Short and Long Codes

Short and long codes are the phone number from which you send messages to your users or customers. They can be 5 to 6-digit short codes, or 10-digit long codes. Each type of code offers specific benefits and all factors should be considered before choosing whether you want a short code, what type of short code you might want, in addition to the long code you will already be assigned.

Types of Sending Numbers

SMS Number Graph

Short Codes

A short code is a memorable 5-6 digit sequence that allows senders to send messages at more consistent rates than long codes. If you are sending several hundred messages a day from a long code, your messages run the risk of being marked as spam. This makes short codes perfect for high-volume time-sensitive sending.

Pros
Speed and scalability
Short codes offer speed and scalability with sending rates of 100 segments per second, 6,000 segments per minute, 360 thousand segments per hour, and 1 million segments per 2 hours. Short codes can reach such high rates due to the vetting that is required during the short code application process.

MMS enabled
Supports MMS, also known as Multimedia Message Service, allowing you to send messages containing multimedia assets(jpg, gif, png) to mobile phones. For more information on MMS at Braze, check out our documentation here.
Cons
Short codes are not available everywhere
Short codes are currently available in only the US, UK, and Canada.

Long application process
A 8-12 week application process where use cases must be outlined in great detail is required. This involved process is necessary to ensure deliverability because after granted a short code, carriers will audit short codes but will not filter messages allowing for higher sending rates.

Higher cost
Short codes cost more than long codes and take longer to get approved for. However, once you have a short code, you are considered “pre-approved” to send messages at better, faster rates and are subject to less scrutiny during the sending process, as you will have gone through all of the checks during your application for the short code.

Long Codes

A long code is a standard phone number used to send and receive voice calls and SMS messages. Phone numbers are typically called “long codes” (10-digit numbers in many countries) when comparing them with SMS short codes (5-6 digit numbers).

Pros
Can be used immediately to send messages
Long codes provide a localized and personal customer experience when sending messages for person-to-person use cases. Unlike SMS short codes, acquiring a long code is a fairly quick process. Long codes can also be set as a fallback number if a short code fails.

Greater availability worldwide
Long codes are available in over 100 major countries worldwide. Please reach out to your customer success manager for a list of available countries.

MMS enabled
Supports MMS, also known as Multimedia Message Service, allowing you to send messages containing multimedia assets(jpg, gif, png) to mobile phones. For more information on MMS at Braze, check out our documentation here.
Cons
Slower sending speeds
Long codes do not match the speed and sending of short codes. SMS sending rates are 1 segment per second in the US, 10 segments per second internationally.

Vanity Short Codes

A vanity short code is a 5-6 digit phone number that is specifically selected by a brand. Vanity short codes are branded and easier for consumers to remember, though are typically more expensive. For example:

  • The NYC health department has a vanity short code of 692-692 which spells out NYC-NYC on a telephone keypad.
  • Amazon uses a short code of 262-966 which spells out AMA-ZON for shipment tracking updates.
  • Paypal uses a short code of 729-725 that spells PAY-PAL for text message commands.

Pros
Speed and scalability
Short codes offer speed and scalability with sending rates of 100 segments per second, 6,000 segments per minute, 360 thousand segments per hour, and 1 million segments per 2 hours. Short codes can reach such high rates due to the vetting that is required during the short code application process.

MMS enabled
Supports MMS, also known as Multimedia Message Service, allowing you to send messages containing multimedia assets(jpg, gif, png) to mobile phones. For more information on MMS at Braze, check out our documentation here.
Cons
Short codes are not available everywhere
Short codes are currently available in only the US and Canada.

Long application process
A 8-12 week application process where use cases must be outlined in great detail is required. This involved process is necessary to ensure deliverability because after granted a short code, carriers will audit short codes but will not filter messages allowing for higher sending rates.

Higher cost
Short codes cost more than long codes and take longer to get approved for. However, once you have a short code, you are considered “pre-approved” to send messages at better, faster rates and are subject to less scrutiny during the sending process, as you will have gone through all of the checks during your application for the short code.

