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Here at Opt It, we’re always throwin’ around vocabulary related to text message marketing, and we commonly hear the question, “What’s a short code?” Since this blog’s purpose is to inform and converse with our customers, we’re glad to explain this concept to you in more detailed, every day terms.

The full name of the term “short code” is Common Short Code (CSC). A common short code is a 5 or 6 digit number for the use of text messaging marketing campaigns. Think back to the last time you watched American Idol and you were asked to text in your vote to a 5 digit number- that was a short code!

Opt It’s official definition of a short code is as follows: A short code is a 5 or 6 digit number used to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on cellular networks. Companies that use short codes are approved by the carriers to send text messages into their networks. When you sign up for the Opt It Mobile service, all of your messages will be delivered using short codes, ensuring that your message is received by the cellular carriers and delivered to the intended recipient.

The way that people join your short code is easy. They will text a keyword into your short code number. The keyword is a word that you have chosen as your account or list name. There can be hundreds of different keywords under one short code. So, your keyword is sort of your account name that specifically identifies you within the short code. Every time customers receive a text from you, this keyword will show up, an indicator that this message came from you, so it’s important that this keyword says something about your business. (For example, if you are a restaurant that serves pizza, your keyword could be PIZZA.)

Using a short code versus a regular phone number offers many advantages. Your customers control whether or not they are on your list at all times. They can text in to join your list, and they can also text to be out of your list by texting the word STOP to your short code. This is advantageous because it empowers customers with making the decision of whether they are on your list or not. This way, you will only have people on your list that truly want to be there.

Also, you can watch for trends in the opt in and opt out rates. If you see a lot of opt outs, you can evaluate sent messages and offers to ensure they were applicable and appealing, and then update future messages accordingly.

You can text people one-on-one with a short code as well. If people have specific questions, you can answer them via this system. Using a short code also allows you to sub categorize your list of participants. (Check out the blog post entitled “Intro to Sub Keywords” for more details) This will allow you to send more individualized messages to specific target groups within your list.

Basically, a short code is a number within which you set up your text message marketing campaign to facilitate your mobile marketing campaign. It allows for a more seamless and efficient communication link between you and your customers.

Tags: short code

Posted in: Educational, Industry specific, Info