How To Use Long Code And Short Code To Get Remarkable Results

Wish to transform your business growth but are unsure about experimenting with SMS marketing? It is generally a debated subject of utilizing long code or short code while setting an effective SMS advertising mix. Because for any company desiring to optimize customer interaction and the customer experience, these codes are valuable solutions. Didn’t know about it before?

Hold on!

Are you even aware of what long code (virtual mobile number) or short code SMS is?

Sounds alien?

Let me give you an insight.

Long Code & Short Code in SMS Marketing


As we all know that the average time needed to send and receive SMS is just 5 seconds!

So, SMS has become one of the fastest and most reliable means of communication for everyone.

Nowadays, it’s a winning strategy to exploit the opportunities of SMS marketing with traditional marketing for inbound client management.

So, what exactly are long code and short code?

Long code and short codes are nothing but virtual inbound numbers that serve as an organization’s address.

You can also name them as the backbone of any texting or SMS marketing strategy.

Because both these strategies have potentialities of providing unique sets of benefits. 

And if handled efficiently, can let you achieve remarkable results.

Being a marketer, maybe you find it hard to choose the right form of text message marketing your business requires.

Whether to use a virtual mobile number or SMS short code?

Yes? Then this article is for you.

Here is everything you ought to know about them.

We are going to provide you the anatomies of both VMNs and short codes, long code vs short code and how you can use them.

Because unless you understand the difference between the two, you will not be able to make the right choice of SMS Marketing code for your business.

Let’s begin.

What is a virtual mobile number?

“Virtual” numbers, as the name indicate are mobile numbers that are not connected to any physical mobile device.

Instead of a mobile receiving the message, it is routed by the number to software for processing.

Usually, we all get an SMS from a 10 digit number as an advertisement to download an app. Right?

long code SMSSource: Burst SMS

They are just like standard telephone numbers.

These dedicated numbers are an absolute reason for brands that want a permanent and powerful SMS presence.

Because these are an essential component of any two-way SMS messaging campaign.

Additionally, these dedicated virtual mobile numbers as they have a unique code promote brand value.

A virtual mobile number is purchased directly from carriers.

And the easiest and cheapest way to get VMN’s is through Web SMS Services or SMS API Services.

Moreover, the virtual mobile number has a monthly fee.

What is the reason for using long code?

The long code is a P2P Communication (Person-to-Person) process where a person interacts with a person.

Virtual mobile numbers can be used in a variety of ways by businesses:

Suppose you have a sales team who are always on the go and use their mobile phones as their primary source of contact.

You can assign a virtual mobile number to each salesperson, with the calls routed from VMN to their phone number.

Considering you want your business to look more personal, but don’t want a standard toll free number as the main point of contact.

Then, assign a virtual mobile number as the primary number.

Makes sense?

Want to know about the advantage of long codes?

Here it is.

The advantage of long codes

1. The primary advantage of long code is that it allows 2-way communication, allowing the audience to reply to the message in the way they received it.

2. Globally accessible for international companies & events and can access Google Voice and other VoIP-powered mobiles.

3. With the long code, you can use as many keywords as you wish to. Using different keywords can be a wise choice as it will allow you to test the effectiveness of each keyword.  You can measure their response rate.

What is a short code?

Do you remember the voting campaign been done for the Presidential Election in America in 2016?

A short code was utilized to ease out the process of casting a vote by common people.

short code used for votingSource:

As the name short suggests, it should be a short collection of digits. Correct!

SMS short code number comprises of five digits and an SMS keyword.

An SMS keyword is a word that your customers should text along with the designated short code number to interact with your SMS marketing campaign.

Short Codes are a secure and trusted SMS text messaging option for marketers looking to engage consumers directly on their mobile devices.

The messages are compatible across almost all wireless carriers, as well as application providers.

You can send a text message to this number from any mobile phone.

Generally, there are two kinds of short codes, dedicated short code and shared short code.

If you are a marketer and are willing to purchase your own short code, then it is considered a dedicated short code.

It means that only you will have the authority of using that SMS short code.

You can utilize it for your business and text message to your own target audience.

Dedicated SMS short code will also be beneficial for sending a bulk SMS campaign.

Whereas a shared short code is one that is shared by multiple holders with each account being differentiated by a specific keyword.

SMS short codes are vehicles that power your SMS machinery.

As demand is rising, it’s a trend of signing up for mobile marketing campaigns via short codes is becoming more and more evitable.

Retailers are receiving real benefits of this booming communication channel.

Not only businesses, even consumers are getting discounts and coupons at their favorite places.

Hence, it is a crucial task to choose a bulk SMS service provider that satisfy all your marketing needs.

By employing short code service, your brand marketers can engage customers to maintain loyalty and brand reputation.

What are the uses of SMS short code?

It is a well-known fact that every type of business requires a perfect medium for advertising and promoting their business.

The SMS short code is an upcoming way for marketing.

In early 2000s SMS short codes were standardized to five and six-digit codes in the United States.

Today, they’re widely used by SMS marketing providers.