Alphanumeric Sender ID

picture

Sender IDs are the short or long codes that appear at the top of an SMS message that denotes who the message was sent from. If a user is unfamiliar with a Sender ID, they may opt to ignore these messages altogether. Through the use of Alphanumeric sender IDs, users are able to quickly identify who they are receiving messages from, increasing open rates.

Alphanumeric Sender IDs allow you to set your company name or brand as the Sender ID when sending one-way messages to mobile users. They may be up to 11 characters and accepts upper (A-Z) and lower (a-z) case letters, spaces, and digits (0-9). There may not be only numbers.

Pros Cons
- No additional charge to implement
- Improves brand awareness
- Increases SMS open rates
- Matches sending speed of phone numbers inside the subscription group.
- Available immediately if pre-registration is not required
- Two-way messaging is not supported
- Not all coutries support this feature
- Some countries require an additional approval processes. This may take additional time.
- MMS is not enabled

For more information on Alphanumeric Sender ID, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

SMS Enabled Toll-Free Number

A toll-free telephone number, or a freephone number, is a telephone number that is billed for all arriving calls instead of incurring charges at the originating telephone subscriber. Toll-free numbers in the US and Canada are SMS-enabled, where subscribers are charged for incoming and outgoing texts.

Pros Cons
- Can be used immediately to send messages - Toll-free numbers are only the US and Canada
- Slower sending speed of 1 segment per second.
- MMS is not enabled

Besides these differences, know that a brand will usually have one short code, but multiple, back-up long codes, depending on how many recipients they plan to send SMS.

How Do I Get a Short Code?

Going through the short code application process can be a long process. However, it can be a worthwhile one! If you’d like a short code, reach out to your onboarding manager or other Braze representative and let them know. After you do, they’ll apply for you - they’ll ask for some basic information that will help you qualify. Then, all there is to do is wait! Short codes can take up to 12 weeks to receive approval to start using your short code.

Short Code Application

While Braze is responsible for actually applying for the short code, there is some information that we need from you. We recommend reviewing these questions before you reach out to Braze.

Regulations require that there are responses to all opt-in, opt-out, and help/info keyword responses. You will need to let us know the specific message flows (the responses you want to send to users after they send a keyword) that you want for…

Flow Needed Type Example
Opt-In

Double Opt-In
SMS Welcome to our SMS system! Reply "YES" to receive updates from our company. Respond "STOP" to opt-out and "HELP" for more info.
Opt-In Website Hi there, would you like to sign up for SMS? Text "START" to "23456". Or, enter your number below.
Opt-Out SMS Sorry to see you go! If this was a mistake, text back "UNSTOP". Text "HELP" for more information.
Help n/a Our company is a company that does this and that. For more info on the company, let us know here. Or, you can contact support at 1-800-111-1111.

Depending on your situation, you may need to provide more or fewer flows like the ones listed above. You’ll also have to let us know three general examples of messages you plan to send via SMS - feel free to ask your Braze representative for guidance.

You also must inform us, regardless of which number you use, of how many messages per month you plan to send.

Application-to-Person 10-Digit Long Codes (A2P 10DLC)

A2P 10DLC refers to a system in the United States that allows businesses to send Application-to-Person (A2P) type messaging via a standard 10-digit long code (10DLC) phone number. 10-digit long codes have traditionally been designed for Person-to-Person (P2P) traffic, causing businesses to be constrained by limited throughput and heightened filtering. This service helps alleviate those issues, improving overall message deliverability, allowing brands to send messages at scale including links and calls to action, and helping further protect consumers from unwanted messages.

All customers who currently have and/or use long codes are required to register their long codes for 10DLC. Starting March 25, 2021, registering and applying for 10DLC will be now part of the SMS onboarding process. Customers who onboarded SMS before this date must work with their COM or CSM to get their long codes registered. If customers fail to register their long codes, starting June 1, 2021 any A2P sender using long codes will experience heavy filtering of all messages if they are not registered for 10DLC. Customers may also experience additional carrier fees through adopting this service, please reach out to your COM or CSM to learn more.

WAS THIS PAGE HELPFUL?
New Stuff!