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Dedicated shortcodes are five or six-digit phone numbers businesses can use for mass text messaging and SMS marketing. Each shortcode number is unique to the business using it.
There are two types of dedicated short codes: vanity and random.
A vanity shortcode is a memorable number like 858585, or one that can spell a phrase. These numbers are easy to remember and can benefit businesses when customers see or hear them via advertisements.
On the other hand, a random dedicated shortcode is a randomly generated number. These numbers are better for businesses on a budget, but they are less memorable than their vanity counterparts.
Businesses usually use anSMS platform to help manage their shortcode messaging.
Shortcodes are powerful tools for businesses to have in their arsenals. It allows businesses to mass text with ease. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:
These numbers are short, which makes them easy for customers to remember and identify with your brand. When businesses choose a vanity number as their SMS shortcode, they can enhance brand recognition.
Shortcodes work if you have a small audience or thousands of customers you want to reach. This makes them easily scalable as your company grows.
Dedicated shortcodes allow businesses to create as many keywords as needed for their SMS campaigns. Keywords are unique terms people can send to the shortcode to join a subscriber list or request new information. This is helpful for building contact lists and building customer engagement.
Shortcodes are capable of sending high volumes of text messages rapidly. This high throughput helps businesses reach mass audiences quickly with time sensitive information, promotional offers, and more.
Take a look at some of the features Textline’s SMS platform supports that will help you improve shortcode messaging.
Textline has a patented consent feature that helps businesses comply with texting regulations. It helps businesses manage and store SMS opt-ins for customers.
Do you have multiple team members that need to manage your shortcode messaging? You can do that with ease on Textline. Multiple team members can access the platform and campaigns at the same time.
Textline tracks metrics that matter. Easily keep tabs on mass texting campaign performance, including response rate, unsubscribe rate, and more.
Textline helps you automate your SMS messaging campaigns. Textline lets businesses set up auto-replies to specific keywords and automate SMS workflows.
For optimal communication, timing matters. The Textline platform lets you plan ahead and schedule messages to send at the right time.
Textline lets you create and store SMS templates for later use. This helps if you want to send recurring messages.
Textline lets you personalize SMS messages with variable fields and emojis. Add personalization and customize messages at scale.
Talk with other members of your team within the Textline platform using Whispers. These are private internal notes that can help you better coordinate with team members.
Businesses can use dedicated short codes for multiple purposes, from promoting special offers to gaining subscribers. Discover some inspiration for using shortcodes here.
One of the most common use cases for dedicated shortcodes is to send special offers or discounts to customers. Businesses can send marketing messages with unique codes to use at checkout, or request customers to text in “SALE” in exchange for a coupon.
Dedicated shortcodes help businesses build a text subscriber list. For example, ask customers to text in a keyword like "SUBSCRIBE" or "JOIN” to your shortcode to sign up for your SMS marketing program. Building this loyal subscriber base can help generate recurring revenue.
Businesses can send resources like images or PDFs en masse to their clients. This allows businesses to keep customers in the know.
Get time-sensitive messages to contacts quickly using a shortcode, including emergency alerts or boarding notifications. These messages are delivered quickly so your contacts know instantaneously.
Many businesses use shortcodes for two-factor authentication or one-time passcodes. Shortcodes get this information to contacts quickly to help them better protect their accounts.
Use a shortcode to send event reminders, appointment reminders, or payment reminders to customers. This helps businesses reduce missed appointments, avoid missed revenue, and cut down on late payments.
You must complete a few steps before your business can use dedicated shortcodes on Textline. Here's what you need to do:
The first step to getting a shortcode is submitting an application to a shortcode service provider like Twilio or Bandwidth. The application will include information about your business and your shortcode use cases, including the types of messages you plan to send and the frequency of your campaigns.
Once you apply with the provider, you must get approval from the Common Short Code Administration, which consists of mobile carriers.
Once your application is approved, you will be assigned a dedicated shortcode number unique to your business. During this phase, mobile carriers will also test the number to make sure it’s working as expected. You may be asked to help test it from your devices.
If you want to use an SMS platform like Textline to manage your messaging campaigns, you will then bring your shortcode number to Textline. We connect it using an API, and it allows you to use all of the features in our platform and message from your shortcode.
Once your shortcode is connected, you’re ready to use it! Start sending SMS messages and promoting your shortcode number.
Dedicated shortcodes typically have a one-time set up fee, recurring charges to lease the number, and messaging costs.
The price depends on the shortcode service provider you select, if you want a vanity or random shortcode, your country of origin, and if you want MMS enabled.
For example, in the U.S. Twilio charges:
However, once you have your shortcode number from Twilio, Bandwidth, or another shortcode service provider, you can manage shortcode messaging in the Textline platform with ease. You would just pay for one of our platform base prices depending on the number of users and automation capabilities you need.
Yes, dedicated shortcodes are compatible with both SMS and MMS messaging. You can use your dedicated short code number to send multimedia messages like images, videos, and GIFs to your customers.
The approval process for a dedicated short code number usually takes six to eight weeks.. This includes the time it takes to submit your application to the Common Short Code Administration, have it reviewed by the carriers, and complete the testing process.
Absolutely. Using dedicated shortcodes to reach customers is legal and compliant. But, it’s important that your messaging content and campaigns adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This includes getting opt-in information and allowing opt-outs.
Dedicated shortcode numbers are typically five or six digits in length, depending on the country and carrier. In the United States, dedicated shortcodes are usually five digits long. In Canada, they are generally six digits long.