Long Codes vs. Short Codes

In the world of mobile marketing there are two types of numbers: short codes and long codes.  A short code is that 5 or 6 digit code that businesses use, together with keywords, for optin campaigns.  Typically you see these on promotional items that say something along the lines of, “text the word JOIN to 91011 for your chance to win.”  Long codes, on the other hand, are the 10 digit numbers you and I have for our personal use such as 208.227.7705.  Both long codes and short codes can receive keywords and can be used by mobile marketers.  In this post we will discuss some of the pros and cons of each type of code.

Short Codes

Short codes are shorter making them easier to remember as well as take up less size in print ads.  However, they also take longer and cost much more to obtain.  A typical short code will cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 per month and can take 8 weeks to go through a process called provisioning.  There are also special laws that govern these types of messages which require extra work and monitoring.    If you do not have a budget allocated for this type of campaign, we often suggest opting for a more simple long code or purchasing a keyword on a shared short code that multiple businesses will have access to.

Long Codes

Unlike short codes which take time to setup, long codes can be allocated within a day or two. Rather than sharing your short code with multiple businesses, long codes are dedicated and reserved meaning no other business will have access to that number. On top of that, long codes can also be used internationally and allow access to unlimited keywords.  As you will see in the Case Study below, some organizations actually prefer to use short codes because they give a local and trustworthy feeling to it’s users.

Case Study

OneCounts is an organization that helps nonprofits connect with their audiences and communicates with them in the most effective way possible.  They reach 27 different countries and use texting as a primary way to get their message across and gain leads for donations.  They use a different long code for each of their 40+ states they communicate with. When a subscriber can communicate with a number from within their area code, it creates an instant feeling of trust and as an end result, that subscriber Proves to be far more likely to donate to the cause.

Want to Learn More?

Want to find out whether you should be using a short code or a long code for your business?  Both are an efficient and cost-effective way to communicate to your audience. Learn more here, contact us at sales@txtwire.com, or call us at 1-877-652-0030.