Virtual Mobile Numbers vs. SMS Short Codes

Topic: Esendex news, How-to guides

There is a clear difference between the two numbers and that is the length of them, one is a long number and one is a short number. They both allow you to receive SMS messages.
So a Virtual Mobile Number is an 11 digit number that effectively makes your online SMS account into a mobile phone in its own right. You can send texts from the number and receive messages directly back to the number. The advantage of this is that your customers or staff can store the number in their phone and will always know who the text messages are from. It’s just like storing a friend’s number into your phone’s contacts.
An SMS Short Code is a 5 digit number that is memorable, for example 80806. These can be bought as dedicated Short Codes, which means that you own that number and every message sent to it will go into your account. However, an Irish Short Code may look like 51444. An SMS Short Code can also be shared, this means that many people use the same number, however everyone has a unique “keyword”. This keyword is to be placed at the start of a text and will direct the texts to the correct account’s inbox.
As well as Short Codes, there are Premium Short Codes. These are again the same as a standard Short Code in size, however texting these numbers will come with additional charges. They are most commonly seen on TV competitions, for charity donations and for use by ring tone companies.
The above numbers work well with offline media such as print, radio, TV etc. However it is more common to see a Short Code, as they are more memorable and quicker to enter into a phone, a key attribute if time is of the essence.  A Virtual Mobile Number is perfect for when you would like people to reply to your message, it makes the process much easier as the recipient simply needs to press reply on their mobile and send the message back.
With Esendex’s  SMS Plans or SMS Trackers, you get a free Virtual Mobile Number or an SMS Short Code with a keyword. For more information call one of our SMS experts on 0845 356 5758 or email

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