MO vs. MT SMS messages, what’s the difference?

Have you ever heard the term MO message or MT message? When it comes application to mobile engagement there is some important acronyms and terminology that would be helpful to memorize. Two important terms that you may find mentioned regularly are MO, which means Mobile Originated and MT, which stands for Mobile Terminated.

Blog visual of defining mo and mt messages

These terms are important and are likely to be heard amongst marketing teams in post-campaign discussions about reporting. You may be with your marketing team analyzing your most recent campaign performance and your team may put forth questions such as “How many total MO messages did we get for the most recent campaign?” What exactly does that mean? First, let’s review their definitions then we can talk about some more examples.

What is an MO Message?

Visual aid of MO message concept

As we stated earlier the term MO stands for “Mobile Originated”. MO messages are any type of messages that flows from a mobile device to a web application or platform. Here is a little trivia question! What are some standardized keywords that subscribers may commonly send to an engagement platform or SMS gateway? Well, the answer is words like STOP, HELP, YES and NO. For example, when you are opting into a keyword, like when texting DEMO to 52236, that message can be seen a “Mobile Originated” message that is being sent to an application telling it to opt your mobile number into the system. We are pretty certain you have seen many keyword opt-in call to actions for SMS marketing campaigns, but as a refresher, you can check out some of these examples on our site. If you were to opt into any of these, the message you send to communicate to that SMS provider can also be seen as “Mobile Originated” message. SMS platforms generally timestamp these types of messages into their systems for the record.

What is an MT Message?

Visual aid of MT message concept

MT is very similar, but the inverse of MO. As mentioned MT stands for “Mobile Terminated”. This is a type of message that flows from an SMS gateway to a smartphone, mobile device or cell phone. MT messages are basically any and all messages in your campaigns that are sent to your subscriber’s mobile phones. Let’s say you get a notification on your phone from a dedicated or vanity shortcode. Well, that was an MT! Similarly, web application generally timestamps these types of messages too for reporting and analytics.

To leave you with this analogy here. Lead generation is to MO’s as engagements is to MT’s!

Want to try sending some MT messages yourself? Click here to get started!

Is SMS Marketing Software Considered MarTech?

Collage of images taken at Martech conference 2019

What makes software a Marketing Technology? Last week our team went to one of the biggest Marketing Technology conferences in the nation. It was hosted at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California home to most renowned tech hub on the globe. It featured over 80+ participating vendors with diverse offerings that covered so many different avenues of digital marketing solutions. From asset management platforms to lead generation tools to full-on tech stack automation services. The trade show floor really spot-lighted the diversity of the MarTech landscape. Booth by booth we went meeting and greeting marketing professionals and offerings from different beginnings. The collection of all the exhibitors and guest really gave a pulse to the event and how MarTech’s potential to expand.

What is MarTech?

From those tools I just mentioned, what do they have in common with communication technology like SMS or RCS? It may help if we define what Marketing Technology is. MarTech can be defined as the software or applications that marketers use to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns. MarTech tools are used to automate or streamline marketing processes in a way that collects and allows marketers to analyze the data to engage a targeted audience (Source: MerlinOne).

All of the tools a company exploits for marketing processes are known as the MarTech Stack, probably a term more commonly used between marketing teams.

SMS, a blend of Marketing and Technology

Marketing Technology bridges the gap between marketing practices and enriches them with technological ingenuity. Just think we have come along way since the first text message was sent more than 25 years ago by Niel Papworth on December 3, 1992. During that time Niel typed “Merry Christmas” on his sent his first SMS message to the cellphone of Vodafone director Richard Jarvis (Source: NPR). SMS, which is colloquially known as text messaging, the most instant and direct communication today. Text messaging has expanded to become more than just an engagement channel. With functionality that compliments and support the development of application to mobile communication. The medium is more robust and comes equipped with tools that make it more than just a tool to text numbers. This is what makes it a tool that is worthy of having in your MarTech stack drawer. Also, to get into fundamental business concept, text message marketing software addresses the four main pillars of the marketing cycle which are:

  • Attract

Text message marketing software comes with lead generation tools that allow users to interact with your SMS program at any point in time.

  • Engage and Convert

Text message marketing software is equipped with a campaign dashboard, so marketers can reach their subscribers with the highest target ability you can find today in digital format. Once reached based on the objective, marketers can motivate their subscribers to take action, whether it be signing up or enrolling.

