Choosing An SMS Sender ID For Your Australian Business

So you’re ready to get started with SMS marketing - one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what type of sender ID you want to use. There are a few different types of sender IDs to choose from, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know when choosing an SMS sender ID for your business.

What Is An SMS Sender ID?

An SMS sender ID is the ID tag that appears in the “from” box when receiving a text message. When an individual receives a text message from a business, they aren’t going to have the number saved in their phone the way they would with a friend or family member. An SMS sender ID makes it easier for recipients to determine who is sending the message. You can also use your sender ID to make your messages feel more professional.

Related article: Sender ID Knowledge Base

Types of SMS Sender IDs

Dedicated Virtual Number

A dedicated virtual number is a phone number assigned to your entire business. It looks similar to a normal phone number, so it won’t look out of place on your recipients’ phones. However, multiple people in your company can use a dedicated virtual number, making it a great option for businesses with larger marketing departments.

Most dedicated virtual numbers are a standard 10 digits. However, many countries offer short codes, including Australia. Australian short codes are 6 to 8 digits. SMSGlobal offers both long and short code dedicated virtual numbers for our clients. Long codes in Australia are a more affordable option, while short codes are great for large-scale marketing campaigns. This is because they are much easier to remember than long codes.

There are many benefits to using a dedicated virtual number for your text messaging campaign. If you plan on offering two-way texting for your customers, a dedicated virtual number is going to be the best option for you. You can have customers text you first to opt-in for regular messages, rather than having to send them a welcome text. They can also opt-out whenever they want.

If you want to offer more complex two-way text messaging, a dedicated virtual number will give you more flexibility to do so. You can set up automated responses to better engage with your customers while saving your staff time. Dedicated virtual numbers even offer customer segmenting, so you can send text messages to specific customers based on their interests or demographics. 74 percent of customers prefer to text with a business when a real person is responding, so having two-way messaging activated can set your business apart.

Additionally, a dedicated virtual number makes it easier to build brand recognition with the people you are texting. Your recipients will be able to save your number on their phone and will see all of your text messages in the same thread. This is very effective if you want to increase engagement because it builds trust and rapport.

Some countries require Sender IDs to be registered with the mobile network operator(s) before you start using it in your SMS campaigns, while other countries do not have such restrictions in place. The registration is a relatively simple process, and the best part is we do it for you, so you can sit back and relax. Call us, and we'll let you know if you need to register a Sender ID for your desired country.

Related article: Can I Register Multiple Sender ID's on my Account?

Shared Virtual Number

A shared virtual number looks the same as a dedicated virtual number on your recipient’s phone. However, the number is shared with other businesses in a pool - it’s not entirely yours. You’ll get a different number from the pool every time you send a text message.

This option is more affordable than a dedicated virtual number, so it can be good for growing businesses on a budget. However, some limitations come with using a shared virtual number. Because your number will be different every time, your recipients won’t be able to save your number on their phones. This makes your text messages feel more inconsistent in the eyes of your customers.

A shared virtual number also limits your ability to incorporate two-way texting. While you can set up some pre-programmed response codes, you won’t have as much flexibility when it comes to personalizing your text messaging campaign. As your business grows, you’ll be able to do much more if you invest in a shared virtual number.

Alpha Tags

An alpha tag is a type of sender ID that can include letters and numbers. This option is great because you can set your sender ID as your brand name, so recipients know who you are right away. If your main focus is branding and building awareness, then an alpha tag can be very effective.Like shared virtual numbers, alpha tags have some limitations. While they are available in Australia, they don’t work in every country.Additionally, you cannot offer two-way messaging with an alpha tag. While they can work well for a general text blast, they aren’t going to work for any message where the user needs to respond directly.

In Australia, you can also run up against compliance issues with alpha tags because there’s no way for the user to respond to opt-out of messaging. In order to stay compliant, you will need to include a link to a page where they can opt-out - which can make your messages longer than you initially intended.

Related article: Are all Sender IDs supported in every Country?

Physical Numbers

The final sender ID option is to use your own mobile number when sending text messages for your business. This can be convenient if you are a sole proprietor and want to manage your business entirely from your phone. This is sometimes referred to as “spoofing”.

However, spoofing typically doesn’t work once a business gets past this stage. You will quickly reach a point where your personal and business numbers should be kept separate from each other. Using a dedicated virtual number gives you a consistent number to send from, with added security and features.

Choosing the right sender ID for your business will depend on factors like your marketing goals and your budget. At SMSGlobal, we offer dedicated and shared virtual numbers to help you reach your customers easily.

Related article: How to change the default Sender ID in MXT