Short Codes Vs. Long Codes for Text Marketing

Text Marketing With Short Codes and Long Codes
14
Apr
Short Codes Vs. Long Codes for Text Marketing

While Shared Short Codes have been a mainstay in the text marketing world for years, the carriers have begun to end support for the troubled 6-digit textable numbers due to their high propensity for being misused by a small percentage of people "sharing" the same Short Code. As a result the industry is moving toward Toll-Free Numbers. A Toll-Free Number is a textable 10-digit number that offer the benefits of a dedicated number — meaning it's yours alone — with all the functionality of a Shared Short Code.

But let's look at the benefits and drawbacks of both:

Benefits of 10-Digit Long Codes

With a textable, 10-digit Toll-Free Number you can create a recognizable business identity,  legitimize your texts, leverage keywords, and send to one person or thousands with a Toll-Free Texting number!

  • Easily Identifiable Private Number Tied to Your Business
  • Toll-Free Numbers Can Project the Presence of a National Brand
  • Contacts and Customers Can Text or Call the Same Number
  • Fully Compatible With Automation and Keywords
  • Full Support for MMS Picture & Video Messaging

Benefits of a 6-Digit Short Code

The primary drawback to the 10-digit Toll-Free Number is that it's harder to remember. A 6-digital short code, like 858585, can stick in the memory if someone spots it on a sign. The reality is, however, that the 10-digit Long Code is the future the carriers seem to be backing, which means the Shared Short Code may not be long for text strategies. 

Short Code Drawbacks

  • Shared Short Codes are just that, shared, which means it’s not truly a part of your growing brand.
  • Critical Keywords for your business that run on Shared Short Codes may be taken by competitors or others
  • Mass messages sent via Shared Short Codes are also more likely to be blocked by carriers for perceived transgressions.
  • Short Codes cannot be called.

Dedicated Short Codes are available, but are prohibitively expensive for many companies, with set monthly costs hovering around $500. Short codes must be individually activated for each country, as well as approved by each carrier.

The full advantages and disadvantages of short and long codes is a complicated issue, further complicated by the fact that carriers often change their capabilities and rules (as well as the fact that companies lack resources to keep track of – and test – each update).  Short codes, with a few noted exceptions, have been the way to go in the U.S. for a long time, however, as noted above, the carriers are beginning to turn toward the 10-digit Long Code as a safer and more stable alternative.

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