Shared Short Codes – Buyer Beware
Why is it so important when selecting a text message marketing provider to make sure that the provider doesn’t allow the ability for their clients to import mobile phone numbers?
One simple reason, most text message marketing providers are using what is called a shared short code, which means all their clients text message marketing messages come from the same 5-6 digit phone number. This means that the pizza restaurant across the street, the salon downtown and your business are all sending messages from the same phone number. So what’s the big deal?
When a text message marketing provider allows their clients to import phone numbers, it puts the entire shared short at risk. You can see why here in this example, where we were able to spam 1,000+ mobile phone numbers in under 60 seconds with a text message marketing provider that allowed importing of mobile phone numbers.
When the mobile phone carriers are made aware of text message spam from a text message marketing provider, instead of shutting down individual text messaging campaigns, they shutdown the entire shared short code. This means that every business using that shared short code now is unable to text message their customers.
This happened to Tatango competitor EzTexting in 2010 when T-Mobile said that EzTexting wasn’t following the rules, and therefore blocked all text messages from EzTexting to T-Mobiles’ 34 million mobile subscribers.
How can you make sure that the text message marketing provider you are selecting isn’t at risk of having their shared short code blocked by a mobile phone carrier? It’s actually pretty simple, when doing research on potential text message marketing providers, check the following two things.
- Check to make sure that the text message marketing provider doesn’t allow the ability for their clients to import any mobile phone numbers into their software.
- Check the text message marketing providers’ shared short code against text message spam reporting databases like SMS Watch Dog. In the EzTexting case, their shared short code 313131 had 17 consumer complaints. I’ve attached a few of these complaints below.
If you check those above two things when selecting a text message marketing provider, you will be able to greatly reduce the risk of your text messaging campaign being blocked by the mobile phone carriers.