Short Codes Make Their Debut at SignalWire

SignalWire announces short code support, enabling enterprise-grade reliability and highest throughput

Aug 28, 2019

By Erik Lagerway, VP of Product and Abbi Minessale, Content Strategist

Short codes, the unrivaled gold standard in application to person (A2P) messaging, have arrived at SignalWire. We now enable existing dedicated short codes on our network and will also guide our customers in leasing new dedicated short codes for use with our services.

The power of SignalWire’s APIs can now be coupled with the reliability of short code based A2P messaging, meaning maximum throughput and high deliverability on messaging campaigns.

What is a Short Code?


Short codes are 5 or 6 digit long phone numbers that can send SMS or MMS and are activated when your audience texts a specific keyword that opts them into your messages. For example, if you’re a gourmet ice cream shop, you could have customers text you the word “ICE CREAM” to start receiving weekly discounts.

SignalWire lets you use short codes that already belong to you and can also set you up with a new dedicated short code. When you use a shared short code, the number is used by multiple businesses so keywords are first come first serve to avoid any customer confusion. Sharing is a great option for businesses with a smaller budget because they cost less and only take a few minutes to set up, although they are only available for use in two-factor authentication.

Dedicated short codes only belong to one business and offer more creative freedom and control over brand image. With dedicated short codes, there is an option to personalize the digits which allows you to choose easy to remember numbers. You can also pick any opt-in keyword you like, even if another company is already using it, because these numbers belong to only you. Unlike shared codes, dedicated short codes can take a bit longer to provision because wireless carriers individually approve each short code for its intended use. This ensures that carriers won’t accidentally block your messages as spam.

Benefits of Short Codes

When a business is looking for a simple and stable way to communicate with customers, short codes are a great option for a few big reasons. For starters, they’re significantly easier to remember than traditional 10 digit long codes. Easier numbers remove the barrier to entry for customers and increases the likelihood that they will take the time to opt-in to your messages. I’m going to ask you to remember two sets of numbers: 650-239-0254 and 500500. I’ll quiz you later to see which one you can remember.

Short codes are also the most reliable way to send a large volume of messages through A2P channels because they were designed for this use in mind. Wireless carriers are expecting your short codes to be sending mass messages to a large audience and therefore they aren’t marking them as spam or blocking them.

This is great for time sensitive situations because text messages sent with a short code are much quicker than 10DLC and are ideal for use cases where you need to send the same message to thousands of people. A few examples include marketing or promotional purposes, two-factor authentication, sending alerts or notifications, sending discount codes, conducting polls where customers text to vote, hosting text to win contests, and many more.

Quiz time! Do you remember the numbers from above? No cheating!

Industry low prices

With SignalWire, you can port the short codes you already lease, or we can help set you up with a new dedicated short code. Please don’t hesitate to contact our sales team via sales@signalwire.com or call +1.650.382.0000 for more information. We believe in removing barriers to innovation and we accomplish this by maintaining industry low prices. As we announce the general availability of short codes for the US and Canadian markets, we accompany our offer with the lowest rates in the industry:

Short Code SMS

US Outbound: $0.0030*

US Inbound: $0.0009*

Canada Outbound: $0.0045*

Canada Inbound: $0.0009*

* Please check our pricing page for up to date pricing. Short code lease rates, carrier activation & pass-through rates apply. Please contact our sales department (Phone: +1.650.382.0000) for more information. For all our disruptive pricing check here.