SMS Marketing – The Basics

By 11/10/2017BC Buzz
The Basics of SMS Marketing

By: Vivian Pham, Director of Marketing and Client Services for Blue Calypso

There are endless benefits of SMS Marketing. It’s easy, highly customizable, and extremely effective. SMS Marketing can be a very powerful tool to cut through all the noise and reach consumers directly.

These days, nearly everyone owns a phone and knows how to text message which makes text messaging one of the most convenient and widely used communication channels. Because of this, SMS marketing has one of the highest open and engagement rates than any other form of marketing. 

Yes, it’s a simple enough concept, but here at Blue Calypso we believe it’s important to know the basics before getting started. That’s why we’ve broken down some basic knowledge and terminology associated with SMS Marketing below:

What is an SMS ‘Short Code’?

An SMS Short Code is essentially just a shortened phone number that is used strictly to send and receive SMS/MMS messages. Carriers issue and control them and although they are usually only 5-6 digits, they can also come in 4-10 digit numbers as well. Most short codes are assigned at random and cannot be reviewed in advance.

What is a Vanity Code?

Many brands may choose to purchase a “vanity code” which are subject to availability and can take several months to get approved. They are also significantly more expensive. A “Vanity Code” is a specific number that is chosen by the brand as opposed to being assigned at random. Vanity codes are usually chosen because they are easier to remember. For example, a brand may choose the vanity code 75268 because it spells “PLANT” on the keypad of a phone.

What is a Long Code?

A long code is an actual 10-digit phone number that is SMS enabled and used to send and receive SMS/MMS messages.

What is an SMS Keyword?

An SMS Keyword is a word or phrase sent in a text message to a specific SMS Short or Long Code to initiate engagement with that brand. These SMS keywords indicate to the brand what SMS marketing program a user is trying to interact with. For example, a brand could invite customers to text an SMS keyword to that brand’s short code to receive updates, coupons, information, notifications on events or promotions, etc…

What is an Auto-reply?

An auto-reply is a customizable text message that is automatically sent back to a subscriber when they’ve texted an SMS keyword to a brand’s Short or Long Code. Auto replies are usually sent to deliver campaign-specific content or to confirm that a user has opted in to receive future text messages.

What is Text Message Spam?

According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Text Message Spam is any unwanted or unsolicited SMS marketing messages sent to a user who never opted-in or who has selected to opt out/unsubscribe. This is regulated by the FCC and violation of the TCPA is a serious matter. Statutory damages start at $500 per violation (text/call), with the potential of going as high as $1,500 per violation. Penalties vary case by case and can also result in immediate registry suspension or termination<CTIA>. 

Have Questions?

If you have any additional questions on SMS Marketing and how your business can benefit from mobile engagement, feel free to contact us any time for a free consultation.

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