SMS Short Code vs. SMS Long Code Marketing - Which One is Best For Your Business

If you’re just getting started with text marketing, you might be curious about the differences between long and shortcodes. The primary distinction is that an SMS long code is a 10-digit number that may be used to send and receive SMS messages and faxes, and calls. SMS shortcodes are distinct because they are 5-6 digits long and can only transmit and receive texts.

Presently, more businesses are exploring the benefits of text marketing to widen reach with a convenient communication tool. Companies are increasingly using SMS marketing to connect with their customers. SMS may be sent through either a shortcode or a long code. The distinction between the two can be perplexing at first, but it’s straightforward to comprehend.

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of both to assist you in deciding which one is right for your company.

What is SMS Short Code?

A shortcode is a 5 to 6-digit number that may be used to send text messages or multimedia messages. Customers may opt-in for communications by texting a keyword to this number.

For example, customers may text “CHEESE” to 35344 to get a pizza restaurant discount.

If you know the keyword, you can acquire a randomly constructed shortcode or pick a custom vanity shortcode. For a spa, for example, you may choose the custom number “73529,” which spells out “RELAX.”

One-way, non-personal communication and mass messaging are both excellent uses for short code messaging. You may send hundreds of messages without problems with shortcodes since they are pre-approved by cell phone carriers with a transmission capacity of around 100 messages per second. Almost all major US wireless providers support shortcode initiatives, allowing you to send large quantities of text messages without limitations.

What are the types of SMS Short Code?

Shortcodes are divided into two categories: shared and dedicated.

A shared short code is a number that may be utilized by numerous organizations at the same time, mainly to reduce marketing expenses. While shortcodes can be shared, keywords cannot. Shared shortcode usage has been proven to separate traffic. Therefore keywords are not capable of being replicated between businesses.

In 2021, mobile carriers in the United States banned shared shortcodes due to fears of spam and phishing. While there are exceptions to the shared short code ban, they are few and far between. As a result, if you want to continue using a shared short code, your company must show why its use case should be exempt from the decision.

A shortcode can be used only by a single company. Dedicated short codes exist in two forms: random codes and vanity codes.

  • Random shortcodes – these are randomly generated shortcodes. You have no control over the number you receive.
  • Vanity shortcodes – are one of the most popular types of shortcodes available. You can choose a “phone word,” which involves spelling a name in digits (such as 73774 for PEPSI), or opt for a simple combination, 800800 or 54321. Large businesses frequently utilize vanity shortcodes to make their phone numbers easily recognizable and memorable for customers.

What is SMS Long Code?

Long SMS are 10-digit phone numbers used for a long time to send and receive text messages between personal cell phones (Ex. 512-501-5940).

Various organizations use long code phone numbers to text their consumers in several innovative ways. Some smaller businesses prefer to utilize their mobile phones, but this method is inconvenient and difficult to handle, not to mention unprofessional.

Companies that employ text messaging as part of their communication plan generally use SMS texting software to transmit and receive text messages to and from clients and employees. Customers are given a business phone number instead of an unknown personal number, and companies may keep track of every text sent by any worker in one location.

What are the types of SMS Long Code?

Long code SMS are divided into four categories: Toll-free texting, Person-to-person, Application-to-person, and the A2P 10-digit long code.

  • P2P Long Code: P2P long codes are 10-digit phone numbers that you may use for one-on-one conversations and texts with your consumers. Businesses send person-to-person communications between personal cell phones or other mobile devices, just as personal texting does. P2P is the least expensive long code type and can be used for businesses’ marketing, appointment reminders, or customer service purposes.
  • Toll-Free Texting: While P2P long codes may impose text fees for your consumers, toll-free texting does not. You can use toll-free messaging for SMS and MMS communications for customer convenience and flexibility in your marketing campaigns.
  • A2P Long Code: A2P long codes are 10-digit phone numbers that may be used to disseminate one-way mass marketing messages. Consumers are not required to respond to A2P communications. They function similarly to dedicated shortcodes, although they are far less expensive.
  • A2P 10DLC: This new long-code type replaces shared shortcodes, and enables you to send two-way SMS and MMS messages from a local number. You can utilize 10DLC numbers to send large quantities of text messages for marketing campaigns and other communications, unlike traditional 10-digit phone numbers.

