The first thing when getting a short code for your business or organization, is to be aware of the differences between a Short Code Application and Campaign Brief Application.

Short Code Application: After leasing a short code, the next step is to file a Short Code Application. This Short Code Application is relatively simple to complete, as long as you know how the short code will be used in the future by your business or organization. Once the Short Code Application is approved, in addition to the wireless carriers, it’s ready to go through the short code provisioning process.

Campaign Brief Application: Once your Short Code Application has been approved, it’s time to start the short code provisioning process. As a note, short codes that have not completed the short code provisioning process will not be able to send or receive text messages. To start the provisioning process with the wireless carriers, the first step is to submit to them a Campaign Brief Application. The Campaign Brief application is very similar to the Short Code Application, but instead of being submitted to the Short Code Registry, it’s submitted directly to the wireless carriers for review and testing.

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

Preparing & 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 provisioning a new short code, 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 easily and faster, guide a new short code through the short code 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 require similar information as to what is listed below.


Short Code & 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 & 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 & Social Services
  • Education
  • Emergency/Protective Services
  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Legal Services
  • Location Services
  • Weather
  • Dating & Personals
  • Manufacturing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Politics
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Social Networking
  • Transportation
  • TV/Radio/Music/Video
  • Movies Food
  • Outdoor
  • Downloads
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Finance
  • News & Information
  • Messaging
  • Games
  • Health & Fitness
  • Tech & Gadgets
  • Travel

Message Flow/Customer Experience

  • Opt-In Interactions
  • Example Alert/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.

Just because your new short code is now accepting and receiving text messages on that wireless network, doesn’t mean you can use the short code publicly just yet. Before that can happen, the wireless carriers will initiate short code testing on the code, which includes actually interacting with the short code via text message to confirm that the customer experience matches what was submitted in the Campaign Brief. It’s usually at this stage that the wireless carriers will have feedback about the text messaging experience, and will require changes to the Campaign Brief, or SMS campaign.

Launching Text Messaging Campaign

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

If in the future, you decided to change the SMS campaign, or how the short code is being 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 termination of the SMS campaign by the wireless carriers.