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What Are Text or SMS Shortcodes?

SMS Shortcodes are unique dedicated numbers typically 5-6 digits in length and used to opt-in an end-user to a mobile service. They are the ideal tool for communicating with high-volume opt-in users at scale across carriers, so they are the preferred method for most MMS and SMS marketing initiatives.

The wireless carriers have set up self-governing bodies to allocate and regulate standard shortcodes, ensuring they can work for their intended business use case. Typically, an organization wishing to obtain a short code will contact a mobile aggregator or directly connect to a carrier/sender partner to facilitate an end-user request for a shortcode.

How It Works

SMS short codes for texting enable users to send and receive text messages. Mobile subscribers are identified by their phone numbers, while all other devices must identify with a cloud-based SMS gateway provider or an enterprise application to receive notifications.

Most current mobile networks have a store-and-forward system that operates on a message queue. Shortcodes can work in several different ways. They function according to one service. Therefore, there is no need to change your marketing material or campaigns when texting changes.

The most popular options are chargeable and nonchargeable messaging. Both give you the chance to send two-way messages—an initial inbound message from the consumer, which incurs a charge for the consumer, then an outbound response from you. The outbound message from you can either be free for the consumer to receive or at a higher tariff.


If you want to promote your business or event, consider SMS marketing. You can get a short code number and begin marketing to your customers via text message. The advantage of text message advertising is that your SMS open rates will be extremely high.

Over 98% of text messages are opened, usually within 90 seconds of receiving the message. It is because texting has a considerable level of trust behind it; people assume that there’s a good reason you’re texting them. Customers and prospects like texting because it’s so personal and convenient – they can read and respond whenever they like.

SMS Shortcodes are an excellent solution for many businesses. Advertisers use shortcodes in digital marketing, like ads and your website, in print and other offline campaigns. Buyers easily recognize shortcodes as marketing messages because they’re not the usual 10-digit mobile number. This directory is where customers can look up the owner of each shortcode to learn more about who’s texting them.

Business Text Messaging gives your customers amazing mobile experiences on their terms. Whether they require assistance or have a question, texting will allow them to reach you more quickly. Many users already interact with chatbots through messaging apps—these intelligent assistants can also help improve a customer’s experience.


A short, shared code is a standard mobile marketing technique in which multiple businesses use a single, dedicated short code to send text message alerts to their customers. It differs from having an exclusive use shortcode, which can only work in one business.

Businesses that use a short, shared code opt to share the costs of running the campaign across all participating companies. Although this strategy can reduce costs and make it easy for consumers to receive promotional texts from various businesses after opting in, some customers feel overwhelmed by the number of messages received.

Vanity or dedicated SMS shortcodes belong to one brand. Establishing a distinctive moniker is essential when you want your brand to stand out from the competition, and a custom shortcode is the first step to achieving this. Some companies go even further by investing in dedicated shortcodes to reinforce their brands.

With a dedicated short code, you will have total control over who sends text messages through your system, and more importantly, it is safe from anyone else. With no shared shortcodes available as of March 2021, toll-free numbers are one of the only text message marketing options left. You must get your dedicated toll-free number for about the same price that you are paying for shared shortcodes.

Many marketers use SMS to deliver personalized, time-sensitive messages and specialized content their audience wants. SMS marketing is also an effective way to communicate with your audience nearly anywhere they are. Shortcodes can help you optimize your program with higher throughputs, fast delivery rates, and greater security. Use shortcodes if you are looking for enhanced deliverability and reliability at scale.



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