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SMS Glossary

Text Label

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what is a text labelThe text label is what identifies the sender of the message. When SMS messages are sent directly from a mobile phone’s SMS application, the operating system automatically enters your mobile number. When that message arrives at the recipient, they either see your number or the name they assigned you in their contacts.


In NetMessenger, this field is initially blank in the send message form. You can decide to enter your virtual mobile number, a shortcode or any alphanumeric (only letters and numbers, no special characters) combination up to 11 characters long. The field is required on every SMS message sent, so it can’t be left blank.


If you use a VMN or shortcode in the text label, you will be able to receive replies to that number. But if you use an alphanumeric combination, you cannot receive replies. So, choosing to not to use a VMN or shortcode ensures that you are using one-way messaging.


There are many use cases for using one-way messaging. These include appointment reminders, one-time authentication (OTA) requests, and SMS marketing. In general, these types of communications don’t require interaction with the recipient (though they could if you wanted them to).


Fastsms customers who use it for marketing often use a text label even if they have VMNs or shortcodes available. It’s important in these types of messages that the customer can identify who the message is from to avoid complaints to the ICO about spam. From that perspective, it’s much easier to identify a message when it says the company name and not a shortcode or VMN (which are both just numbers).


There are some restrictions on using text labels when sending messages internationally. Some countries do not like text labels and will reassign a random VMN number. If you intend to send messages to countries outside the UK, please contact our support staff to understand your options.

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