Dedicated Short Codes
What Are SMS Short Codes?
A dedicated short code is a number consisting of five or six digits used by businesses to send text messages via a communication platform. This form of text messaging is known as application-to-person or A2P messaging.
As opposed to the regular 10-digit long codes or toll-free numbers, SMS short codes are much easier to remember. They are also easier to associate with your business, which is essential for brand recognition. You’ll also be able to track the number of messages received, allowing you to gain insight into your reach.
How Do Dedicated Short Codes Work
1. Acquiring a Short Code
The first step is to obtain a dedicated SMS short code. This involves working with a mobile network operator (MNO) or a third-party SMS service provider that specializes in them. The process may involve an application, approval, and payment of associated fees.
2. Keyword Setup
Once you have a short code, you can set up specific keywords associated with your business or campaign. Keywords are unique words that customers can send to the short code to initiate a specific action or response.
3. User Interaction
Customers or users send an SMS to the dedicated short code using their mobile phones. The message typically contains a keyword or specific instructions related to the desired action. For example, a customer might text "SUBSCRIBE" to a short code to subscribe to a service.
4. Message Routing
When a message is sent to the short code, it is received by the MNO or the third-party SMS service provider. They handle the message routing and deliver the incoming message to your designated application or system.
5. Application Integration
You need to integrate the short code messaging service with your application or system to handle incoming messages appropriately. This involves developing or configuring software that can receive, process, and respond to incoming messages based on the keywords received.
6. Response Generation
After your application receives the incoming SMS, it can generate an automated response based on the received keyword or instructions. The response can be tailored to provide relevant information or perform specific actions requested by the user.
Types of Short Codes Businesses Use
Vanity Short Code
A vanity short code consists of a memorable set of digits that users can select themselves. This makes them considerably easier to remember, which helps when a customer hears them on the radio or sees them on TV, billboards, or in print. Since the combination of numbers can be selected by the user, vanity numbers can be something like 343434—just the right thing for text message marketing.
Random Short Code
Random short codes are numbers that are generated in a random way, such as 368594. These are often cheaper and come in handy for organizations that are on a budget. Random dedicated short codes resemble license plate numbers and are less easy to remember than vanity numbers.
Benefits of Dedicated Short Codes for Businesses
Dedicated short code SMS messages allow you to connect with your audience more cost-effectively. This is largely due to volume-based discounts as well as low text messaging fees, which is ideal when it comes to mass texting and bulk SMS.
A memorable number as a short code exclusive to your business can be an indispensable part of your SMS marketing strategy. By having your own number, you can reinforce your brand and make sure your recipients instantly recognize the campaigns you send them. Vanity short codes are usually the better choice in this case.
Unlimited Text Keywords
By making use of a dedicated short code SMS service, you’ll be able to unlock any keyword at any time. You may do this for a variety of purposes, such as text-to-join campaigns. The options are virtually limitless when it comes to text keywords.
Safety of Reputation
Dedicated short numbers allow you to have full control over the texts sent over your line. This helps protect your company’s reputation and stay compliant with carrier requirements. Having an exclusive number enables you to align your messaging practices with consumer consent regulations, data protection laws, and other industry standards.
Stability and Scalability
A short code texting service offers the scalability that businesses need to keep up with their growing number of subscribers and high volume of text messages. Having a dedicated short number also guarantees stability on a long-term basis. It also ensures the continuity of messaging campaigns without relying on the availability of shared resources.
Wireless carriers and SMS network providers tend to prioritize texts sent from dedicated codes. This results in better delivery rates and improved reliability. And, in turn, it helps ensure that time-sensitive messages reach their destination without any delays.
Common Use Cases Dedicated SMS Short Code
1. Polls and Surveys
A common use case for exclusive codes is sending out polls and surveys, which is especially common during promotional events. This involves participants texting their votes or opinions to a specific number. Thanks to this, you gain insight into what your audience prefers, allowing you to take effective steps as a result.
2. Text-to-Win Campaigns
Dedicated numbers can also come in handy for text-to-win competitions. You can build your opt-in list by encouraging your customers to send a text keyword to an SMS short code for a chance to win a free product or service.
3. Discounts and Promotions
With SMS dedicated short codes, you can offer text-in options to both loyal and potential customers. Doing so allows you to engage them in a variety of interactive text marketing campaigns. These can be anything from limited discounts to exclusive deals you want to send to a large audience as quickly as possible.
4. Alerts and Notifications
Another reason why it's good to use an SMS short code service provider is when you want to keep your audience updated in real time. It’s often easier for them to opt in using a dedicated number to receive SMS reminders and alerts. These can be delivery updates, activity notifications, emergency alerts, or appointment reminders.
5. Customer Support
Businesses also use short codes to offer customer support via SMS messages. Customers can text questions, concerns, service requests, and other support-related inquiries to a dedicated number. This gives you the efficiency you need to handle incoming communications in a timely manner and enhance customer satisfaction.
6. Information Services
Short numbers can be useful for providing information services like sports scores, news updates, weather forecasts, and stock market alerts. Users can opt in to receive such information by texting certain keywords to the dedicated code.
Setting Up Dedicated Short Codes With Dexatel
As a provider of business messaging solutions, Dexatel offers both vanity and random short codes. Users can benefit from affordable pricing, ease of setup, and dedicated customer support every step of the way.
In terms of cost, both vanity and random numbers have the same price tag with Dexatel, which is $4,500 per quarter or $16,500 per year—including one month for free. The following steps demonstrate how to get started with a dedicated short code:
Create an account with Dexatel or log in if you already have one.
Apply for a short code by filling in the form. You’ll have the option to choose between vanity and random code, in addition to the pricing plan you prefer.
Dexatel will send the request to the network operator for review and approval, which may take a month.
Following the approval of the operator, you’ll receive a notification and may start using your code.
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