What are short codes?
A short code is a 5 or 6 digit telephone number that is used to send and receive SMS messages to and from a cellphone.
Unlike a 10-digit telephone number that places strict restrcitions on texts sent from it, short codes can deliver large volumes of SMS texts reliably.
CallHub currently offers short codes in the US.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is the first word sent in a text message to a short code, acting as the opt-in to a mobile list.
In “Text JOIN to 33339”, JOIN is the keyword and 33339 is the short-code.
When should you use a short code?
If you’re trying to build a mobile list
Short codes consist of 5 or 6 digits, making them instantly memorable. After the initial opt-in where you collect the mobile number, CallHub let’s you create automated SMS follow-ups to collect details like name, email and zipcode.
If you’re trying to text large groups
Short codes let you send up to 360,000 texts per hour.
If your are currently using a 10-digit telephone number to send more than a few hundred texts per day
10-digit numbers are meant for conversations through personal phones or via peer to peer texting. If you send repetitive texts to multiple people over a 10-digit number, they can get marked as spam. This isn’t a problem with short codes since they come pre-approved by carriers to handle high volume and time-sensitive messages.
What are the different types of short codes?
Shared Short Codes
A shared short code is shared between multiple organizations, making it cost-efficient and faster to get started with. But your pool of keywords is limited to those not already chosen by another customer (see image).
While a dedicated short code costs $500 - $1000 and takes 8 - 12 weeks to start using, a shared short in the US costs around $25 and you can start using it in a day.
To get a shared short codes within CallHub, submit a request after you create a free account.
Dedicated Short Codes
A dedicated short code gives you sole access to the short code, allowing you to create unlimited keywords at no additional cost. They come in two types, Random Short Codes and Vanity Short Codes.
Random Short Codes
You have no control over the number assigned to you. They cost around $500 per month.
Vanity Short Codes
You choose the number you want, usually a series of repetitive numbers that are easy to remember. Vanity short codes cost around $1000 per month.
To get a dedicated short code, place a request from your account after sign up.
Uses of SMS short code
Reach a large audience quickly
Send up to 100 texts/second. That’s 360,000 texts in an hour. Ideal for time-sensitive campaigns that have to reach a large audience quickly.
Collect phone number and email
Follow up with people who opt-in with automated messages that collect name, email, zipcode and more.
Send subscribers to your contact management software
Create a new profile in your contact management software as soon as someone opts in using the short code. Any additional details like name and email are also added.
Run multiple campaigns side-by-side
Use multiple keywords to take people along different opt-in flows. Eg. Use the keyword, RALLY to get people to subscribe to events near their area, CHANGE, to run a survey, and GIVE, for collecting donations.
How to stay complaint with short codes
In the US, the TCPA and CTIA have guidelines you can follow to stay compliant when sending texts. CallHub vets every customer to make sure their messaging aligns with these guidelines. While using a short code, our texting tool helps you stay compliant my making it easy to:
• Collect permission to message a person
• Display useful instructions during opt-in
• Offer clear opt-out instructions
• Acknowledge opt-out requests