sms marketing

Famed author Mark Twain was once quoted as saying, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Strange? What Twain meant was that it was easier to blab on and on rather than to be direct and succinct.

What Does This Have To Do With SMS?

When it comes to text, marketers have a choice between a vanity plate version of a short code or the regular and longer code. It’s obviously easier to remember a short code and type in a five- or six-digit code on a smart phone rather than the ten-digit phone number regular code.

Available short codes can also be chosen by marketers who often attempt to get them to match up with a brand or name. Like vanity plates, there is an additional fee and for short codes, it costs about $1,000 a month.

Other Considerations

Basically, there are two SMS programs and rates marketers can choose from. One is the standard rate where customers may be liable for the cost of any messages or data incurred by texting. The other is FTEU or free to end user where the company leasing the short code pays for the cost of sending and/or receiving messages.

What’s A Marketer To Do?

With a regular code, marketers can get started almost right away on their marketing campaign. Although it may discourage some customers from signing up for SMS promotions, the code lasts indefinitely since it’s not subject to lease terms unlike the short code.

At the moment, however, regular codes can be used with all wireless carriers unlike the short codes. And for companies doing business globally, the same regular code may be used internationally. Companies using short codes must conform to each country’s requirements which often results in having to use different codes.

Although regular codes sound like the way to go, there are some disadvantages as well. One of the dangers is that regular codes are more prone to spam and subject to slower speeds. The latter would tend to limit the size of your text.

In addition to the advantages stated above, short codes are faster and more reliable. If your market is only in the U.S., your volume and sales brisk, and your strategy involves texting often, a short code could be a good investment.

The End Game

Regular codes offer one-on-one communication between customer and company which are important in cultivating a relationship. Short codes are one-way and intended to be the next generation of email blasts. If you employ short codes, be sure to offer customers other options to connect with you to maintain a relationship.

Before you decide, familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each and determine what fits best into your marketing strategy. If you have friendly counterparts in the industry, get their take on both,, especially if they’re already using one or the other.

Log your results. Analyze those results on a regular basis and compare them to your SMS marketing strategy. Be prepared to adjust your strategy.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.