A Guide to Text Abbreviations and Internet Acronyms

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Abbreviations, acronyms and slang are common place in SMS messages, even those sent out by businesses. Use this quick guide to decide when and how to use SMS abbreviations.

As advocates of SMS marketing best practices, we would be remiss if we don’t acknowledge the rise of text slang and abbreviations.

What Are Text Abbreviations?

Text abbreviations are shortened versions of a word or phrase used to save time. They’re also helpful when you have to stay within a limited character count.

In the past, deciphering text speak was for cool moms and dads who wanted to fit in with their teens. Today, businesses of every size are starting to recognize the value of incorporating text abbreviations into their campaigns to attract, engage, and foster relationships with their customers.

Learning text abbreviations is a must for any marketer who wants to keep up with the speed and brevity of today’s bite-sized communication style. The challenge is to adapt to textese (an evolving language by itself) while maintaining proper texting etiquette and providing value at the same time.

If you’re still baffled every time you read IIRC, BSOD, and AWK, this cheat sheet of SMS abbreviations and Internet acronyms commonly used in business is for you. Let’s walk through 10 abbreviations you’re likely to come across.

5 Popular Business Text Abbreviations

1. BAU – Business as Usual

Hello, valued customer. It’s been raining non-stop since yesterday but it’s BAU at our stores today and we look forward to serving you!

2. EOD – End of Day

Good morning! Our year-end sale is only until EOD. See you at our mall outlets!

3. WIP – Work in Progress

If you’re having trouble exporting files, contact customer support at email@email.com. Bug fixes are a WIP by the dev team.

4. TYVM- Thank You Very Much

TYVM for your purchase! See you at our next sale in the fall.

5. SME- Subject Matter Expert

We received your email request for tech support. An SME will be calling you this evening from 8-9 pm as indicated in your request.

5 Relatively Unknown (But Useful!) Business Text Abbreviations

1. IIRC – If I Recall Correctly

Hi, Meg. Sean here from the Book Labs. We’ve reviewed your resume and IIRC, you’re free to work for us starting next fall. Please confirm. Tnx.

2. TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read

Good day! You will be receiving an in-depth explanation on how to file your claim with us in your email today. For a TL;DR version, call us at 555-123-4567 between 9 am- 5 pm Mon-Fri.

3. DFTBA – Don’t Forget to Be Awesome

Have a great time at the conference, Emily. DBTFA! – from the IT Team

4. FTFY – Fixed That For You

Thank you for calling customer support! We’ve addressed your concern as of 9 PM today. FTFY!

5. ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

ICYMI, The Expanse Season 3 is now on our archives. Upgrade your account today to get access!

4 Tips For Using Text Abbreviations in Business Speak

Now that you’re an SME in business text abbreviations, your next step is to familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts of using them.

1. Don’t cram too many abbreviations in one text.

What would it feel like if you receive a text from your insurance company saying: Sup! ICYMI, CYE for instrux on policy renewal. SSIA. Sounds rude, right?

2. Be creative, but not unprofessional. When appropriate, add images and GIFs using MMS marketing.

Your words and acronyms don’t have to do all of the talking. It’s easy to attach images and graphics to your messages as well. Use these to make your messages more engaging.

3. Text like an adult. Don’t use shorthand like “2” for “to” or “U” for “you.”

Texting like this does save precious characters—but it also looks unprofessional. Compare these two texts:

Go2 Meg’s 2day asap 4 a gr8 deal! 20% off ne slice wen u sho dis text.
Visit Meg’s today ASAP for a great deal! 20% off any slice when you show this text

Which text looks like it’s from a respectable business?

4. Only use abbreviations your audience will understand.

Knowing your audience helps you decide which abbreviations are appropriate and which ones aren’t. For instance, you wouldn’t want to text “Hello, this is Joe, tech support for X Cable. BCNU in 10 to 15 minutes” to a 70-year old needing help with his cable. In this instance it would be better to write out, “Be seeing you.”

Common Text Abbreviations You Can’t Go Wrong Using

This list of SMS abbreviations and Internet acronyms is far from complete. Like culture, textese evolves over time. As a result, new acronyms and abbreviations are introduced and used every day. There are a few of our favorites that you can be confident most people will know. Give one a try today!

Abbreviation/Acronym Meaning
AAR At Any Rate
AKA Also Known As
ASAP As Soon As Possible
C&P Copy And Paste
CIL Check In Later
CTA Call To Action
CTO Check This Out
DD Due Diligence
DIY Do It Yourself
DND Do Not Disturb
EOD End of Day
NP No Problem
N/A Not Available
W/O Without
TY Thank You
TMRW Tomorrow
TGIF Thank God It’s Friday
TBH To Be Honest
UGC User Generated Content
T&C Terms And Conditions
RN Right Now
QOTD Quote of the Day
OOO Out Of Office

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