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Are Short Codes Going Away?


Are short codes going away?

Each year brings its fair share of goodbyes. The same applies to the world of tech. This year, we’re saying goodbye to shortcodes. If mobile giving has been so successful for nonprofits, you might wonder why shortcodes are going away. What alternatives are there? To tackle things one by one, allow us to give you a brief introduction to what shortcodes are. Shortcodes are essentially 5-6 telephone digits (shorter than your typical phone number’s length) used to send and receive text messages from mobile phone users. For nonprofits, these messages have primarily been used for raising funds. Shortcodes have been around for about 20 years. However, organizations have overused them and now risk exposing themselves and their clients to fraud and spam.


Why Are Short Codes Slipping Away?


There are two main reasons why shortcodes are going away:


They Are Blocked

The primary way for organizations to safely and securely deliver messages is to ensure it does not have spam content. The problem is, when wireless carriers detect any ‘fishy’ content in a message, the entire text gets blocked. If organizations share their shortcode with questionable carriers, it is without a doubt that traffic will be blocked.


Step Aside Short Codes, Here Comes 10DLC.

With the overuse of shortcodes and its proneness to spam, organizations have now shifted to 10DLC. 10DLC – 10 Digit Long Code – is a secure method of messaging using dedicated phone numbers. 10DLC is a better alternative to shortcodes because it supports unlimited messaging as opposed to shortcodes that can only carry a limited volume of messages.


What Alternatives Do Nonprofits Have?

With the departure of shortcodes, the most prominent mobile-giving option is now through 10DLC. However, other user-friendly options exist for nonprofits.


Toll-Free SMSing

Toll-free messaging allows nonprofits to provide donors with a specific phone number to text their entire donor base while majorly cutting down on costs. Toll-free numbers cost far less than shortcodes, which means toll-free messaging is a welcomed change for nonprofits running on tight budgets. Toll-free messaging is also great for high-volume messaging because toll-free numbers do approve ‘application-to-person’ (A2P messaging). All nonprofits have to do is replace their shortcodes with toll-free numbers, and there they have it, an affordable and effective way to reach donors without facing spam complaints.


Dedicated Short Codes

There is a vast difference between shared shortcodes and dedicated shortcodes. Dedicated shortcodes, consisting of 5-6 digits, are shortcodes paid for and used by only one brand. Shared shortcodes, on the other hand, are used and paid for by multiple brands, holding a higher risk of spreading spam and causing security concerns for customers. Unfortunately, dedicated shortcodes come with a staggering price tag. They can easily cost anywhere from one hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, making dedicated shortcodes the last text-to-give resort for most nonprofits. Goodbye shortcodes, and hello toll-free SMSing. Learn more about ZGIVE’s fast, easy, and secure toll-free text-to-give technology today