Back to all blog posts
Voyage SMS Glossary
SMS Marketing 101

Voyage SMS Glossary

We want to provide your company with the necessary resources and knowledge to build your SMS initiatives. Check out our glossary of important terms to keep in mind to ensure you are always one step ahead in your SMS journey.

December 9, 2021

At Voyage, we provide your company with the necessary resources and knowledge to build your SMS campaigns and subscriber lists. Below is a glossary of important terms to keep in mind to ensure you are always one step ahead in your SMS journey.

Digital Marketing Terms

Modal: A modal is a pop-up window that draws a user’s attention to specific text or images, used in this context to ask for a customer’s email or phone number. It is common practice for eCommerce brands to have a welcome modal on their website for new visitors, including a discount or special offer to incentivize them to subscribe to their marketing list.

Here is an example of a modal that may be displayed on an eCommerce brand's website.

ROAS: Return on ad spend, or ROAS is a marketing metric that measures the efficacy of a digital advertising campaign. It is calculated as total revenue divided by total ad spend. For example, 100k revenue / 20k ad spend = 5x ROAS, meaning for every $1 in advertising spent $5 in revenue is generated.

Click Through Rate (CTR): Click Through Rate, or CTR is the ratio of users who click on an ad or link to the total number of users who viewed the campaign or email. The formula for CTR is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. This metric allows marketers to measure the success and overall effectiveness of their campaigns. For example, if an ad has high views and low clicks, this is a sign that it may be lacking consumer interest.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Cost per acquisition (CPA) is a marketing metric used to measure the total cost of acquiring a new customer via a specific campaign or channel. The formula for CPA is the total cost of conversions divided by the number of new customers acquired from the same channel or campaign. (add example- if you spent 5000 on ads and acquired 100 customers your CPA is $50)

Cost Per Click (CPC): Cost Per Click, or CPC is how much it costs per user clicking on your advertisement.

Opt-Out Rate (OOR): OOR represents the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving text messages or emails from your business. Your opt-out percentage is a direct measure of the value subscribers are receiving. Good opt out rates remain below 5%.

Drip: A drip is a specific set of messages sent over a controlled period of time to retain, engage, and convert subscribers. Drips are based on a trigger such as adding to cart or signing up. Drip series include messages and delays, as well as filtering based off of behavioral and segmentation data.

Above is an example of a Drip Campaign.

Opt-Out Rate (OOR): OOR represents the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving text messages or emails from your business. Your opt-out percentage is a direct measure of the value subscribers are receiving. Good opt out rates remain below 5%.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Customer lifetime value, or CLV, is a key marketing metric to track your customer experience and how your customers contribute to your company as a whole. This is the total amount spent by customer throughout the period of their relationship with your brand. It is more cost efficient to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, so increasing the value of your current customers is important to the growth of your brand.

Bounce rate: Bounce rate is a term that represents the percentage of visitors who enter a website and leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. This is a metric used to determine if there is any content turning users away from your website. For example, if you have a modal on your website and your bounce rate is high, it is a good indicator that you may want to make some changes to the modal.

A/B Testing: A/B testing is a method for user experience research. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B to see which performs better. In the context of SMS, this could be testing two different images or links. Generally it'll be performed on a subset of a total list (10-20%). Results are measured for the key decision variable (ex: CTR or Conversion Rate), and the winning variant is sent to the remaining list. (image)

Delivery Rate: Delivery rate measures the percentage of people who received your email or text message compared to the number of people you sent it to. SMS delivery rate is a rate of delivered versus intended messages. Some of the best ways to increase deliverability is ensuring phone numbers are correct, avoiding "spam-like" messages, and using short code to send mass messages. It is important to structure your texts carefully, because messages that appear to be spam may be blocked by carrier partners.

Call To Action (CTA): Call to Action, or CTA is used by marketers to prompt a response from consumers. CTA encourages consumers to immediately act on something, like buying a good or service. An example of this could be a hyperlink to subscribe to an SMS list, a visit to your eCommerce website, or replying to a text. (image)

GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a legal framework that went into effect in 2018 designed to protect the privacy of European citizens. It sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union or engage with businesses located outside of the EU. Since GDPR requires informed and freely given consent before you send marketing emails and texts to a contact, it is critical to have GDPR compliant opt-in forms.

CCPA: The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA gives consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them. This law affects all consumers in California or companies who do business with them. Some new privacy rights that the CCPA ensures are:

  • The right to opt-out of the sale of personal information
  • The right to delete personal info collected (with some exceptions)
  • The right to know the personal information collected by a business and how it is used

In regards to SMS, the CCPA affects all businesses which communicate with California customers in any way, including text marketing, and will give customers more control over who has access to their personal data.

