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The Death Of The Short Code – Are We On The Verge Of Reviving The “Long Code?”

Discussion in 'Mobile Marketing' started by Taktical, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Taktical

    Taktical Elite Member

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    Source: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com...on-the-verge-of-reviving-the-long-code-11813/

    Group Texting, a company that does exactly what its name implies, published an interesting blog post recently entitled ?The Death of the Short Code? in which it details the many disadvantages of short codes and how ?long codes? ? or so-called ?virtual phone numbers? ? overcome many of the barriers short codes present.
    ?The major wireless carriers came together in 2003 to create short codes to allow marketers to easily communicate with consumers. Since then text messaging has exploded in popularity. Short codes haven?t seen growth to match. Why? A long, opaque and expensive setup process prevents all but the largest brands from marketing to their customers with text messages,? the company explained in its post. ?Enter the long code: instant setup, affordable transparent pricing, and no one standing between your company and your customers. Short codes were supposed to bring mobile marketing to the masses. Long codes, virtual mobile phone numbers that can send and receive text messages stand ready to finally fulfill that promise.?
    Put simply, ?long codes? are basic ten-digit phone numbers that are connected to messaging gateways to send and receive text messages exactly the same way short codes do ? without the long approval and provisioning processes. The company notes that people who use VoIP providers like Google Voice can?t access short codes because of the underlying infrastructure, which isn?t the case with long codes, for example. As the company puts it: ?long codes just work.?
    Another large barrier presented by short codes is the inherent vulnerability of being at the whims of the carriers. We?ve covered numerous instances of carriers shutting down SMS campaigns or blocking short codes because they don?t agree with the content or the brands behind it. Long codes, the company suggests, come with none of these roadblocks and offer numerous advantages such as:
    Instant setup: Get going in less than 24 hours instead of 8 to 12 weeks.
    Cut out the middlemen and save money: No aggregator fees and contracts, and no passed along short code leasing costs mean your campaign can be run at a fraction of the price of a short code campaign.
    The widest coverage: If a customer can send and receive text messages you can reach them with a long code.
    The fastest messaging throughput available. Send 5 messages/second with a single long code. Pool multiple long codes for unlimited throughput.
    ?Do you need to get going tomorrow, not twelve weeks from now? Do you have the patience to work through program briefs, reams of carrier regulations, and constantly changing MMA guidelines? Do you have $12,000 to spend over the next year? These are deal breakers for 99% of the businesses in America,? the company concludes in its post. ?The long code, a solution that has been with us since the beginning, is poised to kill the short code.?
    What do you think? Are you a marketer that?s tired of the short code processes? Do you think long codes are the future of text-based mobile marketing? Do you think short codes will ever die off? Let us know your experiences and opinions?
     
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  2. Moneymaker13

    Moneymaker13 Regular Member

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    I like long codes, their less confusing to the person texting it (well for adults), they both have pros and cons, but the longcodes are much, much cheaper!
     
  3. Pampa114

    Pampa114 Newbie

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    That is the path I am on actually. I am adding long code to my offer, and it makes so much sense.
     
  4. ukescuba

    ukescuba Senior Member

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    both long code and short code have their place - i wouldnt entirely write off shortcodes though...

    take a look at some of the pros and cons...

    pros of a short code is the delivery rate - typically 400/second as opposed to 1/second by most long code gateways...

    twilio is amongst one the biggest providers of longcodes but i think they limit the output to a 1000 users which could be a problem for some people

    if you get a contract with a major gateway and your own short code the savings will be exceptional after the inital setup cost - saying that though Twilio and some of the other long code companies offer messages at 1c a sms

    delivery rates aside both short codes and long codes have the ability to have keywords assigned to the numbers but the biggest pro and advantage of long codes i see over short codes is the use of voice messaging and interaction!

    with a long code you can even have people subscribe by calling the number - you could even use long codes to do robo-calling!

    understanding at the beginning what you want out of a sms campaign and having an idea for the size of people you want to reach will ultimately determine whether you run with short or long codes... for local small business and offering sms services yourself then long codes are golden! :)

    biggest problems with both long code and short codes that i am seeing is finding a decent low cost gateway provider if your targeting people outside the USA

    hope that helps

    cheers

    jay
     
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  5. vulzala

    vulzala Junior Member

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    So true. I have been spending the past few days finding providers for Spain and have found some international providers (none spain based) but the rates start at 0.38 unless investing big sums initially which I cant do at the moment.

    I am getting confused with the short codes though. As far as I can see in Spain short codes are used jointly with a premium service where the client will pay a high rate for sending short code messages. The only companies using this are TV shows either to vote for something, or to run contests. From what I have been reading though, this does not need to be the case. They can be charged at normal rates. There is no way the Spanish market will believe you if you state that the rate is the same as a normal text message, so long code would have to be used.
     
  6. infTee

    infTee Junior Member

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    Aren't shortcodes used for free to text services in Spain? E.g car companies use them here to build lists/offer test drives.
     
  7. vulzala

    vulzala Junior Member

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    Nope. I have yet to see a short code used in a similar way. I am still researching but so far all short codes I have found are premium service rates for the end user.
     
  8. ukescuba

    ukescuba Senior Member

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    although they don't have the same interactive features and i dont personnaly use them myself - but have you considered SMTP SMS ie sms via email?

    Not sure if your networks allow that but i know when i used to live in the UK you could... that was like 8yrs ago! lol
     
  9. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    I am looking at twilio and they informed me that longcode is not legal in the US. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
     
  10. ukescuba

    ukescuba Senior Member

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    hi adam i just returned your pm - but that doesnt really make sense as to why they would do that? if your list of subscribers are opt in i see no legal issues - especially if you follow the guidelines set by the MMA see very first post in this forum for a link to the document on best practices...

    Did they say that via email or what resource? would be interesting to see what else they say - i am registered to go to the twilio conference in SF next month seems bizarre that they would promote a service in the US to mainly US customers if it was considered illegal! lol
     
  11. TheMidasTouch

    TheMidasTouch Registered Member

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    I feel safer clicking on longcodes anyway. I agree with your post
     
  12. biker

    biker Newbie

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    I heard that the CTIA are auditing all the shortcodes for regulation compliance, and they're holding the providers responsible for their clients non-compliance! It's causing loads of problems and forcing some to shut the doors on new clients whilst they track down their existing naughty clients.

    I can see the shortcode being abandoned by the smaller guys unless this gets sorted. Can't see the small operators wanting to chance this happening again.

    Over zealous regulation again.
     
  13. ChangeUpTheGame

    ChangeUpTheGame BANNED BANNED

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    I too like long codes, very cheaper one

    thanks.
     
  14. origami

    origami Registered Member

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    HI Guys,
    I just run into this post and remembered a new service offered by my voip provider.

    I'm not affiliating with them and therefore do not post a link :)

    here is what they write on their site..(i didn't call to ask for specs)
    For their link just Google their name. Looks like they offer cheap International if the guy in Spain says the cheapest he found was 38cents.

    They write unlimited for 9.95/m call them to see what it means as this sound cheaper then anyone else.

    If this help anyone hit the thanks button.



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