What is a Short code ?
- A Shortcode is a short string of digits that can be used to send and receive messages.
- These are typically used for marketing campaigns, but also for public-service systems.
- Short codes are configured on a carrier by carrier basis as the short code has to be recognised by each carrier.
- For example, if a company wanted "3666" to work in New Zealand, then they would need to register that short-code with each carrier operating in New Zealand.
What are the benefits of using Short codes?
- SMS Shortcodes are 3 or 4 digit numbers which are easier to remember for customers when contacting you
- An SMS shortcode is a short number to place on promotion material (like TV and other printed ads - magazines, transit advertising, billboards etc…)
- Customers use the shortcode facility to give permission to receive information by signing up for the specific services they want, rather than receiving information they do not want
- Shortcodes are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year even when the office or competitors are closed
- Shortcodes are a great marketing tool as they get potential customers to take action immediately via SMS
- Shortcodes provide you with customers’ numbers via reply text, enabling you to build a contact database
- Shortcodes are a very effective and cheap method of marketing or communicating special promotions to your loyalty club members
- You can accurately measure the success of a particular shortcode campaign via the messaging platform
Short Code Compliance and Types
Rules of engagement for NZ short codes
- Short codes are compulsory for Marketing campaigns, Bulk Sends etc
- One short code can be used for one Use case only
- Additional Use cases require additional codes
- The sender identifier must be included at the beginning of the message
- An opt-out must be provided at the end of the message
- Opting out/unsubscribing must be free-of-charge for Marketing messages
Types of Short codes
- Standard short codes – Also known as the 20c MO code, which implies that the handset will be charged 20c to send a message to the shortcode
Zero-rated short codes - Where our customers ensure handsets are never charged for messages to their contact base, and they pay for any charges
Premium short codes – Any shortcode that charges the handset above 20c, this could range from 30c to $8 per SMS
How do I obtain a Short Code?
Can Bulletin help me obtain carrier approvals?
Setting up a Campaign
What types of content are acceptable?
- No adult, gambling, high-risk financial services, violence related content, or content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, harassing, or racially, ethically or otherwise objectionable. Also not allowed are services that facilitate illegal activity, promote violence, promote discrimination, promote illegal activities, or incorporate any materials that infringe or assist others to infringe on any copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights. If in doubt, speak to your Account Manager.
How do I connect my application to the various carriers?
Where can I find the API details?
General Questions (New Zealand short codes)
Do we need all operators to certify us before we launch service?
Is there any constraint on the adult content? Are there any guidelines for our reference?
See the Telecommunications Carriers Forum for full guidelines.
Will the operator(s) or Bulletin notify us when there is service downtime?
How long does provisioning of short codes & price points take?
- Usually this is 2 weeks from when a completed application is accepted by the carriers. Our recommendation is to allow 4 weeks, even longer if the service can be construed as "ambiguous" by the carriers.
- Changes to price points can take significantly longer.
How many digits does a short code have? Does the 1st digit need to be start with "zero"?
Are there any guidelines to determine whether users are active or not?
Does Bulletin provide a Carrier Look-up function i.e. dipping? If so, any quota or restriction on such function?
Do we need to use new product code for new campaign?
Does Bulletin provide us Handset Discovery API service?
Any specific retry policy for PSMS in NZ?
Can your service support UTF 8?
What can I charge my end user?
- Each network operator is responsible for setting its own range of rates from which you can choose one to charge your customer. Therefore it is possible that you may have to charge a different tariff from operator to operator. In some cases, certain carriers will impose different rates, i.e. text 2 win services may have be differently priced on some carriers.
- We recommend you use one of these common price points for your cross carrier campaigns since it will simplify your marketing and communication efforts to promote your service to end-users.
Do carriers offer MO or MT billing ?
What are the costs involved in setting up a campaign ?
- Short code provisioning costs. These are the costs for provisioning the short code on the various carrier networks.
- Service charges. These are the costs for setting up and maintaining the service (eg Bulletin Connect) between you and Bulletin.
What are the short code provisioning costs?
What are the service charges?
What are the revenue share rates?
What about charge-backs?
What are the payment terms for the revenue share?
- Carriers are paying Bulletin between 15 and 60 days after the end of the month in which the charge occurred. Bulletin will pay you within 15 days after receipt of carrier out payment. Depending on the out payment this may that the form of a credit note or cheque.
- See the Short Code Revenue Share Process for more information.
What about end-user refunds?
How is revenue share determined?
What is the revenue share and invoicing process?
Will I get paid for all my submitted messages?
- You are compensated based on the number of messages the carriers report in their billing statistics.
- From past experience, the number of submitted messages and the number of billed messages often do not match but generally the difference is within 3-10% of the submitted messages. Reasons for failed billing may be insufficient credit (only for prepaid cards), charge-backs, etc.