What are SMS Short Codes?
An SMS short code is a unique 5 or 6-digit phone number that can send and receive SMS and MMS messages at high volumes in a short period of time. Organizations use these types of phone numbers to create mass SMS campaigns to advertise their products, services, upcoming promotions, charities, etc.
When to Use an SMS Short Code?
The best time to use a short code is when you want to send mass SMS to a large audience quickly. You should also use them when sending text messages containing promotional content. This way they won’t get flagged or marked as spam like they normally would with SMS long codes.
The 2 Different Types of SMS Short Codes
Shared Short Codes
A shared short code, also known as a common short code is a 5 or 6-digit phone number that’s used by multiple organizations to send text messages, hence its name shared. One of the main reasons organizations use this type of number when sending texts is because they’re less expensive than their counterpart, dedicated short codes. Shared SMS short codes can range anywhere from $500 - $1,000 per month and are a great match for anyone looking for affordable short code services.
Dedicated Short Codes
Dedicated short codes are 5 or 6-digit phone numbers that are used by only one organization to send their text messages. They’re the perfect solution for established companies looking to brand their text messaging campaigns with unique mobile keywords that capture customers’ attention and boost conversion rates. There are two types of dedicated SMS short codes: vanity codes and random codes. The differences between the two of these dedicated SMS short code types are outlined below.
Random Short Codes
Random short codes, also known as non-vanity short codes, are random 5 or 6-digit phone numbers that are assigned to organizations by the phone carriers after they’ve completed the entire short code provisioning process. Remember, you have no control over what number you receive once your applications been approved. Most organizations use this type of short code in today’s market because they’re a lot less expensive than their counterpart, vanity codes.
Vanity Short Codes
Vanity short codes are 5-6 digit phone numbers that you can customize. This means you have the power to choose what number your customers see when they open your text messages if they aren’t already taken by another organization. Vanity SMS short codes are much more beneficial in the sense that they’re more memorable than random SMS short codes, and they give you the best chance at branding your organization/business. For example, let’s say you owned a company called 123 Real Estate. A cool custom vanity code for this fake company would be 123-123 to brand the company’s name.
Dedicated SMS Short Code Benefits
Unlimited Mobile Keywords
Mobile keywords boost customer engagement, conversions, sales, and revenue. With dedicated short codes there’s no limit to how many keywords you can have for your SMS campaigns.
Branded Phone Number
Dedicated short codes give you the power to customize your SMS campaign's 5 or 6-digit phone numbers. This is extremely useful and can boost your organizations’ sales and branding.
Text Messaging Control
Dedicated short codes give you the power to build optimized SMS campaigns without all the spam violations and brand confusion of shared short codes.
Quality Network Throughput
It doesn’t matter whether it’s inbound or outbound text messages your organization is sending or receiving. Dedicated short codes have what it takes to scale to all your business’s texting needs.
SMS and MMS for Short Code Texting
Short codes have the capability to send mass SMS messages and multimedia messages. The main thing to remember when dealing with SMS short codes is that they can send and receive SMS and MMS messages at very high volumes, and the messages being sent can contain promotional content. Keep in mind, before your SMS short code can ever send a multimedia text message, the content must first be preapproved by the phone carriers during the short code provisioning process. If you’re curious about the multiple formats MMS supports and its features, they’re listed below.
How to Get an SMS Short Code?
Lease a Short Code
Before you can acquire an SMS short code you must lease it first. CDYNE can lease short codes for you, which is known as hosting. Overall, before leasing a short code you need to know whether or not you want a random code or a vanity code. Once you’ve made your decision you can then contact an SMS service provider such as ourselves and get expert advice on whether or not an SMS short code is a right fit for your business and SMS campaign type. Chat with an expert now.
Submit a Short Code Application
Once our team has answered your questions and approved the purpose of your short code, we will then send you a short code application to fill out. This application defines your business/brand and the reason for the SMS short code. Once finished, CDYNE will submit this document to the phone carriers on your behalf and it will then go through what’s known as the short code provisioning process.
Complete the Short Code Provisioning Process
The short code provisioning process is when each of the phone carriers goes through your short code application and decides whether or not they’re willing to approve your short code for their network. This process takes anywhere from 4-12 weeks. Once all phone carriers approve your application you will then be able to send SMS and MMS messages from your short code phone number.
CDYNE Handles Everything For You
- Choose between a random or vanity code + MMS capability.
- Contact a CDYNE representative for questions & approval.
- Submit your short code application to CDYNE.
- CDYNE will submit your application to phone carriers.
- Application goes through 6-8 week provisioning process.
- Short code is approved and ready to send messages.
SMS Short Code Pricing
It’s important to know that SMS short codes aren’t sold. They’re leased, and what you’re actually paying for is the right to use it and send text messages from its number. SMS short codes can vary in price depending on multiple factors like whether you want a vanity code or a random code. Random SMS short codes cost $1,000, whereas vanity SMS short codes cost $1,500.
Another factor is the setup fee, also known as the provisioning fee. This is the fee you pay for an SMS service provider such as ourselves to handle the entire short code provisioning process for you with each of the phone carriers. It’s a one-time payment. Our setup/provisioning fee is $3,200. Keep in mind, we’re 100% transparent about our pricing and will never hit you with hidden fees ever. We’re a company you can trust and have been leaders in the SMS industry since 1999.
Short Code Pricing
Random Short Codes
- $3,200 setup fee
Vanity Short Codes
- $3,200 setup fee
SMS Short Code Rules & Compliance
CTIA Short Code Compliance
CTIA stands for Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. This non-profit association maintains best practices for organizations/businesses using short codes. Overall, their job is to audit SMS campaigns and ensure they’re following CTIA guidelines required when sending text messages. Learn more about CTIA.
TCPA Short Code Compliance
TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. These are a set of laws passed by Congress to stop the increasing number of consumer complaints about spam text messages to recipients that either didn’t want to receive marketing texts or opted out from receiving them. Learn more about TCPA.
SMS Short Code FAQsMore Short Code FAQs
Why choose CDYNE as your SMS service provider?
Hands-Free Provisioning Process
We’ve been experts at provisioning short codes since 1999 and we’ll handle the entire provisioning process for you. Whether it’s answering your questions, reviewing your short code application, submitting your short code application to each service provider, or helping you connect it to your application, we’ll handle everything for you so you can focus on growing your business.
Fast Speeds & Deliverability
Our short codes have super-fast speeds, dependable security, and smooth connections that’ll always deliver your text messages the first time around. Our SMS API platform has an incredibly strong framework that runs off a 99.9% guaranteed uptime SMS gateway.
Global SMS Coverage
Our short codes have the capability to send mass text messages to more than 190 countries. This feature alone has enough power to expand your SMS marketing reach to new heights, all while boosting your company’s sales, conversions, customer engagement, and brand.