SMS long code vs short code revisited

by KaylaB
8 replies
I know this topic has been discussed before, but the posts on this subject are all relatively old now and I thought it might be time to revisit it.

In the last year a lot more people have been using/offering SMS services. What I would like to know is your actual experience using long codes and/or short codes and the pros/cons with each. I will start:

LONG CODES:

PROS
  • Client's own their own long code, which gives a lot more flexibility in terms of campaigns. They can use any keyword they want.
  • Because long codes use local numbers, there is a sense of trust; people know that their text is being sent locally
  • Long codes do not have to be registered with each cell phone provider; they are treated and delivered like regular text messages
  • Costs for long codes tend to be lower
CONS
  • Harder to remember a 10 digit number vs a 5 or 6 digit number
  • Limitation to number of text messages that can be sent; maximum about 600 per hour.

SHORT CODES:

PROS
  • Number is easier to remember and to text
  • Can do large text blasts
  • Short code platforms tend to more developed/easier to use (in my limited experience!)

CONS
  • Have to be registered with all cell phone providers
  • Some cell phone providers/plans may block incoming SMS short code messages
  • If a client opts out from someone else's campaign using STOP ALL they will also opt out of yours (I assume this is how it would work)
In terms of deliverability, I have run into issues with both. My long code provider was down a couple of times and the short code texts were blocked. So, don't know which is better here.



Thanks,

Kayla
#code #long #revisited #short #sms
  • Profile picture of the author BillBert
    Hi Kayla,

    Personally, I find this to be a very timely post. I have been struggling with the exact issues that you bring up.

    I see a great opportunity locally for someone to market SMS services. As a seasoned programmer/web developer, I am in the process of developing my own platform. Currently, I am testing with Twilio. I have added many features that I feel will make it an awesome platform.

    My main concern is whether or not using long codes will be a problem, even though I suspect most users would be texting only a few hundred messages, once or twice per week. This would hopefully grow in time, possibly making it an issue.

    I don't want to spend the money required to have my own short code as that would be putting the cart before the horse... I would feel much more comfortable if I had an existing clientele paying me enough to cover that cost before I incur it.

    Which now leads me to today's dilema; I have several hours put into my own platform's design that I absolutely love and now, I am considering using Lime Cellular as their platform offers everything mine has so far, and then some... AND, they provide a short code.

    So, if I am bent on having a short code, Lime would be the way to go... If I stay with a long code, then I will continue to develop my own platform, and even maybe lease/sell or license copies of my script for others to use.

    What are your thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author BrandyM
    I've been thinking about it too. I think that maybe at this point we could offer the business the option and keep a long code and short code service. I plan on keeping the long code service Twilio and thought about adding Avid, Lime, Brick&Mobile, I just haven't decided on the short code service yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    We use longcodes as well as shortcodes however we have found the longcode doesn't have to be easily remembered over and over, we have found people typically save the number to their contact or reply to the last message they received from the longcode... so don't let that put you off not using a longcode.

    We promote the longcodes directly, but also promote it using our mobile form submit with autoresponder that lets them enter in their name and number - naturally this is accessible via QR code as well. We do double opt in for subscribers too regardless how they got the longcodes.

    FYI we use Openvbx to do 2 way conversation too... our most recent competition we ran got approximately 50+ responses from 170 subscribers in the first 2 minutes of us sending the blast i know i haven't seen that type of ratio/response before with email!

    All i know is our clients are extremely happy with the configuration we have set up for them and it works for what we and our clients need it for.

    HTH

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    @ Bill - I think that is great that you are developing a platform for Twilio. I am not currently using them, but my son has set up a Twilio account and said he can build me a SMS platform. I am not sure I want to stay with the long code provider I am using now.

    We use longcodes as well as shortcodes however we have found the longcode doesn't have to be easily remembered over and over, we have found people typically save the number to their contact or reply to the last message they received from the longcode... so don't let that put you off not using a longcode.
    Thanks Jay. That is great to know. Who are you using for your long code? Did you build your own platform?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
      Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

      @ Bill - I think that is great that you are developing a platform for Twilio. I am not currently using them, but my son has set up a Twilio account and said he can build me a SMS platform. I am not sure I want to stay with the long code provider I am using now.



      Thanks Jay. That is great to know. Who are you using for your long code? Did you build your own platform?
      we use twilio for our longcodes for shortcode i use a friend of mine he has his own private shortcode with sms messages bought in bulk from 4info

      the platform we use for long codes is a customized version of openvbx which is open source
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    the platform we use for long codes is a customized version of openvbx which is open source
    Thanks Jay. I pointed my son to openvbx and he is going to use that.
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  • Profile picture of the author joerudy1988
    Short code is always better in my opinion.

    Also, try using a simple password for activation.
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    • Profile picture of the author BizGrabbers
      I am using short code through another company. Either way, I only wish I started my business five years ago and look where I would be now.

      Thanks everybody, for all your advice. I'm learning a lot here on WF
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