Short Codes: A New Way to Contact Customers

Short messaging service, or SMS, is a technical term for many different cellular phone functions such as text messaging. Typically, individuals use text messaging to contact each other about a special event or just to communicate. Businesses can also use text messaging as a way to stay in touch, connect with their customers or promote their products. Unlike individuals, who use their primary phone number as a way to send and receive messages, businesses depend on a remote system called SMS short code, or simply short code, to deliver their messages.
Short Code is a Type of Phone Number
The standard U.S. telephone number contains seven digits, or numbers, minus the area code which is three additional digits. Thus, companies and individuals may have a number such as 123-4567-- regardless of if the number is connected to a landline or cellular phone.
However, a short code generally consists of five numbers-- sometimes six numbers--companies use so their existing and prospective customers can use to receive text messages. For example, a short code can be something like 12435. Companies can go through a SMS provider to obtain the short codes. They choose to receive either a randomly assigned or custom short code.
Custom short codes allow businesses to choose their own number which can aid with the marketing campaign. For instance, custom codes can be similar to companies’ telephone numbers or name since it works on the keypad. The price for custom short codes may be higher than purchasing random codes.
Regardless of if companies pick random or custom short codes, each are different just, like actual telephone numbers. Therefore, no two short codes are alike or the same. Short codes, however, maybe formatted differently by location. Different countries use short codes which may be longer or shorter than the ones used in the U.S. Nevertheless, all short codes typically have at least three digits.
Promoting Products and Services Using Short Codes
When companies use short codes to contact customers, they generally have some kind of marketing strategy in mind. If they want to keep customers coming back to their stores, they may create a special marketing campaign to entice customer patronage. For instance, a bookstore may contact customers with a text message “text FREE to 12435 to receive free electronic book.”
Short Codes were Initially Created to Help Customers
Originally, short codes were primarily used as a way for customers wanting to purchase and download ringtones to their cellular phones. However, as the popularity of short codes grew, businesses found other uses such as contest voting, radio requests and marketing campaigns.