An SMS short code is a 5-6 digit phone number that is used by businesses to opt-in consumers to their SMS programs, and then used to send text message coupons, offers, promotions, etc. to those customers that had previously opted-in. Short codes are “short” by definition as they are meant to be easily remembered when sending a text.
People opt into SMS marketing programs by texting a word or phrase known as a “keyword” to a short code. They are specifically meant to be shorter than normal phone numbers to make the opt-in process easier. .Additionally, short codes are capable of sending extremely high volumes of text messages in a short period of time. This makes them the optimal choice when looking to reach large amounts of people.
You can get it from companies or sites that offer short code services in Nigeria. You cannot get it directly from MTN, GLO etc. Big Brother Africa, Project Fame are examples of TV programs that use “short code” for SMS voting. It can also be used for SMS competitions, Text 2 Win promotions, Charity SMS donations and can also be used to provide information services eg health tips etc
The way people that text a short code are billed is different from the way they are billed when they text GSM numbers. Short code have the following tariff, N30, N50, N100. The tariff is the airtime value that will be deducted whenever anyone respond to the code.
The Different Types of SMS Short Codes
Shared Short Codes
Shared codes are simply any SMS short code that multiple businesses or brands use. Organizations normally share short codes because of their cost. . Sharing allows companies who aren’t willing to pay the large price tag, or who are new to SMS marketing, the ability to launch an SMS program for a much lower cost.
Because people opt into text messaging programs using keywords, the “pool” of available keywords for any business to use becomes limited as more people share a single number. Most SMS short code services make use of shared codes for all of their users
Dedicated Short Codes
Dedicated codes are ones that are used only by a single business or brand. You typically see dedicated SMS short codes being used by larger companies, ones that have the additional budget, or that need access to any and all possible keywords. Because they are used by one organization only, they’re not sharing the pool of available keywords with anyone else. Additionally, you have full control over what types of text messages are sent through your number.
There are two types of dedicated short codes which are,
- Random short codes– When you apply for a new code, you have no control over what the number will be. A random 5 or 6 digit text number is assigned to you.
- Vanity short codes– this gives you the option of choosing what your number will be. You can choose between a 5 or 6 digit number as well.
Benefits of a Dedicated SMS Short Code
- Choose your own number
- No keyword restriction
- Control your messaging
- Dedicated throughput
How To Get Started
To get started, please do the following;
1. You MUST have registered Business Name
2. You MUST be able to show the Proof of Business Ownership
3. You must provide a Documentation about usage of the short code
4. Copyright issue on the idea and bank statements/guarantee might be requested too depending on what you want to use the short code for.
How To Make Money From SMS Short Code Services in Nigeria
- Acquire your own SMS short code
- Get people to respond to your short code. The more people that know and respond to your short code, the more money you make
- Promote your SMS short code via bulk SMS marketing
How much you make from a short code depends on the agreed sharing percentage between you and the issuing company. On a neutral ground, the issuing company gets 50% while you get 50% too.
Once a GSM user responds to your GSM short code, lets say with an MTN number, MTN will deduct their own money immediately. The remainder is now what you and the issuing company will share based on your agreement during the set up process.