Clubs, Bar Owners, Restaurants beware, use a service that uses true text messaging, it could be costing you money….

Before the onset of short code messaging, marketers and consumers were able to send free messages to consumers using e-mail-to-sms gateways. This allowed users to send an e-mail to phonenumber@carrier.com that would be converted and delivered as an SMS. As you could imagine, this became a prime target for internet spammers, which led the carriers to develop robust filtering systems to protect their consumers. This was the dawn of the short code and a new process that allowed carriers to prescreen and certify legitimate mobile marketing campaigns.

As a result we now have a ubiquitous infrastructure for cross-carrier SMS messaging. As part of this project, the carriers charge fees for short code messaging, which is different than the free email gateway service, but free isn’t necessarily better; it’s far worse.

E-Mail Gateways:
- Heavily filtered and monitored by the major carriers. Each carrier systematically scans for message content and monitors volume by IP address. Users sending many messages will be blocked and there will be no way of you knowing this except that you or your users may not get the message.
- No delivery confirmation. Each message is “fire and forget” much like blast e-mail.
- No carrier information. You must know the users carrier to send through an e-mail gateway. Numbers turn over at a rate of 8% per month causing failed send attempts.
- Low throughput limit. Throughput is limited both by IP throttling and infrastructure issues.
- One-way only service. There is no interactivity or opt-in process that creates a targeted database.
- Numbers that have been disconnected will not be found and if you are sending to someone that wishes not to get your message the fines can be up to $1,100.00 per message sent by you.
- Carriers will send all SMS messages before mail, in better words, if there are a lot of SMS messages going out your messages will wait to be sent or they will be removed from the delivery.

The base of an effective, compliant mobile marketing program, is an opt-ed in database. This can only be accomplished through the two-way interaction offered by Short Code messaging. While short code messaging comes at a fee, it provides an interactive experience that influences the consumer. The success rates of mobile marketing campaigns are attributed to the highly targeted nature of Short Code messaging and not the broad spectrum SPAM messages from e-mail gateways.

Short Code Messaging:
- Certified and approved by aggregators. Each aggregator pre-approves message programs to ensure that all messages are delivered once the program is approved.
- Message delivery confirmation. Each message delivery status can be delivered in real-time as it is queued for delivery.
- Carrier information pre-determined before delivery. Each phone number is “dipped” for mobile carrier delivery to ensure the number is properly labeled for delivery.
- High throughput limit. Throughput is not limited by short code allowing messages to be delivered faster.
- Two-way interactive service. Users can text-in or reply to mobile marketing campaigns creating a more enjoyable end-user experience.

While e-mail gateway services carry the appeal of “zero cost” they do little to enhance or activate a brand’s current marketing initiatives. Instead, e-mail gateway messaging becomes an extension to a traditional e-mail marketing campaign. In contrast, a well structured Short Code campaign functions to both independently engage users or activate existing traditional marketing campaigns.