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Differences Between Short Codes & Long Codes for Dealerships

[fa icon="calendar"] December 13, 2018

4 minute read

A short code is a five or six digit number (37483). A long code is a 10-digit telephone number (855-299-1099). But the difference isn’t just the length. There are various legal and technical differences in the way each number is used. There are also reasons why you should use one over the other. It depends on the objectives of your marketing campaign or customer communications plan.

The specific ways they are used in the TEXT2DRIVETM text messaging software are described below.


Short Code SMS Vs Long Code SMS Comparison Chart

Features Short Code Long Code


100 SMS/second

1 SMS/sec*

Can it be blocked or filtered by cell carriers?



Inbound/Outbound Traffic Ratio



Carrier Approval Process**

12-week vetting process

Non-Vetted, immediate set-up


Separate code required


Voice Call Capable



Used for

A2P (application-to-person) bulk communications, e.g., marketing campaigns, alerts, confirmations, two-factor authentication

P2P (person-to-person) two-way communications, e.g., group messaging, peer-to-peer apps, agent-to-person apps

* Carrier regulations do not allow the use of long codes for SMS broadcasting.

** Required by government guidelines and regulations, as well as cellular providers to ensure good-user experience and protect against spam.


Short Code Benefits

When do you need short code SMS? Short code is the best and the most economical way to send out mass marketing messages (“Auto Dealer Sale Days Are Here!”), alerts (“Your vehicle is due for an oil change.”) and two-factor authentication (“Message and data rates may apply. Reply Y to continue to receive, N to cancel.”)

It’s also the best option if you are conducting a sweepstakes, distributing coupons, polling customers, or sending alerts and updates that don’t need to be personalized. Also, since short codes aren’t tied to an area code, you can use them nationwide.

Short Code Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of short codes is that they are not immediately recognizable. You could, however, select a vanity short code similar to a phone number, where the numbers associated with a cell phone dial spell a word, for example, “37483” translates to “DRIVE”. You also do not have the ability to directly call a short code.


Long Code Benefits

When do you need long code SMS? Long code is more personal and it is best for contacting customers on a one-to-one basis to discuss a particular problem with their vehicles or issues related to car purchases. You can use it to text-enable a landline or VOIP line. You also have the ability to actually call a long code.

Long codes can be used for employee-to-employee messaging and other two-way communications between sales and service departments.

Long Code Disadvantages

Long codes have some restrictions, but they are useful in their own right. Just bear in mind they are not appropriate for mass marketing. Additionally, long codes are treated as third-class mail and are subject to more regulations and penalties for violating those regulations. You cannot transmit video or pictures via long code. However, long codes do create an association between a business and a phone number. They are a bit more difficult to remember, so users may enter the wrong number when attempting to contact the dealership.


Rev Up Your Revenue Engines with TEXT2DRIVETM

The TEXT2DRIVETM text messaging platform is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that both meets all government and cellular provider regulations. It was developed specifically for the business needs of auto dealerships. The TEXT2DRIVETM platform facilitates seamless text message communications between dealerships and customers, to provide a means to effectively text message, so staff can confidently focus on what you they best: selling cars and servicing customers.

TEXT2DRIVETM is equipped with features designed to increase your dealership’s profitability and improve customer satisfaction:

  • The TEXT2DRIVETM service, sales and marketing platform is built upon both long and short codes.
  • Grow your marketing database with customer opt-in text messages.
  • Offer mobile coupons that are environmentally friendly and budget-friendly.
  • Achieve higher open and redemption rates.
  • Target offers to customer profiles.
  • Reach your target audience via mobile communications, the way most consumers prefer to be contacted.
  • Increase brand loyalty.
  • Rest assured that your communications are highly secure and legally compliant. 

Book An Interactive Demo & See Both In Action

Related Articles:

  1. 5 Text Messaging Mistakes That Can Cost Your Dealership
  2. How To Legally Use Text Messaging In Your Dealership

Topics: Auto Dealerships, dealerships, auto dealer, auto dealers, text messaging, long code, short code, car dealerships, short code vs long code, sms, texting, benefits, general dealership, keywords feature

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