Our client has asked us to create an ExactTarget Landing page which captures international phone numbers into a data extension for possible later use in SMS messaging. This leaves me with a few questions.

First, is my understanding right that I cannot use ET's Phone Data Type because that is limited to 11 characters?

Second, should the number be formatted as if you are calling from within the non-US country or from the US. For example, in Argentina, the country code is 54 and to call a Buenos Aires number from the US, would look like this: +54 9 11 1234 5678.

However, to call a cell phone from within Argentina, one needs to add a 15 like this (11) 15 1234-5678 where 11 is the area code and 15 indicates it is a mobile number. If I am sending an SMS message from ET, does it already know the country code because of the short or long code I am using and should I then add the 15 (which is required

Third, should I use a number format or text format to get proper importing into ET's SMS Subscriber list. Does ET care whether I use (123) 123-1234 or 1231231234?

Thanks, Bill

1 Answer 1


It may be best to contact your ET support representative to get a confirmation on this. From the ET documentation-

Long Codes

ExactTarget's international SMS services default to using a UK long code format, such as +44-xxxx-xxxxx. Use this number to send and receive your international SMS messages. ExactTarget also supports the German and Swedish long code formats.

You can provision several different short codes and long codes in your ExactTarget account, depending on your sending needs and the countries in which you wish to operate. Note that any keywords you use must be requested for each short code or long code you wish to use that keyword with. Be sure to select the correct short code or long code each time you request a keyword. The screenshot below shows how to select the number for which you are requesting a keyword. After selecting the number, you can enter the keyword and select Check Availability to see if the keyword is available.

This depends on Locale as well

The Locale type helps the ExactTarget application determine the correct format for phone numbers used as part of an SMS send.

  • This is good information, thanks. But, unless I misunderstand, does not help me with my current question. I am asking how to save the subscriber's mobile number, not dealing with the short or long codes which I understand to be the code that subscribers use to contact the SMS service.
    – WKiraly
    Jan 13, 2015 at 19:18

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