Text Messaging 101

Today we are going to cover the basics of text messaging for business, and what that means.

Text messaging, also called Mobile Messaging is rapidly becoming a preferred marketing and communications channel among business and consumers alike.
In fact, here’s some quick statistics for you:

  • SMS open rates are as high as 98%
  • 61% of marketers still don’t use SMS
  • 73% of businesses expect their budgets for text message marketing and SMS short codes to increase in the next year
  • 85% of customers prefer receiving text messages over a phone call or email
  • 68% of consumers would like to use mobile messaging to contact a company with billing questions or concerns
  • 71% of consumers say using text messaging to communicate with a business was effective
  • 53% of consumers say they feel more positive toward a brand that uses mobile messaging to communicate
  • 97% of companies found they communicated with consumers more efficiently after launching texting initiatives

Did we say quick? Sorry, that’s quite an impressive list, with all facts pointing to the fact that business who text see extremely positive benefits from it – in a variety of different ways. So, if your business is considering mobile messaging, here are some helpful facts you need to know:

Opt Ins and Permissions

The texting channels are policed very well in an effort to keep them pure and meaningful. Think about how many spam emails you get each day compared to spam text messages – it’s significantly different, right? There’s a reason for that, and it’s because most business follow the TCPA guidelines surrounding mobile messaging – not following the rules can come with some hefty fines (remember that Papa John’s fiasco from 10 years ago?). There has been plenty of enforcement over the years that keeps the messaging channels clean, contributing to the current success of mobile messaging efforts.

So, back to opt ins – you need to get them. Sending a text message to someone who has not opted in – or even worse, already opted out – can land you in some hot water. Opt-ins are a cinch to get by using Text-in Keywords, and users can opt out of your messaging group at any time by replying STOP to any of your messages. If a user accidentally texts STOP, they can opt back in by texting in your keyword again. Compelling content must be delivered at a tolerable frequency to prevent opt outs.

You can text anyone who opts-in to your messaging group – either individually or in bulk. You should not use business texting to message anyone who has not opted in.

Short Code

When texting for business, messages are sent over a short code – this is a 5 or 6 digit number that the message comes from. Long code sending is also an option currently, however, most businesses opt to send over short code, as it’s more common for a


SMS stands for Short Message Service and is also commonly referred to as a “text message”. With a SMS, you can send a message of up to 160 characters to another device. This allows for short-and-sweet mobile touch points to your customers. Most cell phones support this type of text messaging. This type of messaging does not allow for media files, however, is still very effective and can be especially useful when using personalized messaging or an integrated solution.

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service and this type of text messaging is an evolution of the SMS. With an MMS message, you can send a message containing up to 500 characters, including pictures, video, or audio content. 98% of cell phones with multimedia capabilities support MMS and many businesses are now utilizing MMS marketing quite effectively.

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