Long Code vs. Short Code for SMS Marketing

As you design your SMS business strategy, your plan will be shaped by your answers to a few key questions: Are you soliciting a customer for a business offer? Do you want to improve User Validation? Do you want to automate appointment reminders with SMS? Will you send your messages via long code, or short code? These questions hinge on the important consideration of if you are attempting to use SMS to advertise. Be honest with what your SMS business strategy is.

Many businesses don’t understand the differences between short and long code messaging. Let’s take a look at the benefits of both.

The 10-Digit Long Code

A long code is a standard 10-digit phone number, just like the one you have assigned to your own cell phone, or landline. Using long codes is inexpensive and can reach every cell phone when it is properly used. Long codes can also be used to send texts internationally in countries where short codes are not supported, making them ideal for companies looking to connect with an international audience – but that is not the prime potential on how the long code can be used in your business.

Few aggregators properly support long code messages to perform in large applications, and some can only send one message each second. These same aggregators never saw the potential of the 10-digit long code because all they concentrated on was domestic marketing. This completely ignored M2M (Machine to Machine) system trap applications, personal calendar alert systems and security routines that use SMS for user validation, which are gaining popularity as an alternative to the cumbersome CAPTCHA routine used in websites and popular app installs such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. Wherever user validation is demanded, businesses now understand the value of validating mobile phone numbers. Swift SMS Gateway specializes in business integration for these services and is an industry leader in the proper deployment of SMS services.

Because they are regulated, consumers tend to trust short code messages more. Here in North America, the simple answer is to use short code for marketing.

Short Code, Tailored for SMS Marketing

What makes a short code? They come through from a five- to six-digit number and are easy to remember, which make them ideal for the short attention span that advertising demands. Short codes are regulated by consumer protection rules. In all countries, consumers must opt-in to receive SMS marketing messages. In return, companies must provide content of value. Globally, spam is not welcome on any aggregator, and many countries have telecommunication regulations to guard against and prosecute offenders.

When planning your mass mobile marketing, choose an SMS Gateway that can provide guidance and diligence in regulatory submission of your short code campaigns. Consider what phone companies you want to reach on short code, as they will not run on every mobile network. This will ensure your dollars and time are not wasted and will help avoid your SMS marketing being denied broadcast and reach where you consider it to be important.

When paired with an energetic call to action, short codes can achieve higher conversion rates. This also lends well to advertising programs that appeal to customers on the radio or on a billboard, when they might not be able to remember or write down a long phone number. Instead, they only have to remember something simple, like “Text ‘sign up’ to ‘12321.””