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SMS Glossary: 20 Most Used Text Marketing Terms

Master the language of text marketing with our helpful text message glossary.

Illustration of hands holding up a sign with several text marketing terms
August 2, 2023
Kathleen Crampton
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Reading time about 5 min

Whether your company is just getting off the ground or has been around the business block a few times, strategic text marketing campaigns should be part of your marketing plan to boost customer engagement, sales, and ROI. But your campaign is only as successful as your understanding of text marketing key terms, so we’ve compiled this convenient SMS glossary to help you.

But first thing’s first: Let’s cover the SMS marketing definition. SMS marketing is a strategy that involves sending text messages to contacts to drive brand engagement; promoting a product, service, or sale; nurturing leads; and so on. It’s just one part of a business’s marketing plan but it can pack a punch.

Now it’s time to brush up on these 20 common terms in our text message glossary.

Text Message Glossary


When someone texts a keyword to your number to subscribe to your contact list, they should receive an automated response regarding joining your text list. SMS autoresponders can also be used to give contacts quick access to information.

Bounce Rate

A common marketing key term, the bounce rate, includes the number of text messages that were rejected or not delivered. This could be due to those numbers being landlines, numbers that cannot receive texts, or the contacts setting up short-code blockers.

Call to Action (CTA)

The best mobile marketing campaigns will have a clear CTA that motivates people to do something, like register for an event, donate to a fundraiser, or buy a product during a seasonal promotion. Here’s an example:

“[Pure Movement] Eyeing something? 👀 Complete your purchase before the sale ends!”

Sample text message

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

One of the key ways to track engagement is by identifying the CTR of any campaign. You must include a link that drives contacts to a webpage in your text message. CTR is also one of the factors used to calculate SMS marketing ROI.


An SMS glossary isn’t complete without talking about compliance. The texting industry follows guidelines, like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, regulated by the FCC, to prevent spammers from violating consumer rights. But it also follows regulations by the industry, mobile phone carriers, and other government organizations. Learn more about what text marketers need to do to follow SMS compliance.

Contact Management

Contact management is crucial in text marketing. This involves easily adding and uploading current contact lists, using integrations from various platforms, and creating groups and segments.

Customer Segmentation

Under contact management's umbrella, customer segmentation organizes contacts into groups based on preferences, demographics, purchase history, locations, and more to create targeted, personalized messages. These two little SMS words have a powerful impact on successful text marketing.

Delivery Rate

This refers to the number or percentage of messages delivered to contacts. Text marketing platforms, like EZ Texting, include reporting on the delivery rates of your marketing campaigns.


An SMS keyword works as a code — a combination of letters, numbers, or both — that allows contacts to subscribe to your contact list or request access to info. Keywords are a text marketing powerhouse because they allow companies to easily expand contact lists and promote sales, notifications, promotions, etc. It’s one of the most important terms in any text message glossary.

Link Shortener

Contacts don’t want to see long URLs in their text messages. Keep texts short and sweet with link shorteners that transform your long link into a more manageable one. With EZ Texting, you can track how often your short links are clicked.


Another staple in any text messages glossary is MMS, which is short for “multimedia messaging service,” meaning that it exceeds the 160-character limit of SMS messages and/or it includes an image or video. These messages allow brands to get creative and boost shares with engaging visuals, like GIFs and images.

Sample Text Message


Part of text marketing compliance is making opt-ins clear for consumers. Here’s how it works: People fill in their phone number on an online form or they text a keyword to your business’s dedicated short code. Then, the contact receives an SMS message requesting another text (like “Yes” or “Y”) to confirm opt-in.

Scheduled Text Messages

Get your message out at the right time with scheduled texts. This is usually a feature of a text marketing service and allows businesses to set days and times that messages are sent.

Short Code

This is a five- or six-digit authorized number that allows you to send out mass text messages without getting blocked as spam. A business’s dedicated short code is unique to them, making it easier for customer recognition. You can choose from vanity short codes (that you select) or random short codes (randomly generated and cheaper).


This is the term for a standardized text that includes 160 characters or less. You can get creative with SMS texts by including emojis and links.

Text Automation

Next up in the SMS glossary is text automation, which includes triggered messages, drip campaigns, reminder campaigns, and recurring texts, all key elements of text marketing. It helps save employee time, notifies customers and clients at the right times, and increases engagement.


Incorporate text-to-join, a common SMS marketing key term, into your marketing campaign to get people to easily and quickly join your mass text list. Usually, people will send a specific keyword to your dedicated short code.

Triggered Messages

Triggered messages are part of text automation. A message is triggered when a specific event occurs, like cart abandonment, browse abandonment, texting a short code for a discount, and so on.

Sample Text Message

Two-Way Texting

This type of texting means that customers can chat back and forth with your business. To use this feature, you’ll need to ensure that you have a textable number, either a 10-digit local number, a toll-free number, or a text-enabled landline. Two-way texting is great for customer service and industries like hospitality, real estate, and professional services.


Part of SMS marketing 101 includes providing a way for contacts to unsubscribe from your text messages. EZ Texting provides SafeSTOP, a simple opt-out compliance tool for businesses that prioritize customer preferences (which should be every business, by the way). This feature allows contacts to text “STOP” to the number to opt-out. You can also include a link for customers to click to unsubscribe.

Now you’re SMS words royalty!

Refer to our text message glossary whenever you're puzzled by text marketing lingo, and make sure to check out EZ Texting for your SMS marketing needs. Contact us today to start your 14-day FREE trial and see the effectiveness of SMS marketing to grow your business for yourself.

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