Text Messaging Featured Article

Long Codes: More Effective for Companies Using Text Messaging?

February 13, 2012

Communication is key to a successful business. How a business communicates with its customers is just as important as the product or service it sells. In a world where there are more than 300 million cell phone users in the United States alone, mobile communication is a tool worth the investment.

Text messaging has been around for more than a decade and has drastically evolved in that time. What began as a simple text message between users on the same carrier has evolved into extensive plans for unlimited text messaging between any carrier.

Next in the evolutionary ladder is the shift from basic text messaging to Short Code. Through advertising and marketing campaigns, Short Codes were basically used to reach a mass audience. Users who opted in were sent promotional text messages. This system is also used for voting on reality shows like American Idol and for winning promotional prizes.

As the Short Code solution continued to evolved, businesses could use text messaging as a way of interfacing with the services it was providing. Subscribers would be able to receive news alerts or other information via text messaging on Short Codes.

Even with this extensive usage, however, the Short Code method is showing signs of weakness, forcing businesses to look for more efficient options. Higher costs and restrictions are causing some companies to consider Long Code. Unlike the leased Short Code, Long Code is owned like a phone number and has the capabilities to reach cell phone carriers the Short Code cannot.

Short Codes are typically limited to only U.S. carriers where Long Code reaches wireless and wired carriers. So imagine having all the benefits of Short Code with additions like voice, e-mail and fax capabilities as well as the ease of implementation. Plus, all of this is available for a lower cost.

Long Code is simply a digital phone line with text messaging capabilities. Long Code for text messaging can also give businesses the ability to simplify their communications. One number can be used for a number of communications to create a unified communications platform. It is clearly a positive communications tool that can be used internally to handle a variety of business needs. Staff can stay connected using many of the company’s current resources while incorporating additional inbound functions.

Short Code will probably continue to be a good source for text messaging game shows and marketing campaigns. For reaching the larger audiences with more effective operational solutions, however, Long Code will be the better option when incorporating text messaging capabilities.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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