Every communication channel has its own language. Here at Tall Bob, we want to help you cut through that jargon and get to the real info: getting better SMS to your audience.

So, here’s a handy dandy guide to common SMS, MMS and text messaging terms you may hear.

Glossary Table

Term Definition
2-Way SMS Messaging

Messaging that supports communication back and forth between the Tall Bob platform and your recipients, it allows you to do things like:

  • having conversations
  • receiving confirmation of appointment reminders
  • and more.
Accepted This delivery status means that your recipient's number has been confirmed by the telco as valid, and is awaiting delivery.
Adaptive Bitrate This means that the quality of the video is dynamic and will vary depending on your recipient's screen size and internet connection. (We won't attempt to display a high-definition video to your recipient if their internet connection is poor.)

API stands for application programming interface, it’s what allows external systems and the Tall Bobs platform to communicate with each other to support things such as:

  • sending SMS messages
  • synchronising Contact Data and Lists
  • sending Event-based data such as impressions, form submissions and delivery receipts to external systems.

You can find all of Tall Bob's APIs here: https://docs.tallbob.com/

API Credentials API Credentials are what allow Tall Bob and external systems to communicate safely and securely when you connect them. Tall Bob supports the industry-standard Basic Auth and utilises HTTPS/SSL for all connections.
Application to Peer/Person (A2P)

A2P messaging refers to SMS and MMS messages sent via a service or an application to a person, so all messaging sent via Tall Bob would be considered A2P.

Some common examples of A2P messages you might send would be for:

  • appointment Reminders
  • authentication Services
  • delivery Notifications
  • marketing 
  • and more.
Authentication Authentication is the process of verifying that a user or external system is authorised and properly recognized by the platform when communicating with users who are signed in or external systems that are communicating via our APIs.
Blacklist This delivery status means that this contact had entered their mobile number or address via the unsubscribe page in a previous campaign.
Bounced This delivery status means your email was rejected by the mail server. This can bedue to an invalid sender address authentication, the destination address doesn't exist or the destination address mailbox is full.
Campaign Think of a campaign as a single 'send' or communication push. A campaign is the combination of the message, landing page, video, and recipients sent via a distribution method of your choice.
Concatenation When SMS was first created it had a fixed length which was 160 characters, these days SMS messaging supports concatenation, which allows us to send messages longer than 160 characters, through the use of concatenation you can send messages up to X characters long, however it should be noted that you will be billed for each segment of the message we concatenate for you.
Contact ID A Contact ID is a unique identifier assigned to a contact created in the Tall Bob platform.
Custom Data Custom data allows you to store additional information about your contacts, whether it be a date of birth, the department they work for or their favourite colour. This data can be stored and then referenced in messaging and engagement content.
Delivered This delivery status means that your message was successfully sent to your recipient's handset/inbox.
Delivery Reporting/Receipts (DLR) DLRs are a core feature of SMS messaging when using A2P. It allows us to report on the delivery status of every SMS message sent via the Tall Bob platform.
Duplicate This delivery status means that this number/address had already appeared in the campaign recipients list.
E.164 E.164 refers to the super catchy “International Public Telecommunications Numbering Plan”. It's designed to ensure that a phone number contains all of the necessary parts to successfully route a call or SMS from anywhere in the world. You'd recognise E.164 numbers without knowing it, for example, Australian Mobile numbers in the E.164 format normally look like +614xxxxxxxx (the + sign is optional).
Encoding Your video is being uploaded to our servers and will be available for use shortly.
Engagement Tools

Engagement tools provide a deeper experience for your customers and allow greater interaction with your brand, Tall Bob supports several engagement tools that can be used to educate and engage with your customers, some examples of engagement tools provided by Tall Bob are:

  • video content
  • scratch and reveal
  • spin the wheel (Beta)
  • surveys and forms
  • content engagement

All engagement tools capture analytical event data that allows you to better understand your customer's interactions (or lack thereof).

Expired This delivery status means that your message was attempted to be delivered for 48 hours and did not succeed.
Follow Up Campaigns

Follow-up campaigns allow you to automate the selection of contacts that meet set criteria from previous campaigns, through the Tall Bob platform you can identify and message people who have:

  • have (or have not) completed the form or survey that was sent out
  • engaged with content such as watching a video
  • and more.
Impressions Think of an impression as a page view. Each time your landing page is loaded counts as one impression, regardless of whether it is the recipient's first or fifth visit. Impressions are therefore not unique. For Unique Impressions, look at the value for Impressions/CTR (Unique).
In progress This delivery status means that your message is still sending. Messages can be in progress for up to 48 hours, after which they are Expired.
Integrations Tall Bob can connect with many different external applications allowing you to send and receive SMS and MMS messages as well as analytical data and insights related to customers engaging with your content.
Invalid This delivery status means your message did not send, due to your recipient’s mobile number or email address being invalid or in an invalid format.
Landing Page This is the page your recipients see when they click on the link in your SMS. A\ landing page is simply a customisable single web page wherein you can host videos, images, PDFs, questionnaires, and give general information about your campaign.
Link Shortening Website links are long, and SMS messages are short, Tall Bob offers a link-shortening service as a part of the platform which will allow you to take some long URLs like https://tallbob.com/awesome-garden-gnomes-and-pink-flamingos and make it something nice and short like http://tallbob.me/O8WJ.
Longcode Long codes are dedicated mobile number that, when used as a SenderID will allow message replies to appear within the platform. This must be configured for your account before use, contact us at support@TallBob.com  to discuss the provisioning of a shared or private long code.

