A Short Code is a 3-6 digit number which enables sending and receiving of SMS messages, usually in SMS sweepstakes, polling, TV voting etc. With short codes, sending and receiving messages is limited to national borders. They can be leased from mobile network operators or through specialized messaging companies that also provide consultancy and tech support.
Dedicated short codes are used by a single company, while shared ones can be used by more companies, which have their campaigns distinguished by keywords. For example, one company can use the number to receive SMS messages with the SUPPORT keyword, and the other company can use it to receive messages with the PIZZA keyword. These keywords allow the matching of inbound messages with appropriate campaigns.
Zero rated short codes
Zero rated short codes are 3 to 7 digits numbers used for 2-Way interaction between companies and their customers. With zero rated short codes end customers do not pay the price of the message they send to the company using it. For them it is totally free and the company pays for the cost of incoming SMS.
When are zero rated short codes usually used? The most important use case is the opt-out option. In different countries around the world regulation requires free opt-out option for end customers.
Zero rated short code are also used to motivate customers to leave feedback. Often companies send SMS to end customers requesting service or product ratings. In order to motivate end customers to fill out the survey and give feedback, companies stress out that the message is completely free for them.