SMS short codes

Give customers an easy way to connect.

Power up your opt-in campaigns with a dedicated SMS short code.

Woman on a laptop with SMS bubble examples floating around her.


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Make it memorable.

An SMS short code has just 5 or 6 digits. Much easier to remember than 10, right?


Enable two-way chat.

Want the ability to send and receive messages? Not a problem with a dedicated SMS short code.


Look the goods.

Show your customers you mean business by using the same phone number each time you hit ‘send’.

The return on investment is amazing. It’s such a small price per text message, when you think about it, but we’ve been using them to get $90-$100 transactions. It’s just been really successful.

Wendy Faire, Marketing Manager, Coffex Coffee Pty Ltd

A dedicated SMS short code is oh-so-good for business. Here’s why.

Accelerate the pace of sending.

The sky’s the limit when you use SMS short codes for mass marketing. Without getting too technical, the speed of an outbound text message is up to 400 MPS (that’s messages per second). In other words, fast.

Ramp up opt-in marketing.

Short code texting shines for opt-in SMS marketing. To grow your subscriber list, run a simple promotion asking customers to text a keyword through. Then, sit back and watch your list grow. Too easy.

Know exactly where each chat’s at.

Every conversation with every customer is stored in a shared inbox so your team can see what’s been said before. Your customers get the full chat history on their phone, too.

Want to see for yourself?


Check out more features.

Toll-free numbers.

One toll-free number for all your business calls and texts.

10-digit long codes.

Send text messages to the masses, and receive them, too.

Two-way SMS.

Chat with your customers in the channel they love.


In the United States, you’ve got options for the phone number you use to chat with customers:

  • Short codes are great for inbound SMS and opt-in campaigns. But they’re more expensive.
  • Long codes include 10-digit long codes (10DLC) and toll-free numbers. You can use them for voice and text, and they’re quick to set up.
Compare these features.

Shared short codes were 5- or 6-digit numbers that more than one business could use. They were discontinued in 2022 because of the risk of scams — now, it’s only possible to send from a dedicated SMS short code. Learn more.

A2P stands for application-to-person SMS. In other words, you need to use an application — like your CRM or our MessageMedia platform — to send text messages using your short code.

With SMS short codes, you can only send A2P messages. You can’t send messages from one phone (and SIM card) to another. Learn more here.

When you sign up with MessageMedia, you can choose what type of number you want to use. A dedicated SMS short code is one of four options (the others are 10DLC, toll-free number, or your existing number).

If you select ‘dedicated short code’ when signing up, our sales team will contact you to help you choose a number. Then, it takes 8 to 12 weeks to process and verify your number before you can start sending.

With a vanity short code, you get to choose a memorable phone number. You might pick 5 digits that roll off the tongue (hello, 12345), or 6 digits that spell something relating to your brand (like, 263333 spells COFFEE).

Just note, vanity short codes cost more than regular short codes (which are randomly selected, but have all the same functionality).

All short codes are leased from the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA) and involve a set-up fee. These guys maintain a master list of all available, reserved, and registered short codes.

A short code costs a few hundred dollars on top of admin fees (code costs vary). Your account manager will help you with short code administration. For more info, see our pricing.