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Everything You Need to Know About Long Code Service Providers

Long codes are the future of text marketing. Learn about how they work and how a long code service provider can set your business up with one.

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Just like a Croque Monsieur is a fancy word for grilled cheese with ham, a long code is a fancy name for a 10-digit phone number. 

The reason for the distinction is because, believe it or not, text-enabled phone numbers come in all shapes and sizes. There are… 

  • Short codes: Dedicated short codes are five-six digit phone numbers, like 938965, that customers can text to sign up for SMS updates. Learn more about how to lease a short code here.
  • Toll-free numbers: 10-digit phone numbers that begin with a three-digit toll-free code (800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 or 833). 
  • Vanity toll-free numbers: This is a toll-free telephone number that, after the three-digit code, spells a name, word, or acronym. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-888-NEW-CARS.
  • Local numbers: This is another 10-digit number. We call these “local numbers” because you can choose the area code that matches your business’ location.

While any of the number types above can be text-enabled, there are some distinct benefits of using a long code for your SMS communications. 

And with some help from a long code service provider, you can experience them all. 

What Is a Long Code Service Provider?

Organizations like us are able to take your 10-digit business landline number and enable it to send and receive messages virtually. 

From one dashboard you can:

  • Send out texts blasts without reply all
  • Reply directly to incoming messages 
  • Schedule messages to send ahead of time
  • Create keywords customers can text in to subscribe to further messages
  • Set up autoresponders to send days, weeks, or months later

If your business doesn’t have a landline, a long code service provider can also get you a text-enabled local number from the area code of your choice. 

Benefits of Using a Long Code

As we mentioned above, there are some benefits to using a long code for your business SMS needs. 

The first and largest is that long codes are supported by all major mobile carriers for business texting purposes. 

In fact, as shared short codes have fallen out of favor with major carriers in North America, 10DLC (or, local numbers) are the best option for text marketing, primarily because customers tend to trust numbers with their area code. 

Additionally, using a long code means that the 10-digit number you choose to text-enable is unique to your business. Unlike shared short codes, where keywords came on a first-come first-served basis, all keywords are available to each long code. 

Customers can also save your long code as a contact in their phones due to its exclusivity to your business. When they do that, each message they receive will show up as from your business. 

How to Text-Enable Your Long Code

Getting started with a long code service provider is simple. It begins with nailing down the number you’d like to use. You can either:

  • Choose to text-enable your existing business landline
  • Pick a new toll-free number
  • Select a new local number with the area code of your choice

Long code service providers like us will take care of all three options above in-house. 

It is important to note that toll-free numbers are now having limits imposed on their traffic. These limits will increase over time until you submit your verification form, so make sure you get your toll-free number verified with us. Additionally, if you use a local number, you’ll need to have it registered. Not to worry, though, we have one of the fastest setup times for local numbers in the industry (we can generally get local numbers set up in a day or so).

Add in some keywords, web sign-ups forms, and mobile sign-up widgets to get folks signed up to receive your messages, and you’re ready to get going! 

[Read: 10 Tips For Text Marketers With a 10-Digit Number]

Still not sure if a long code is the right choice for your business? Check out this article on picking the right phone number for your needs.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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