Short Code Texting

Why Short Code Texting is Important in Modern SMS Marketing


10 July 2024


Dhimant Vyas

Texting is one of the most influential and easy-to-use communication forms, and that’s why more and more businesses are adopting SMS marketing. It is a profitable and valuable communication channel. So, if you want to maximize your SMS marketing efforts, your businesses should invest in short code texting.

Now, if you are wondering what short code texting is, this blog covers everything you need to know about it. Let’s first start with the definition of short code texting.

What is short code texting?

As its name suggests, short codes are short! Short code texting is an effective and easy-to-remember 5 to 6-digit number that businesses can use to communicate with customers. Generally, customers opt-in to receive SMS from a particular business through this code. These short codes are used explicitly for high-volume messaging (bulk texting), promotions, marketing campaigns, and customer service. These numbers are short compared to local and toll-free numbers, so they are quite easy to remember while sending a text message.

The structure of short code texting

Usually, short code texting follows one of these structures.

1) Standard short code

It is the 5 or 6-digit number which is used to send and receive SMS messages.

2) Long code

It is the 10-digit number which is used for person-to-person messaging.

3) Toll-free short code

Toll-free short codes are special 6-digit numbers that are used for SMS communication with consumers.

Now that you know what short code texting is, let us understand how important it is in modern marketing.

Importance of short code texting in modern marketing

Including an SMS short code in the overall marketing strategy of your business is an effective way to increase reach, enhance brand awareness, and save hard-earned money on marketing materials. Besides, using short code texting offers businesses:

1) High Engagement Rates

As short codes are easy to remember and customize, there is a higher chance that consumers will open, read, and act on them than other communication methods, such as email or phone calls. So, it lets your business enjoy high engagement rates.

2) Scalability

Usually, short codes are designed to handle bulk texting. So, if you are looking for the ideal communication method for large-scale marketing campaigns, short codes are perfect.

3) Trust & Professionalism

Generally, consumers opt-in for short codes to receive messages from the business. It means they know they are getting messages from established businesses, not from unauthorized brands.

4) Compliance

Before starting a short code SMS campaign, you need to ensure that your business follows all the rules and regulations of governing bodies such as TCPA and 10DLC. As the consumers have already opted in for the SMS short code texting for your business, and it complies with the industry regulations and best practices for marketing communication, they let your business enjoy increased ROI.

Examples of Short Codes in Use

1) Marketing Campaigns: Text “SAVE20” to 12345 for a discount

An eCommerce retail brand named Trendy Fashion launched a summer sale to increase sales. They promoted an offer: Text “SAVE20” to 12345 for a 10% discount on your next purchase.

Now, customers who have opted in receive an immediate reply with the discount code they can use during checkout.

The company has promoted this campaign across all social media platforms, email, the company’s website, and newsletters. And within a month, they noticed a 30% increase in customer interaction and a 25% boost in sales. It proves how effective short code is for marketing promotions.

2) Contests and Voting: Text “VOTE” to 45678 to vote for your favourite contestant.

A popular talent show has arranged a live event for the finale. Now, if they want their fans to support their favourite contestant, they can promote the short code like “VOTE” to 45678.

This simple system will allow viewers to participate actively, making the voting process seamless and engaging. It will lead to increased TRP for the channel and show.

What are the types of short codes?

There are two main types of short codes.

1) Dedicated short codes

This type of short code is exclusive to one brand/business. So you can have complete control over the messaging campaign. Besides, it offers higher security and reliability while communicating with consumers. You can use dedicated short codes for customer service, large-scale marketing campaigns, and notifications.

For example,
Text “BURGER” to 12345
There are two types of dedicated short codes.

  • Vanity short codes
    Vanity short codes are specific numbers that spell out about the specific brand. The main benefit of this type of short code is that it is shared across different campaigns. So, brands can use it for brand recognition or promotional campaigns.

    For example, a dance studio can opt for the short code 32623, which spells out DANCE.
  • Random short code
    In random short codes, numbers are generated randomly, and that’s why they are difficult to remember and less expensive than vanity short codes. So, if you are on a tight budget, you can go for a random short code.

2) Shared short code

As its name suggests, shared short codes are shared by multiple brands or businesses. You can use these codes across different campaigns. You can use shared short codes for smaller campaigns, get consumer feedback, or for promotional purposes.

For example, restaurants, travel & tourism agencies, and car dealership brands can share the code 34567. However, to make themselves unique to the customer, they can use unique keywords like FOOD, TRAVEL, and AUTO.

Text “FOOD” to 34567 to get the menu.


Text “TRAVEL” to 34567 to get our latest travel offers.

Shared short codes do not provide high security; therefore, most carriers do not support them.

Now that you understand the various types of short codes, let us understand the basic difference between short codes and long codes.

Short Codes

Long Codes

Short codes are short (5 to 6 digits) and easy to remember.

Long codes are regular 10-digit numbers that are difficult to remember.

Best for high-volume campaigns and bulk texting.

Perfect for personalized one-to-one text messaging and lower-volume communication.

Why Should Your Business Consider Getting a Short Code in the US?

Short code texting offers the following benefits. That’s why your business should consider getting it in the US.

