Shared Short Code or Long Code?

Should I Use a Shared Short Code or a Long code?

Here at AvidMobile our team answers shared short code related questions on a daily basis. Understanding the difference between the two will help you make the best decision for your business. Before you start your research come to the table with an understanding of what you want to accomplish with text messaging.


SMS Short Codes and Long Codes being used on a cell phone

Understanding Shared Short Codes

A shared short code is a five or six digit phone number commonly used for SMS communication. A shared short code allows businesses to send coupons/promotions, transaction information, account alerts, and even emergency text messages to end users who have opted into the short code campaign. In addition, short codes support custom keywords that are used to opt-in customers and drive interactions.


  • Low monthly fees and usage rates make a shared short code and SMS marketing obtainable for any budget.
  • Shared short codes are monitored to ensure CTIA compliance the best SMS marketing practices are in place.
  • A shared short code is easy for customers to remember.
  • User friendly interfaces make sending a text message from a shared short code easy.

Shared short codes also allow you to send a high volume of text messages in a very short period of time. AvidMobile and other SMS providers automatically handle opt-ins and opt-outs guaranteeing your databases are accurate.

Understanding Long Codes

SMS long codes work just like a regular phone number allowing you to seamlessly send and receive SMS messages. Long codes are being used to send lower volumes of SMS messages. Businesses can use long codes for text messaged based chat or customer service type functions, transactional alerts, appointment notifications, and more.


  • Long codes are less expensive and quicker to set up than a shared short code.
  • Popular keywords are always available for long codes.
  • A long code is 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.

So, why not just use a long code? One of the biggest deterrents to using a long code is the fact that they don’t support high volumes of SMS. A shared short code allows you to send thousands of texts messages per minute. A long code’s throughput is supports 1 text message every couple of seconds. While long codes work great in some cases they don’t meet most businesses SMS marketing needs.

Again, ask yourself what you want to achieve with SMS. For those looking to grow their brand with SMS marketing related messages a shared short code may be their best bet. For those looking to use SMS to manage low volume SMS campaigns a long code may be their best best. No matter your need AvidMobile can help, sign up for a shared short code free trial today.