Businesses that use text messaging as a marketing tool can choose to send and receive messages using short codes or long codes.
An increasing number of businesses are opting to use long codes because they offer substantial benefits over short codes.
Here is a look at why you should consider using long codes in your SMS marketing campaigns.
Understanding Short Codes and Long Codes
A short code is a four to six-digit number that is widely used for text message marketing. It is a random series of number, and it is usually used on a nationwide basis.
One example of a short code is the 5702 code that is used by American Idol viewers to vote for their favorite contestants. While a short code is easier to remember, it may not be as beneficial to businesses as a long code.
A long code is a 10-digit number that is similar to a phone number. It is actually a digital phone line that allows you to send and receive text messages.
It can be integrated with all the communication services that your company is using, including telephone, fax, email and SMS, and it enables you to communicate with people who use all kinds of phones or operating systems, including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows and Palm. A long code can be used for both internal and external communications.
Benefits of Using Long Codes
No Geographic Limitations
According to an article entitled “How to Use Long Codes Like a Champion“, one of the main benefits of using long codes is that they have no geographic limitations.
Since they are simply phone numbers, they enable you to promote your business to both domestic and international consumers, resulting in a significantly larger pool of potential customers.
It costs $500 to $1,000 to lease a short code, depending on whether it is a standard or vanity code.
A long code is a VoIP phone number that comes with a nominal fee, and its per-message fee can be lower than that of a short code if you choose the right communications provider.
Seamless Voice and Text Integration
Short codes do not provide voice capabilities.
Long codes, on the other hand, enables seamless integration of voice, fax, email and texting.
Getting and deploying a short code can take months, and it may require an aggregator to manage inter-carrier communications.
A long code can be implemented in just a matter of minutes.
All you need to do is partner with a communications provider and get a unique number for your SMS marketing campaign.
Unlike a short code, a long code is owned like a phone number.
As such, it can be activated and managed instantly without the lengthy process of getting projects approved. Having complete control is very important in projects that require a quick-time-to-market.
In today’s fast-paced world, text messaging is becoming an increasingly relevant marketing tool.
Using long codes can help you get the most out of your SMS marketing campaigns.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.