Using SMS shortcodes in your advertising can produce amazing results
It’s a great way of allowing your prospects to respond to your marketing campaigns.
Keywords on our 88440 short code cost just £14.00 + VAT per month.
It's simple and easy to set up
No set up fee
Only a 3 month minimum term
No contract – cancel whenever you wish
How much does a keyword on an SMS short code cost?
SMS keywords on our short code cost £14.00 + VAT a month.
There's no setup fee and only a 3-month minimum term. (£42.00 + VAT)
You pay for your keyword in advance, either by credit / debit card or bank transfer.
There's no additional charge per SMS for receiving texts to your keyword.
Outbound autoresponse texts are charged in line with our standard SMS rates (2.9 pence per automated response). There's a minimum order of £10 + VAT, which buys you 344 text credits.
You can cancel your keyword at any time by sending an email to [email protected]
(You need to cancel before the next invoice is generated of you'll need to pay for the next 3 months (£42 + VAT)
Users are charged one text at their normal rate to send to your keyword (normally between 8 and 12 pence).
See our short code FAQs for more information.
What is an SMS short code service?
SMS short codes are a 5-digit numbers that allow people to respond to advertising and marketing by text. Normally someone responding to an ad will be asked to text in a keyword to the 5-digit number.
The keyword, which is sent at the start of their text, identifies them as responding to a particular ad. Many different campaigns can be run using the same short code.
You'll no doubt be familiar with short codes for texting. They appear in all types of advertising channels: TV, posters, airports and radio.
They allow companies the chance to squeeze more response from their ad spend.
It's so effective that there's a strong argument for including a text response option on all direct-response ad campaigns.
How does a 5 digit short code work?
A consumer texts in a unique keyword to a 5 digit short code, e.g. "For more information, text INFO to 88440."
All incoming texts that start with your unique keyword (INFO in the example above) are forwarded directly to you, via our incoming SMS shortcode API.
The following data will be captured and sent to you instantly, to an email address or URL that you set (see below).
- Mobile number of responder
- Date and time of their text
- Content of their message
You can also login to your account to view and download all the responses that you've received.
How much does it cost to send a text to a short code?
Users are charged one text at their standard rate to send texts to short codes.
Texts sent to all UK short codes are not included in customers' monthly free text bundles. So there will always be a charge of between roughly 8 and 12 pence to the user, depending on their network.
The SMS Works does not operate any premium rate services; in other words we don’t have the ability to charge consumers for texts received or sent.
What is the best keyword to use with a 5 digit short code number?
There are no hard and fast rules here, although we suggest following these simple guidelines:
- Choose a keyword between 3 and 7 characters. The longer the keyword is, the more likely people are to make typos.
- Choose an actual word rather than an abbreviation or slang word. If you use anything but a real word, the person's mobile will attempt to correct it with predictive text.
- Avoid using numbers in the keyword for the same reasons as the point above.
- Make the keyword relevant to the campaign. Choose a keyword that matches the context of the campaign. For example, If your advertising is about a gym membership, choose GYM or FITNESS.
What terms & conditions am I required to include in my text response instructions?
You need to let people know how much it is going to cost them to text the keyword to the short code.
The cost is one text at their normal network rate, which is normally between 8 and 12 pence. Texts to short codes are not included in free monthly text bundles.
The simplest format for stating text costs is as follows.
"All texts are charged at your standard network rate."
Should you have an automated response on a text response campaign?
Whenever you text a short code you expect some kind of response. If nothing happens, then you’d probably think that you’ve made a mistake and text in again.
It’s important to always include an automated text response.
The purpose is to give the responder a clear understanding of what will happen next. Will they expect a call or a further text? Where else can they go for more information. Bear in mind that the automated response has a maximum of 160 characters including spaces.
Here's a typical automated text response:
Dedicated Shortcodes - Can I have my own shortcode?
Having your own dedicated short code means that you don't need to use keywords. Whatever the person texts in will be captured.
The serious downside is the cost. Dedicated shorts cost about £800 to set up and about £850 per month to retain. There is also a minimum 12 month term.
Faced with these costs, everyone sensibly opts for the shared short code route which is just £14.00 a month, no setup fee and a minimum period of 3 months.
People are also used to the idea of texting in a keyword so keywords don't present any sort of barrier to usability.
Is the keyword case sensitive?
Keywords on a 5 digit short code are not case sensitive. You can use either upper or lower case or a combination of both.
What happens if someone texts in the wrong keyword to the short code?
If someone texts in the wrong keyword or makes a typo, we’re unable to retrieve the text response and the text will be lost.
Make sure that your instructions are clear and that the keyword itself is an actual word.