Short Code Alternatives That Are Long on Value

A text marketing message received on a smartphone

Short codes have long been the accepted way for effective text marketing for businesses. This 5-6 digit, registered number offered higher SMS throughput and ensured that you could reliably reach a high volume of subscribers in seconds. Your potential customers could also opt-in to your SMS and MMS marketing messages by texting a keyword to this unique short code. With the benefits of high throughput and a short number that is easy for customers to remember, are there really any drawbacks?

Yes, there are. Let’s explore these drawbacks in the context of short code alternatives and help you choose the method best suited for your business. 

First, What’s Wrong with Short Codes?

They might seem like the perfect solution, but there are a few key facts that will quickly show you why so many businesses are turning away from short codes to short code alternatives.

Getting a dedicated short code approved and registered takes a provisioning time of anywhere between 8-12 weeks. That might not seem like too long, but they also cost about $2,500 per month to lease, and that is before messaging costs. To lower this cost, businesses used to use shared short codes, but this is a process that is slowly being phased out by many major carriers, like AT&T.

However, these disadvantages of short codes can be effectively addressed by the following short code alternatives.         

Short Code Alternatives for Your Business

There are two key short code alternatives that can support your business communication and marketing efforts in the currently changing landscape of the telecom industry. Let’s look at how these alternatives can work for your business.       

Ten-Digit Long Code (10 DLC) Messaging

Shared short codes are going away and making way for 10-digit long code messaging (10 DLC messaging). Telecom carriers aim to make these commercial long codes work like dedicated short codes while offering additional features. Some of the key advantages of 10 DLC numbers include higher messaging throughput than local long codes, lower costs compared to dedicated short codes, a dedicated communication line for businesses, and voice support.

The voice-enabled feature of 10 DLC numbers is one of the major benefits over dedicated short codes that adds a local touch to your business while letting you communicate with your audience through an approved local area code. 

However, 10 DLC messaging has not been widely rolled out so far and only the major cellular carriers have their own DLC messaging service. 

If you prefer an option that is more established, consider another effective alternative to short codes—toll-free messaging. 

Toll-Free Messaging 

Toll-free messaging offers you clear value over dedicated short codes, with voice-enabled features all at a fraction of the cost. The 10-digit toll-free numbers are also whitelisted, meaning they are deemed “good”—and not spam—until proven otherwise.

Perhaps best of all, the existing toll-free number for your business can be text-enabled to let you enjoy texting services from a number already familiar to your customers. Though the throughput rate of toll-free numbers is lower than that of dedicated short codes, it is higher than local 10-digit numbers. This means you can use toll-free messaging for sending out successful text blast campaigns from the phone number already associated with your business. 

With low setup cost, lesser provisioning time, and voice-enabled and text-enabled features, toll-free numbers can prove to be your best bet for text marketing campaigns in the long run. All you need is an affordable SMS delivery platform to text-enable your current toll-free business number.       

Text-Enabling Your Toll-Free Number with An Innovative SMS Delivery Platform 

By text-enabling your existing toll-free number through an SMS delivery platform, you can send mass texts to your subscribers, including MMS. Many times, customers actually prefer texting businesses over calling on the phone. The right text marketing platform can help initiate this text communication with your customers without negatively affecting your phone services at all.

Unlike shared short codes, toll-free messaging provides a secured communication channel, and to further enhance the security and deliverability of your marketing messages, the right text marketing platform will maintain a full audit trail of all SMS conversations. 

When it comes to communicating with your subscribers, you need to keep things simple and convenient for them. With robust technical support and affordable pricing, the right text delivery platform can offer you the flexibility to include both texting and voice calls for your existing toll-free number.

NorthText’s intuitive and affordable SMS delivery platform can help you enable your existing toll-free number for wider use. To learn more about our platform and services, call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070.

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Video Marketing Statistics for 2021 and Beyond

User with tablet computer displaying video marketing icons on virtual screen

As a marketer, you are in a constant struggle to capture the attention of your audience, and we are going to show you how video marketing is one of the most effective ways to do so. Looking at some of the video marketing statistics for 2020 will make it clear what this technology has to offer and how to best use it. 

Compelling Video Marketing Statistics for 2021

It has been fifteen years since YouTube came into existence and redefined the way users interact with video. In recent years, the popularity of video has soared further with new platforms such as Vine, Snapchat, TikTok as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It is no secret that visual content drives high engagement and with video content accounting for 60% of downstream traffic, you can’t afford to miss your opportunity to connect to your audience via video marketing. 

