Understanding virtual mobile numbers
All of your SMS and MMS campaigns are delivered from a virtual mobile number, which makes it a very important piece when it comes to your mobile brand and credibility. The most common options include shared or dedicated virtual mobile numbers, toll-free numbers, shortcodes, and custom sender IDs.
Shared Virtual Mobile Numbers
Let’s start with shared virtual mobile numbers. Generally, these numbers are free and are your default option if you don’t have a dedicated virtual mobile number or shortcode. They’re not exclusive to your business, and they change from time to time from a pool of rotating numbers. This means it might be different for every campaign you send, which can be very confusing for your customers, depending on the type of messages you send.
Dedicated Virtual Mobile Numbers
To build brand loyalty, most businesses use a dedicated virtual mobile number. Dedicated numbers allow you to receive SMS and MMS replies. These numbers can have a visual component if you lease a gold or a vanity number, which gives your customers an easier number to remember.
Standard vs Gold vs Vanity
There are 3 types: standard, gold, and vanity. Gold numbers are very easy to recognise and remember, and vanity numbers spell a word using your keypad:
- Standard number: +61 467 528 788
- Gold number: +61 459 333 444
- Vanity number: +61 467 363 734 (6146SENDSEI)
Dedicated virtual mobile numbers also enable features like SMS keywords, which can help you launch quick interactive surveys, contests, giveaways, competitions, and more.
Toll-Free Numbers are globally recognised as business numbers. These numbers have no regional restrictions, making them ideal for brands looking to establish a global footprint.
Example Toll-Free Number: 1-888-123-1234.
Currently available to our North American customers, Toll-Free Numbers are for low volume, transactional style messaging. For high-volume marketing messaging, you’ll need a pre-approved shortcode—get in touch with us if you want to procure one.
Shortcodes are very similar to dedicated virtual mobile numbers but are more expensive. These numbers typically range between 4 to 6 digits (e.g. 134568), and their length is dependent upon the country’s delivery policies and general availability. They are commonly used for promotions, voting, information services, and by large corporate enterprises for high volume messaging.
Keep in mind that we don’t provide shortcodes in Australia. You’ll need to contact your carrier to procure one.
Custom Sender IDs
If you’re using a dedicated virtual mobile number, you can also send your SMS messages with a Custom Sender ID, which can be your business name (11 characters). This helps your customers immediately identify you as the sender, but you can’t receive replies directly, which makes it inconvenient for replies and opt-outs. Instead of replying to your SMS message, they have to text your number directly. This is best used for one way SMS messages.
Both dedicated virtual mobile numbers, toll-free numbers and shortcodes are leased on a month to month basis, and they can be cancelled at any time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.