Short Code Texting Facts

Short Code Texting

From retail businesses and nonprofit organizations to real estate and restaurants, text messaging is used by more businesses than ever before. If your business or organization is struggling to attract customers or members, text marketing is a proven, cost-effective, and results-driven solution.

The savviest business owners, marketers, and administrators know that a text marketing campaign starts with a short code. Whether you’re just getting starting with text marketing or you’re a seasoned veteran, take some time to familiarize yourself with this mission-critical text marketing component.

What Is Short Code Texting?

A short code is the foundation of any successful text marketing campaign. Here’s everything you need to know about short code texting.

Short Code Texting Overview

A short code is a five or six-digit number that businesses or organizations use as a key element of a text marketing campaign. When paired with a Keyword, a short code allows text recipients to take advantage of a promotion, donate to a worthy cause, and more. There are hundreds of potential use cases for text marketing!

Using a Short Code to Create Groups

Most businesses and organizations use short codes to create groups. As a best practice, it’s a good idea to categorize recipients based on the promotions they’ve engaged with, types of donations they’ve made, and more. This kind of segmentation ensures that recipients receive the right kinds of text marketing communications.

Not every contact will care about every special offer, event, or volunteer opportunity. By dividing your database into various groups, you can create more relevant texts. Additionally, with more specific and targeted messaging, you will reduce the number of messages you send out and pay for.

Shared, Dedicated, and Vanity Short Codes: What’s the Difference?

There are three different options for short code numbers. Most businesses manage perfectly well with a shared short code, but some prefer dedicated or vanity short codes. Which solution is right for your business or organization?

Shared Short Codes: A shared short code is a number that is shared by multiple clients of the same text marketing provider. A shared short code is ideal for small to medium enterprises with a limited marketing budget, as use of the shared number is usually provided free of charge by the service provider. Typically, shared short codes are easy to remember. For example, EZ Texting’s shared short code number is 313131.

In order to distinguish between clients using the same shared short code, newly opted-in contacts and responses to text message marketing campaigns are placed into each client’s database according to the Keyword used. Naturally, this means different companies using the same short code cannot use the same Keyword.

Dedicated Short Codes: A dedicated short code gives businesses and organizations unlimited access to specific Keywords. In this scenario, you can either rent the Keywords long-term or lease a dedicated short code to access any Keyword. A dedicated short code is ideal for businesses and organizations interested in developing a marketing-critical Keyword.

Despite the effort involved and the cost of leasing dedicated short codes (usually upwards of $600 per month), plenty of businesses choose this option because of the opportunities it provides. Also, random dedicated short codes are often difficult to remember. As such, many businesses opt for vanity short codes.

Vanity Short Codes: A vanity short code typically spells out a word related to the business or organization’s name. For example, Toys R Us used 78697. This number spells out the word “RTOYS.” Walmart uses 40303, Twitter uses 40404, and 7-Eleven gets top marks for acquiring the vanity short code 711711.

Typically, vanity short codes cost upwards of $1,000 per month to lease. Additionally, businesses have to go through the cellular network approval process before being able to use the number in text marketing campaigns.

Getting Started With Short Code Texting

Getting started with short code texting might feel a bit overwhelming. What strategies and tactics do you need to prioritize out of the gate in order to be successful?

Fortunately, we’ve helped more than 160,000 businesses and organizations just like yours. We know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to text marketing and we’ve compiled all of those insights into one convenient and easy-to-read guide.

The 9-Step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing will point you and your business or organization to text marketing success. From acquiring a short code to deploying results-driven text marketing campaigns, use these expert insights to guide your text marketing journey. Are you ready to begin? Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing


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We use EZ Texting to administer a portion of our nutrition coaching…We have found that sending it right to them, eliminating the login or check your email step, has improved our read rate and adherence by at least 60%. In health and fitness, that’s the name of the game!

Jaclyn Weber
Marketing Director
Faithfully Fit


Fidelis Freight

The trucking industry is struggling to recruit and retain long-haul truckers. Fidelis Freight has found that text message marketing is great for helping attract employees and fulfill carrier loads. Through text, candidates are reaching out for next steps, requesting job applications, and joining the workforce at a far faster rate than ever before.

Aeroflow Healthcare

By implementing EZ Texting, Aeroflow has been able to improve the team’s efficiency, increase patient happiness, and add to the company's bottom line. After automating verification requests, renewal reminders, and order confirmations via text, Aeroflow employees have gotten back the time they needed to complete other tasks.

Big Brother Big Sister Foundation

EZ Texting’s communication platform has enabled BBSF to increase donation volume and efficiency. Since text open rates are 6X greater than email open rates, donors receiving text outreach have proved more likely to see and respond to text communications, resulting in higher donation volume.

Emails: 20% Open Rate, Slow Response Times

Social Media: Costly, Low Engagement

Texts: 90% Opened in 1st 3 Mins, Inexpensive


We'll load your account with 100 text messages. No credit card required.