Everything you need to know about SMS short codes

Maybe you have heard of SMS Short Codes or perhaps this is a completely foreign term for you. Not to worry, we will tell you everything you need to know about it.

 What is a SMS Short Code?

Brands use shortcodes to get customers to opt in for their SMS Marketing campaigns. These codes naturally differ from country to country, but usually consists of 5 or 6 digits (e.g 34561). The mobile user has to type a message on his/ her phone, then send it to the particular number to elicit a desired response.

What do consumers say in their message?

SMS Short Codes are usually accompanied by a keyword. The reason for this is because a business can have more than one code, or they might be sharing this code with another business. The keyword helps the service provider to effectively differentiate between campaigns. A keyword can be something like the word “competition” or the brand’s name.

But, a mobile user isn’t limited to text alone. They can also send images and videos to the number.

 Dedicated versus shared codes

As we have mentioned previously, a business might share a code with another business, or they have the code all to themselves. (The latter is a dedicated shortcode.) Both have advantages and disadvantages, especially in terms of cost, and it will depend on your brand’s needs which one you choose.

How do consumers get hold of the code?

Brands usually advertise their code(s) online, in store, television, billboards, printed advertisements etc. It is up to you how you want to convey this info to your customers.

 Will I own the code?

A brand won’t really own a SMS short Code forever and ever. The code is normally leased, so when the brand tires of it, the code provider can lease it to another company.

 What can I use the code for?

Almost anything. Use it for competition entries, gathering donations or to establish a SMS helpline for your customers.

Who can help me with shortcodes for my brand?

Integrat! Get in contact with us right now.

Herman Cremer
A seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in digital & mobile solutions and advertising.


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