SMS marketing is the fastest channel to reach out to your customers. You might already know its 83%* read rate within 5 minutes. And you have decided to give it a shot. Great decision! But you’re still sitting on the fence to zero in on the type of number you will use to engage your users. All the jargon your vendor throws are confusing and give you nightmares about making the right choice.

Here is the post that helps you rescue yourself from all the dilemmas. Know, with a quick read, what to choose for your brand. But before that, learn what short code and 10DLC in simple words are.

What is a Short Code?

Short code, as the name shows, is a short number with only 5-6 digits. Such a number is used in A2P messaging systems all over the world. A2P stands for application-to-person, where an app sends messages in bulk to consumers. Bulk messaging is a great way to promote your brand, product, and services, share news about your industry and business, and circulate trivia, tips, and ideas.

Short codes have been in use for a long time for high-volume marketing blasts. Dedicated short codes are expensive to use and might take some time to start working in the intended way, but they perform well for mass messaging.

What is a 10DLC Number?

10DLC or 10-digit long codes are similar to regular numbers like landline or mobile numbers but with regulations and mandatory vetting. 10DLC is now popular in most countries, especially the US, the UK, Canada, and India. You can use an already associated number with your business for user communication. Although these numbers support MMS and 2-way communication, you can’t track the deliveries due to the lack of delivery receipts.

When 2 regular people use texting from their numbers, they use Peer-to-Peer or P2P technology. But 10DLC is a crossover between P2P and A2P where users can interact with a brand, and a brand can also send them messages using an app. This makes the communication private and real-time for both the involved parties, thus, reaping great SMS marketing benefits.

However, the laws with 10DLC are strict now, and you need to vet the desired number and get it registered. Read the whole policy here.

What Suits Your Business Better: 10DLC or Short Code?

When to Use Short Code in SMS Marketing

Short codes are great for mass messaging. They’re easy to remember owing to their length and repetitive nature in the digits. For instance, 52233 is easy to recall, and users can associate well with your brand when they receive a text from this number. Ultimately you can win their trust.

Additionally, short codes are dedicated numbers designed for the purpose of mass message blasts. So, mobile carriers allow them more bandwidth and higher priority for fast delivery without failures. Hence, brands find better throughput regarding impressions on their links shared through such messages.

You can send 1000s of messages per second and don’t even face a cap on your daily volume. This allows you to maintain and text a long list of subscribers without a hitch. Whether you send an SMS to a particular customer segment or the complete list, you won’t face a challenge. A short code also allows for heavy images, graphics, memes, videos, and GIFs using an MMS.

With the delivery receipts, you would know who didn’t receive your messages. This helps you tweak your campaigns for better performance in the upcoming days.

When Not to Use Short Codes in SMS Marketing and Communication

A short code has great brand recall value and fast delivery. However, they’re one-way communication channels. Your consumers can’t respond to your texts—a big limitation. So, 3 out of 4* customers feel frustrated for not being able to reply to brands.

Apart from this, short codes take time to secure, somewhere between 6 weeks to 2 months. They can also be expensive.

When to Use 10DLC in SMS Marketing

Since marketing pegs a lot of faith in personalized communication and engagement with users, 10DLC is a better option. With such numbers, you can send MMS and SMS with rich content. And your users can communicate with you in real-time.

You can use the same number for the calling facility. According to our research, 58%* of consumers want to reply back to a missed call via text. So, 10DLC should be your preferred way of text marketing. With the facility to talk to a real person, the user experience is better and more humanized. 74%* of consumers prefer talking to a real person rather than a chatbot, which makes 10DLC a better option.

For budget-challenged projects, 10DLC works amazingly.

When Not to Use 10DLC in SMS Marketing and Communication

10DLCs are associated with the area codes. So, they’re useful for local areas, unlike a short code. Also, they need a strict vetting process and registration according to the new policy, depending on your message volume, industry, and organization size.

After registration, based on the allotted trust score, your daily volume and rate of SMS per second will vary, making it not a great option for bulk SMS. Because of an unlimited volume with short codes, your time-sensitive messages might better fit for a short code service rather than 10DLC.

Talk To Our Experts Copy

Which Route Would You Select for Text Marketing and Communication?

Of the companies that don’t use texting yet, 64% still think text marketing is worth a try for businesses. And we think such companies will eventually adopt mobile marketing with SMS and MMS owing to its benefits and ease of access and use. Textmunication’s SAM is one such tool in the market.

Whether you plan to use short codes or 10DLC, we can offer the right solution for your industry and business growth. Reach out to us here for a discussion.


* State of Text Marketing: A Textmunication research


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