Can Sms Short Codes Really Transform Your Marketing Strategies?
Businesses around the world have discovered how effective SMS marketing is. Through bulk texting, you can communicate with your entire consumer base using a platform that has an astounding 98% open rate. There are various strategies you can implement to improve your SMS marketing and increase customer engagement, including acquiring SMS short codes.
SMS short codes make it easy for customers to know when your business is contacting them. You can also enable two-way communication, which is especially useful for marketing and customer service.
Though SMS short codes can be an important part of an effective marketing strategy, you must know how to use them correctly. This involves familiarizing yourself with concepts such as vanity codes, long codes or 10DLCs, and dedicated short codes. You also need to consider how you’ll ensure your SMS marketing strategy doesn’t violate any laws or regulations.
It might sound complicated, but the returns on SMS marketing are worth it. Don’t worry, this guide will cover everything you need to know about using SMS short codes to level up your marketing strategy.
Photographer: Gilles Lambert | Source: Unsplash
What Are SMS Short Codes?
First, let’s clear up any confusion: an SMS and a text message are the same thing. SMS stands for short message service, and it’s a text-only message one person sends to another.
Typically, when someone sends an SMS, they’ll use a mobile phone and a valid SIM card, which is registered to a 10-digit number. This is suitable for your personal SMS needs, but it won’t suffice for business texting. Instead, you’ll want to consider SMS short codes.
SMS short codes are five- or six-digit numbers that support the high-throughput two-way traffic associated with SMS marketing. One of the advantages of SMS short codes is that, as the name highlights, they’re short. This makes it easy for your customers to remember them. It’s also easier to include short codes on ads such as billboards and radio announcements.
There are two types of SMS short codes: random and vanity. With random SMS short codes, the numbers in the code are randomly generated, meaning you don’t select which digits appear. This is usually the cheaper option.
With vanity SMS short codes, you can choose the numbers. Businesses might go this route if they want a number that’s easier to remember or has some kind of significance. For instance, a business selling tricycles might be interested in a 333-333 SMS short code.
SMS Short Code Uses
There are a variety of contexts in which you might want to text your customers. This includes sharing marketing material and sending reminders about items left in an online shopping cart. There are also scenarios where customers may want to contact your business. Calling is an option, but no one wants to be put on hold. As a result, most customers—nearly 93%—prefer texting with businesses instead.
You can also use SMS short codes to enable customers to complete simple tasks. So, when someone texts a keyword to a short code, it triggers a response. For example, a customer may text the word “HOME7” to the number 808-645 to receive a message containing information about a house that a real estate agent is showing.
The convenience of short code texts makes them applicable in several industries. For instance, use them to let customers partake in competitions, sign up for newsletters, or check the status of an order they’ve placed.
Dedicated vs Shared SMS Short Codes
When researching SMS short codes, you may see or hear the phrases “dedicated SMS short codes” and “shared SMS short codes.” While shared SMS short codes are a thing of the past, it’s still useful to know the difference between the two.
Dedicated SMS Short Codes
With dedicated SMS short codes, businesses have a unique SMS short code assigned to them. In the past, only large businesses could afford these. But in the modern marketing landscape, they’ve become the standard.
With dedicated SMS short codes, you have the greatest control over your SMS marketing campaign. This enables you to ensure you comply with all regulations. It also makes it easier to build a brand—your business has its own number that it doesn’t share with any other entity. In addition, you gain access to two-way communication, which greatly enhances your SMS marketing campaign.
Shared SMS Short Codes
Shared SMS short codes refer to single short codes that multiple businesses use. This had its advantages, including lower costs for each business using a shared code. As a result, it was cheaper for businesses to launch SMS marketing campaigns.
However, shared short codes had several downsides. Most notably, they only allowed for unidirectional messaging. Businesses could text customers, but customers couldn’t respond. Shared SMS short codes also left legitimate businesses guilty by association. When implementing a marketing campaign, there are laws and regulations to abide by. If a company using a shared SMS short code broke those laws, then innocent businesses using the same short code also had their reputation harmed. Cellular networks sometimes even blocked their texts and marked them as spam.
Shared SMS short codes have been phased out in favor of dedicated SMS short codes. As of 2021, major wireless carriers in the United States no longer support them.
What About 10DLC?
