What Isa 6-Digit Number?

Also known as short codes, 6-digit numbers are phone numbers created by wireless carriers for brands to use as sender IDs.

Companies and organizations often utilize these codes for bulk messaging purposes as well as two-way conversations with customers. Unlike 10-digit numbers, customers can’t call a 6-digit code as it only supports texting. Short numbers can also consist of 4 or 5 digits in certain cases, depending on the country and other factors. 

There are two types of 6-digit dedicated short codes: vanity and random. Vanity short codes are unique numbers that the business gets to choose; for example, 474747. A random 6-digit code, on the other hand, consists of a random set of digits, such as 235689. 

How Do 6-Digit Codes Work?

Companies and organizations in the United States often obtain 6-digit numbers from the Short Code Registry, previously called the Common Short Code Administration. Businesses get permission from recipients before communicating with them. Then, they use the codes to send and receive text messages.

A common way to obtain customers’ consent is by having them text a keyword to the short code. For example, a coffee house brand can use the word “COFFEE” to get more opt-ins. Customers subscribe by texting “COFFEE” to the company’s 6-digit short number. The coffee house can then send marketing campaigns to those who opted in.

Other methods of getting permission include website subscription forms and mobile widgets. 

Benefits of 6-Digit Phone Numbers

1. Being Easy to Remember

6-digit short codes are easier to remember than 10-digit phone numbers, boosting customer engagement and brand recognition. This is especially true for vanity codes, which tend to be even more memorable than their random counterparts.

2. Cost Effectiveness

As opposed to more traditional methods, sending messages via short numbers allows businesses to reach their audiences more cost-effectively. This situation arises because most SMS platforms offer low texting fees and volume-based discounts.

3. Enhanced Brand Image

Using a short code for SMS campaigns instead of a long code can help develop an established brand image. Besides boosting brand recognition, it gives the impression that the company employs modern and efficient methods of communication.

4. Speed and Flexibility

Random short codes allow for the fast delivery of messages and offer flexibility for innovative text marketing campaigns. Brands can use them to send mass texts and make sure they reach a wide audience as quickly as possible. 

5. Improved Deliverability

Wireless mobile carriers give priority to messages coming from 6-digit phone numbers. As a result, businesses that make use of these codes enjoy higher delivery rates and enhanced reliability. This also helps guarantee that important messages reach the intended recipient without delay. 

Common Use Cases of 6-Digit Short Codes

Promotional Messages

Businesses use 6-digit codes to send promotional texts like flash sales, special offers, company news, product release announcements, and more. Short codes are also ideal for SMS loyalty programs

Reminders and Confirmations

Another use case of SMS short codes has to do with appointment reminders and booking confirmations. Dental clinics, beauty salons, and other service-based practices often schedule reminders to go out automatically before the appointment. 


Using verification codes and two-factor authentication is a common way to help customers securely access their accounts. This involves entering a one-time password, which the business can provide via the SMS short number. 

Feedback Requests

Conducting SMS surveys from a 6-digit number is an effective way to gather customer feedback. Customers can conveniently provide their input, such as a star rating, and businesses can easily analyze the data. While short surveys can be part of the text message itself, an SMS hyperlink is necessary for including long-form questionnaires. 

Customer Support

With two-way communication available, companies and organizations can use short numbers to provide assistance to customers. Moreover, integrating an SMS chatbot helps to free up time and resources by automating responses to frequently asked questions. 

Emergency Alerts

Considering the delivery speed that short codes offer, organizations and public services make use of them to deliver emergency messages. These can include extreme weather alerts, public safety announcements, and other urgent information. In turn, recipients can take appropriate action on the spot.

Businesses That Use 6-Digit Short Code

  • Retailers: Retail stores often send discounts, special offers, and other promotional texts to their customers via short numbers

  • Food and beverage industry: Restaurants use 6-digit short codes to send SMS texts for reservations, combo deals, or new menu items

  • Financial institutions: Banks and credit unions make use of short codes to deliver transaction alerts, security updates, and account balance notifications

  • Non-profit organizations: Non-profits reach their audience with fundrsaising campaigns, event announcements, and volunteer opportunities using short numbers

  • Mobile apps and games: Gaming companies use short codes to share in-game rewards, verification passwords, and app updates

  • Automotive industry: Car dealerships and manufacturers employ short numbers to schedule test drives, send car service reminders, and promote new models

  • Travel and hospitality: Short numbers are common among hotels, airlines, and travel agencies for delivering flight updates, confirming reservations, and sharing deals

  • Event promoters: Using 6-digit short numbers, event organizers and promoters send event details, ticketing information, and promotions for concerts, conventions, and sports

  • eCommerce platforms: Online retailers make use of short codes to provide order confirmations and shipping updates

  • Healthcare providers: Healthcare facilities reach out to patients with health tips, appointment reminders, and prescription refill alerts using short codes

  • Transportation and logistics: Freight forwarding companies and other businesses send delivery updates and package tracking updates

How to Get a 6-Digit Code

The easiest way to obtain a 6-digit short code is through an SMS platform provider. Start by creating an account with a business messaging platform that offers short codes as part of its features. Next, apply for the code by filling out any required forms.

The platform provider will then send the request to the carrier for review and approval. Once the carrier approves the short code, you can start using it to send SMS and MMS messages.

Another method of getting a short number is by applying for one directly from a relevant entity. In the United States, companies and organizations lease dedicated short codes from the Short Code Registry or the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA). The next step involves registering your brand with cellular providers by submitting paperwork for approval, verification, and safelisting. This prevents your SMS messages from ending up in spam filters. 

Compliance and Regulations

Using 6-digit numbers comes with responsibilities. Businesses must abide by regulations when sending text messages via short codes. This includes being compliant with the CTIA, adhering to regulations like the TCPA, and being familiar with carrier-specific rules. 

These laws are mainly about obtaining consent from recipients and offering clear-out choices. It’s also crucial to take security measures when handling customer information. Consulting legal experts in this field can be helpful for businesses to figure out complicated regulations and use short numbers responsibly. This reduces the risk of legal consequences and helps protect brand reputation.