Why is Shortcode SMS the Premium Service?

Have you ever heard of shortcode SMS?

Have you ever received a promotional message from a short number and wondered if the number is authentic and registered?

Well, yeah—the message received is known as shortcode SMS. But do you know that Shortcode is a premium SMS service?

Do you know that the most effective means of reaching millions of customers across the globe is SMS marketing? Moreover, as per statistics, messages have a response rate of 209%, which is way higher than that of a phone or email. 98% of consumers open SMS, compared to emails, with an opening rate of a mere 20%.

One must know about the types to effectively develop an SMS marketing strategy. The BIG question is, Why is Shortcode the Premium SMS service? Keep reading if you are curious and want to learn more about shortcode SMS. In this article, we will cover all areas of shortcode SMS.

What is a ShortCode SMS service?

A ShortCode is a Short Number Service through which any organization, for its promotion and delivering any message to the public at large, can connect them with mobile users in Pakistan through short and easy-to-remember numbers such as 4-6 digits. In addition, these services are used for mass messaging and can be employed for advertising purposes, responding to inquiries, informing customers about certain events, or employing audience engagement in certain campaigns.

Key Features of ShortCode SMS Services:

1. Short Codes:

Short codes are, in essence, shorter and more specific than a standard phone number and are used in two-way messaging. Digital codes range from 8282, 3456, or 9898, etc.

2. Keywords:

The words or terms are texted to specific shortcodes to begin conversing with the users. Coding with “INFO” and sending to 8282 to get details on a product.

3. Two-Way Communication:

Inbound Messages: Clients communicate by sending messages to the shortened telephone number.

Outbound Messages: organizations react with computerized or typed responses.

ShortCode SMS ServicesBenefits of ShortCode SMS Services:

  • Capable of handling large volumes of messages, essential for large-scale campaigns.
  • Short codes are easier to remember, which boosts customer engagement and response rates.
  • Using dedicated short codes helps establish and reinforce brand identity.
  • Ideal for running marketing campaigns, surveys, and customer feedback loops.
  • Commonly used for secure transactions like two-factor authentication (2FA).

ShortCode SMS ServicesUse Cases of ShortCode SMS Services:

Marketing and Promotions


  1. Marketing and Promotions:

Example: A retail store sends discount codes and promotional offers to customers who text “SALE” to 3456.

Voting and Polling

  1. Voting and Polling:

Example: Television shows like talent competitions invite viewers to vote for contestants by texting the contestant’s name to a specific short code like 8282.


  1. Notifications:

Example: Banks send transaction alerts and balance updates to customers who subscribe by texting “SUB” to 9898.

Customer Support

  1. Customer Support:

Example: Telecom companies provide support where customers can inquire about services by texting “HELP” to 1234.


  1. Authentication:

Example: Online services send OTPs (One-Time Passwords) to users who need to verify their identity by texting “OTP” to 6789.

ShortCode SMS ServicesHow ShortCode SMS Services Works?

  1. User Interaction:

A user sends a keyword (e.g., “INFO”) to a short code (e.g., 8282).

  1. Message Processing:

The SMS gateway processes the incoming message and identifies the keyword.

  1. Response Generation:

The system generates a response based on the keyword and predefined logic.

  1. Outbound Message:

The response message is returned to the user, completing the interaction cycle.

ShortCode SMS ServiceWhy is the ShortCode SMS Service considered Premium?

As identified, shortcodes are classified as Premium SMS for several reasons that can be viewed as complex because it depends on the specialization of the service, its legal framework, and the overall business aspect.

1. High Throughput and Reliability

  • Capacity to Handle High Volumes:

Shortcodes can receive and handle many messages per second and thus can be good to use when running campaigns that need a high delivery rate. Moreover, these are aimed at mass messaging communication and can deliver these messages within specific time frames despite the increased traffic load during certain periods.

  • Network Priority:

Shortcode is a key service feature of mobile carriers; the traffic to these numbers is generally favored over long numbers, which must go through regular delivery services.

2. Easy Recall and Engagement

  • Memorable Numbers:

Users prefer shortcodes because they are easy to memorize compared to regular phone numbers- The result is improved user interest, and response rates are impressive. Also, this memorability is especially important for situations where repeated intentions are called for, and prompt recall may result in immediate action.

  • Brand Association:

Having dedicated shortcodes helps businesses build a positive association with the brand and promote the understanding that they are trusted.

3. Enhanced Functionality

  • Two-Way Communication:

While using shortcodes allows both inbound and outbound messaging, making four options for two-way interaction, including voting, polling, and customer support. It has additional options like auto-responder, keyword routing, and compatibility with customer relations management systems, to name but a few, making using the software easier.

4. Security and Trust

  • Regulated and Approved:

Shortcodes are contrived codes approved by the mobile carrier and regulatory bodies (e.g., Pakistan telecommunications authority) to permit the dutiful and secure utilization of shortcodes. Nonetheless, this serves as a check and balance and prevents individuals who might want to misuse the technology since regulatory bodies encourage only standard and proper use of these technologies.

  • Secure Transactions:

Shortcodes are popular due to the regulation and subsequent reliability of transactions for reputation services such as 2FA or OTP.

5. Cost and Investment

  • Premium Pricing:

While the usage of leasing and shortcodes is quite popular and common, the costs of such services are generally higher than those associated with the usage of long numbers. Also, this notes that despite these heftier prices, the boards afford greater functionality, performance, and dependability than their cheaper counterparts.

  • Dedicated and Shared Options:

Companies have the option of using specialized shortcodes exclusively, as well as shortcodes that are common and used by several companies but with different keywords, depending on the company’s financial capabilities and necessities.

6. Compliance and Regulations

  • Regulatory Compliance:

To qualify as shortcodes, the codes are required to meet standards set down by the telecommunication authorities in use in different regions to ensure that they meet the requirements of the law. In addition to this, compliance assists in preventing members of the general public from receiving unsolicited messages or a single one or a number of fraudulent messages. There are often well-integrated options for moderating user subscriptions, opt-in options, and opt-outs that might be necessary to maintain legal abidance by the business and the desires of the consumer.

Common Examples:

SMS Marketing Campaigns

  1. Marketing Campaigns:

Khaadi or Gul Ahmed, the leading brands for clothes and textiles, typically use short codes, for instance, the code 8282, to transmit special discount offers and other fascinations to the subscribers.

  1. Banking Alerts:

There are numbers like short codes used by HBL and MCB through which transaction alerts, account balance, or OTP for the security of the transaction is given.

  1. Government Services:

The Pakistan Citizen Portal facility helps people to register complaints and feedback and receive service updates through short codes.

  1. Media and Entertainment:

Some examples of other uses of shortcodes include programs where the audience is asked to vote through an sms keyword, e.g., 8282, to vote for their preferred reality show contestant.

Wrapping up:

They also have more throughputs, are reliable, easy to remember, have better features, and are secured. They also meet regulations in premium SMS services. Their capacity to accept a high number of messages, be capable of bidirectional communication, and facilitate secure transactions makes them an essential asset in any effort that involves efficient and secure communication between a business and its customers. The premium cost that accompanies shortcodes is well explained by these elements of differentiation and the tremendous business value they present.