As a business owner, you may be thinking about adding texting as another marketing channel to attract new leads and keep your customers in the loop. After all, you have years of experience using email, so it should be a simple transition, right?
Not so fast.
Yes, texting is a great way to communicate, but the two mediums are fundamentally different. A message that works in one may not be suitable in the other.
The most significant adjustment will be your message length. Emails tend to be more long-form content, while texts are short and to the point.
Limited message lengths mean you will need to learn the texting acronyms and texting lingo so you can fit everything you need to say. Understanding text abbreviations also makes you more relatable to your audience.
A long, detailed message full of texting acronyms is unlikely to make an impact in text form, but somebody sitting down to check their email is more inclined to read longer messages.
Texting has been around for a long time, well before smartphones became a thing. The first SMS text message was sent in late 1992 when Neil Papworth sent the message “Merry Christmas” to Richard Jarvis, the director of Vodafone.
It took a while for SMS to catch on. Mobile phones were expensive and more suited to dialling numbers than typing out text.
However, the arrival of the smartphone soon changed all that. Texting saw a massive surge in 2006 when it went from around 12 billion messages sent to 45 billion just 12-months later. In 2020, 41 million messages were sent every minute.
It has been estimated that almost 50 million people will have opted to receive business messages in 2020. Younger generations make up most people opting to receive text, while email skews towards the older generations.
The trend is likely associated with the younger generations growing up with smartphones, but it doesn’t mean the older generations aren’t using text. Many are, and they can be just as prolific with texting as any of the younger demographics.
If you are already enjoying some success with email, you may be wondering why you would go to the trouble of incorporating text messaging into your marketing channels. An SMS message does have a few advantages that make it stand out.
Email response rates hover around 90-minutes, but it’s 90-seconds on average for text messages. If your campaign is time-sensitive and you want to reach people even while they are on the go, then text messaging has significant advantages over email.
The average smartphone is more than capable of handling emails, but not everyone uses this feature. On the other hand, it would be rare for someone not to use texting on their phone. Just about all smartphone owners will be intimately familiar with using the SMS app on their smartphone.
Just about everyone has a smartphone these days, so you cannot ignore the marketing potential of texting. Everyone on a carrier plan has access to a texting service. There’s no fancy or expensive data plan required and nothing more for them to learn.
Not everyone will be happy to receive marketing or business texts. Texting options for opting in and opting out are simple to use, convenient, and less invasive than managing email subscriptions.
Texting offers a range of communication options for businesses. You can send texts to a single client or send out one message to thousands of leads. SMS is perhaps one of the most flexible marketing mediums organizations can adapt to their marketing plan relatively quickly.
Research indicates that close to 100% of texts have a 45% open rate.  At around a 30% open rate, email scores much lower. These figures equate to around three times as many people reading your text messages versus your emails.
A click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of message recipients who click through to your offer versus those who don’t. The average CTR for SMS is almost 20%, while it barely gets above a 3% for emails. By the way, 3% is considered a great result for an email campaign.
The numbers aren’t always clear when you weigh up the costs of an email campaign versus an SMS one. Creating all the content for an email campaign can be expensive when you hire writers, and then you have the costs of using an email marketing service.
You pay more for a larger email list, and your fees are monthly regardless of whether you send any emails or not.
It’s much easier to come up with a quick text message without the benefit of an expensive writer, and if you subscribe to the right texting plan, you can send out as many texts as you need for the one low monthly price.
Texting is fast and convenient, but prolific users have created new text abbreviations and texting lingo to make the medium even quicker and more convenient.
There are so many texting acronyms that the average text message can resemble a different language to the uninitiated.
Plenty of memes are circulating where young, text savvy generations make fun of the older generations misuse of popular text lingo.
You’ve no doubt seen the memes making fun of the parent mistaking the meaning of an acronym like “I just heard your aunt passed away. LOL,” where LOL is meant as “Lot’s of Love,” rather than its true meaning of “Laugh Out Loud.”
While you may not have much call to use many text abbreviations in your marketing messages, it’s a good idea to keep yourself in the loop to understand what is being sent back to you.
1. AFAIK = As Far As I Know
2. AMA = Ask Me Anything
3. ASAP = As Soon As Possible
4. ATB = All The Best
5. BAE = Before Anyone Else
6. CU = See You
7. CUT = See You Tomorrow
8. OMG = Oh My God!
9. FBO = Facebook Official
10. FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out
11. FWIW = For What It’s Worth
12. FYI = For Your Information
13. GR8 = Great!
14. HAND = Have a Nice Day
15. HBD = Happy Birthday
16. HTH = Hope This Helps
17. ICYMI = In Case You Missed It
18. IDK = I Don’t Know
19. IKR = I Know, Right!
20. IMO = In My Opinion
21. IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
22. IRL = In Real Life
23. JIC = Just In Case
24. KIT = Keep In Touch
25. LOL = Laugh Out Loud
26. L8ER = Later
27. MC = Merry Christmas
28. MSG = Message
29. MYOB = Mind Your Own Business
30. NP = No Problem
31. NSN = Never Say Never
32. NVM = Nevermind
33. OTOH = On The Other Hand
34. PCM = Please Call Me
35. POV = Point of View
36. QAP = Quick As Possible
37. ROFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
38. SFLR = Sorry for the Late Reply
39. SRSLY = Seriously
40. SUP = What is Up?
41. TBH = To Be Honest
42. TBT = To Be Truthful
43. TC = Take Care
44. TL, DR = Too Long, Didn’t Read
45. TTP = To The Point
46. TTYL = Talk to You Later
47. TY = Thank You
48. WKND = Weekend
49. YGTI = You Got The Idea
50. YOLO = You Only Live Once
Don’t risk embarrassing yourself or your brand when using texting in your business. Always know what you are sending and receiving when dealing with text messages in your marketing campaign.