Why Use Short Codes for SMS Marketing?

  20 July 2015

Very likely you might have received a text message before which sounds like “Great deal! Get the hottest news about Nigerian celebrities at just N5 per day. Text CELEB to 12345”. This is an example of a marketing SMS and the number 12345 is a short code.

What are Short Codes?

Short codes are phone numbers that are usually shorter than the normal telephone numbers. Many businesses use this as a part of their SMS marketing campaigns to get subscribers for such campaigns.

The length and patterns for short codes varies from one country to another, and in Nigeria they are usually four to five digits long.

Why Are Short Codes Important for SMS Marketing?

If you have SMS marketing campaign as a part of your business plans, which you should for numerous reasons, you should be interested in using short codes and for the following reasons:

  • Short codes are generally easier to remember. If your short code is a dialing short code i.e. a number on which people can reach you through a call, your clients will find it easier to memorize it much more than normal telephone numbers. In such cases, they can instantly get across to you at any time with ease.


  • Short codes are perfect for feedbacks because of the length. It is easier for your SMS marketing subscribers to take a ‘call to action’ after reading the message. It’s one thing that makes SMS marketing an effective way of generating customer feedbacks.


  • It ensures increased opt-in rate and easy opt-out. When you want clients to opt-in into your Bulk SMS marketing campaign, short codes are what you would want to use. People are more likely to send a command to a short code than they would to a long digit number. Also, provision to opt-out from a particular SMS marketing campaign is necessary. When the number is a short code, it’s easier to send the opt-out message anytime and keeps the image of your firm.


  • It’s good for large volume messages. Unlike long phone numbers that are designed for sending a single message at a time, short codes are premium and can push out lots of messages all at the same time. This helps for effective outreach of your bulk SMS marketing campaign.


  • It could be used easily for pushing out promos and bonuses to clients. A marketing message that reads “Dear customer. Get 20% off on your next purchase. Text YES to 12345 to accept this offer” can do wonders for your business. The nice thing about this is that it doesn’t take much time to do this and you will be amazed at how successful it might turn out.


  • Easier for monitoring the success of the overall campaign. With the way the short code service is so integrated with the overall system, it is easier to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaign by knowing the ratio of new opt-ins to opt-outs, know the numbers of persons subscribing to your promos and special bundles. These figures can help you know what to do about the SMS campaign, either to continue, to stop it all-together or to rebrand it to get more reward.


  • Finally, Short code can be an integral part of the face of your business. People usually judge validity and trustworthiness to a large degree on customization. A message telling you to text something to a short code is more likely to get a response than that asking to text to a long phone number. People are more prone to neglect the latter. With the fact that short codes are special phone numbers, you may be winning yourself lots of subscribers already.


So if you are planning on starting a new business in the near future, you should think including SMS marketing campaign in your business plans and for good reasons. If you currently have an SMS marketing campaign for your business also and do not use short codes, you should start thinking of including this and experience its ability to transform your business.

To forward your marketing messages though, you need a bulk SMS account. Not just anyone, you’ll need an affordable one that also offers quality service.

We’ve got exactly what you need. Register a free bulk SMS account now if you do not already have one or if you need a better fit. You get free SMS units after registration to see how efficient the service is.

Use the comment box below for your questions, enquiries and contribution on the use of short codes for bulk SMS marketing.


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