SMS Short Codes

Understanding SMS short codes.

At some point, you’ve interacted with SMS short codes. Some businesses advertise them on their cash register receipts. Big media brands, like AMC Theatres, use them in their text message-based marketing campaigns. On top of that, businesses use SMS short codes to send out account related information like low balances or 2-factor authentication messages. No matter what the case, an SMS short code is an affordable and effective way to communicate with your audience.

How do SMS Short codes work?

In most situations a potential customer text a keyword to a 5 or 6 digit short code. After completing the opt in the platform will send a custom text message as the reply.  In most cases, the business provides a discount, mobile coupon, or another type of update. The advertiser’s goal is to build a database of people who express interest in what that they have to offer. As a result giving them a group to remarket to. This results in an increase in more business, more sales, and even allows your audience to try new products. In fact, this is called loyalty marketing and it works, because it’s permission based.

Starting to wonder if your business should look into SMS short codes? To clarify 40% of businesses will be adding a mobile component within the next year. Position yourself to start creating a database of loyal customers.  Afterall, there is no better time than now.

What are SMS Short Codes?

SMS Short codes are shorter versions of telephone numbers. They provide increased functionality with text messaging.  Likewise, they provide automated services to people who text them. Customers interact with SMS short codes the same way they interact with regular mobile numbers. First, the end user will open a text message on their smartphone and enter the short code. After that will type the keyword in the text field. Next, they will click send. Instantly, the system will return the pre programmed reply message via the short code.

The two types of SMS short codes: Shared & Dedicated

Shared short codes are used by multiple organizations.  Each organization has a “keyword” which a user must preface their text with to indicate which organization they wish to interact with.

Dedicated short codes are owned by one organization, and that organization has control over the code.  These are much more expensive, and typically cost over 1,000 to set up, plus between $500 and over per month.  Dedicated short codes need to also be approved by the wireless carriers & that process can take several months.

Bottom line shared short codes are cheaper and can be set up faster & more easily.  Dedicated short codes are valuable if an organization is very large or will be using the short code a lot. Visit AvidMobile’s website to learn more and sign up for a free trial here.