Skip to main content

What is a short code?

Short codes are easy to remember, have open rates above 90%, enjoy a high degree of consumer trust, and have very high deliverability relative to other messaging platforms.

Find a Short Code

Why a Short Code?

Reach 98% of your customers with short codes

Find a Short Code

Learn More

An icon for open rate

98% Open Rate

Over 90% of text messages opened and read within three minutes.

A lightbulb icon

Easy to Remember

With only five or six digits, short codes are easier for users to remember and type.

A shield icon

Trust & Consumer Confidence

Consumers trust short codes thanks to industry oversight and best practices.

A graph icon pointing up

The Highest Throughput Rates

Short codes have one of the highest throughput rates to support robust messaging needs.

How it works

Get started with short codes 

A green search icon


You have the option of choosing a randomly generated code, or a “custom” code that is a five or six digit number.

A green checkmark icon


Lease your short code and find a partner to help bring your campaign to life.

A green flying spaceship icon


Finally, develop your campaign, then submit using your partner. Once your campaign has been approved you will be ready to launch.

Woman receiving an overdue book notice on her mobile phone via reminder system powered by short codes

Affordable pricing and easy payment options

Short code pricing is straightforward, with flexible payment options to fit your budget cycle. For a Select short code – one you choose yourself – the lease rate is $1,000 per month. For a Random code – one assigned to you by the system – the lease rate is $500 per month. Read More

Once the code is leased from, you gain the exclusive right to use your code throughout your lease period. These fees are non-refundable regardless of whether any wireless service provider agrees to activate your code. Payment must be received in full for the duration of the registration within 60 days of your order or your code will be placed back in the available pool.Important: You need a Short Code Registry account in order to get a code. Once set up, select "Apply for New Short Code" and complete the order form. You can purchase up to 20 short codes on a single order, each leased for 3-, 6-, or 12-month terms.

Business team at cafe looking at mobile phone short codes program

About CTIA & iconectiv

Short codes are administered by the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA), an LLC governed by CTIA, the wireless trade association, on behalf of U.S. wireless carriers. Technical aspects of the registry are supported by CTIA’s partner, iconectiv.

Case Studies

See how companies are using short codes

Find a Short Code

Learn More

Frequently asked questions

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 oversight 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.

Consumers have a way to report spam messages. If you receive unsolicited text messages, forward the text message to short code 7726, which spells “SPAM” on a mobile phone, and follow the prompts.

Get Started With Short Codes

Find a Short Code