Employing SMS text messaging services for business is one of the best marketing tools. By taking advantage of the most popular form of person-to-person 2-way communication with long codes, these texting programs can attract new customers for your business, develop brand loyalty, and increase sales with higher retention levels, better service and ROI.
SMS marketing for businesses has proven to be extremely successful for the vast majority of businesses. When there are challenges, they are often attributed to the market sector, the failure to integrate SMS for business with other marketing activities, or the limitations of short code blast texting services.
What are the Limitations of Short Code SMS Texting Services For Business?
- The most popular form of SMS marketing for businesses is "shared short code" mass texting. This means that your business shares a five or six-digit short code number with other clients of the texting service provider in order to make it more affordable.
- Historically, one of the primary limitations of short code blast texting services was that not all carriers accepted and delivered marketing messages originating from a short code number. In the past, short code messaging capabilities may not have been enabled on customer cellphone plans, meaning they would not be able to receive or respond to these text marketing messages.
- The United States governing body for all SMS text messaging, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet (formerly Industry) Association, aka CTIA – The Wireless Association, has put forth regulations and guidelines for SMS text communications using either short or long codes.
- Because of the potential of impersonal 1-way bulk text marketing that can be SPAM, short code texting is much more highly regulated needing to follow both CTIA and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines. The FCC prohibits SMS texts sent to a mobile phone using an auto-dialer (robocalls) unless previous consent had been granted or the message is being sent for emergency alerts.
- A dedicated US short code number will take weeks if not months for approval after applying to the CTIA. Otherwise, shared, telecom carrier pre-approved short codes and message templates coupled with a unique keyword from a text service provider will need to be used.
How Does 10 Digit Long Code SMS for Business Differ vs 5-6 Digit Short Codes?
- No setup time needed for regulatory approval of a new, dedicated short code number so "Instant" setup with long codes
- No approval from telecom carriers needed to use a normal 10-digit virtual phone number on any cell phone plan
- Short codes, for some companies, are prohibitively expensive, with fixed monthly costs easily in the hundreds of dollars
- Customers or potential clients cannot call back short codes which are not true phone numbers
- Building long term customer relationships
- True 2-way communication using the same normal phone number
- Can obtain an area code to target a certain local metropolitan area or even internationally with a country code
- Can use as a customer support or help desk like a call center for those who prefer to interact using SMS texts
- More suited for use cases needing a more personal touch such as those in the church ministry / non-profit, real estate, restaurants, cannabis promotions, medical cannabis, marijuana dispensary, medical marijuana, financial, gaming, or dating industries
How Does Long Code SMS Marketing for Businesses Work?
When the business has a relevant special offer to promote, the process for sending a long code SMS message is simple. Log into a service provider's texting software, upload a list of opted-in customers, compose the marketing message and click "send". There are no technical or design skills required to engage in SMS marketing for businesses and, because the number the marketing text originates from looks like a "regular" cellphone number, the SMS message is more likely to be opened and read.
Long code SMS marketing for businesses shares the same features as short code group SMS text message marketing. Businesses develop a database of customers by inviting them to text a keyword to their long code number and once the customer has opted in to receive future texts, the customer is contacted by SMS for text marketing messages for a special offer, loyalty programs, polls and surveys, community news and text alerts or reminders.
Interactions such as these help attract more customers to your business, develop brand loyalty and increase sales. With lower costs and higher engagement rates vs other marketing channels, long code SMS marketing for businesses can dramatically improve your marketing ROI.
How To Manage a Customer Database to Reduce Costs Further
When customers opt into the SMS text messaging service, the group texting software platform for your business adds them to the customer database according to the keyword used. This makes it simpler to manage their customer list and send them text marketing messages, polls and surveys, community news and loyalty offers that are relevant to their particular interests.
Using keywords to identify specific customers' interests enables businesses to send individual groups of customers tailored promotions. The database sorting process also helps to avoid the scenario in which customers opt out of the group texting service because they have received too many irrelevant messages. This not only helps improve the ROI of SMS for business, but reduces a business's marketing spend.
Why Use the SMS for Business Software Platform from Group Texting?
Group Texting is part of a group of companies that has been providing SMS services to businesses since 2006. Using feedback from our existing clients, we have developed a text messaging service that is suitable for all types of businesses that could benefit from SMS marketing, but have struggled with the limitations of short code bulk texting.
Our web-based texting software platform is feature-rich and can be accessed from any Internet-connected device. We offer a free scheduling service so that text marketing messages can be prepared in advance and scheduled for when they will get maximum attention. This feature can also be used to schedule drip-fed or recurring campaigns to different groups of customers.
Unlike many other mass texting service providers, we offer free message forwarding by email, so you do not have to be logged into our platform in order to receive replies to your marketing texts or the results of a survey. You can also choose to have incoming messages forwarded to your own mobile phone by SMS. We also provide tools to integrate our software with existing database management tools and provide several options for uploading an existing customer database onto the platform.
Register for a Group Texting Account and Get Ten Free Credits
If you would like to try long code SMS for business, we invite you to register for a Group Texting account. Your free account will give you access to our texting software for business, one free keyword to help build your customer database, and ten free credits to test out our service and see how it works. Thereafter, if you wish to continue with long code SMS marketing for businesses, we offer a range of competitive pricing options from which to choose.
If you have any questions about long code SMS for business, do not hesitate to contact our team of Client Success Managers. Our team is helpful and experienced in helping businesses, so there are very few questions they will be unable to answer. Our team can also guide you through the registration process to provide assistance if you need help navigating the features of our texting software platform.
Contact us today, and you could be sending your first group SMS text messages within minutes. If you have tried short code SMS for business in the past and were disappointed with the results, Group Texting has a product that will help you achieve higher levels of engagement with your customers at a lower cost than other marketing channels.