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Shared Short Code Numbers: What You Need to Know
Shared Short Code Numbers: What You Need to Know

Learn why shared short code numbers are leaving and how this affects your business

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

In recent years, the texting industry has moved away from offering shared short code numbers as a means of communication between businesses and their customers. This shift is due to various reasons related to security, compliance, and efficiency. In this article, we will explore the factors behind the decline of shared short code numbers and what alternatives are available for businesses looking to engage with their audience via text messaging.

What Are Shared Short Code Numbers?

A shared short code is a 5 or 6-digit number used for sending and receiving text messages(ex: 33222, 77222, 22999). Unlike a dedicated short code, a ‘shared short code’ can be used by multiple brands simultaneously. For each business to share the same 5-6 digits, it gets assigned by keywords of your choice. Some reasons for the Decline of Shared Short Code Numbers include:

  1. Security Concerns: Shared short codes can pose security risks. If one business using the same short code engages in spammy or malicious activities, it can tarnish the reputation of the entire shared short code. This can lead to messages being blocked or filtered out by carriers, affecting legitimate businesses' ability to reach their customers.

  2. Compliance Challenges: Regulations surrounding text messaging, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States, have become increasingly stringent. Using a shared short code can make it challenging to maintain compliance, as multiple businesses need to adhere to the same rules and guidelines.

  3. Limited Scalability: Shared short codes can become congested, especially during peak usage times. As more businesses adopt text messaging for customer engagement, the limited capacity of shared short codes can hinder scalability, causing delays in message delivery.

  4. Customer Experience: The shared nature of shortcodes can result in customers receiving messages from multiple businesses using the same code. This can confuse customers and negatively impact their experience, as it may be unclear which business is sending the message.

Alternatives to Shared Short Code Numbers

  1. Dedicated Short Codes: Businesses can opt for dedicated short codes, which are exclusive to their brand. This provides greater control, security, and compliance adherence. However, dedicated short codes tend to be a more costly solution and may require additional setup time. You can learn more about dedicated short code pricing here.

  2. Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers are a wonderful option for businesses to send and receive text messages. They are typically easier for customers to remember and can be used for voice and text communications. Toll free numbers are the most reliable option on the market right now after you have submitted toll free registration and are fully verified with carriers. You can learn more about toll free registration here.

  3. 10DLC Numbers: 10DLC numbers are traditional 10-digit phone numbers that can be used for text messaging. While they lack the brevity of short codes, they are cost-effective and suitable for businesses with lower message volume. They also offer you the ability to choose your own custom area code. 10DLC numbers require a separate verification process, which you can learn more about here.

Shared short code numbers are no longer the preferred choice for businesses looking to communicate with their customers via text messaging due to security, compliance, and scalability concerns. To ensure a smooth and reliable texting experience, Textedly recommends considering alternatives such as dedicated short codes, toll-free numbers, and long codes. It's essential to evaluate your specific business needs and compliance requirements when choosing the most suitable option for your messaging strategy.

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