  • Manage

Text message marketing software has a data structure that makes subscriber management easier so you can visualize whose opting in, out and which numbers are valid or not.

So is it or is it not?

There is a lot of conversation about what makes a complete MarTech stack. Text message marketing software alone probably will not have all the tools you need to complete your stack but it definitely is a MarTech solution. Does your MarTech stack have communication technology like text messaging?

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Textmunication and OpenMarket to Transform the Fitness Engagement Model

Image of man sitting down holding a smartphone

Something big is happening in the world of communications. The most progressive and customer-centric brands are using an innovative channel to deliver more impactful, intuitive and engaging interactions to customers. It’s called Rich Communications Services (RCS), and it lets you deliver the feature-rich and rewarding experience of an app through the established, trusted and ubiquitous infrastructure of text messaging.

Textmunication has been working with OpenMarket, a leading mobile messaging provider, over the past several years on Short Message Service (SMS) solutions. OpenMarket has chosen Textmunication to participate in its RCS Early Access Program along with other pioneering brands. The launch of RCS, also known as ‘Chat’ – is the future of mobile messaging. Textmunication will partner with OpenMarket to launch RCS to the health and fitness industry in April.

Textmunication has offered an integrated SMS solution by partnering with leading Club Management Software (CMS) firms providing health clubs engagement, loyalty and retention tools. A recent survey conducted by OpenMarket revealed that 72% of consumers are currently using SMS to engage with businesses, while 82% of respondents would prefer interacting with RCS messaging over traditional SMS when given the option.

“RCS is text messaging for the smartphone age. It empowers brands like Textmunication to improve customer communications with richer, smarter, more app-like experience – all from the SMS box,” said Greg Hoy, OpenMarket’s Director of Product Management. “Our RCS work with Textmunication enables a gateway to deliver next-generation mobile messaging services to the health and fitness sector.”

SAM is coming to IHRSA This Year, What Does It Mean?

Smart Automated Messaging is coming to IHRSA this year. It is convention season in the health and fitness industry and tomorrow one of the biggest trade shows in the nation and is being hosted by IHRSA for the 38th time.

What is IHRSA?

IHRSA is a global community of health and fitness professionals that includes over 8,000 member clubs in 70+ countries. “IHRSA’s mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful (Source: Ihrsa.com).

This year the convention is in San Diego, California which is only a 1 and half hour plane ride from our headquarters in pleasant hill, california. This will be the first year that our mobile engagement platform SAM; since its formal deployment, will be in production during the scheduled event.

A Medium for the Health and Fitness

SAM is an approach that aims to append the three relationships within the health and fitness space which include: club operators, technology providers and the member community through a medium we can all relate to. visually expanded quote from blog text SMS or more colloquially known as text messaging. IHRSA has an assertive innovative nature it places on all of the technology in the health and fitness. The culture at the convention is to bring the cutting edge of your niche to the table. This belief has lead all of the innovative software backed ideas to create some pretty special solutions for all. SMS service providers have proven proposition when it comes to developing member communication and steam lining club operations. There are numerous case studies that tell exactly how effective SMS can be on operational processes such as:

  1. Accounting and billing collections
  2. Day-to-day member outreach
  3. Lead generation
  4. New member onboarding
  5. Member retention and loyalty

The exciting take away about it all is it is only the beginning for how this medium will enrich these processes. What was once imagination is now coming to fruition.

From SMS to RCS

Text messaging functionality began somewhere in the early 1980’s (source: Wikipedia). To be completely honest with you, as connoisseurs of the medium and trying to understand its history, it hasn’t changed much. Which is a true testament to its value. That says a lot for the short-form, 160 character medium. SMS is evolving into a more rich message protocol called RCS. The updates would make the medium offer a lot more multimedia capabilities to your messaging experience. Instead of the alphanumeric version we see today (text, numbers, and symbols), it will give the message thread a more engaging canvas, creating functionality for participants that allows creates a path of least resistance when it comes to the buyer journey. You may ask, what that means and that is the big curiosity in the hub surrounding the topic. visually expanded quote from blog text RCS will make the business to consumer messaging experience very conversational and data friendly. Imagine being able to design conversational layouts for sales scenarios that will guide your leads to the right details, product and cost they are looking for all from within the message thread.  You can get a glimpse of how we are currently designing it for two clients here.

