SMS Short Code: How to Get One and Use it to Level-Up Your Marketing

Today’s business landscape is full of digital innovation. The most successful business are the ones that stay ahead of their competitors by using technology to claim a larger slice of the market, increase sales, and build stronger relationships with their customers.

There is one powerful marketing channel that your business can start leveraging today. It only takes a few minutes to get started and will help you connect with customers easily.

We’re talking about SMS text message marketing.

Through the combination of targeted Keywords and short codes you can start building immediate conversations with your audience.

But — what is a short code and how does it help you unlock rapid text message marketing success? Keep reading and you’ll learn how to get a short code and how to use it to achieve text message stardom.

How to Get an SMS Short Code

Before you get started, it’s important to know that there are a few different kinds of short codes. These are shared, dedicated, and vanity codes.

These codes are typically five to six characters in length and are paired with a simple Keyword phrase like SUBSCRIBE.

A shared code is the easiest to get. As soon as you partner with a text message provider like EZ Texting, you'll get access to a shared short code automatically that you can start using right away to launch your campaigns.

If you want to purchase dedicated or vanity codes then you have to apply for one. A dedicated and vanity short code usually makes sense for large businesses or marketing agencies. These types of short codes allow businesses and agencies to transform their mobile marketing experiences. With access an exclusive number, businesses and agencies can use any Keyword they like.

At EZ Texting, we have a support team that works with you to assist in the process of provisioning one and getting approved. The approval process can take several weeks, but our experts know how to help you navigate the potential roadblocks that can slow down your approval.

After you get your account created and you have your short code, it’s time to start planning and executing on your first campaigns.

Keep reading to learn how to use your new code to unlock the full value of your text message service to create high-impact and engaging marketing campaigns.

How to Use an SMS Short Code to Level-Up Your Marketing

In-Store Signage

You can advertise your SMS marketing campaigns anywhere in your store that it seems appropriate and where you feel that it would be engaging. You can advertise in places like:
  • On your in-store displays.
  • Cleverly placed on your product tags.
  • Included in on your coupons.
  • Placed on your receipts.
  • And even on your floor mats.

Email Marketing

SMS marketing may seem like it's drastically different from email. However, there are a lot of similarities that make it the perfect complement to your email marketing efforts.

Text messages can be used for short, time-sensitive communications like appointment reminders, sale alerts, and event notifications. Email can be used to send longer content and additional information directly to their inbox.

You can tell people about your text message campaign in the email so that they can subscribe or take advantage of those offers. Likewise, you can send a message to people telling them to check their email for additional details.

Sending SMS messages allows you to take advantage of the fact that 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery while still being able to provide longer, relevant, information to your audience.

Saddleback Church

“To learn more about Saddleback, text EASTER to 313131”

Saddleback Church knows how to use text message marketing and email together in a very powerful way.

During their busiest services, they ask people in attendance as well as the ones that are tuning in on the radio to send a Keyword to their short code get more information.

The workflow would look something like this:

  1. The listeners send a text that says “EASTER” to 313131
  2. An automatic response was sent back to the people that texted in. It asked them for their email address.
  3. As soon as they replied with their email, the message was passed to Saddleback’s system.
  4. Their reply triggered an email message that contains more information about Saddleback that was then sent to the subscriber.

Social Media Marketing

When it comes to spreading the word and building up your text message subscribers, leveraging your social media audience is a great way to do it. You can publish a post that invites them to text in to subscribe to get discounts, updates about upcoming events or sales, get help, and more.

Crawfish Junction

“Check out our all new Text Club! Just text CRAWFISH to 31996 to join.”

Crawfish Junction uses their social media in conjunction with print flyers to promote their text message subscription.

People that join their Text Club receive notifications about upcoming events, specials, and coupons as well. They also give an incentive of $5 off your next appetizer just for signing up.

Your Website

Combining text marketing with your website can provide even more value to your audience.

You can include calls-to-action for them to send a message with the Keyword to your short code in the header of your website, in your blog articles, or on other prominent areas.

Using this call-to-action can be a great, low-friction, way to get your website audience to take the next step.

Saddleback Church

“To get Paster Rick’s Spiritual Renewal Checklist text SB SLOW to 313131”

Saddleback Church makes it to this list once again. Not only do they know how to use their text message marketing during their life sermons, but they also know how to integrate it in with their blog articles.

In this article, they summarize Pastor Rick's message. They ask you to send a text message to receive a copy of his spiritual renewal checklist so you can see where you're currently at as well as learn which areas you need to work on.


You can include a simple call-to-action for your SMS marketing campaign on your product packaging. Including messages on packaging is a strategy that is being used more and more to grow subscriber lists, especially by fast food restaurants.

They have a short window to get their customer’s attention as they go through the drive-thru. Putting a message on the packaging that they take with them is a great way to get their attention.

Taco John’s

“Text CHAMP to 25519 for your chance to win.”

Taco John’s launched a three-way marketing promotion. They use text message marketing to run a contest.

Then they promote that campaign on their boxes and on their social media page using “Text CHAMP to 25519 for your chance to win.”

This text-to-win strategy helps them convert customers into subscribers easily while they eat their meal.

Creative Campaigns

Text message marketing can be used in a lot of creative ways in your campaigns to help make them even more successful.

Mean Girls

“I’ve got gossip… text ‘FETCH’ to 797979.”

Situation, a New York-based digital agency, used EZ Texting in their Broadway musical Mean Girls. They used their catchphrase “FETCH” in their campaigns.

They transformed the restrooms of BroadwayCon into high school bathrooms right out of the show. Instead of scrawling burns, the graffiti on the bathroom mirrors told visitors “I’ve got gossip… text ‘FETCH’ to 797979.”

The auto-reply included a selfie of the show’s queen mean girl, Regina George, and a quick message that sounded like it came straight from her.

Throughout the convention, they continued to send funny messages to keep interest up.

This creative message series boosted direct engagement and was a total hit on social media. Fans continued to tweet their appreciation for the campaign after it ended.

Get Started with EZ Texting

Leveling-up your marketing using the full value of business text messaging is the key to getting a competitive advantage in your industry. You can use SMS messages to achieve higher customer engagement and boost your revenues.

In just 5 minutes, you can set up an account with EZ Texting and get started creating high-impact SMS marketing campaigns. You can get a short code and integrating it into your marketing strategies.What are you going to do with your code?

  • Will you use your code as part of your in-store signage like Ace Hardware?
  • Or will you follow Saddleback Church’s example and integrate your code into your email marketing and website?
  • Maybe you will integrate your code into your social media marketing campaigns.
  • Or you might learn from Taco John’s and add your code to your product packaging.
  • Can you invent a creative campaign like Mean Girls to connect with your audience?

No matter what strategy you want to start with, our support team is here to help. We’ve helped over 160,000 business grow with text message marketing and we want to help you too.

Download our guide on 4 Strategies for Successful Text Message Marketing to learn how to use one of the fastest growing, most effective ways to connect with customers.

You’ll learn how to promote your goods and services, increase engagement, send alerts quickly, and even automate appointment reminders.

4 Strategies for Successful Text Marketing