While sending emails is pretty straightforward in Marketing Cloud, sending SMS messages is not that easy, especially in a multi-country environment. In this article, I’m sharing information I’ve learned via experience, SFMC support, official documentation, and through community feedback.
- Locale Field
- RaiseError in SMS
- STOP SMS
Short VS Long Codes
Well, I’m not teaching you anything here but, a short code is an easy-to-remember 5 to 6 digits number (ex 96876). A long code is a standard 10 digits number (+33147875909).
Differences between Short and Long codes?
- A long code is required to send to an international market, usually a British, Swedish, or Australian variant
- A long code sends rate is around 1 per second. A short code sends rate is up to 100 per second.
- One-way messaging (the long code case) is the ability to send an outbound SMS message (Mobile Terminated – MT) without a response path or the response path will result in an international SMS rate for the subscriber, i.e. they will have to send to a foreign number
- With this configuration, STOP and HELP requests will have to be handled through customer preference centers or web forms, i.e. a URL in the text that directs subscribers to a dedicated web page
- Not all markets offer a choice between long and short codes. In some markets, one or the other type of code is available, and in others, both types are available for rent.
- Long code does not allow using a FromName
How to choose between the two?
These are some factors to consider when choosing between these two options:
- Time to Market
- Use case support
- Implementation complexity
- For two-way messaging, the best solution (if available) is a private short code, but the time and cost can be prohibitive
- A local long code or shared short code is a cheaper, faster, and, in some markets, the only option available
Shared VS Private short codes
As you might have guessed, a shared code is shared between multiple brands, and a private code is dedicated to a single brand.
- A shared code is a less expensive alternative to a private code and allows for a faster time to market. It is shared because it is used by multiple customers in different verticals with different SMS programs
- With a private code, the customer also has unlimited availability of keywords. Generic keywords such as STOP, HELP, JOIN, ENTER, etc. are not available on a shared code
Shared and Private code summary
|Structure||Shared with multiple clients of various business types. For example, only one shared short keyword in France is available||Exclusive to one client and good for brand association|
|Set up time||1 week||From 1 to 12 weeks|
|Transferable||No||Yes, for short codes|
|Keywords||Keywords limited to 5. No possibility to buy more||Unlimited keywords|
|FromName||Supported (local market restrictions may apply)||Not supported|
|Choice of Vanity Options||No||Yes|
Code provisioning on SFMC
In terms of code provisioning, SFMC offers two options, shared and inherited. Below are some differences:
- Inherited code is provisioned at the parent MID and is inherited by all child BUs. All administrative keywords (help & stop keywords) configured at the parent MID will also be inherited.
- A code can be shared between specific MIDs belonging to the same client.