Custom Events: One type of marketing data used is "website events", which are actions that consumers take on your website. For example, adding something to their cart or making a purchase is a website event. Custom events are actions that fall outside the category of standard events, which are actions with predefined names that we recognize and support across ad products. Rather, custom events can be personalized and given unique names to display the action taking place. When you set up custom events in your code, you can log those custom events, optimize for conversions and build audiences.

Conversion rate: Conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that complete a site transaction. The transaction is termed the marketer’s predefined goal. A predefined goal can be considered a purchase or a visitor information request. For instance, 100 consumers visit a website and 10 purchase the website. The conversion rate is 10%. Average conversion rate for eCommerce brands is between 1-3%.

SMS Marketing Terms

SMS: Short Message Service, more commonly known as SMS, consists of a text message of up to 160 characters without an attached file. SMS is only capable of sending text messages, not any form of media.

MMS: Multimedia Message Service, more commonly known as SMS, is a text message that includes a media file. For example a picture, video, emoji, or link would make a text an MMS.

Double Opt-In: A soft requirement for SMS marketing where a customer opts-in to receive text messages or emails, providing consent twice. For example, the first consent can be clicking a button on a modal window, and the second consent is replying ‘Y’ to join the text list. Double opt-in can apply to subscribing for an email list as well. It is meant to add another step to the opt-in process to confirm consumer interest and verify contact information. Note: other than via custom keyed entry, single opt-in is an acceptable form of opt-in compliance.

SMS Keywords: SMS keywords are words or phrases that users text to your company short code to opt into receive text messages from your brand. These different keywords interact with short code that correspond directly to specific campaigns, and can help you track their effectiveness. An example is a brand advertising 'Text "newcandles" to XXX-XXX-XXXX'.  This will opt-in users and create a targetable segment.

This is an example of a keyword campaign, where a consumer texts a keyword to opt-in.

TCPA: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA is a regulation that went into effect in 1991. The TCPA was designed to protect consumer's privacy and places limits on unsolicited phone calls and messages. It states that customers must give businesses “express written consent” before a business can legally send them text messages.

CTIA: The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, or CTIA has represented the wireless communication industry since 1984. They are responsible for developing and testing plans and certification processes for mobile devices, and creating and enforcing a guide on messaging principles and best practices.

Compliant SMS Opt-In: Compliant SMS opt-in is when your customers willingly give you permission to text them. Your text opt-in is anything that prompts a customer to give you written permission to send them SMS messages. It's best to get this written permission when you get a customer's phone number.

Carrier: Carriers, or "mobile network operators", offer cellular services to consumers. Some examples of common carriers are T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T.

RCS: Rich Communication Services (RCS) is an end-to-end software platform and IP-based communication protocol. RCS is relatively new and still slowly progressing. The technology is made to eventually replace traditional SMS and MMS messaging with a system that is richer, and redefine the application-to-person business space.

(Dedicated) Short code vs. Long code: Dedicated Short code is A 5 to 6-digit number, exclusive to your business, used to send SMS or MMS messages. Dedicated Long code is a 10-digit code used to send SMS or MMS messages. There are three main types of long code: P2P long codes, 10DLC codes and toll-free texting.

Long Code Types - 10DLC / Toll Free vs. P2P:

  • 10DLC: 10DLC, or 10-digit long code is a 10-digit phone number used in North America used for A2P business messaging. 10DLC messages display a 10-digit phone number as the sender. Unlike toll-free numbers, 10DLC supports both transactional and promotional messaging, and can include any US area code.
  • Toll Free: A toll-free number is a 10-digit number that begins with one of the following area codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833. For customer convenience and flexibility in your marketing campaigns, you can use toll-free texting for SMS and MMS messaging. Toll-free numbers can only be used to send transactional messages.
  • P2P: P2P, or person-to-person long codes are phone numbers that use the number format of the country or region where your recipients are located, and are also referred to as long numbers or virtual mobile numbers. P2P communications are sent individually and is the least efficient method of texting for businesses because it cannot be automated.

SMS Character Limit: The SMS character limit refers to the maximum amount of characters allowed in a single text message. The typical character limit for an SMS message is 160 characters. However, MMS messages may have a higher limit. If your SMS message is longer than 160 characters it will be sent in multiple parts. Most carriers send multipart SMS messages as one messages, but some providers send them as separate messages.

Subscriber: A subscriber is an individual who has given you express, written consent to send them text messages.

Vanity Short Code: A vanity short code is a 5-6 digit phone number that is customized by a business. This number is exclusive to your business, and consumers can reach you through texting this short code number. In contrast, a non-vanity short code is selected at random by the CSCA.

New to Voyage SMS?

Schedule a demo to learn more.

get updates to your inbox

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Never miss an update from Voyage. We'll send you the latest and greatest in SMS marketing, message commerce, and more.

Thank you! You are now subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our terms and that you have read our Privacy Policy.