Shared vs. Dedicated Short Codes: What Do You Need to Know?

Let's say your company has finally decided to make the transition from email to SMS marketing. That's great! Before we discuss some of the finer points of SMS marketing, such as shared vs. dedicated short codes, let's talk about why that switch was so important in the first place.

"Engagement rates are 5x higher on SMS than they are on email."

According to FunMobility, mobile is becoming the best way to interact with customers. In fact, engagement rates are 5x higher on SMS than they are on email. Why is that? Because open rates are nearly 97 percent higher on SMS than email.

SMS marketing is easy to employ and revolves around the customer allowing the company to text him or her. Couple that the already-habitual behavior of opening text messages, and the company using SMS short codes has set themselves up for a winning campaign.

Now the question is: What does a company need to know before they start promoting using SMS? They first need to understand the difference between shared and dedicated short codes.

What is a short code?

A short code is just what it sounds like. It's a short five or six digit number, similar to a short telephone number. A business assigns a word or phrase to that number, and anybody who texts that word or phrase to the company is opted into whatever it may be promoting.

Shared vs. dedicated

Let's say Joe's landscaping service has a shared short code 128711. Joe's keyword is "lawns." Now, Judy's Flower Shop could also use the same short code, but Judy would use the keyword "flowers." See how two different companies can use the same short code but have different keywords? It'd be nice if each company could have their own dedicated keyword, but often this depends on their marketing budgets.

SMS marketing is often easy to deploy, but it's vital that you understand its intricacies before jumping into it.