Short codes, or short numbers, are short digit sequences, significantly shorter than telephone numbers, that are used to address messages in the Multimedia Messaging System and short message service systems of mobile network operators. In addition to messaging, they may be used in abbreviated dialing.

Short codes are designed to be easier to read and remember than telephone numbers. Short codes are unique to each operator at the technological level. Even so, providers generally have agreements to avoid overlaps. In some countries, such as the United States, some classes of numbers are inter-operator (used by multiple providers or carriers, U.S. inter-operator numbers are called common short codes).

Short codes are widely used for value-added services such as charity donations, mobile services, ordering ringtones, and television program voting. Messages sent to a short code can be billed at a higher rate than a standard SMS and may even subscribe a customer to a recurring monthly service that will be added to the customer’s mobile phone bill until the user texts, for example, the word “STOP” to terminate the service.


The average global opt-in rate for messaging apps is 77%, and only 6% of consumers opt-out of receiving notifications from a messaging app. Using native SMS helps drive these numbers, as 86% of consumers keep notifications on for SMS (native, iMessage and Android).

Since a short code contains only five or six digits, it is easier for users to remember and type. A short code becomes synonymous with your brand, particularly if you have a dedicated short code. If you have a dedicated short code, you can also choose to boost your brand recognition and marketing by using a vanity short code. With a vanity short code, you can customize all the numbers to make your short code as memorable as possible.

Under the carrier regulations governing short codes, you must have the consumer’s explicit permission to send them marketing messages. Similarly, if a user chooses to opt-out of receiving messages, you must halt all communication except to send them an opt-out confirmation. When the consumers get an option and control over their experience, they feel more comfortable with your brand.

Whether you have a vanity code or a random code, your short code is central to your business’s text marketing. Short codes contribute to your brand recognition and allow businesses to maintain a consistent brand image across platforms and communication channels.

SMS short codes are the best fit if you want to send thousands of messages instantly. Mass texting allows businesses to reach a broad audience within seconds at a low cost. Compared to other marketing options, like purchasing ads, an SMS is much more affordable for engaging thousands of consumers at once.

In today’s business world, mobile-friendly marketing campaigns are crucial. Gone are the days when people used mobile devices for calling only. Now, they use mobiles for everyday activities, such as shopping and paying bills. With SMS short codes, you can attract consumers and use both SMS and MMS for your brand promotion.

With a dedicated short code, businesses can keep their short code number even if they migrate to a different SMS provider. This prevents marketing disruptions and potential revenue losses for businesses. Consumers can continue using the same short code without being affected by the move, maintaining customer satisfaction and a consistent brand image.

You can use short codes to gain traction with your consumers and increase consumer engagement. Short codes are perfect for a variety of purposes, including critical alerts, bulk broadcasting, two-way messaging, personalized reminders, and more. This variety allows you to meet at your consumer needs without using different communication channels. Additionally, real-time message traffic reports give you valuable user insight so that you can optimize your SMS campaigns and increase consumer engagement.

One of the advantages of sending messages via a short code is customization and flexibility. Send customized messages to your target audience or create interactive campaigns. Two-way messaging and targeted marketing messages provide users with personalized communication, while bulk broadcasting and automated text messages meet all your text marketing needs. Both businesses and users benefit from the targeted SMS messages that short code flexibility provides.

An SMS takes only seconds to reach your users, which is faster than all other marketing channels. Moreover, short codes have a much higher throughput than long codes, which makes them ideal for your brand. Sending time-sensitive communication like critical alerts or changes to business policies is quick and efficient using SMS short codes.

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