Political SMS Marketing Resources > QA Videos > What is Short Code Provisioning?

What is Short Code Provisioning?



In the video above, Tatango CEO Derek Johnson answers the question, “What is short code provisioning?” Prefer to read instead? No problem, please see the post below. You can also find answers to all of your SMS marketing questions in our Q&A video library; click here to browse.


What Is a Short Code?

A short code is a five- to six-digit phone number that is used by brands to communicate with their customers. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and other major wireless carriers developed SMS short codes as an alternative to regular 10-digit mobile phone numbers. Compared to traditional 10-digit phone numbers, SMS short codes are much easier for consumers to read and recall as they are about half the length.

SMS Short Codes - What Every Business Needs to Know


What Is Short Code Provisioning?

When a brand wants to send and receive messages on a short code, there are two steps:

  • The brand must first acquire a short code.
  • Then, the brand must complete the short code provisioning process.

Leasing a short code provides a brand with access and ownership over the phone number, but to send and receive messages, they have to activate the number. This process is called short code provisioning.

The goal of the short code provisioning process is to communicate to the wireless carriers about how a short code is going to be used. Wireless carriers heavily regulate communication channels and want to protect consumers, so wireless carriers want to make sure that a short code is used appropriately following their rules and regulations.

Some of the information required in the short code provisioning process includes:

  • The brand use case — what is the brand is using the short code for.
  • Where a consumer can go for support — what happens if they text “HELP” or “STOP“.
  • How consumers will opt-in to the text message marketing program.
  • If there is a compliance issue, how it will be solved.

Depending on the information and use case provided, the wireless carriers will decide whether the short code will be approved. Once a brand completes the short code provisioning process and the short code is activated on all the wireless networks, the brand can send and receive messages, regardless of what wireless carrier the mobile subscribers are using.


Interested in Learning More About SMS Marketing?

Check out these free SMS marketing resources below.

Jump to Content