1) Improved Brand Visibility

With SMS short codes, you can stand out from the crowd as SMS has a high open, read, and response rate as compared to other forms of communication, such as email. Therefore, SMS marketing can be an effective way to reach out to your audience, which can lead to increased customer engagement and ultimately improve brand visibility.

2) Better Customer Experience

As SMS short codes simplify the communication process for customer feedback, customer service, and promotions, it can improve customer experience.

3) Cost-Effective Approach

Short code texting is the cost-effective approach. It is more affordable than traditional advertising forms like radio, TV, or print media and lets you enjoy higher ROI. Through short code, businesses can promote new services, products, and events to their consumers without spending too much money. 

4) Improved Communication

Short code texting is a direct, more personalized, and immediate way to reach consumers. It ensures customers receive timely updates and promotional messages instantly, enhancing communication.

5) Personalised Communication Through Customer Segmentation

Short code texting lets you segment your customers based on their location, age, and preferences. So you can send relevant messages to your customers, improving customer satisfaction. Besides, through two-way texting, you can build strong relationships with your consumers. 

Best practices for crafting successful SMS short code campaigns

Do you want your SMS short code campaigns to be successful? Here are some essential best practices that you need to follow.

  • Include a clear call to action with each SMS. Make sure you include clear and actionable steps for the recipient in each message you send.
  • There should be something valuable for the recipient in each message. You can offer useful information, discount coupons, and exclusive content.
  • Use the recipient’s name and consider their preferences and time zone before sending the message. This type of personalization will give them a more engaging experience.
  • Ensure that all rules and regulations are adhered to in accordance with TCPA and 10DLC registration compliance. Get explicit consent from your potential consumers before sending them messages.
  • Constantly test different messages and strategies and adjust them to get your desired results.  
  • You can track metrics like open rates, delivery rates, and conversions to measure the performance of your SMS short code campaigns.

How to choose the right short code for your business?

Here are simple processes you must follow in choosing the right short code.

  • First, decide what your short code purpose is. Do you want to do promotions, automate text messaging, or offer customer support? Based on your goals, choose the short code.
  • Short codes are expensive. Therefore, consider your budget to fit your marketing goals perfectly.
  • Choose between dedicated, vanity, shared, or random short code based on your marketing goals, preferences, and requirements.
  • Ensure the short code you choose is available and not being used by someone else.
  • Craft a crystal-clear strategy for using the short code in your marketing efforts.

How to carry out text message short code lookup

There are various ways to carry out a short code lookup of text messages. You can use SMS short code directories or lists to find text message short codes. Such directories contain SMS short code details with purpose and service providers. You can even look for short codes using multiple online resources.

However, take caution while interacting with the short codes you don’t know. Verify their legitimacy before interacting with such codes, as it will secure you from potential scams or phishing attempts.

You can even use the text message short code lookup tools or database, which can assist you in quickly accessing the wealth of information.

What are the most common challenges in short code texting? How to resolve them?

 clear opt-in and opt-out processes. Here are the most common challenges in short code texting.

Challenge: High costs


Short codes are expensive, but if you choose them carefully, you can get them within your budget. You can evaluate your budget, and based on it, you can choose from dedicated, shared, or vanity short codes.

Challenge: Regulatory Compliance


You need to follow all the rules and regulations of SMS marketing. Keep up-to-date on SMS marketing compliance best practices, laws and regulations,.  

Challenge: Message Deliverability


If you choose the wrong service provider/SMS marketing platform and don’t follow the best practices, you will not get a high message deliverability rate. Therefore, be sure to choose a reputable SMS marketing platform like Textdrip that is feature-rich and complies with the best practices.

Challenge: Campaign Management


Maintaining an SMS campaign is not that easy. However, investing in campaign management tools allows you to easily and efficiently analyze, track, and manage campaigns.

Challenge: User Opt-in/ Opt-out Management


Opt-in and opt out user management is quite challenging. However, you can gift your customers a satisfactory user experience by implementing

Signing Off

Short code texting is a powerful SMS marketing tool to improve business communication and consumer engagement. As SMS short codes exhibit scalability, interactivity, and immediacy and are easy to remember and simple to customize, businesses can unlock new opportunities for building strong relationships, consumer support, and marketing.

So, consider short code if your business is looking for ways to engage with consumers and runs large-scale marketing campaigns. Textdrip is an SMS marketing platform that can help you improve your marketing efforts and scale your business. If starting with SMS marketing seems complicated, call us today for a 30-day free trial or book a demo of Textdrip.


Short code SMS is the method of sending and receiving SMS through short numerical codes rather than traditional phone numbers. Once the customer opts in to receive messages from the short code by texting a specific code, businesses can send them SMS, including information, promotion, or other content.

Short code texting is a quick and direct way to communicate with customers. Therefore, there is a high chance that your customers will read and act on your message. It can lead to improved engagement, more conversions, and increased revenue.

SMS short codes are country-specific, meaning the short code used in one country will not work in another. So, if you plan to include short code SMS in your marketing effort, explore a specific country’s shortcode system.

Businesses can use short code texting for various content types, such as appointment reminders, customer support messages, promotional offers, order updates, etc. 

Dhimant Vyas

As a Marketing Manager, Dhimant takes a strategic approach to orchestrating compelling marketing campaigns to bolster brand visibility. Read More

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