SAM is even offering more

SAM is launching, even more, features this year! On top of all the solutions we are bringing other engaging features that include:

  • Mobile Scratcher: a digital scratcher that makes unveiling promotional offers more fun! Similar to the experience you have when you make a run to the local convenient store and buy lottery scratcher to reveal your fortune.
  • Enhanced loyalty program: a fun rewards scheme that’ll encourage your members to continue the relationship with your health club.

We are extremely enthusiastic about sharing these ideas on what we have been developing for the health and fitness this week. Are you going to be at IHRSA and would like to learn more about what SAM is bringing this year? Footer - blog author

SMS in 2019: Why Businesses Must Fully Adopt The Medium

Digital asset for blog that reads SMS in 2019

What a year it has been for SMS as a medium. The most used communication method known today has continuously helped solve so many engagement challenges that marketers in the digital age face.

It has also done it in a such an intuitive way that the teams that make up SMS engagement providers know that there is so many more ideas and effective use cases to harvest from the ubiquitous medium.

Whatever your product or service, this era has proven that their is a huge dependence on the mobile engagement experience we have with our consumers and how we must surround it with our brands.

This is evident because consumers put so much pressure on the mobile experience that businesses provide and you may ask why? Well, consumers love being on their mobile phones so business should feel invited to join the culture.

Reflecting on SMS

Since we are in a bit period of reflection before the new year arrives. Let’s zoom out on the value driven methods behind the power of SMS and what it has done for business to consumer communication.

Immediacy of engagement

SMS  communication is instant. In an elementary understand, you type of message, pick a recipient, hit send and that’s it. We know you have already heard it before but we’re happy to tell you once more. Benchmark research shows that SMS has a 98% read rate within 3 minutes.

Ubiquity

The proof is in the pudding. Next time you are leaving your home and in transit to your next stop. Just look up and observe what every person is doing, you’ll notice the gesture of humanity all gazing into their mobile devices, their smartphones.

Directness

SMS communication is like a dart on its way to the center of a dartboard. Since your mobile audience is and should only be in your campaigns because they chose to. You know exactly who your message is going to.

Trackability

What is done, has to be measured as George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham would say who are responsible for creating the SMART goal acronym. Reporting used to be very simple for service providers, only giving our clients data on successful deliveries. Now we can see the details on who gets the message, if they opened it, what they received, and if their were any other interactions such as clicks.

Automating engagement

No question, this has to be one of the most profound benefits of the medium. Which is also kind of bias for a service provider like us who has been the leading health and fitness SMS engagement provider for almost 10+ years. Hooray! We have a collection customer success stories to back up that accolade as well, you can visit them here.

The idea of SMS automation has birthed the branch of so many uses and ideas behind SMS outreach. With the addition to automation in the mix now your business has a tool that can do more for less. Here is a list:

  • Automated birthday alerts
  • Automated new prospect alerts
  • Automated cancellation alerts
  • Automated billing decline alerts
  • Automated new member alerts
  • Automated we miss you alerts
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Automated acknowledgment alerts for keyword, webform and keypad opt-ins.

That is just a short digest because with the trajectory that the SMS technology is on, now you don’t have to have any constraints at all. With the boundless barrier of our imagination we can start think out more sophisticated engagement models that uniquely fit our business and consumers specific needs, through the involvement of APIs. We have instruction and documents for those by the way, you can view them here.

Friction against the idea

Now there are two stigmas that our team has uncovered from research and development that we still see as a cognitive friction against the full adoption to SMS engagement providers. They are:

  1. SMS is a too intrusive medium
  2. SMS is too personal for business to be involved with it

Our answer to both of those fears is one word, compliance. Now, what exactly is compliance or practicing mobile engagement, especially SMS engagement lawfully? For those that like to dive into the legal texture of it, you can find that information on FCC’s domain. Here is directory to that.

Although for a more easier version from our team here, you simply must have your mobile audiences consent and a record of it. There is a lot of underlying meaning when we speak of the consent though. It is the reason your SMS strategy will or will not work. Understanding your consumers will definitely help and we get it. Just because everyone is on their phones, doesn’t mean a business has to text them. It is ultimately how you brand the subject and invite topic into the minds of the most important thing all businesses service, you, me, us, the clients.

Happy New Years, farewell 2018 and a warm welcome to 2019.

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TERMS OF SERVICE | PRIVACY POLICY |  ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY | API SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT COPYRIGHT © 2019 TEXTMUNICATION HOLDINGS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
TERMS OF SERVICE | PRIVACY POLICY | ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY | API SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
COPYRIGHT © 2019 TEXTMUNICATION HOLDINGS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.