Short codes are the most expensive with a monthly cost between $500 and $1,000 depending on whether it’s a random or vanity code. Toll-free and 10DLC numbers are free or have minimal cost. SMS codes also send at much faster speeds.
While messages sent from normal 10-digit numbers are subject to carrier spam / content filters, SMS short code texting is not typically filtered. There’s a 3 to 4 week approval process when securing a short code number and part of that process is vetting the sender and texting program so messages don't need to be filtered.
While having your own short code represents an additional cost to your text marketing or bulk SMS initiatives, there are several benefits that make them worthwhile.
In the world of short code texting, codes aren't sold, they are leased. What you are paying for is the right to use it. While most SMS services bake the cost of a dedicated code directly into their monthly service fee, they are normally paid for on a quarterly basis.
The cost of an SMS short code varies only by whether it's random or vanity. Typically you will see vanity codes run between $500 and $1,000 more than random ones.Interested In Getting Started? Let's Talk!
Short code texting is very similar to any other type of SMS or MMS. The only difference is that with short codes, you can send much larger text broadcasts and the message content is not typically filtered. This is because the sender using the short code and their content has been pre-approved by the wireless carriers during the provisioning process.
With short code texting, you're bound to the same 160 character limits as normal. With MMS, you have access to 1,600 characters and can send all sorts of multimedia including pictures, animated GIFs, videos etc. Also note that if you want to send multimedia messages, your short code will have to be set up for MMS specifically. Short code MMS doesn't have to be enabled when you first provision the code. It can be done at any time, although it's best to do it when it's first set up.
Opting into a short code is fairly straightforward. Technically, you’re not opting into a code, you’re opting into a text messaging program that uses a short code as its number. In most cases, people opt into SMS marketing programs by texting a keyword to a specific short code. When this happens, you’re consenting to receive future texts. When opting in, you should receive a confirmation text letting you know that you’re subscribed.
Opting out is also very simple. All short code texting services are required to process special opt out keywords that unsubscribe people from future messaging. If you text STOP, CANCEL, END, UNSUBSCRIBE or QUIT to any SMS short code, you will be unsubscribed and receive no further message. You should also receive a one-time automated response confirming that you’ve opted out.
SMS short codes do not work universally in every country. They have to be provisioned for each country that you want to send and receive text messages in. This is because each country has a different set of carriers and network operators to provision your code with.
As an example, if you wanted to secure the short code 888111 for use in the United States, you’d also have to provision the same code in Canada as well. Doing this would give you full North American short code coverage. It would also create a seamless short code texting experience. You would, however, be responsible for the cost of two codes. One for each country.
Before you get started with short code texting, it's extremely important that you find a solid short code service to work with. Most people looking to get started with their own code will work with an SMS marketing service to get it provisioned. Naturally, that service also becomes the platform provider they use for their text messaging.
Make sure that your short code service offers easy-to-use software, has plenty of features and is backed by excellent support. Messaging quality is also a big deal when selecting a service to host your SMS code. Text messaging is not a commodity and some services have poor deliverability. This means your texts aren't making it to your subscribers. Be sure to have a conversation with each SMS service you evaluate about their short code text quality.
If you already have a short code and want to switch from one texting service to another, you can certainly do so regardless of what anyone tells you. Some text messaging services may make it seem difficult or even tell you that it's not possible to transfer SMS short codes, however that couldn't be farther from the truth. The fact is that it's totally doable and the wireless carriers are completely fine with it.
Every short code transfer will be depending on who your current texting service is and who their SMS aggregator is. The good news is that most short code moves can be done with little to no downtime. If done correctly, your subscribers won't even notice the change.
Hundreds of enterprise brands rely on SlickText short codes for our scalability, high-quality message delivery and turnkey platform. Organizations who seek out SMS automation capabilities often partner with us. We exist for those who are serious about SMS marketing. Here are a few of our awesome customers that are using dedicated short codes.
Purple is a comfort tech company that specializes in science-backed sleep products. Their turnkey mobile marketing strategy has been a meaningful part of their success. Purple has partnered with SlickText as their Short Code SMS and mobile marketing service for the extensive featureset and high quality message deliverability.
Yoox is a boutique Italian clothing retailer that focuses on unique clothing for men, women and children. Their customer base is world wide and becoming more mobile every day. They are working with SlickText to power their short code SMS marketing efforts across North America.
Maglite is one of the most popular flashlight brands used by police, military and civilians around the globe. Staying engaged with their expansive and active following is what's helping them to grow their audience. Maglite chose SlickText to power their dedicated vanity short code for all SMS engagements from product warranties to sales and alerts.
There's a lot to understand and figure out before moving forward with a dedicated SMS short code. If you're like most, you'll have outstanding questions that need to be answered before choosing a service and getting started. Here are some of the most common questions we get regarding SMS codes and short code texting.
The cost to have your own dedicated short code will vary based on whether it's a random or vanity code. Random short codes run $500 per month. Vanity short codes will cost you $1,000 per month.
Random short codes are chosen at random and you're assigned whatever 5 or 6 digit number happens to be picked for you. Vanity short codes are ones where you can choose the number and are based on availability. Both short code types are 100% equal in terms of their functionality and capabilities.
The industry average timeline for provisioning a short code is between 6 and 8 weeks however with our unique carrier relationships we're consistently activating our client's short codes up to 4 weeks faster.
A great alternative to using a dedicated short code is a 10-digit toll free number. Toll free numbers are free, immediately available, and can send at speeds similar to standards short codes. They are the next best option if you’re not willing to pay for a dedicated code.
Texting a short code is simple and just like texting other phone numbers. The only difference is that the number is shorter. Simply create a new text message, type the short code where you’d normally put the recipient’s number, type your message and hit send.
Most businesses and organizations will have no problem getting their own dedicated short code. With that said, the carriers do have some strict rules about what message content is prohibited.
There is a well known acronym in the world of SMS called "SHAFT." It stands for sex, hate, alcohol, firearms and tobacco. If your text messaging program promotes content related to these topics or others deemed "risky", getting your short code application approved may be more difficult. In some cases, it will be denied. You can work with your SMS short code service to better understand what your options look like in these cases.
One of the benefits of SMS short codes is that they can send text messages at extremely high speeds. This is referred to as "messages per second" or "MPS." Most short codes can send at rates between 100 and 500 messages per second.
Typically, no. There is currently no algorithmic filtering of short code text messages. This is because your message content is pre-approved during the application process. With that said, if the carriers receive any spam complaints or there is an "audit" on your short code, they may conduct a manual review of your message content.
A short code audit happens when a carrier or auditing agency on behalf of the carriers tests your short code and it fails to meet one or more of the basic requirements. There are varying levels of severity when it comes to audits which range from being required to fix some CTA verbiage to having your short code messaging suspended.
Audit severity depends on what the issue happens to be. It could be anything from forgetting to include opt-out instructions when people opt in, to sending message content that violates carrier guidelines. The majority of short code audits are minor issues and simply require you to update basic verbiage.
All short code texting services are required to process special “opt out keywords” that will immediately take you off any texting list that uses a short code. If you text STOP, END, CANCEL, QUIT or UNSUBSCRIBE to any SMS code, you should receive an immediate response confirming that you’ve been opted out.
With all of the group texting solutions out there, why would you choose SlickText as your SMS short code service? There are hundreds of reasons. Here are a few...
We take the hard work out of provisioning your own SMS short code. From obtaining the code itself, to submitting the carrier applications and getting it connected, everything is handled by us, for you.
While some services will limit your short code's throughput or send rates, our platform is built on an incredibly strong infrastructure that can support sending hundreds of text messages per second per code.