SMS Marketing: Short Codes vs. Long Codes

SMS Marketing for Local BusinessYou might be asking yourself “What the heck is a short code and a long code?”

In SMS marketing, you have the choice to send and receive text messages from your customers using a short code or a long code.

A short code is a 4-6 digit number that you usually see on TV or hear on the radio. For example, American Idol uses a 4 digit short code (VOTE to 5702) for their viewers to vote on who they like best. Usually used on a nation-wide basis.

A long code is a normal 10 digit phone number, just like your business phone number. For example, I use 267-800-2494 as my SMS number for my business. You can text the word COUPON to 267-800-2494 to see how it works.

But, which one should you be using for your local business?

I ran a few tests and the numbers show that local businesses should always be using a long code when it comes to their SMS marketing. Why? There are a few reasons:

1. When a customer sees a text from a local number, they are 42% more likely to open it rather than a text from a short code. (physiological reasons)

2. A customer is 71% more likely to opt-in to a list when the SMS number is a local number rather than a 4-6 digit number. Why? Because most think when texting a short code they are being added to a mass SMS database, not just the local business.

3. When using a long code you can have your SMS number redirected to your main business line. So, if someone wants to contact you after they receive a text, maybe they have a question about the special offer, they can call the SMS number. With a short code, this is not possible and now the customer needs to research your number if they have a question. Something they likely won’t do.

4. When using a short code, you are sharing this short code with other business. That means if just one other business is abusing the short code and texting people who did not opt-in,this short code can become blacklisted without you even knowing.

5. You don’t own the short code and are limited to the amount of keywords you can use. This means you can’t track specific marketing efforts when using your SMS marketing.

Now, the list above are my opinions and test on why long codes are better. But, I’m guessing you probably agree and see why long code numbers are the way to go for local businesses using SMS marketing.

If you have any questions about long codes and short codes, please let me know.

Or, if you ready to start your own SMS campaign and would like to instantly be heard from your customers when you want to be heard… contact us today!

To Your Success,

Eric Davis

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