It’s safe to say you’ve heard about the use of SMS shortcodes in marketing before. The only exception would be if you’ve had your head in the sand like an ostrich for the past decade! Here at AvidMobile, we were mobile marketing long before the shortcode came on the scene, but now that it’s here, we see it as a valuable part of the business. Here is a brief introduction of text marketing and what you need to know before getting started.
Dedicated or Shared?
There are two kinds of shortcodes for SMS: dedicated and shared. Dedicated codes are custom-made just for you, but they take longer to set up (about 2 months). This might cost you $15,000 to $30,000 per year. For all your promotions, you could say, “Text us at XXXXX!” On the other hand, a shared shortcode may be used by more than one company, but routes traffic based on keywords. This is a quick and economical way to get started mobile marketing. In this case, you might run one promotion saying, “Text FITNESS to XXXXX” and another promotion saying “Text NUTRITION to XXXXX.”
Vanity Codes: The Price of Pretty
Some people like to select vanity codes that are hand-picked based on numbers that spell out a word. For example, you might have the code “27753” to spell out APPLE if you are a local apple orchard running a mobile marketing campaign. Or you might use the code “74275” to spell out SHARK if you run a cage diving company. Facebook, for example, uses the code FBOOK (32665). Vanity codes cost around $1,000 per month to register (compared to random codes that cost at least half that); but some people feel it’s worth it to have a code that is memorable.
Registration — And Then What?
Registration is the first part of the short code process. Aggregator companies (like AvidMobile) are the quickest and easiest way to get a code registered. Many moons ago, we cultivated close relationships with all the mobile carriers (so you won’t have to!) If you were to try to get distribution on your own, it would take a lot of time, money and aggravation.
How To Share Nicely
AvidMobile is a great friend and business partner to have if you’re considering working with SMS shortcodes. We’ll give you advice and suggestions for creating a more successful mobile campaign, should you inquire. We give you — not just one, but TWO — mobile shortcodes, so if someone else is spamming on a shared code, your promo won’t get shut down as well.
The Rules of the Code
That’s the dog-eat-dog world of text marketing, after all… a carrier can shut you down at any time if you don’t play by the rules! There are several restrictions for your campaigns. You cannot distribute political marketing, religious literature, pornography, escort ads, gambling ads, hate speech, or alcohol / drug promotions. Also, all subscribers should be able to text back STOP to cease communications with you.