Have you ever heard the term MO message or MT message? When it comes to mobile engagement applications there is some important acronyms and terminology that would be helpful to memorize. Two important terms that you may find mentioned regularly are MO, which means Mobile Originated and MT, which stands for Mobile Terminated.


These terms are important and are likely to be heard amongst marketing teams in post-campaign discussions about reporting. You may be with your marketing team analyzing your most recent campaign performance and your team may put forth questions such as “How many total MO messages did we get for the most recent campaign?” What exactly does that mean? First, let’s review their definitions then we can talk about some more examples.

What is an MO Message?

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As we stated earlier the term MO stands for “Mobile Originated”. MO messages are any type of messages that flows from a mobile device to a web application or platform. Here is a little trivia question! What are some standardized keywords that subscribers may commonly send to an engagement platform or SMS gateway? Well, the answer is words like STOP, HELP, YES and NO. For example, when you are opting into a keyword, like when texting DEMO to 52236, that message can be seen a “Mobile Originated” message that is being sent to an application telling it to opt your mobile number into the system. We are pretty certain you have seen many keyword opt-in call to actions for SMS marketing campaigns, but as a refresher, you can check out some of these examples on our site. If you were to opt into any of these, the message you send to communicate to that SMS provider can also be seen as “Mobile Originated” message. SMS platforms generally timestamp these types of messages into their systems for the record.

What is an MT Message?

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MT is very similar, but the inverse of MO. As mentioned MT stands for “Mobile Terminated”. This is a type of message that flows from an SMS gateway to a smartphone, mobile device or cell phone. MT messages are basically any and all messages in your campaigns that are sent to your subscriber’s mobile phones. Let’s say you get a notification on your phone from a dedicated or vanity shortcode. Well, that was an MT! Similarly, web application generally timestamps these types of messages too for reporting and analytics. To leave you with this analogy here. Lead generation is to MO’s as engagements is to MT’s!

Want to try sending some MT messages yourself? Click here to get started!


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