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 SMS marketing, 10DLC, Short Codes, business messaging, marketing communication, bulk messaging, compliance standards, customer engagement, messaging solutions, SMS campaign optimization.

10DLC vs Short Codes: Which is Right for Your Business?

Author: Dhruva Joshi
Date: March 03, 2024

In today’s world, businesses are constantly seeking efficient and effective ways to reach their audience. SMS marketing remains a powerful tool, offering direct access to consumers' mobile devices.

However, when it comes to sending bulk messages, businesses are faced with a choice between two primary methods: 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code) and Short Codes.

That’s why I’m here to explain the differences to you. Let’s dive in.

What are 10DLC and Short Codes?

10DLC involves the use of standard 10-digit phone numbers for sending bulk SMS messages.

10DLC offers a more personalized approach to messaging, allowing companies to engage with customers using familiar, local phone numbers.

Short Codes, on the other hand, are specialized, shorter phone numbers typically consisting of five to six digits. They are designed for high-volume messaging and are often used for marketing campaigns, promotions, and other mass communication purposes.

Short Codes offer several advantages, including higher throughput rates, faster message delivery, and enhanced deliverability.

Who is your audience?

10DLC and Short codes primarily comprises businesses and organizations looking to leverage SMS marketing for communicating with their customers or target audience.

Corporations such as small to medium-sized enterprises, local businesses, marketing agencies, nonprofits, and large corporations alike may utilize either 10DLC or Short Codes based on their messaging requirements, budget constraints, and regulatory considerations. It all depends on what you do!

What features should you look out for?

When considering features for SMS marketing using either 10DLC or Short Codes, features such as messaging capabilities and analytical and reporting features are necessary. Messaging capabilities are essential, including the ability to send bulk messages efficiently while ensuring high deliverability rates.

Second, advanced analytics and reporting features are important for tracking campaign performance, monitoring engagement metrics, and optimizing strategies over time. Compliance tools are also vital to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements and mitigate legal risks associated with SMS marketing.

Finally, responsive customer support and reliable technical infrastructure are indispensable for maintaining smooth operations and addressing any issues promptly.

Let’s compare the two.

Pros and Cons of 10DLC and Short Codes

10DLC Pros:

Cost-Effective: 10DLC tends to be more affordable, making it an attractive option for small and medium-sized businesses with budget constraints.

Local Presence: Utilizing local phone numbers enhances the credibility of SMS messages, increasing customer engagement.

Quick Setup: Setting up 10DLC is relatively straightforward, requiring minimal time and resources for implementation.


Throughput Limitations: 10DLC may have throughput restrictions imposed by carriers, resulting in slower message delivery speeds.

Compliance Requirements: Compliance standards for 10DLC messaging vary by carrier and industry, requiring businesses to navigate complex regulations.

Limited Reach: Some international destinations may not support 10DLC, limiting its effectiveness for businesses.

Short Codes Pros:

High Throughput: Short Codes are designed for high-volume messaging, offering faster delivery speeds and increased scalability for large campaigns.

Global Reach: Short Codes can be used to reach audiences worldwide, making them ideal for businesses with international clientele.

Brand Recognition: Short Codes provide businesses with a recognizable and memorable communication channel, facilitating brand recall among consumers.


Higher Costs: Short Codes typically involve higher setup and maintenance costs compared to 10DLC, potentially posing a financial barrier for smaller businesses.

Limited Availability: Securing a desirable Short Code may be challenging due to limited availability, especially for popular keywords or phrases.

Regulatory Compliance: Like 10DLC, Short Code messaging is subject to regulatory scrutiny, requiring businesses to adhere to strict compliance standards to avoid legal issues.

Which Is Right for Your Business?

The choice between 10DLC and Short Codes ultimately depends on your objectives, budget, and target audience.

For local businesses with modest messaging needs and a focus on building community relationships, 10DLC offers a cost-effective solution with a personalized touch.

Conversely, enterprises seeking to execute large-scale marketing campaigns on a global scale may find Short Codes more suitable, despite the higher upfront investment.

Before making a decision, consider testing your messaging requirements, regulatory obligations, and long-term growth strategy.

In conclusion, whether you opt for 10DLC or Short Codes, prioritizing compliance, deliverability, and customer engagement is essential for achieving success in SMS marketing. By choosing the right messaging solution and executing strategic campaigns, you can leverage the power of SMS to connect with their audience, drive engagement, and achieve their marketing goals!

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