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The Ban on Shared Short Codes in SMS Marketing – All You Need to Know

Short Codes, SMS Marketing

This year started with some major changes for SMS marketing. As of the beginning of 2021 T-Mobile and AT&T, two of the biggest US mobile carriers, introduced amendments to their code of conduct. They will no longer support the use of shared numbers by eCommerce businesses. 

According to the changes, starting March 1 no new shared short codes will be onboarded and all existing shared short codes will be terminated and banned (according to AT&T), or have to migrate to a dedicated application address (according to T-Mobile).

While so far only these 2 carriers have implemented the changes, we expect other providers to follow their steps very soon.

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Why is this change a step in the right direction?

Currently thousands of brands, sometimes without even knowing, are using the same short codes to send text marketing messages to their audiences. This makes it harder for subscribers to distinguish the multiple senders and their various products and offers, especially since all of them are located within the same message window. It also creates an unpleasant, impersonal, and a spammy experience. As a result, customer engagement and click-through rates decrease, which consequently leads to declines in sales and revenues for businesses.

This is the exact opposite of what SMS is all about as a channel… We strongly believe that the power of text marketing lies in the possibility for a direct, personal and authentic one-on-one conversation with your customers – and this is what we have been working towards in the last few years. So…

How will this change affect SMSBump users? 

It won’t. The new amendments won’t have any impact on your business, as SMSBump has always provided you with your very own number, at no extra cost. We are the only SMS platform with built-in features and solutions that support these recent changes. In fact, during BFCM in 2020 every single SMS sent from online stores using SMSBump came from a dedicated phone number! Making all our users fully compliant to the new regulations – months before they were even introduced.

The upcoming changes in legislation will surely force brands that use other SMS solutions to make the move from shared short codes to dedicated individual numbers. It will inevitably lead to unforeseen obstacles, delays and additional costs for them.

It is not too late to try and avoid all this! In fact, brands that switch from shared short codes to dedicated numbers enjoy a 5X increase in conversations with customers

Get Started with SMSBump

Special thanks to our friends at SMSbump for their insights on this topic.
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