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How to Get a Short Code for Text Message Marketing

A short code is a truncated short phone number that is used in automated text message marketing.  It is also a highly effective means to connect with consumers and communicate short messages via SMS.

Companies can use a shared short code that is offered by many mobile marketing companies in the USA and Canada.  With a shared short code, the marketer has the advantage of not having the high start up and monthly fees associated with a dedicated short code.  The disadvantage of a shared short code is that it is possible that a popular keyword (pizza for example) may not be available on the short code since only one advertiser can use each keyword.  Most do-it-yourself text message marketing sites use a shared short code.

Larger companies may prefer to obtain their own dedicated short codes.  It may be that the company wishes to utilize a particular vanity that is associated with its business.  Or, they may be doing enough business to warrant the cost of the short code.

Short codes are not cheap.  The carriers charge a cumulative $3500 for the initial investment in obtaining a new short code.  In addition, the owner of the short code will be required to pay a quarterly fee in advance of the three month period for the dedicated short code.  A vanity short code, which is a particular number requested by the company, costs $1000 per month.  A random short code, assigned by the regulator, costs $500 per month.

To see what short codes are available, a business can visit US Short Codes.  Unless you are going to be providing the interactive text message technology yourself, however, we recommend that you reserve the code, then ask your provider to contract for the short code.  Write it in the contract so that the provider will allow you to take the short code with you should you decide to change vendors at a later date.

In the United States today, there are more than 4,200 registered and active short codes.  Of those registered, 40% are vanity short codes.

9 in the News

Advanced Telecom Services released its version 2.0 of its mobile marketing software on February 4, 2009.  The new do-it-yourself mobile marketing site is named and is named after the short code which delivers its interactive and broadcast text message promotions.

Check out in the news.

Mobile Marketing Solution Debuts by PR Web.

ATS Unveils Self-Serve Ad Solution by SocialTimes.




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