedia content that can be sent over a cellular network. In MMS marketing, you can send short GIFs, audio files, images, and more to customers’ cellphones to provide information about specials, alerts, updates, and reminders.

What is a Text Keyword?

Text Keywords are unique words or phrases that people can use to communicate with your business using their text enabled mobile device. Keywords are selected by you and are typically relevant to your business and brand. A person texting your keyword to your dedicated number will be added to your subscriber list. You can create keywords, and link them to a group, in ChatterText to allow you to send out targeted messages and offers based on what keyword was texted. To try out a keyword, text “chat” to 41260. This will allow you to request more information on ChatterText and sign up for future information we send out.


What is a Long Code?

Long codes are 10-digit phone numbers that are assigned to your business for the purpose of one-to-one text communication. These numbers are automatically assigned to you when you sign up for service. You can use long codes in your marketing, and include dedicated keywords to assign your customers to your groups. For long code messages, the carriers limit the release of the messages to 1 sent out per second. So, if you have 120 customers you are sending a message to, the messages will take 2 minutes to send out.


What is a Short Code?

Short codes are normally five – or six-digit phone numbers assigned to a dedicated business and used at a commercial level. Short codes have longer marketing spin-up time and typically are assigned to a set industry or company. Short codes are the most expensive option when using text marketing. A dedicated short code has a monthly licensing fee that is paid in 90-day segments. Short codes are mostly used for high-volume businesses as you can send out up to 300 messages per second.


What is an Autoreply?

Autoreply, mostly known as an auto responder, is a message that is sent out without the need of human intervention. Autoreplies can be set up on both long and short codes. Most commonly, an autoreply lets the subscriber know that they have completed the process in joining your text marketing list. Within this autoreply, you can include incentives or additional information on your marketing program. There are a few standard autoreplies that are built into our service. We will automatically send out three required messages from our system: the opt-in message, the required opt-out verbiage, and the opt-out success message.


What is a Quick Response (QR) code?

QR codes can be used in many ways when it comes to marketing. With text marketing, you can use QR codes to link to opt-in form pages. These pages provide you a way to capture additional information from customers so you can tailor your messages. QR codes come in different types, standard (only able to link to a fixed item) or dynamic (allows you to change the link anytime). When using a QR code, take the time to determine what you are planning to use it for. If you are going to do a one-off campaign, a standard QR code is free and cheap. If you plan to have additional marketing around this QR code, using a dynamic QR code may make the most sense.


What are Groups?

In text marketing, groups are one way you can organize and sort subscribers into different marketing categories. There are no limits to the number of groups you can create in ChatterText. An example of utilizing groups is if you are a gym owner using ChatterText, and you have several different classes you offer. When you add your subscribed gym member lists to ChatterText, you can setup and add them in groups based on workout class such as Spin, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, CrossFit, etc. You can then target each group with specialized marketing based on their workout interests.  


What are Campaigns?

Campaigns are simply marketing messages sent out, or launched, through text message. At ChatterText, we separate our campaigns by name so we can track and provide ROI reporting on each launched campaign.


What is a Virtual Scratch Off?

Virtual scratch offs are specialized coupons we offer here at ChatterText. These digital coupons allow you to transform a static, standard coupon and make it interactive. They are also customizable based on your intended call to action; you can add a button or link to clearly direct subscribers on next steps. When you send out a campaign with a virtual scratch off landing page, your customer will receive the link to view their coupon and will rub-off the coupon image with their finger to reveal the offer.


This interaction is known as gamification. One of the most well-known ways gamification is used is with scratch off lottery tickets.


What is a Sign-Up Form?

Sign-up forms are a way for businesses to capture information about their customers or prospects, and to prompt people to subscribe. In text marketing, we focus on capturing cellphone numbers to send people the option to opt-in for text message marketing. Once someone completes our digital sign-up form, they will receive an automatic text confirming they want to opt-in. They will then reply “Y” to the opt-in text to complete the process and thus providing written consent to be text permitted.


What is One-to-One Messaging?

One-to-one messaging is the process in which a customer communicates directly with someone in your business in real-time. This is considered a direct communication, or one-to-one. An example would be you send an offer to your customers, and they text you back requesting more information. Once you respond, you begin the one-to-one conversation.


What is a Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate for your business is the percentage of people who respond to a call to action in your message. High conversion rates allow your business to get more value from your subscribers with each visit because they are following your intended call to action. An effective call to action lets your subscribers know clearly what they need to do to complete a task and drives a sense of urgency. Some popular examples of a call to action is an opt-in form, a clickable button, pop-up box, and adding “Get $$ Off” on your website or social media pages.


What is a Click Through Rate (CTR)?

If you include a link in your text message, a CTR is the percentage of people who click the link. This rate is a good way to measure the effectiveness of your message and gauge different interest levels from your subscribers.


What is a Text Delivery Rate?

The number of texts that you send may not always equal the number of texts that were actually received by your subscribers. There are certain factors that may prevent your message from getting delivered, such as invalid phone numbers, spam filter settings, or phone plans not eligible for SMS or MMS. The text delivery rate is the percentage of people who received your text message. This is also a good indicator of the quality of your subscriber list.


What is an Opt-Out Rate?

An opt-out rate, or unsubscribe rate, is the percentage of subscribers who use a provided method to remove themselves from receiving marketing from your business. A healthy opt-out rate for most texting services is around 5%; the average opt-out rate on the ChatterText platform is less than 2%.


What is Text Spamming?

Spamming is simply unsolicited communication received by anyone that did not subscribe to your text marketing. Spamming can come in many forms, but the most familiar are unwanted phone calls and emails. Spamming can occur in text marketing, but with the laws in place with the FCC and TCPA you can find spamming to be a very costly fine. In addition to fines and legal costs, spamming can cost your business its reputation. The best rule is to always have consent and only market to the people that have opted in.

What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)?

The TCPA is a federal law that outlines rules and guidelines a business must follow when adding customers to a subscriber list. This includes obtaining written consent to be contacted, as well as providing a way to opt-out. As a business conducting text marketing, you must comply with the TCPA.