SMS Short Codes in Your Marketing Campaigns: The Pros and Cons

Short message service (SMS) is a powerful tool for reaching customers on mobile devices. However, in the crowded world of mobile marketing, it can be difficult to stand out. One way to make your SMS campaigns more effective is to use SMS short codes. Short codes are five or six-digit numbers that customers can use to opt-in to your marketing messages. While short codes have some advantages, they also have some drawbacks. This article will explore the pros and cons of using short codes in your marketing campaigns.

Pros of Using SMS Short Codes

Easy to Remember

Short codes are easy to remember, making them an effective way to encourage customers to opt-in to your marketing messages. Since they are short and simple, customers are more likely to remember them, making it easier to opt-in and engage with your brand.

High Response Rate

According to Esendex, short codes can increase response rates by up to 10 times compared to traditional SMS campaigns. This is because they are easy to use and offer a quick way for customers to interact with your brand. You can increase the chances of customers engaging with your SMS campaign by providing a clear call-to-action and a short code.


Short codes are a cost-effective way to reach customers. While they require an initial investment, once you have a code set up, it can be used multiple times. This means that you can use short codes for different campaigns without incurring additional costs.

Brand Recognition

Short codes can be customized to reflect your brand, making them an effective tool for increasing brand recognition. Incorporating your brand name or a relevant keyword into your short code makes it easier for customers to remember and associate your brand with the campaign.

Cons of Using SMS Short Codes

Limited Availability

Short codes are regulated by the mobile industry and require approval from carriers. This means they are not always available and can be expensive. This can limit the number of campaigns you run using short codes, making them less flexible than traditional SMS campaigns.

Limited Character Count

Short codes have a limited character count, which can be challenging when conveying a complex message. This can make creating effective marketing messages that include all the necessary information difficult.

Lack of Personalization

Short codes do not allow for personalization beyond the opt-in message. This means that customers may not feel as connected to the brand as they would with a personalized message. This can limit the effectiveness of short codes in building brand loyalty and customer engagement.

Opt-In Process

The short-code opt-in process can be cumbersome, discouraging customers from opting in. Since customers have to send a message to a specific number to opt-in, they may be hesitant if they are unsure of what they are signing up for.

Short codes can be a valuable tool for mobile marketing campaigns, but they also have their drawbacks. While they offer a cost-effective way to reach customers and increase response rates, they can be limited in availability and character count. Additionally, the opt-in process can be a barrier for some customers, and the lack of personalization can limit their effectiveness in building brand loyalty. As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to determine if short codes fit your brand.

Tatiana Rehmova

A glass half-full kind of a girl and a believer that everything happens for a reason, Tatiana works in Media Relations and is the Content Producer at Enhancv. She loves writing, spotting inspiring stories, and building meaningful relationships.