Know the 3 Primary Use Cases for Short Code SMS Texting

Short code for mass SMS texting represents a uniquely powerful way for businesses to share information and get people to act. It’s not about starting immediate 1-on-1 conversations, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s 10-digit numbers for that.

If you want a one-way communication method that guarantees your messages will be read, a 5- or 6-digit number is the way to go. There are three main use cases for short code that you need to know.

Review these use cases and the short code approval process to see why and how to use mass texting in your business.

Marketing and promotions

Short code is a marketer’s dream. A way to deliver a targeted message straight to someone’s phone and they’re pretty much guaranteed to see it? Incredible.

Companies large and small use mass SMS texting to send offers, coupons, and limited-time deals and promote special events or sales. When people talk about text marketing, this is what they mean.

Marketing text messages often include a link to take an action, such as buying now. Some businesses will also direct people to show the text message at a brick-and-mortar location to redeem the offer or coupon.

If you sell anything and want to deliver relevant text messages to your leads and customers, mass text messaging done through short code is a great investment with huge revenue potential.

Text marketing in action

Shine Solar used Skipio to deliver a Memorial Day marketing promotion to hundreds of old leads. With a single text message, they ultimately earned $1 million in sales. In comparison, they sent the same offer through email and essentially nothing happened. A handful of people engaged, but it was nothing like the action from the text.

Granted, not everything comes with a price tag as big as solar — few things do. But the potential revenue impact exists regardless of your industry. The right message sent to the right people at the right time always pays off.

Alerts and notifications

To deliver important information quickly, short code is widely beneficial. Companies often choose to deliver information like the following with short code SMS:

  • Order confirmations
  • Shipping updates
  • Event announcements
  • Basic surveys

These are prime examples of reasons you’d want to share information with customers without needing to have an immediate conversation with them. Yes, these messages open the door for customers to ask questions or get more info. However, it’s not an immediate need in most cases.

Short code notifications in action

Recently I ordered lunch through a food delivery service. I got confirmation that my order was received and on its way from a short code number. I didn’t have to worry about checking my email or leaving the site because those texts were just on my phone.

Then, after my food was delivered, the delivery service automatically reached out to me through a different short code number with a few survey questions. The messages asked me to rate my experience on a scale of 1-5. All I had to do was reply with a number.

So yes, I was replying, but it wasn’t about a conversation. They got me to take action because I wanted to share about my good experience.

One-time messages

One-time or single-use messages are easy to overlook when it comes to mass SMS. But two-factor authentication messages or password reset messages aren’t a small thing!

When your bank needs to get in touch to make sure it’s you signing in from a new device, that message gets delivered from a short code number. That’s a major convenience we all benefit from.

Know your use case? Start prepping to get your short code number

Mass SMS texting isn’t as fast to implement compared to conversational texting. To even get a short code number, you must go through a vetting and application process with mobile carriers. (Here at Skipio, a consulting team guides you through the whole process.)

In this application, you state your intended use case and the number of messages you intend to send. You must also include examples of the types of messages you plan to send.

So, if you apply with the use case of sending promotional text messages and are approved, you can’t suddenly decide you’re also going to use your short code number for sending order confirmations. Those are separate use cases and each must be approved for your designated number.

Read more about the process of obtaining a short code number.

Get opt-ins to start texting

Once you get approved for a short code number, you’ll want to start texting people immediately. But before you text anyone — whether with mass SMS or a 10-digit number — you must make sure you have their permission to do so.

You must always get people’s permission before texting them. Full stop. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter your use case. This is known as the “opt-in process.”

Just like your company already captures opt-ins from prospective and current customers to call or email them, the same logic applies to texting.

Opting in can be as simple as including a checkbox that people must manually mark in order to consent or clearly stating that by submitting your information you consent to certain types of communication. You’ll notice “opt in” language accompanies all the forms on Skipio’s website.

If customers once opted in to receive automated marketing emails from you, that does not mean they opted in to receive text messages. You cannot simply add all your current customers to your text marketing campaigns unless they opted in previously to that type of communication. This depends on how you worded your opt-in language.

Opt-ins can also occur through keywords. For example, texting the keyword SLICE to a short code number gets you coupons from your local pizza place. You’re now opted in to receiving marketing text messages from the restaurant!

After you send the keyword SLICE, you receive a reply from the short code number that says something to the effect of, “Thanks for subscribing. We’ll send you 2 coupons each month via text. Reply STOP to cancel at any time.”

That’s known as an opt out and businesses must honor them immediately.

Start sending text messages in bulk with short code

Mass text messaging enables you to push out targeted content faster and in the most convenient way. Those promotions and alerts get more people to act because the messages come right to their phones. So, take advantage of the tools people already look to and use daily.

Start the process to get your designated short code number with Skipio.