Less is More: Text Abbreviations 2021

Less is More: Text Abbreviations 2021

Text abbreviations are a language unto themselves – they’re shortened versions of common words to simplify SMS. Every generation plays with language, so it’s essential to stay relevant, up-to-date, and know how to use them. Because SMS messages are short and sweet, text abbreviations create slang that helps cut to the chase. Some abbreviations are obvious, and some are more abstract.

The case for businesses using abbreviations

Like any marketing tool, it’s the way you use it that makes all the difference. If you’re wondering how to boost online sales, abbreviations done well are very effective and using them in retargeting campaigns can be a match. Here are some advantages of using abberviations.

Quick and easy

Easy is the name of the communication game. Text abbreviations help you talk to your customers in their language and create casual conversational ease. Odds are, your customer already uses them in everyday life, so they’ll be second nature.

Save time and space

Texts have a 160 character limit, including hyperlinks, phone numbers and emoticons. Abbreviations are a great way to keep the count down and an easy means to shorten words that don’t need to be spelt out in longform.

Keywords are cool

These allow your consumers to text specific words to your campaign’s short code. For example – Text ‘WIN’ plus your name to 80555. Using text message abbreviations within keywords is a cool and classy way to simplify the experience.

Ace your text abbreviations

First of all, let’s abbreviate abbreviations: ABRV. When used the right way, they create rapport with your customers, along with familiarity and ease. Here are some things to bear in mind when incorporating ABRVs.

Pare it back

Less is more when it comes to ABRVs. You don’t want to make your recipients feel as if they’re decoding your message. One ABRV in the right place is all you need. If you find yourself using multiple ABRVs to save room, try linking to a website instead.

Always be appropriate

Unless it aligns with your brand tone of voice, steer clear of swearing. Always be aware of tone – if your ABRVs are too trendy, they may complicate and obscure your message. If you’re not sure – delete.

Don’t overcomplicate it

When it comes down to it, text slang is an individual thing – what makes sense to you may be abstract to others. So with business messages, stay with the classics like BTW and don’t jam loads of letters into each ABRV.

A generational thing

Younger audiences may find certain ABRVs lame. If you know people who fit your target demographic – try it out on them. Slang shifts fast – dated terms may paint you in a daggy light. Smartphones are an extension of self, so they quickly get ABRVs and create their meanings. Not to generalise, but older generations may find ABRVs hard to understand. Keep it simple and not too abstract.

Language command

Some of your customers may not speak English as their first language or speak English as a preference. So after you’ve crafted your messages, look at your abbreviations objectively – are they easily discernible if your command of English isn’t fluent? If not, you risk alienating some customers.

Make sense

All in all, SMS is a means of communication. Consistency is key in this context – don’t go making up your own abbreviations that have not been defined yet, or use them for the sake of just being brief. You want to make sure that your message still makes sense to your audience.

Make it pop with MMS

You’re not limited to text only; you can attach an image or GIF with MMS, which goes a long way in compelling your customers. For example – text a discount offer with an image of your new limited edition t-shirt, or send a coupon for a delicious new menu item with a mouth-watering pic.

The definitive list of text abbreviations

Wondering how to improve your online customer experience? It’s all about creating strong customer connections with concise, meaningful communication. A quick reference list is a great tool to help craft your SMS campaigns, so to make it easier, we’ve split them out by category. Use only what’s relevant to your business.

For frequent use:

Abbreviations evolve, and new ones appear regularly, so make sure you keep up with today’s SMS ABRVs. Here are some that hit the mark right now.

  1. JK: Just kidding
  2. JSYK: Just so you know
  3. LMK: Let me know
  4. TBH: To be honest
  5. YTB: You’re the best
  6. ZZZ: Sleeping, bored, tired
  7. DIY: Do it yourself
  8. FYI: For your information
  9. LOL: Laughing out loud
  10. MSG: Message
  11. WFH: Work from home
  12. YNK: You never know
  13. FB: Facebook
  14. JIC: Just in case
  15. RT: Real time
  16. SMH: Shaking My Head
  17. TFW: That feeling when
  18. TTYL: Talk to you later
  19. AKA: Also known as
  20. IKR: I know right

For general use:

Some abbreviations are chameleons; you can use them in loads of different contexts. Get up to speed with these.

  1. BAE: Before anyone else
  2. FOMO: Fear of missing out
  3. FTW: For the win
  4. GL: Good luck
  5. IDK: I don’t know
  6. IRL: In real life
  7. IFYP: I feel your pain
  8. LMGTFY: Let me Google that for you
  9. BTW: By the way
  10. IOW: In other words
  11. WFM: Works for me
  12. NNTR: No need to reply
  13. BFF: Best friends forever
  14. BC: Because
  15. CYA: See ya
  16. OMW: On my way
  17. EZ: Easy
  18. PLS: Please
  19. TMI: Too much information
  20. SYL: See you later
  21. TTFN: Ta Ta For Now

For business:

Using ABRVs in business takes practice. So it’s great to start with the ones you know are going to work. Here are some that are best to use in a business space.

  1. BAU: Business as usual
  2. WIP: Work in progress
  3. FAQ: Frequently asked questions
  4. ICYMI: In case you missed it
  5. FTFY: Fixed That For You
  6. NP: No problem
  7. OOO: Out of office
  8. TIA: Thanks in advance
  9. DD: Due Diligence
  10. GMTA: Great minds think alike
  11. KISS: Keep it simple stupid
  12. MTFBWY: May the force be with you
  13. NRN: No reply necessary
  14. OTP: On the phone
  15. QQ: Quick question
  16. SME: Subject matter expert
  17. TBA: To be advised
  18. WTG: Way to go
  19. RN: Right now
  20. DOC: Document

For eCommerce and sales:

This is a great space to use abbreviations. They’re an effective tool for naturally connecting with customers. Give these a go.

  1. EOD: End of day
  2. ASAP: As soon as possible
  3. ICYMI: Storewide sale this weekend only
  4. TGIF: Thank god it’s Friday
  5. YW: You’re welcome
  6. ETA: Estimated time of arrival
  7. CIL: Check in later
  8. CLK: Click
  9. CTO: Check this out
  10. NA: Not available
  11. TMRW: Tomorrow
  12. TY: Thank you
  13. T&C: Terms and conditions
  14. THX: Thanks
  15. YOLO: You only live once
  16. DM: Direct message
  17. ADR: Address
  18. AH: At home
  19. CYE: Check your email
  20. IK: I know

Text emoticons

If a picture tells a thousand words, emoticons are a fun and memorable way to get your point across. The only thing to keep in mind is – do they suit your brand? If you use them creatively and artistically or even design emoticons that are only relevant to your business, they can be a quirky and expressive tool.

Sometimes short is best

Abbreviations can be helpful when you need to cut to the chase with your messaging. They’re also a great tool for being more human with your audience and addressing them in the everyday language they’re used to. The fine art of using abbreviations well is not to overuse them – it’s a delicate balance. TTFN.

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