Short Codes

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A short code is a 5 or 6 digit telephone number that’s commonly used by brands to send both SMS and MMS messages to their subscribers. These numbers are short by design as they’re meant to be easy to remember.

What are the Different Types of Short Codes?

There are three types of short codes, known as dedicated, vanity, and shared short codes.

  • Vanity Dedicated Short Code: A dedicated vanity short makes your number extra memorable, especially if you make it spell something out on a cellphones’ keypads. For example, 32623 spells out the word DANCE.
  • Random Dedicated Short Code: A random dedicated short code is a number that’s randomly generated. Random dedicated numbers offer all the same functionality as vanity short codes.
  • Industry Shared Short Code: Shared short codes as their name suggests are used by many organizations, not just one.

Dedicated and vanity short codes are leased monthly starting at $1,000 per month and also involve a one-time setup fee. The setup fee can vary depending on whether you use a random number of a vanity number. 

Shared short codes on the other hand don’t involve any setup or recurring costs. 

If you’re wondering why that’s the case, dedicated and vanity short codes are only used by one business. That brings benefits from brand recognition to the ability to choose any keyword you want.

Why Use a Short Code?

Short codes are best for high-volume messaging and if you plan on using keywords often. 

But–with that said–we encourage customers to use toll-free numbers in the majority of cases, especially if they’re considering shared short codes.

That’s because in October of 2018, AT&T announced its decision to discontinue most shared short codes

They will continue to allow some shared short codes, as long as all the businesses and organizations that use them are in one industry, sending similar types of messages. Despite this, their future remains uncertain.

How Do I Get a Short Code?

If you’d like to use a shared short code or dedicated short code, start a conversation with our onboarding team by clicking the blue chat bubble in the corner of your screen. 

If you’re interested in a shared short code, our team will ask you a few questions about your use case and determine if we have an appropriate one for you!

If you’re interested in leasing a dedicated short code, we’ll put you in touch with a member of our team that handles this to discuss your needs and explain what’s involved.