Short codes are used commonly for A2P Communication (Application-to-Person): when an application interacts with a person.

So, organizations often use short codes to opt-in customers.

Here they can send SMS coupons, promotional messages, polls, marketing campaigns, competitions, surveys, etc. to these customers or potential leads.

Short codes are perfect for feedbacks because of the length. It is easier for SMS marketing subscribers to take a ‘call to action’ after reading the message.

Since the vital nature of an SMS Short Code offers an easy way for customers and prospects.

It’s one thing that makes it an effective way of generating customer feedbacks.

However, many marketers fail to understand the difference between using a short code and long code messaging.

So for your convenience, let’s have a look at the benefits of short code service.

Advantage of short codes

1. The principal advantage of short codes is that it is a 5 digit number. Therefore it is way more comfortable on the part of customers to remember it. They find it more convenient while contacting you. You can use SMS short code to promote ads.

2. Customers use the SMS short code facility to opt-in to receive information by signing up for specific services they want, rather than receiving unwanted information.

3. Another advantage of short codes is its availability for 365 days a year even when the office or competitors are closed.

4. Short codes are a great marketing tool because they are unique and compels potential customers to take action immediately by sending SMS.

5. Short codes provide you with customer’s numbers by texting the number. This enables you to add them to your company database to send them permission-based marketing information in the future.

6. You can monitor the success of your overall or particular short code campaign immediately through the web management platform.

Long code vs Short code

short code vs long code exampleSource:

Below is a discussion about the various aspects by which long code and short code service differ from each other.


Short codes are simpler to remember and promote.

On the other hand, long codes are cumbersome for customers to be remembered at one go.


A short code has a more professional look than a long code.

While the long code has a slouchy look due to its lengthy nature.

#Carrier Approval-

The short code is registered with CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). According to guidelines, the SMS short code holder has to get an approval (the approval process is of 8-12 weeks).

Whereas for long code as they are not registered with CTIA, no prior approval is required.


Short codes are designed specifically for sending bulk messages in the business-to-consumer environment with much higher throughput.

Short codes are a potent SMS marketing and customer appreciation tool, especially for time-sensitive campaigns or critical alerts.

However, in case of long codes, you can only send 1 message per second.

#Mode of operation-

Short code being an application to person communication approach. People who have an urgent requirement to contact your business might feel it ineffective to use shortcode service.

However, for long code, they feel more connected.


The cost of leasing a short code is expensive. Additionally, a dedicated short code is not feasible for small businesses. So, using a shared short code can be a practical choice.

Long codes are much cheaper than short codes. So if you only need to receive replies from your messages, and are not bothered about audience remembering your number. Then leveraging long codes is the most cost-effective solution for you.


Short codes have restrictions for bulk sending and receiving.

However, long codes are not regulated as strictly as short codes. Therefore text message spammers most often use them.

#Target audience-

Long codes are beneficial for companies trying to reach international customers and can be used for official or business purposes.

Moreover, short codes are restricted to be local as only limited number of countries use them. They can be utilized for media and polls.

#Cost incurred for customers-

The user sending the message will be charged a standard SMS rate in case of long code SMS service.

Whereas short code has additional charges to be born by the sender.


Long codes can be used for voice calls, fax, and text.

But short codes won’t include voice or fax facilities.

#Shelf life

Long code SMS service can be purchased for a long-term and owned in the same way a company owns any telephone number.

On the other hand, short code service needs to get a renewal after every 12 months.

Final note

There is ample scope of earning revenue through SMS Marketing due to SMS having an open rate of 98%.

Time and again SMS is used for sending appointment reminders to package delivery notifications.

Making it an effective channel of marketing.

Thus the time has come to welcome inbound marketing and bid outbound marketing a farewell!

If you have still not convinced about the reach of mobile messaging, then the day has come for you to think upon.

Finding the right SMS marketing channels can be advantageous for you to boost your SMS marketing strategies.

You are your best judge, so set up your call to action at the outset.

Start thinking about what you want to achieve with SMS marketing.

If you intend to use long code SMS service or short code SMS service for your business.

Then it’s very necessary that you know the long code vs short code comparison.

For instance, if you are aiming at growing your brand with SMS marketing-related messages, then a shared short code is right.

On the contrary, if you are looking to use SMS to manage low volume SMS campaigns, long code is better.

Thus, short code service and long code SMS service both are fantastic add-ons to SMS marketing.

Each has their own benefits and hold the capacity of boosting your SMS marketing campaign.

Some businesses use both a short code and a long code, while some need only a short code service and vice-versa.

What according to you proved better for your marketing purpose?

Long code SMS or short code service?

Don’t hesitate to let us know.

Sreejani Bandopadhyay

Sreejani is a biotechnologist by education. She prioritizes in pushing her limits in the online era with her remarkable rationality. An ardent disciple of contemplation and believer of efficacy while writing. Presently she is tweaking her grey cells emphasizing in content marketing and is eventually mutating into a digital nomad. Is enthusiastic about traveling, as nature gives her positive stimuli.


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