Short Codes To Enhance Mobile Marketing

Short codes provide a new dimension to an SMS marketing strategy. Providing customers with a dedicated company short code will allow them to redeem offers and opt in to valuable communications.

Many companies that utilize SMS marketing are investing in short codes. A short code is a five or six-digit number to which customers send a text message to receive additional offers or to opt in to marketing communications. In a sense, a short code is like a domain name for a mobile platform. Instead of going to a website to opt in to email communications, customers text the short code to opt in to text message notifications.

To understand short codes, think of American Idol. When viewers vote for their favorite performer, they send a text message to a short code, like 3804, that correlates with their candidate. That number, 3804, is an example of a short code. People also see short codes at sporting events. If the stadium staff or television broadcasters put together a quiz or a poll, then fans respond by texting to the short code that matches their preferred response.

Short codes provide companies with several advantages:

--A short code is extremely memorable. When customers forget a web address or a telephone number, they are likely to remember a short code.

--Short codes generate high-quality sales leads because inquiries come from interested customers.

--Companies can use short codes to capture customer data, such as their mobile phone number. Companies can then use this information, with the customer's permission, for future marketing campaigns.

--Short codes are a great way for customers to respond to special offers and promotions. Often, customers will forward promotions that they value, which allows the company communication to go viral.

--With short codes, companies can measure the success of their marketing campaigns. A local or national advertisement featuring a short code will engender customer response, and companies can either continue or discontinue the ad based on customer buy-in.

Companies may use their short codes for a number of purposes:

--Companies may place short codes within television or print advertising. To redeem a special offer or for additional information, customers simply send a message to the short code number.

--Customers can text the short code to receive promotions and product updates. Companies then use the information to assemble their mobile marketing list.

--Companies can implement a viral marketing campaign that provides customers with additional promotional codes. Customers then text their promotional codes back to the short code to receive ringtones, media or additional information.

Companies may choose vanity short codes, which are specific numbers requested by the customer. Companies may also allow the Common Short Code Administration to randomly generate a code for them. Vanity codes, like vanity license plates, cost more than a randomly generated code. However, if the vanity code is more memorable for customers, then the vanity code may be worth the investment. To begin the process of getting their number, customers should contact the Common Short Code Administration. When the code is established, companies can begin to utilize the short code for all sorts of creative mobile marketing campaigns.