Text Message Short Code

What is a Text Message Short Code?

A text message short code is a shortened phone number used in automated text messaging. When used properly they are a highly effective means to connect with consumers and communicate a short-and-sweet message.  Text Message Short Codes are easy to remember and they are compatible across all participating carriers.  Text Message Short Codes are either five-digit or six-digit numbers. Often they are leased by anyone interested in interacting with over 200 million wireless consumers.

The American Red Cross is the best-known short code success story as of today.  They raised millions of dollars for disaster relief simply by asking citizens to text a keyword.  This increased SMS popularity due to the high success rate of text message short code advertising.

Retailers use adding a text message short code.

Right now multiple businesses are using texting to grow their business. SMS marketing important as the overall redemption rates are much higher with text message short code advertising.  Retailers will collect mobile phone numbers of existing customers in stores and potential customers through targeted advertising. Their goal is to get the consumer to pull their cell phone out and opt in to receive special offers or promotions.  Retailers are building these databases to remarket to interested customers down the road.  Text Message Short code marketing builds a path to consumers who may never have shopped with a retailer before.  Offering trials and discounts via SMS can help attract new customers.

Obtain your own text message short code.

The CTIA-The Wireless Association aims to make it easy for marketers to get into short code text marketing.

To obtain a text message short code, a person can visit USShortCodes.com. The website contains a vast amount of information on text messaging. You can even start provisioning a dedicated short code and pay your fees. Visitors must choose between a random number, which costs $500 a month, or a vanity number, $1,000 a month and typically a $3-4k upfront investment. A vanity number could, for example, spell out the name of the retailer, such as 74663. You could also choose a  group of numbers that are easy to remember, such as 23456.

Using a shared text message short code.

The other option in obtaining a text message short code to use for a business is to go through a Tier 1 Provider.  These Tier 1 providers offer their clients an option of using a shared text message short code where they are sharing the code with other merchants. Furthermore, costs are drastically cut when using this type of code and can be just as effective.

Today there are more than 4,200 registered short codes.  In fact, 40% are vanity numbers and 60% are randomly generated. The CTIA says at any given time businesses typically operate three or four campaigns on one short code. As a result, there can be a total of 12,000 to 16,000 campaigns occurring at any time in the U.S.

A short code text message campaign can be an effective way to reach customers, especially when cross-marketing with other forms of marketing, such as print, radio and TV. Everyone has a mobile phone, and if you want to reach someone quickly, mobile marketing is the best way! Sign up for a free trial with AvidMobile today.