Tall Bob's engagement tools, support the hosting and displaying of a variety of media content including:

  • images
  • video
  • documents (including PDFs).
Message Templates Message Templates allow you to create reusable campaigns that can be saved within the Tall Bob platform and used repeatedly as needed.
Mobile Originated (MO)

Mobile Originated messages are messages sent from your customers to you, they are incoming messages that you receive and can view from within the Tall Bob platform. These messages can also be:

  • Forwarded on to External Systems via the use of Webhooks
  • Used to automatically trigger reply messages.
Mobile Terminated (MT) Mobile Terminated is a fancy way of saying ‘delivered’ it means that the SMS message has been received by the Mobile device, it is often referred to as an Outbound SMS, another way of looking at it is an MT represents the message that was delivered to the recipient as opposed to an MO which refers to the message sent from a mobile device or application.
Multi-Media Messaging Service (MMS)

MMS messaging allows for a richer form of communication, it builds off of the SMS messaging to include support for the inclusion of media such as:

  • audio (mp3, wav)
  • animated Images (gif)
  • images (jpeg)
  • video (3gp, mp4)
Opened This delivery status means your email was delivered and has been opened.
Opt-Outs The recipient has opted out of receiving messages.
Peer/Person-to-peer/Person (P2P) P2P messaging refers to messages sent from one person to another directly from their mobile devices.
Personalisation Personalisation allows you to use your contact data, including Custom data to write messages and content that is personalised to the individual, allowing you to create messaging at a scale that still communicates to the user at a personalised level such as referencing their name or other custom data you may have stored against the contact.
Personalised URLs (pURLS) When sending campaigns or using the URL shortener, by default links will come from the domain http://tlb.co for brand recognition and trust, you can configure a personalised URL that relates directly to your brand, contact your Account manager to discuss this feature.
Progressive Profiling

Through the use of progressive profiling you can build forms and surveys that capture and then store information about your clients against their customer records some examples of progressive profiling are:

  • confirming and or updating email addresses
  • gathering new information such as preferred vehicle brands
  • favourite colour 
  • etc

This information through the use of Integrations can also then be sent back to external applications so you can update your CRM or CDP.

QR Code QR code are machine-readable codes that normally store URLs and in this case a URL link to your customised landing page. You can download them and print them out for mobile users to scan as a way to get your consumers immediately engaged and have increased investment in hearing what your campaign has to say. 
Scheduling By scheduling a campaign, you can plan your messaging and have it scheduled to be delivered at the correct time within the specified timezone Tall Bob can deliver your message at the set time.
Sender ID A sender ID is a name or number which comes up as the ‘contact' on the contact’s phone once a message has been sent. You can change this ID to any name or number needed for your campaign on SMS, however, email distribution requires a valid email address to be used.
Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is often referred to as:

  • text message
  • a text 
  • texts 
  • message

It's that little ding sound you hear from your phone when your significant other is asking you to grab some milk on the way home, or a friend messaging you to make plans on the weekend. They are short simple text-based messages that can be sent from one person to another or from an application to an individual (A2P).

SMS Gateway The Tall Bob Platform is an SMS Gateway, it is a location on the internet that allows for the entry and exit of SMS messages, it's kind of like your mobile phone but ‘in the cloud’.
SMS Units

The number of SMS message units used to send this campaign, and the length of a message can be affected by several things:

  • use of Unicode characters including emojis
  • personalisation such as First Name, Last name etc
  • length of the overall message

overall message units are calculated on a per-recipient basis, for example, a customer with a short first name may only require 1 SMS message unit vs a long name that may push into 2 message units.

Spread Sending Spread sending allows you to distribute the sending of a campaign message to a large volume of people over an extended period, whether you are announcing a new product and concerned your website may be swamped with traffic or you are managing a call centre and want to control the rate of messages to better manage inbound call demand spread sending will allow you to control your rate of messaging.
Surveys and Forms Surveys and Forms are part of the engagement tools offered by Tall Bob, they allow you to build forms that can be sent to your customers to gather information.
Triggered Campaigns (SMS keywords)

SMS Keywords allow users to trigger pre-defined actions, they are commonly used in 2 way SMS messaging to activate the sending of a predefined message, for example, a customer might receive a message with multiple options in it such as reply:

  • '1' for more information
  • '2' to sign up
  • '3' to have a pony delivered to their front door

When the platform receives the keyword it then triggers off the pre-defined action such as sending another message with more information, or a link to a signup form.

Undelivered This delivery status means that your message was not sent successfully, this generally means there was an issue reported by the telco.
Unsubscribe This delivery status means that this contacts subscription status is false.
URL Redirects URL Redirects are similar to link shortening, with a URL redirect links in your message will be changed to a shortened URL saving characters in your SMS message.
UTF-8 UTF-8 also known as Unicode Transformational Format 8 Bit, is a way of representing text it’s what allows us to communicate with each other via SMS using things like Emoji, and special characters and provides support for more than 70 different languages.
Virtual Number, MSISDN

A virtual number is just like your mobile number except it doesn’t have a physical sim card, a virtual number is normally assigned to your account and can then be used to communicate bi-directionally between the Tall Bob platform and your message recipient, common use cases for using a long code in messaging are:

  • To support keyword-based opt-outs such as text ‘STOP’
  • Conversational messaging 
  • Appointment confirmations ‘Reply Yes’
  • Keyword Triggered Campaigns ‘Text Win’ to…
Webhook Webhooks deliver data generated by actions and events on the Tall Bob platform to external systems to notify them when something happens.