Getting Started with Short Codes

A short code is a five- to six-digit number used to send SMS and MMS messages. The following steps will guide you through learning how short codes work, finding the number that’s right for you, leasing your own code, and taking the first steps to launching your campaign.



Discover how short codes improve audience engagement and retention.



Search the official registry for available short codes.



Create an account, lease your own short code, and find a partner.

Short Code Benefits


High Open Rates

Short code messages have a high open rate, with over 90% of text messages opened and read within three minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Short codes are among the most reliable, timely and secure ways to message your audience. Learn more about how to find and lease a short code.

A short code is a five- or six-digit number that can be used to send and receive text messages. Companies use these codes to bring customers into the branded experience through information updates, alerts, loyalty programs, surveys, sweepstakes, and coupon offers. Short codes have high deliverability and open rates, are easy to remember, and enjoy a high level of trust from consumers thanks to federal regulations, industry ovrsight and best practices that keep spam rates low.

The Short Code Registry is a single database of available, reserved and registered codes. CTIA, the wireless trade association, oversees and administers the Short Code Registry. CTIA partner iconectiv provides technical support for registry operations.

First, set up a Short Code Registry account, log in and complete a short code lease application.

There are a few companies such as your wireless service provider that work behind the scenes to ensure your message reaches your customer.  Before reaching that point, most lessees select an application provider to help implement their campaign.  The application provider will help construct their message and will coordinate with other members of the messaging ecosystem such as aggregators who work with wireless service providers to deliver your text messages to your customers.