What Is Short Code Provisioning?

When getting a short code for your business or organization, it’s important to be aware of the differences between a short code application and campaign brief application.

Short code application: Submitting a short code application is the first step in your SMS marketing campaign. The short code application is a relatively simple form in which you provide your company information and your plans for the short code. Once the short code application is approved, it’s ready to go through the short code provisioning process.

Campaign brief application: Once your short code application has been approved, you move on to the short code provisioning process by submitting a campaign brief application. The campaign brief application is very similar to the short code application, but instead of submitting it to the Short Code Registry, you submit it directly to the wireless carriers for review and testing. This application requires a little more information. You need to disclose the communication vector for the campaign as well as a description of content.

Keep reading for more detailed information on the short code application process.


Preparing and Filing a Campaign Brief Application

While all Short Code Campaign Brief Applications are submitted to the wireless carriers through an SMS aggregator, it’s very rare for a brand or organization to work directly with an SMS aggregator when preparing and filing a Campaign Brief Application.

The majority of brands and organizations will rely on an SMS provider to handle this process for them. This is because an SMS provider has a greater understanding of the Campaign Brief Application process, and can more efficiently guide a new short code through the provisioning process.


Required Campaign Brief Application Information

Below is the commonly required information when submitting a campaign brief application to the wireless carriers. While there is no standard campaign brief application, most SMS aggregators typically require information such as:

Short Code and Program Information

  • Short code number
  • Short code program name
  • Web and/or WAP URL
  • Demo URL
  • SMS campaign T&C URL
  • Short code submission date
  • SMS campaign targeted launch date
  • SMS campaign targeted test date
  • SMS campaign marketing release date
  • End date of SMS campaign

SMS Campaign Type

  • Download ringtones via SMS
  • MMS video
  • SMS alerts
  • SMS sweepstakes
  • SMS contests
  • SMS auctions
  • Download wallpapers via SMS
  • SMS voting
  • SMS trivia
  • MMS images
  • SMS gaming
  • SMS chat
  • SMS query service
  • Mobile giving
  • Other

Short Code Billing Type

  • Standard SMS
  • Premium SMS
  • WAP billed
  • Free to end user (FTEU)

SMS Aggregator Information

  • Aggregator name
  • Aggregator point-of-contact name
  • Aggregator point-of-contact email address

Customer Care Information

  • URL for customer information
  • Toll-free customer care phone number
  • Customer care email address

Marketing Plan and Message Projections

  • Type of advertising
  • Source of advertising
  • Estimated audience size
  • Estimated take rate
  • Estimated total SMS messages
  • Average MOs/user/month
  • Traffic spikes? (Yes or No)
  • Estimated number of participants/month
  • Estimated SMS messages/second
  • Average MTs/user/month

Content Provider Information

  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Compliance point-of-contact name
  • Compliance point-of-contact email address
  • Technical point-of-contact name
  • Technical point-of-contact email address
  • Provisioning point-of-contact name
  • Provisioning point-of-contact email address

Client Information

  • Client company name
  • Client company address
  • Client point-of-contact name
  • Client point-of-contact email address

Client Industry

  • Advertising
  • Community and social services
  • Education
  • Emergency and protective services
  • Financial services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Legal services
  • Location services
  • Weather
  • Dating and personals
  • Manufacturing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Politics
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Social networking
  • Transportation
  • TV/radio/music/video
  • Movies
  • Food
  • Outdoor
  • Downloads
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Finance
  • News and information
  • Messaging
  • Games
  • Health and fitness
  • Tech and gadgets
  • Travel

Message Flow and Customer Experience

  • Opt-in interactions
  • Example alert or customer interaction
  • Help interaction
  • Opt-out interaction
  • Subscription renewal reminder message


Short Code Testing

After the wireless carriers have approved your campaign brief application, they’ll activate the new short code on their wireless network. Once activated, the short code will be able to receive inbound messages and send outbound messages to subscribers on that specific wireless network.

Although your new short code is now accepting and receiving text messages on that wireless network, you can’t use the short code publicly just yet. Before that can happen, the wireless carriers will initiate testing on the short code, which includes messaging the short code via text to confirm that the customer experience matches the description in the campaign brief.

At this stage the wireless carriers will usually have feedback about the text messaging experience and may require changes to the campaign brief or SMS campaign.


Launching the Text Messaging Campaign

Once the campaign brief is accepted and you’ve passed the short code testing process, you’re now able to launch your SMS campaign.

If in the future you decide to change the SMS campaign or change how the short code is used, you must re-provision the short code for the new use. Failure to submit a new campaign brief for the new short code use will result in the termination of your SMS campaign by the wireless carriers.

If you have any other SMS marketing or short code-related questions, visit our Learning Center.