As of this month, major US carriers such as AT&T and T-mobile will no longer support the use of shared short codes by businesses to increase spam prevention. 

What is a short code and does my business use a shared one?

All of your SMS campaigns are delivered from a virtual mobile number. A shared short code is a five- or six-digit number that has long been a popular and affordable option for many businesses wanting to send text messages. However, they’re not exclusive to your business and so your target audience might receive messages from other businesses in the same message thread as yours. Which, not surprisingly, can be very confusing for your customers. 

How does the shared short code ban affect me?

Over the years, spam from short codes has been on the rise. When carriers have detected spam messages, they have blocked the short codes, which has also affected legitimate businesses using the shared short codes to send out their promotional messages and notifications. This leaves many businesses wondering why their messages have suddenly been blocked. 

With the current carrier discontinuation of shared short codes, customers looking to maintain their SMS marketing efforts will need to opt for a different kind of sender ID number. 

Here's what you can do:

Fortunately, there are alternatives in place to replace shared SMS shared short codes in the US:

Dedicated toll-free numbers: 

Dedicated toll-free numbers are the most cost-efficient of all the alternatives. They are great for API, single send, 2FA, and reminder/alert traffic. They do, however, have a lower throughput and are heavily filtered for marketing content by the carriers.

10 digit long codes (10DLCs): 

This is the new standard for A2P messaging in the US. They are supported for mass-sending. Using a 10-digit local number, you can reach millions of customers with fast throughput and better deliverability.

Dedicated short codes: 

For those who don’t want to use a 10DLC or a toll-free number, a dedicated short code is another option. You can either get a randomly generated short code or opt for a vanity short code—although they are more expensive and the process to procure one can be lengthy.

If you need help deciding which messaging solution is best for your business needs we would be happy to help. Simply raise a ticket via the button at the top of this page and we'll help you get sorted.