What are short codes?

Have you ever seen advertisements along the lines of "Text WORD to 55555" and wondered what that number at the end was all about? That is a short code and they are a common part of text message marketing. They drive customer interaction by making it easier for customers to respond to your messages. 

Short codes come in two varieties: shared and dedicated. Dedicated short codes are leased by businesses. Naturally, it is more expensive to go this route, but it provides customization options, like vanity codes (for instance, Coca-Cola's short code is COKE). 

Shared short codes, just as their name implies, are shared between a variety of businesses. This is a less-expensive alternative that is great for small businesses. With shared codes, what separates you from the other companies using the code are keywords. In the example above, WORD is the keyword that differentiates that company from the others using the 55555 short code. Keywords add flexibility and creativity to your campaign, as your company decides what the keyword is. 

Both the CTIA and the TCPA were set up as consumer protection measures to govern, among other things, short code use. CTIA, or Cellular Telephone Industries Association, is an industry organization that enforces SMS marketing practices on behalf of consumers. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a law dictates how businesses can market to consumers using phones. Adherence to regulations from both the CTIA and the TCPA is a must when using short codes. 

If your business is considering implement text message marketing, Swift SMS Gateway simplifies these processes. They offer the SMS API and gateway needed to launch an effective text message campaign.