If you are new to the sms world or have lived in a hole the last few years let me explain the difference in shared or dedicated short code. First of all, what is a short code? A short code is basically a 5 or 6 digit phone number. Many of us become intimidated or overwhelmed by the term “short code” because of how technical and complicated it seems. On the contrary, short codes are easy to use and simple to understand. Most of us have used short codes without even realizing it. For example, Dancing With The Stars asks audience members or viewers to text in their votes for their favorite contestant pair. If you’ve ever done this, then you’ve used a short code. All short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers & anyone with a mobile phone can send a text message to a short code to request information, join alert notification lists, vote in contests, and make a donation and much more.
Shared Short code or Dedicated short code: Now let’s explain the difference between a shared short code & a dedicated short code. A dedicated short code is a short code used exclusively by one business or organization to run one or more mobile marketing services at once. Leasing a dedicated short code from the Common Short Code Association is expensive. The set up fees will cost you approximately $3000. On top of that fee, monthly charges are $500 per month for a random short code and $1000 per month for a vanity short code. (Vanity short codes are chosen by the renter and typically correspond to a word on a phone or keypad). Obtaining a dedicated short code takes two or three months & is very involved. There are benefits however; you are the actual owner of the code, you have flexibility with keywords, & since you lease the code all the data & customer information captured belongs to you. A shared code on the other hand is a much simpler process but has some pros & cons too. Shared short codes are used by more than one business to run multiple marketing campaigns concurrently through the use of different keywords for each campaign. A business will use a keyword and its brand, but share the number with other businesses. Shared short codes are typically used because of the high cost associated with leasing a dedicated short code. Just like a dedicated short code there are some drawbacks to using a shared short code. With a shared short code you are not the owner of the code. You may not have access to a particular keyword as another company may already be using it. There is always the risk that the code may be shut down by a carrier because of another company’s abuse of the code. This may hinder your ability to run future mobile campaigns. At AvidMobile we provide cost effective mobile marketing solutions using both shared short codes & dedicated short codes.