Text Message Marketing: What are Short Codes & Keywords?

Mobile marketing has never been more important than it is today. So many people are using mobile phones, and savvy business owners are taking advantage of that trend and are targeting their marketing efforts to reach mobile phone users through various methods, including text message marketing. If you are new to the world of text message marketing, you may be wondering what short codes and keywords are. The following information is designed to explain what they are, to explain legal considerations relating to their use, and to explain why you should be using text message marketing for your local business.

What are Short Codes?

A short code is a number that usually consists of somewhere between 4 and 6 digits. Short codes are only for texting, you cannot call a short code number. If you pay attention, you’d be surprised how many short codes you likely encounter in a given day. One place you may have seen them in the past is on some of the more popular reality television contest shows like America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and American Idol. In such shows, after contestants have performed, they each receive a short code that can be texted at the close of the show to vote for that contestant. However, short codes are not just for voting on popular TV shows. Many businesses use short codes to allow clients and customers to opt-in to receive information and deals.


What are Keywords?

text message marketingMobile keywords are very similar to short codes, with one key difference. While short codes are comprised of numbers, keywords are comprised of letters. A mobile keyword is quite literally a word that an individual will text in order to opt-in to receive communication from your business. Just like short codes, customers can use keywords to obtain discounts or to learn about sales, or to ask questions about particular products or services that a business may offer.


Legal Considerations Relating to Text Message Marketing

As in any other industry, there are legal considerations that must be considered. CTIA, also known as ‘The Wireless Association,’ is an entity that has set forth guidelines for the mobile marketing industry, that help mobile marketing professionals to ensure that they are performing their services properly, within the letter of the law. Generally, your initial message that a customer receives after texting the short code or keyword needs to include:

(1) Your company name,

(2) A description of what type of messages you will send to the customer,

(3) The number of messages they may receive per month,

(4) A keyword that the customer can text for help, and

(5) A keyword the customer can text to opt-out, and a link to your terms and conditions, or contact information for someone at your business who can explain them if needed.

The most important thing to remember is that your customers are opting-in when they text a short code or a keyword. That means that the communication you send them is welcome communication.

Now that you know more about text message marketing, short codes, and keywords, you are ready to take the first step on your path to mobile marketing success. With the help of the professionals at TrueNorth3 Mobile Social Local, Inc, you are sure to create an effective text message marketing campaign that will help you to connect with and engage your customers. Here’s to your success!


To learn more on “How to Use Mobile Marketing Text-to-Win Campaigns for Your Business“, click here

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