Ten-digit long code (10DLC) gave marketers another option to shared SMS short codes. In this case, businesses use a standard 10-digit phone number to text customers. Given the issues with shared SMS short codes, carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon shifted to 10DLC in the hopes of eliminating spam texting. It was also a most efficient and cost-effective way for companies to engage in SMS marketing.
While you can certainly use 10DLC to text customers, there are some carrier limitations. Plus, you lose the benefit of a short, easy-to-remember code that consumers can associate with your business.
Photographer: Yura Fresh | Source: Unsplash
Can SMS Short Codes Help with Marketing?
You may have some skepticism surrounding SMS short codes. Is it really superior to 10DLC? Will it improve your marketing campaign? Yes to both. In fact, nearly 75% of companies expect to increase their budgets for SMS marketing and short codes in the coming year.
SMS short codes are great for building familiarity. Consumers receive dozens of text messages every day from friends, family, and businesses. With a short and easy-to-remember number, you make it easier for people to quickly recognize when they’re receiving a text from your business. This reduces the odds of your texts getting lost in the stack. You can strengthen this effect by using a clever vanity code.
In addition, SMS short codes support high traffic, so you’re able to send more texts rapidly. If you have a list with, say, 5,000 or more contacts, this becomes critical. It’s extremely time-consuming to send texts out one at a time or in small batches.
What’s more, the regulations that guide SMS short codes requires companies to get customer permission to contact them via text. This is actually a good thing—those who opt in want to hear from you and are more likely to engage with your marketing efforts.
How Your Business Can Leverage SMS Short Codes
SMS short codes can take your communications to the next level. After all, everyone has a cell phone, and there’s no need to download a special app to receive texts. This makes SMS marketing ideal when you want to ensure as many customers as possible receive an important message.
Here are a few ways you can use SMS short codes and text marketing to your advantage:
Boost Sales and Service
Share information like discounts or special offers to boost sales. Or give clients another way to quickly and easily reach your customer service team.
You can also use SMS short codes as part of a longer text marketing campaign. For instance, if you want to build anticipation for a new product release, sending texts in the lead-up to launch can help raise excitement. It can also be used to make big announcements you want your customers to know about urgently. This is particularly effective for flash sales and other time-sensitive deals.
Improve the Customer Experience
Research shows 55% of customers want to receive SMS reminders from businesses. So, send SMS reminders for customer appointments, subscription renewals, or product servicing. These quick notes will help customers save time and money, which boosts their sentiment toward you.
SMS texting also ensures your customers know about time-sensitive issues, such as an event they can attend, a product that’s been recalled, or a change in your business’s terms and conditions. These are simple ways to stay in touch with customers and show you’re thinking about them, which boosts loyalty to your brand.
Ensure Account Security
Unlike emails, consumers don’t hesitate to open texts. Research suggests 100% of SMS messages are viewed and 55% are actually read. Compared to other communication channels, SMS texts are the go-to platform when you need to urgently share information with your customers.
For example, a business may send a text to a client if there’s been suspicious activity on their account or a new login from an unexpected location. You can also use SMS short codes to authenticate account logins by sending individuals security codes.
Get Customer Feedback
We all want to see our businesses improve. To do this, you need feedback from customers, although this isn’t always easy to acquire. With a simple text, you can send a link to customers asking them to complete a survey after they’ve completed a purchase. Similar texts can also be sent if a customer unsubscribes from your business, as this can let you know which areas need improvement.
Build Better SMS Campaigns with Landline Remover
SMS short codes are a low-risk, high-reward way to expand the reach of your text marketing campaign. Utilize SMS marketing to share deals and discounts and open a two-way communication lane that lets customers give feedback and get questions answered.
While sending bulk texts is generally a cost-effective form of marketing, it can get expensive if your contact list is full of landline numbers. These numbers often can’t receive texts; and if they can, there’s no way for the customer to text back. SMS marketing can also get pricey if you break telemarketing laws, such as contacting numbers on the Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry. To solve both problems, you need Landline Remover.
Landline Remover provides an easy way to quickly eliminate landline numbers and DNC numbers from your contact lists. Simply upload a CSV file of your contacts, and Landline Remover sorts all mobile numbers from the rest in a matter of seconds. We use a flat-rate pricing plan that ensures you only pay for what you use. At $0.002 per number checked or $2 for 1,000 numbers, it’s the most cost-effective way to maximize your SMS marketing budget.
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