The Complete Guide to SMS Short Codes for Your Business

Topic: Esendex, Uncategorized

When you work with Esendex, you have many options regarding how you can text your customers—even determining the type of number to choose leaves you with decisions to make. This is a good thing but can also create an overwhelming feeling.

If you aren’t familiar with short codes, you aren’t alone. For a variety of businesses, short codes are a great option to use for texting capabilities. However, most people have received texts from SMS short codes in the past. That’s why we want to share information about SMS short codes.

Why do some businesses choose short codes? They’re versatile, convenient, and short. As you read through this article, we’ll delve into what short codes are, how they are used, and how you can use one of your own if you decide that’s the right choice.

What Are SMS Short Codes?

An SMS short code, often abbreviated as short code, is a short phone number. Instead of being ten numbers, short codes are only five to six digits long.

Short codes can send MMS and SMS messages with text-to-win sweepstakes, passwords, and product discounts. Since the numbers are shorter than typical phone numbers, it’s easier to remember them.

SMS short codes facilitate more accessible customer communication for those who prefer receiving texts to getting phone calls or emails.

What Are the Uses for Short Code Messaging?

There are a ton of uses for an SMS short code. For instance, many businesses use them for mass text messaging campaigns and text blasts. However, they may also be used for the following:

  1. Using a text-to-vote survey for customer feedback
  2. Sending out discounts on products to phone contacts
  3. Hosting a text to win giveaway or sweepstakes
  4. Sharing one-time reset or password links
  5. Letting viewers vote on television shows using mobile devices

If you see promo texts in your messenger from short numbers, these use an SMS short code. Since the numbers are short and easy to enter, it can increase the number of customers who opt-in for your campaigns.

How to Subscribe to Short Code Text Messages

It’s utterly simple to sign up for short code messages. A customer has to text in a phrase you provide or complete a web form. For example, you might have people text “SALE” to “123123” to get promotions from a retail store.

Keep in mind that businesses essentially need consent to text you. After you have created a keyword, people who text it in will get a confirmation of the offer you have for them. However, the exception is transactional messages, such as two-factor authentication, password reset requests, and order confirmations with a tracking number.

How to Unsubscribe from an SMS Short Code List

Unsubscribing from an SMS short code is just as quick and easy as subscribing in the first place. When a customer chooses to unsubscribe to a short code, it can be done simply by replying to the message with STOP.

Just like this lets you unsubscribe from emails, it also stops texts from a short code.

What Does Short Code Texting Cost?

dedicated short code usually starts at around $1,000 per month but is billed yearly. You also will need to pay hosting fees to use the SMS short code.

There are also other costs to be aware of beyond these. There’s a single setup fee to pay, and you can expect about $500/month for messaging costs, assuming you use 20,000 texts.

So what does this all pay for? You pay to have the right to use a particular short code. You can receive and send texts at an additional cost to send out messages.

Are There Alternatives to an SMS Short Code for Free?

There are other ways to get the same functionality as an SMS short code offers. These can be used for two-way messaging and sending out mass messages. For instance, acquiring a toll-free number has many of the same benefits as a short code.

You don’t even need a short code to begin the process of sending out a bulk amount of texts. Esendex can assist you with getting a number that offers all of the features your business needs.

Methods to Get SMS Short Code Service

Rather than selling short codes, the communications world instead leases them out. When you pay, you have exclusive access to a particular number. Keep in mind that it can take four weeks or longer for the short code to be approved by the governing body and telecom carriers.

There are two kinds of short codes to choose from: random short codes that you cannot customize and vanity short codes that you can. You can select either depending on the needs of your business.

With a vanity short code, you select the number as long as it is available. If you run a dancewear store, you might choose 32623 as a way to spell DANCE.

random short code is just like a vanity code, except that the number you get is entirely random. Esendex understands the process of getting short codes and can help you through it. Everything from completing the form for service to testing the code can be done with our assistance.

Short codes are used by organizations and businesses of all sizes to contact customers. A few examples that you may have run across include the following:

  1. 40404 – This SMS short code is used to speak with someone on Twitter. You will need a Twitter account and a linked phone number for the short code to work.
  2. 93733 – Wells Fargo uses this code to send messages about suspicious activity on your bank account. Other banks will also often use short codes for this purpose.
  3. 247262 – If you’ve ever used Airbnb, you may have received a text with this number. It is used to send out reminders about your upcoming reservations.

SMS Short Codes and Location

When you choose a short code, it’s not suitable for global use. So if you lease an SMS short code in the United States, you’d also need to get one for Canada or other locations.

The Common Short Code Administration (CSCA) governs all short codes within the US. In Canada, governance is provided by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). However, a different organization will be needed to procure SMS short codes if you are in another location.

Industries that Use SMS Short Codes

Many different industries use short codes. They’re helpful for any company that is scaling and wants to stay in contact with customers. A few of the industries that typically use SMS short codes include:

  1. Dental and doctors’ offices
  2. Ecommerce companies
  3. Entertainment venues
  4. Nonprofits
  5. Political campaigns
  6. Real estate
  7. Religious organizations
  8. Restaurants
  9. Retail
  10. Salons and spa
  11. Schools
  12. Tax firms and accountants

Using Short Codes with Esendex Services

Short codes have a host of benefits when used for your brand. They can be used for massive campaigns or even individual conversations. They’re also ready to use keywords to make things even more accessible. SMS short codes are a great option to brand your campaigns and ensure people know who you are.

At Esendex, we know that getting started with a short code may seem complicated. That’s why we offer help throughout the process. We offer a secure short code API with random and vanity codes available. You’ll also have 24/7 tech and customer support when you sign up. Please speak with our sales team to learn more, or get started today.

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Esendex US