Text Message Marketing

Short Code Vs. Long Code Numbers

Matt Morfopoulos

Not all numbers are created equal

There are two types of phone numbers, long code, and short-code. Understanding the difference between the two may be confusing at first, but hopefully this article will shed some light on this. Let’s start by breaking down the differences between the two forms of number structures along with the advantages of each.

Short-code phone numbers

A short-code is a 5 to 6 digit number used to send text messages. Customers can text keywords to these numbers to opt-in for messages from businesses. You may have received a short-code text from AT&T about your phone bill or from American Airlines about your upcoming flight. 

When to use shortcode numbers

Short-codes are ideal for quick reminder texts that don’t require a response or any personalization. This is because customers can’t respond to them. In the example above, American Airlines sends reminders for upcoming flights. Businesses cannot service their customers if they texted back.

Long code phone numbers

A long-code number is a 10-digit number, the same numbers used on your personal phone, that let you send and receive text messages.

When to use long code numbers

With a long-code number, you can send and receive a text as well as phone calls from your customers or leads. Long-code numbers let you text your customers the same way you would a friend.

Long-Code is perfect for businesses that need to communicate with their customers. Use cases include launching engaging marketing campaigns, sales follow-up, and providing on-demand service to customers.

The right number for your business

Ultimately, you need to figure out which type of phone number is best for your business’s needs.

If you're a big corporation and need to send quick updates without worrying about service, then short-code is your best option.

For small to mid-sized businesses that need to provide engaging customer experience, long-code should be your go-to type of phone number.

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