Short Code

Short Codes are five or six digit numbers that businesses typically use for sending high volumes of text messages to enhance effective communication with their customers.

Types of Short Codes:

There are actually two types of short codes; shared and dedicated. Shared short codes are used by multiple businesses and each business must have their own unique keywords to separate the traffic. Dedicated short codes are used by only one business, meaning that they and only they control the use of that short code. Within dedicated short codes you also have the option to receive a vanity, or non-vanity short code. Vanity short codes are selected specifically by a business (probably a number they can easily remember) whereas a non-vanity short code is given at random.

Why Are Businesses Using Short Codes?

Short codes have been used for a lot of things, like voting for your favorite artist on American Idol, or receiving updates from your credit card company. Businesses will typically use short codes to provide updates on marketing campaigns, shipping notifications, appointment reminders, service notifications, etc.

How Much Do Short Codes Cost?

Pricing for short codes vary, you can either lease or buy. In the United States, your only option is to lease a short code. Shared short codes will vary per message, but the cost of the number is typically free. Dedicated short codes, however, cost $1000 a month for vanity, $500 a month for non-vanity.

Where Can I Get Short Codes?

Businesses can receive short codes from the United States Short Code Administration if you want to go direct to the source. Typically, business will use an SMS provider, or an SMS API provider, like Bandwidth, to acquire the short code for them.


What Consumers Need to Know about Short Codes

Short codes are aging out and considered a limited commodity, as there are only about 6,000 available. Each carrier must approve a business’s campaign before handing over a short code to ensure that it will not be spam or a threat. Due to lack of volume, lots of businesses use shared short codes which today, can cause your numbers to be blocked or blacklisted.

The best alternative to short codes are toll-free numbers. You can get more value out of your toll-free phone numbers by text enabling them, provisioning your numbers faster, delivering a better customer experience, and saving money.

How Bandwidth is Involved with Short Codes

Bandwidth does not currently sell or host short codes, more information to come regarding this in the latter half of 2019, but we support most U.S. and Canadian short codes.

Bandwidth offers toll-free SMS in lieu of short codes to provide our customers with the best possible messaging experience. Bandwidth’s toll-free SMS offering enables messaging capabilities like PIN codes, notifications, and other customer communications that provide a better user experience. Bandwidth’s toll-free SMS is one feature that we offer through our SMS Messaging API. Bandwidth’s SMS API allows users to incorporate messaging into their applications easily and seamlessly.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Bandwidth’s APIs?

Bandwidth owns and operates one of the largest All-IP Voice Networks in the nation. On this network, Bandwidth has built a full suite of communication APIs to meet the ever-growing needs that our customers face to incorporate more ways for their customers to engage with what matters to them. Bandwidth offers services for voice, messaging, 911 access and phone numbers. Bandwidth allows for Voice and Messaging to be easily integrated into a businesses platform to create a better user experience that empowers users to communicate even farther with your business.

Since Bandwidth owns and operates the network, our customers are able to enjoy fast, reliable communication services, scalability, and cost savings. Bandwidth offers our customers world class support with a 24/7 NOC team that is there to address issues as soon as they arise. In addition, Bandwidth’s communication services are built to scale. Whether you are a small start-up or an enterprise giant, Bandwidth services can scale to meet your needs. In addition, partnering with Bandwidth lets you avoid dealing with a middleman. This means more cost savings for your business while connecting with a service you can trust. Bandwidth has mastered SMS APIs, so you can focus on what matters most to you.


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