How do you use abbreviations in text?

text messaging
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Text Messaging Abbreviations and How to Use Them

Crafting a clear and concise text message about sales, promotions and business information for your customers is key to an effective SMS marketing campaign. Often the 160-character limit in an SMS text message can present a challenge in professional texting and using abbreviations becomes necessary. Text abbreviations allow us to include more information by compressing the content of the message and adopt a casual, less formal tone while engaging with customers. 

Too many abbreviations, however, can make the message difficult to understand and you risk having your text being dismissed as a bot or ignored by the recipient. To avoid this, consider the following guidelines when using abbreviations in your business text messages:

  • Be professional, restricting usage to common business abbreviations
  • Know your audience so that you can tailor your message with language that is easily understood
  • Limit the number of abbreviations in your message so it can be easily read
  • Use abbreviations only for longer words or phrases
  • Do not use abbreviations to express appreciation or gratitude – “Thank You” is more effective than “TY”

Here is a list of common abbreviations appropriate for business text messages.

  • ACCT – account
  • APPROX – approximate
  • ATTN – attention
  • ASAP – as soon as possible
  • CTA – call to action
  • CR – credit
  • DR – debit
  • DEPT – department
  • DIY – do it yourself
  • EOD – end of day
  • ETA – estimated time of arrival
  • FAQ – frequently asked questions
  • FYI – for your information
  • HR – human resources
  • MMS – multimedia messaging service
  • MSG – message
  • N/A – not applicable or not available
  • POV – point of view
  • PO – purchase order
  • QOTD – quote of the day
  • RE – referring to
  • RFP – request for proposal
  • RSVP – répondez s’il vous plait or please respond
  • ROI – return on investment
  • SME – subject matter expert
  • SMS – short message service
  • T&C – terms and conditions
  • TXT – text
  • TBA – to be announced
  • TBD – to be determined
  • TMRW – tomorrow
  • UNSUB – unsubscribe
  • WIP – work in progress
  • W/O – without
  • YTD – year to date

While we may use various abbreviations regularly for personal texting, business communication requires a certain level of etiquette, and needs to be concise and easy to read at the same time. 

Consider the following examples of SMS text messages with abbreviations:

Hi John, Thank you for your order #54678. Delivery is expected Nov 30/20. PLS call 905-911-2111 if you have questions. We appreciate your business. XYZ Company

Hi Anna, Thank you for your recent enquiry about ACCT #678910. A representative will be in touch ASAP. Accounts Receivable Dept, ABC Company

Hi Tanya, RE: 345 Apple Orchard Drive offer. The property owner has some objections to your client’s requests. Can we talk before EOD today? Diane, ACE Realty

The text messages above use minimum abbreviations and maintain a professional tone within the 160-character limit. Use abbreviations wisely and only when needed to add value to your customer with easy to convey language.