Entering the world of SMS marketing for the first time can be very confusing, especially when you get bombarded with new terms and phrases at every turn. As you start to get to know how SMS marketing works and begin experimenting with lead magnets, link tracking, and lead segmentation, you’ll have to make a lot of decisions about your text marketing.
However, before all that, there’s one decision that you’re going to have to start with – whether to use a long code number or a short code number. This is a decision that is going to greatly influence your marketing campaigns, determine how well they might be received, and potentially limit what you’re going to be capable of achieving – so it’s a pretty big decision!
Long code numbers and short code numbers may seem perplexing to start with, but they simply refer to the number that your messages are being sent from. A long code number is your standard local number, it has 10 digits and looks just like a normal mobile number. A short code number only has 5/6 digits and is actually specially designed for SMS campaigns.
Your first thought may be to choose the short code number as it’s designed for SMS marketing, but you could actually be missing out on a trick! Long code numbers have their own benefits, and especially when it comes to notifications and reminders – two essentials for a comprehensive SMS marketing strategy.
Before you dive in and pick a number for your notifications and reminders, here are five of the reasons why that number should be a long one…
Reason One: Long Code Numbers Are More Personal
One of the biggest advantages of a long code number is that it appears much more personal than a short code number. Long codes can be registered using your local area code or the area of your audience, so when they receive the text, they’ll instantly recognize that it’s from a nearby source.
For local businesses that are sending out reminders about appointments to customers in the same area as them, this is an invaluable personal touch. For delivery notifications, registering a long code number and using it to inform customers that their parcels are on the way, instills a sense of confidence that their delivery driver is nearby.
Reason Two: Long Code Numbers Are More Affordable
Saving money where possible is always a benefit in marketing – what’s saved in one area can be used in another. To reduce your costs, long numbers are definitely worth a consideration.
Compared to short code numbers, long codes are much more affordable to register and use. If you’re looking to send appointment reminders to all of your customers or notify customers that their products are on the way, then a long code number can work out much more affordable.
Reason Three: Long Codes Allow for Two-Way Chat
A key benefit of long code numbers is the ability to use the two-way chat function, an essential for notifications and reminders. By using a long code your customers are able to respond to your texts, which means that if they need to cancel an appointment for any reason, or have a query about a product, they can readily reply to your message.
For time-based reminders, this can be much more practical; questions can be answered quickly, and customers have easy access to support. Whether you want to add confirmation to your appointment reminders or a cancellation option to your order or delivery notifications, with a long code number you can easily implement it into your text.
Reason Four: Long Codes Support Many Functions
Long codes support standard texting and two-way chat, but that’s not all that you get when you choose a long code over a short code for your notifications and reminders. Long numbers are able to support international texting, so if your business offers international product shipping, or similar services, a long code will allow you to send the same message to your international customers as your local ones.
With a long code it’s possible to support voice communications and use other mediums of communication, like faxes – you can use it just like any other standard phone number. There is also the benefit of endless keyword use, which short code doesn’t support. You can use any keyword you want in a long code text and your customers will be able to easily respond with it.
Reason Five: Long Codes Use the Same Number
For a business to appear professional, it needs to offer customers consistency, which includes a consistent number to call about products, services, or information. Long code numbers, unlike short code numbers, stay the same. You won’t have to worry about other businesses using the number and you’ll be providing your customers with a single point of contact.
Whether you stick to using the number exclusively for texting or you make use of it for voice communications, you’ll be able to provide a personal and consistent form of communication for your customers.
Incorporating notifications and reminders into your business model is a great benefit to your customers and your business as a whole. Notifications keep customers informed, whilst reminders can lower the amount of appointments that are missed, saving your business money and a lot of time.
SMS marketing software is one of the best tools to send notifications and reminders, with more than 80% of smartphone owners checking their phones within a quarter of an hour of waking up and then on average more than once every hour throughout the day. By using SMS software with a long code number, you can get important information to your audience quickly and effectively, with the knowledge that it’s going to be well-received.
Short code numbers may be useful for very large 1-way SMS marketing campaigns, but for notifications, reminders, alerts, and customer support, a long code number is your key to success!