A reception mechanism used by businesses to receive text messages and voice calls, the long code also known as a virtual mobile number, unlike shortcodes which are generally shared, enable businesses to have a dedicated number.
Let’s begin from the top – Long Code Service
What is a Long Code?
Simply put, it is a 10 digit phone number used for communication between two or more individuals.
Where can Long Codes be used?
- Two-way communication
- Gathering customer information
- Providing targeted, relevant content
- Appointment, reminders and confirmation
- Alert notifications
- Troubleshooting product or service problems
Advantages of Long Code
With a minimal setup time, with a virtual number, you can send SMS and even make calls from the same number making it easy for your customers to reach out to you via a single contact point. Making it a single channel for communication, be it SMS, voice call, fax, long codes allow businesses and customers to have personalized and seamless two-way conversations.
- Long codes are less expensive and quicker to set up
- Popular keywords are always available for long codes
- Better for 2-way communication, allowing end users to reply to the message received
- Long codes can be setup to match an existing phone number
Disadvantages of Long Code
They take a little longer than short codes to enter into your phone and also are hard to remember. Also, the content is limited only to SMS and you cannot send high volumes of text messages at once.
Who can use Long Code Services?
Globally accessible and affordable, an end user can send a message to a virtual number at normal SMS charges.
They are a perfect fit for enterprises who don’t want their target customers or employees to pay extra and use it for closed group information system like existing customers, employees, vendors, dealers, salesforce, service engineers, etc. who can regularly use the two-way SMS application to fetch or provide the desired information.
Typically, a long code is used by courier companies, banks, airlines and other service sectors for customer service related communication. Here are a few use cases –
- A courier company could use a virtual number to inform a customer that their package is out for delivery.
Your order is out for delivery and will reach you before 7 PM tonight.
- A bank could text clients their account balance every month.
You have Rs. 20,000 in your Bank of India account no. xxxxxxxxxxxx as on August 1 2018.
- An airline can reply to a passenger’s seat preference request.
As per your request, you have been allotted seat number 12 C on flight IN476 from Mumbai to Delhi for tomorrow.
Besides, long code services are also used for recharge application, collecting feedback from the customers, information-on-demand, etc.
Classified into two different services
- Shared long code
- Dedicated long code
|Dedicated Long Code||Shared Long Code|
|Number of your choice||Default number|
|Unlimited keywords||Per keyword|
|Local number available||Default number available|
|Dedicated resources||Shared resources|
|Complete traffic forwarding||Keyword-based forwarding|
A shared virtual number is the common number for a group of people.
It works with a unique keyword assigned to the long code number and when you or your customers sends an SMS to this number they will receive an automatic reply that has been set by you. Also, by enabling URL forwarding the information can be fetched from your database.
For example, your keyword is SHOW on 922922442
When your customer sends the SMS with the unique keyword, the message, phone number, sent time can be tracked and the details can be stored in the customer database.
For MSG91 the shared virtual number is 9229224424. Using this number will be free of cost and you will be charged only for the incoming SMS. Incoming SMS is differentiated by keyword, and hence your keyword must be unique.
A dedicated virtual number will be 10 digits mobile number of your choice.
There is a one-time setup cost for the new mobile number. The keyword can be of your choice as the incoming SMS are differentiated by the mobile number in this case.
It works in a better way as you have a dedicated virtual number of your choice with extended features.
Few applications of long code services include:
- Multiple account management
- Polls, promotions and surveys
- Two-way communication
- SMS-to-email applications
- Chat services
- Customer service communication
- Conducting promotional campaign
- Person-to-person communication
Long codes – Better for users, better for businesses
They look like any other text the recipient might receive. The long code gives businesses an opportunity to present a personal face instead of an anonymous brand.
This is Amy from the Beauty Destination. Just wanted to remind you of your appointment for 2 PM tomorrow.
Enabling two-way conversations, recipients feel connected and engaged and not advertised or announced at.
|Right! Does your salon has a parking space?|
They can be functioning phone lines so your customers can reach back out on other channels in one seamless interaction.
|Yes, there’s an attached parking lot. You can call on this number if you have any trouble finding the entrance.|
They don’t just disseminate information but are a channel for value-added interactions based on your customers’ preferences.
With higher deliverability rates and lower cost, a long code or virtual number can be the perfect fit for your business.