The following video marketing statistics will give you an even better idea of the reach and effectiveness of video content, both in and out of the marketing context. Then, we are going to show you how to capitalize on that information to improve engagement with your audience. Let’s start by breaking these statistics down into three categories:      

Viewership

When we talk about video content for marketing, it primarily refers to video ads, tutorial videos, interviews, presentations, product demos, reviews, testimonials, and live streaming. Regardless of the type of video content, here are a few numbers that reflect the rise in viewership and the growing demand for video marketing:

  • Around 14.9% of millennials (aged between 26-35 years) watched 10-20 hours of online video per week across the globe.
  • In the U.S., the number of online users accessing digital video content was projected to reach 83.3 percent in 2020.  
  • Smartphones are the primary device used by viewers worldwide to access online videos, followed by computers, smart TVs, and other internet-connected devices. 

Engagement

Engagement, in terms of comments, shares, etc., on social media platforms reflects how well a video resonates with its target audience. Completion rate and view duration are among other powerful video marketing metrics to gauge an audience’s interest in the content.

  • In the first quarter of 2020, the completion rate for video ads in North America was reported to be 85%.
  • 30-second ads account for more impressions than 15-second ads and remain the preferred ad length for many advertisers.
  • The engagement rate for video posts on Facebook is the highest at 6.09%, compared to engagement with any other type of content on the platform.   

Effectiveness

With high viewership and engagement, it is quite clear that the sentiment towards video content and marketing is favorable. Video ads are instrumental in driving consumers to discover new brands and make purchasing decisions. As a result, video marketing is comfortably positioned as a key digital marketing strategy for modern business success.  

So, What Type of Video Marketing Should You Use? 

With the total number of smartphone users in the U.S. having been estimated to reach 275.66 million by 2020, and a significant percentage of these users preferring communication with businesses via text messages, multimedia messaging service (MMS) marketing has proven to be a very effective way to reach your audience with video. And, when you consider that no special app or even an internet connection is required to receive text messages, it speaks volumes about the success and reach that text marketing campaigns can have. 

Unlike standard SMS that only supports plain text, MMS can be considered to be an improved version of that traditional text message, in that it lets you include rich media like videos, audio clips, and images. Interestingly, MMS offers an increased character limit over SMS (500 to 5,000 depending on the platform), way over the typical 160 to 240 character limit for SMS messages. 

With the features offered by MMS, you can leverage the statistics shown above and create engaging marketing messages containing text as well as high-interest visual content. These potential benefits of MMS marketing help you successfully reach subscribers, and since these recipients have already opted-in as subscribers, you know that you are reaching an audience that is interested in the content you will be delivering. 

All you need is the right text marketing platform to take advantage of MMS marketing for your business and include it in your overall marketing strategy. 

Choosing the Right MMS Delivery Platform for Your Marketing Goals

Choosing the right text marketing platform for your text marketing campaigns can have a significant impact on the success of those campaigns. The right text marketing platform should offer a robust suite of features that make things easy for you and valuable for your audience. 

Some features you will definitely want to have are unlimited keywords, which let you connect with different audience segments, and the option to create multiple user groups to help you send targeted MMS texts that your recipients will find valuable and relevant. Additionally, auto-responders in a text delivery platform can improve real-time engagement with your subscribers, and choosing a text marketing platform with a full audit trail helps your business avoid legal liabilities and find peace of mind. 

Last but not the least, you need affordable pricing so that you can capitalize on the clear value shown in these statistics without breaking the bank or spending your entire marketing budget in one place.    

Are you wondering how to further leverage these video marketing statistics for 2021 to boost the success of your business NorthText’s robust platform with innovative features offers you one-stop solutions for SMS and MMS marketing campaigns. Contact us today by phone or text at (312) 869-9070 to get started. We can have you up and running within minutes.

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Innovative Mobile Marketing

Brands using SMS mobile marketing connect with their customers.

“Mobile marketing” used to just refer to phones, but that’s no longer the case. These days, you could be referring to an iPad, surface tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

No matter where people are, when you text them, they text you back! That’s why NorthText provides you with a dashboard that gives you an easy way to see who is responding to your messages. You can continue a 1 on 1 dialogue, building more personal relationships with customers.

If you thought SMS was just for announcements and confirmations, think again. Because of the open-ended nature of the technology, there are really no limits to your ideas.