Backup Short Codes

short code sms marketingAt we use short codes to send text messages. What is a short code? It’s a 5 or 6 digit phone number designed for mass text messaging. Here are some of the many benefits of using a short code:

1. It is provisioned specifically for mass text messaging.
2. A 5 or 6 digit phone number makes it easier than a 10 digit phone number to collect opt-ins.
3. Messages delivery is essentially guaranteed as the carriers are paid.

SMS Text Marketing was once only affordable for the big brands. Big companies could afford their own expensive short codes known as dedicates short codes. Now, we utilize shared short codes, which allows hundreds of thousands of small businesses to use the same short code for their text messaging. It is very similar to shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting for websites.

Are there any risks to using a shared a short code?

Yes, there can be a risk that some of the other clients on the same short code might violate short code regulations by not engaging in permission-based marketing or sending inappropriate content, thus creating red flags for the wireless carriers. These flags may result in shutting down a short code temporarily or permanently. Theoretically, one client could ruin it for everyone. While it doesn’t happen that often, it could put everyone on the shared short code, and the mobile marketing firm out of business.

What safeguards does put in place to protect its clients? We have a two-pronged approach:

1. Notice on our website there is no way to sign up for a SMS Text Marketing account without speaking to us. This isn’t an accident. We want to speak to every prospective client to ensure that they have good intentions and plan to follow the rules. If we think someone isn’t going use our platform in an ethical manner, then we tell them we can’t accept them as a client. We turn down dozens of clients a week for these very reasons.

2. Even with a filtering process like this, innocent client mistakes can happen. In a scenario where the wireless carriers might want to shut down part or all of our primary short code, we have a contingency plan in place. We have backup short codes. Think of it like an insurance policy. We a hefty fee every month for additional short codes that we may never use. However, it is a small price to pay when it comes to protecting our clients. If anything were to happen, we can essentially snap our fingers to move everyone to another short code.

If you’re looking at other providers see if they’ll just accept anyone who gives them a credit card on their website. Additionally, find out how many short codes they have and what they are. If these safeguards aren’t in place, you are unnecessarily putting your money and business at risk.