A SMS shortcode is a 5 or 6 digit phone number that is used for commercial purposes. The phone numbers are short so that they take less time to message to and are easier to remember. These SMS shortcodes are leased from the mobile phone carriers and are very expensive to own. That’s where a company like Tatango comes in. Tatango buys one of these expensive shortcodes and allows tens of thousands of different companies to share the cost, and in-turn making it affordable for any business.
Wait a second, if tens of thousands of businesses use the same phone number, how do you make sure your customers join only your SMS campaign? Well that’s where a mobile keyword comes into play. A mobile keyword is a word that is unique to only your business. When that word is text messaged to the shared SMS shortcode number, it tells websites like Tatango, which SMS campaign that customer is requesting to join. Pretty cool huh? Below are some examples of both SMS shortcodes and mobile keywords.