How much does it cost to text an SMS shortcode and SMS long code?

The cost to text an SMS shortcode and SMS long code varies depending on your code type. A shortcode costs $500 a month to lease a randomly generated number and $1,000 a month for a vanity code, but these do not include connection fees. For approximately $800 -$1,500 per month, you can consist of carrier connections. You can lease your shortcode for three, six, or twelve months.

A long code costs $10-$20 a month, and there is no setup fee. For A2P 10-digit long codes, you can expect to pay 2-20 cents per message sent, depending on your volume.

Long codes are not available for sale. But instead, they’re leased monthly. Each month, you purchase the right to send text messages from its 10-digit phone number. Overall, they’re the most cost-effective form of SMS marketing and may cost anywhere from 1 to 2 dollars per month to lease and 1 to 2 cents for each outbound/inbound message sent. Most businesses use these sorts of numbers for their SMS campaigns.

What is the difference between SMS Short Code and SMS Long Code?

difference between SMS Short Code and SMS Long Code

The primary distinction is that an SMS long code is a 10-digit number that may be used to send texts and receive faxes and make calls. SMS shortcodes are distinct because they are shorter, contain 5-6 digits, and can only transmit and receive text messages. Here are other differences between long codes and shortcodes.

  • Costs: Another significant difference between these two is the cost. Because an SMS long code is a standard 10-digit phone number, it’s much cheaper to lease than a shortcode. They may cost anywhere from $10-$20 per month to lease, while shortcodes can cost $1,500 per month.
  • Use Cases: These numbers are also used for different purposes. Shortcodes are best suited for large-scale marketing campaigns that require two-way texting, such as contests or voting. Long codes work better for one-way mass texts, appointment reminders, or customer service purposes.
  • Ease of Use: One advantage of shortcodes is that they’re easy to remember, which is helpful if you’re running a marketing campaign. Long codes are less expensive and may be used for various purposes, but they’re not as easy to remember as a shortcode.

What are the similarities between SMS Short Code and SMS Long Code?

The main similarity between these two types of numbers are the following:

  • You can use both for sending and receiving messages.
  • You can use both for marketing campaigns.
  • Both services are provided by network operators.
  • You can also avail of such services from SMS marketing platforms.

What are the advantages of using an SMS Short Code and an SMS Long Code?

Using SMS shortcodes and SMS long codes both have advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of shortcodes are the following:

  • They’re easy to remember. Dedicated short codes (especially vanity numbers) are more straightforward for consumers to remember, resulting in better response rates.
  • They’re not being spammed. Texts from 5 or 6-digit phone numbers are less likely to be marked as spam because wireless carriers pre-approve them during the code’s setup phase.

Advantages of Long codes include the following:

  • They’re cheaper. Because long codes are 10-digit phone numbers, they’re less expensive to lease than shortcodes.
  • You can use them for multiple purposes. Long codes can be used for SMS marketing, customer service, appointment reminders, etc.
  • Provides Human Touch. Long codes provide a more human touch to your SMS marketing campaigns and can make it seem like you’re sending a text from a friend rather than a business.

What are the disadvantages of using an SMS Short Code and an SMS Long Code?

The disadvantages of using shortcodes include the following:

  • They’re highly regulated and subject to the individual state’s rules. Each state has laws regulating five-digit and six-digit numbers.
  • It might take two to three weeks to be up and running.
  • Shortcodes aren’t cheap. They’re pricey. Depending on the sort you want, dedicated short code costs range from $750 to $1500 per month. Note: Shortcode prices are subject to a discount for qualified non-profit organizations.

The disadvantage of long codes are the following:

  • It may not be as memorable as a shortcode.
  • It can be tagged as spam by wireless carriers.

Now that you know the difference between SMS shortcodes and long codes, which one do you think is best for your business? It depends on your needs. If you need a number that’s easy to remember and willing to pay more for it, then a shortcode is probably the way. If you’re on a budget and need a number that can be used for multiple purposes, then a long code is better.

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