Read on to learn the basics of SMS marketing (commonly referred to as SMS short code marketing), and find out how you can utilize it for your brand’s promotional offers. To see how brands are using SMS marketing, check out


SMS Messaging

Before we get into the basics of SMS marketing (also called text message marketing), we like to explain the meaning of an SMS message to that small percentage of readers who are unfamiliar with this mobile communication method.

SMS/text messages are small messages that people and brands send to mobile phones. Usually, these messages can only contain 160 characters, and they are made up of text, clickable phone numbers, and links.

Now that we’ve talked about the text message itself, let’s take a look at SMS marketing for brands, and at what it means when they talk about this particular marketing method.


SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is the broad term for a combination of commercial text messaging related practices. When brands talk about these practices, it can, for example, mean that they discuss a text message poll or contest.

However, most brands, when they talk about SMS marketing, they mean the practice of sending mass text message alerts to interested consumers. You can compare it with email marketing, only instead of emails, a brand will send out text messages to consumers who have opted in to its mobile marketing campaign.


Opt-In SMS Marketing

First off, it is important to mention that text message marketing is strictly a subscriber only form of marketing. As a brand, you cannot send messages to people who haven’t opted in to your SMS campaign.

Consumers first need to go through an opt-in process that confirms their willingness/consent to receive messages. This opt-in process starts when someone texts a keyword, like for example “PIZZA” to the brand’s short code, which is a phone number that contains five to six digits.

In addition to offering the opt-in method of sending a keyword to a short code, brands can also give consumers the option to subscribe via a form on their business website. A third option is the point of sale method, where people get a chance to opt-in for an SMS campaign when they are at the checkout counter of a physical store.

So there are many opt-in methods that brands can use to gain subscribers for their campaigns, but it essential that consumers actually give their consent to receive messages. By giving their consent, they make it clear that they want to receive things like promotional offers, text message coupons, and special deals.


Can SMS Short Codes be Used for Bulk SMS?

Yes. SMS short codes are the only wireless carrier approved method of sending bulk SMS to consumers.


How Do I Send SMS Short Code Messages?

The first step to sending SMS short code messages is to acquire your own SMS short code. Once you’ve acquired your own short code, you’ll need to find an SMS short code provider to host your short code. The SMS short code provider will give you all the needed tools and software to send, receive and manage all your short code messaging.