In recent times, it has become fairly common to receive short text messages now and then. Business houses use 5–6-digit long numbers to send text messages to potential customers in order to generate brand awareness. These 5–6-digit phone numbers are known as short codes and are used to send text messages on a large scale. The short code is meant to be shorter than the regular phone number as it eases the opt-in process. On the other hand, we also have the essential 10-digit long code that is used in more personal and direct conversations. 

The Advent of Computer Technology in Texting

Nowadays, texting has become very refined with the advancements in computer technology. Think of the times we used to send text messages to our friends. There were many steps involved⏤from opening the SMS app to typing our message, adding emoji, and finally pressing “SEND.” With the newer technologies used in current cell phones, messaging has become faster and easier. 

  • To send a text message, a binary code of a particular frequency of radio waves is used that is specific to the user.
  • A nearby cell tower receives the signal and transmits the information to a tower near the receiver. 
  • These cell towers are connected by a network of computers that monitor the location of your cell phone so that it can communicate with the closest tower.

What are the Different Types of SMS Codes Used Widely?

The two major divisions are long codes and short codes. Both have pros and cons. They are used for specific purposes. Let’s check out the brief introduction of these two popularly used codes:

  1. Long Code – A long code is our basic 10-digit phone number that can be used to communicate between two or more people via SMS or voice calls. The benefits of a long code are:
  • They have a very simple and hassle-free set-up procedure.
  • They can be used for both sending and receiving text messages and incoming and outgoing calls.
  • A consistent channel of communication between the customer and the brand through voice calls, messaging, and faxes. 
  • Messages and notifications can be easily customized according to the specific needs of customers. 
  • It can be used to send personal messages, including billing details, invoices, and others.
  1. Short code – An SMS short code, also known as Common Short Code (CSC), is a 5–6-digit number that brands use for large-scale marketing campaigns and applications for personal communication. The major advantages of using short codes for marketing are:
  • You can send large-scale text messages in a short period.
  • You can reach a lot of targeted customers at once.
  • Messages sent using short codes can include alert notifications, brand promotions, sending coupons or discount codes, and others.
  • You can also use short codes for two-factor authentication.

What are the Types of Short Codes Popularly Used?

 There are two kinds of short codes that you should know about⏤ shared short codes and dedicated short codes. They both have their purpose and benefits. Let us learn briefly about the two short codes that are widely used for marketing:

  1. Shared Short Code – Shared short codes are perfect for small- and medium-scale businesses. It is called a “shared short code,” because it is shared amongst multiple business houses. It allows multiple businesses to use the shared code and launch SMS campaigns at very low rates. Most companies providing shared short codes have updated their messaging guidelines and banned the use of shared short codes somewhere towards the end of 2021.
  2. Dedicated Short Code – Previously, dedicated short codes were used by large-scale companies for marketing purposes because they had a higher cost. Dedicated short codes are used by single brands or companies to launch text message marketing campaigns. The benefits of using dedicated short codes include:
  • They allow the brand to have full control over their text messages as they are not monitored by any cellular providers. 
  • They provide companies with unlimited access to keywords.
  • You can choose the keywords that fit your brand’s image the best. This allows you to run target-based marketing campaigns.
  • You can also choose from a custom vanity short code or a random short code for your brand’s marketing purposes.

Difference Between SMS Vanity Short Code and SMS Random Code

Dedicated short codes are gaining more and more popularity with each passing day thanks to their features and ability to customize for every brand’s purposes. Nowadays, with the ban on shared short codes, even medium- to-small-scale business houses are opting for dedicated short codes. You also have options to choose from when it comes to dedicated short codes, which are:

Random Short CodesVanity Short Codes
As the name suggests, you do not have control over the 5–6-digit short codes that you are going to receive.Random short codes are way cheaper than vanity short codes.You can receive any random number that might not be identifiable with your brand.You cannot request changes to any numbers.This kind of code gives you the option of choosing the numbers that can be identified with your brand.Vanity short codes are more expensive as they are customized according to your needs.Vanity codes are chosen by the company and are unique to the brand image.You can choose numbers that are easier to remember.

With the advent of text message marketing, using shortcodes is becoming crucial for brands to create brand awareness among their targeted clientele. More and more brands are switching to high-quality text message providers for better customer reach. For any SMS campaign, codes allow brands to get higher scalability and user outreach, which, in turn, brings better opportunities for creating brand image and value among their customers. 

Read more articles on BYJU’s FutureSchool blog to learn more about how coding helps you send a text. 

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