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.