Short codes are 4 or 5 digit numbers allocated by a telecommunication operator for a company which would like to send messages directly from the SMSC (Short Messaging Service Center). In plain terms, it provides a direct connection to send large volume messaging from the telco’s servers. They are widely used for television programs and game shows to collect viewer responses.
Businesses have also started using these for “response marketing” – sending messages to customers and requesting them to respond back with an answer. A typical strategy is utilizing SMS to solicit comments to a marketing campaign or query or offer customers a coupon, brochure or signup to a service or enter to win a competition by responding with a text message to a short code.
Short codes are very effective tools for this the person responding does not need to remember a long 7 or digit number. In addition, people are more likely to use their phone to quickly send a text message as a response when prompted rather than read through a full email or go online to fill a form.
Using a complete request-response service like Reson8 from Unique Computer Systems, also allows the business to send a confirmation back to the person responding to the campaign to confirm the receipt of the message.
Clinics, hospitals, meeting organizers, and other such businesses can now easy reduce the chance of no-shows by setting up a short code and asking customers to respond to appointment requests using text messaging. These responses can directly be fed into the appointment tracking system or collated in an Excel sheet for review by the appointment scheduler.