You may want to use shortcodes in your SMS marketing campaign but may not know the right type of it to you for your benefit. If you are getting just started you will first need to know how to pick a shortcode for text message marketing. All shortcodes are a five to six digit number with which you can send a specific message to customers. Historically, these codes were first used in a big way with American Idol when it created a huge impact. These codes were used by the subscribers to texting and vote for their favorite singer.
The next thing you should consider is the type of shortcode you want to use for your purpose. Ideally, there are three types to choose from:
- Shared shortcode
- Random shirt code and
- Vanity shortcode.
Each type of shortcode has its definitive pros and cons and it will largely depend on the type of your business as to which one you will choose. However, the first thing that you should have a very clear idea of is, the primary reason you want to use a shortcode anyways.
The most significant reason for using shortcodes by different businesses and entities is that it provides them with quick and easy access to their consumers. The consumers, on the other hand, feel confident about the brand being able to connect with it.
Short versus long codes
If you want to use shortcodes for your business promotion, first you need to know the difference between shortcode and long-form code. Shortcodes are usually of 5 to 6 digits but long-form codes normally have ten digits just like a normal phone number which is far more difficult to remember that a shortcode.
As for the shortcode:
- You can rent a short code Neustar to set it up
- The setting up process normally takes about 8 to 12 weeks
- After you lease the code it must be provisioned by the carriers.
This provisioning process will require a lot of paperwork. This is to ensure that you use the shortcode in accordance with the set guidelines. This is the proof of compliance. There are different dedicated companies that will take care of this long and arduous paperwork to ensure that the process is rightly and quickly completed. It is for this reason you are recommended not to provide the codes you want to use on your own. It will take a further 8 to 12 weeks if you do that before you can use the codes for your beneficial purposes.
Types of shortcode
Now you must know the features before texting short codes. To begin with the Shared Short Code you must know that:
- It is a number that is most commonly used by numerous companies. The number is shared by different companies meaning that you will receive notification from these different companies in the same number.
- The two primary advantages of using a shared short code are cost and time. As these codes are shared by different companies, these exist already and will therefore not take 8 to 12 weeks to get provisioned by the carries.
- Moreover, since the cost of these shared short codes is shared among different companies, it will cost you less eventually as compared to any dedicated codes.
However, a shared short code has its downsides as well. Not only all the companies using it share the cost, but they also share the same bank of keywords as well. That means, if you need a specific keyword for your business marketing there is a chance that this keyword is already being shared by another company.
To conclude, shared shortcodes have a few inherent risks as well. It is required that it complies with the set guidelines and regulations of the industry. Any failure in this aspect will result in the suspension of the shared code and therefore, all the companies using it will have their programs either shut off or suspended.
This is a dedicated short code for your business that will be unique. However, you will not have the liberty to choose the numbers. The carrier will choose a number at random and provide it to you.
One very good thing about a random code is that you can control everything that may happen to your code since it is dedicated to you and you do not share it with anyone. That means, there will be no chance of any other company to misuse it which is common in using shared short code.
Such a dedicated code is often recommended for companies wanting to use these codes for commercial mobile messaging and marketing campaigns. These codes help specifically in the recurring messaging programs. However, it is more expensive to use a random dedicated code than a shared code.
These codes are more expensive than random shortcodes and offer a few crucial advantages for specialized mobile marketing programs. These codes have:
- The highest “recall” amongst all types of shortcodes
- No one else can use it much like a random short code and
- You can request for a set of custom numbers.
However, the best way to use vanity codes is to request a number that is easy to remember such as 777777 or 525252. These quick codes are very trendy and can spell something very easily. This is a more mnemonic set of numbers that can be easily understood by people who have less knowledge about what the numbers on the phone keypad spell and have fewer features on their phone.
Out of all here types of shortcodes, the vanity shortcodes, though costly, is the best possible shortcode to use. These codes will facilitate uncontested and consistent branding and solid messaging features for enjoying long term benefits from your messaging strategy for you, your business as well as your customers.