Why we love SMS short codes? (And you should too!)

Aug 23, 2017 8:41:46 AM / by Belmond Victor

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A lot has been written about how WhatsApp is taking over the texting world. However, on digging deeper, it can be unearthed that WhatsApp due to its limited offerings to B2B customers has not really gained any ground with large and growing organizations. Particularly in UAE, businesses prefer Short Code SMSes to WhatsApp due to its dependable and unfaltering service.

Companies use short code SMS to communicate with their customers. Short code SMS is exactly what it sounds like - a shortcut for a phone number. Digital marketing specialists love SMS short codes. These are most handy for mobile marketing because they are easier to remember and type when compared to an entire phone number. Besides the ease of sending SMS, short code is also unique in the way it can be tracked and monitored.

Why are SMS short codes and 2-way SMSes in such demand?

2 Way SMS and short code SMS are used by various industries for marketing purposes. They are beneficial if you are interacting with customers and even for large organizations to communicate with their internal staff.  In fact, 2 Way SMS is a preferred way of interacting with customers for different types of activities – including appointment alert reminders, customer feedback, polling and making purchases.

The best SMS communication systems are equipped with inbuilt message tagging systems that keep an effective track of conversations, lets you know when each message is opened, gives a comprehensive report on the performance of your communication and seamlessly integrates with your existing business applications.

Short code SMS are best for marketing if the intent is to reach out to your customers with a new advertisement, disbursing discount coupons, running contests, sending out product updates or any other promotional messages. The advertisement should have a call-to-action for the short code SMS to achieve its purpose.

Types of short codes

SMS service providers offer several types of short code SMS services including dedicated and keyword based short codes. When a business purchases its own short code, it is termed as a dedicated short code. This short code has the option of getting associated with a number of relevant keywords that can be identified with the product being advertised. For example – a University could use – SPOTOFFER as a keyword short code. However, dedicated short codes are not for all businesses.  Acquiring a dedicated short code is a lengthy and an expensive process. Besides, the organization must also be equipped with the technical expertise to implement a dedicated short code.

A commonly used alternative is the shared short code and as the name suggests it is shared by a number of businesses. The shared short codes are typically available with SMS gateway companies who can offer the best package to you depending on your need. Shared short codes are a cost-effective way of sending bulk messages to customers for various purposes.

Short code SMS in UAE

In UAE, the short code is of four digits and some of the major GSM telecom operators offer this service to their VAS providers. Messages can be sent in English and Arabic. Also, all SMSes must be sent between 7am and 9pm (UAE time) only and must not include content like betting, gambling and adult content. It is also best to steer clear of political and religious content. By the regulations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), an opt-out message must be given to the customers. This however is not applicable for organizations which own a database of customers who have agreed to receive such campaigns. Auto-replies do not need to include the ‘opt-out’ text. UAE has strict laws and filters on SMS messages. It is best to consult an expert SMS gateway provider for sending out bulk messages.

Do you want to know how you could use short code SMS and 2 way SMS to promote your business?

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Topics: SMS Marketing

Belmond Victor

Written by Belmond Victor