Difference between the 2 Types of SMS: MO and MT

When you’re in the SMS industry, knowing the lingo, the important terminology and acronyms, is half the battle. One of the things that you may hear or find mentioned all the time by experts, professionals, and people in the industry reference is MT and MO messaging. These terms are important to remember, especially when you have post-campaign discussions with your marketing teams because these are likely to be mentioned when reporting and analyzing the performance of your most recent SMS campaign. During the meeting, your marketing team may come up with questions like “what is the total number of MO messages we received when running the text message marketing campaign?”

So, what exactly do these pre-fancy words and acronyms mean and how you can use them when talking to an SMS expert? Let’s get started with MO messaging.

Breaking down the confusion around “MO Messaging”

In text marketing, the MO message means the “mobile originated” message i.e. the type of message that the customers send into the system from their own mobile phone. Pretty easy, right? The message originated from the phone and it’s going to send into an SMS marketing provider.

If we talk rather precisely about MO messaging then it’s undoubtedly the very first step in any SMS or text marketing journey once the marketers have informed all the potential customers and subscribers that they can join to win or earn some rewards by sending a text back with a certain keyword to a virtual mobile number (10 digits maybe) or an easy to remember shortcode which generally limits to only 5-6 digits.

If you’re a pizza restaurant owner, for example, and want to reward your long-time, recurring customers with special discounts, you can organize a bulk SMS campaign, sending all your loyal customers, who already have opted to receive the notifications and alerts from your business, an SMS with all the essential information on your promotion, asking them to reply “PIZZA” (let’s say, a keyword) to participate in and receive a specific discount. You can also share this promotional message via your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Now those who want to take part in your SMS marketing campaign will send you the “MO message”, originated from the mobile devices of customers to your system via a virtual number or a shortcode you mentioned in your campaign like 12345.

What “MT Messaging” terminology is all about?

Now you have got the whole point of MO messaging, it’s time to break down all the confusion around MT messaging which stands for “mobile terminated messaging”. Simply put, MT message is the message that gets terminated on the phone i.e. an SMS that has been sent by the SMS marketing provider and ending on the customer’s or subscriber’s phone.

It will be true if we say that an MT SMS message is triggered by an MO message. When we combine the two: the mobile originated (MO) message, coming from the customer says “PIZZA” the keyword as we discussed earlier, to a short code like 12345 as in the above example and the shortcode then sends back a message to the customer which is an MT (mobile terminated) which will have the certain discount or promotion you’re offering, such as “show this text to get 40% OFF a large pizza”. Now what we learn from this use case is that the MT message is a response message triggered by the MO message.

Hope you’re able to understand and know the difference between mobile originated messages and mobile terminated messages! If you’re looking to launch your own campaign and need to send some MT messages, get in touch with us by clicking the “Contact US!” link. We can equip you with the most revolutionary SMS broadcast tools that can not only help inform your target audience about your marketing promotions but can send mobile terminated messages as well.