1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Short Code Definition - What Is a Short Code?


If you want to enter text message sweepstakes, the sweepstakes rules will usually contain instructions like: "To enter, text the keyword ENTER to short code 11111." What is a short code?

A short code is a shortcut for a telephone number, which companies use for mobile marketing. Short codes are easier to remember and easier to type than using the entire telephone number.

In the United States and Canada, standard short codes are 5 or 6 digits long, except for some special programs by your mobile service provider, which may offer shorter codes. Short codes in the United States may not start with the number 1.

Like license plates, companies can select vanity short codes for an extra fee, or short codes can be assigned randomly. So you may see a short code that looks something like "567890" (which was used in AT&T's (now expired) Where Legends Live Sweepstakes. Or you might see a vanity short code like Disney's DISNEY.

If a company asks you to send a text to a vanity short code that looks like a name, simply look at your keypad to see the numbers that correspond to each letter.

By entering by text message, you may be agreeing to receive occasional advertisements from the sponsor by text message. You can usually (but not always) opt out of receiving these messages by texting the keyword STOP to the same short code. You can also usually receive more information by texting the keyword HELP to the same short code.

For more information, see how to send text messages to short codes. For information about fees that entering by text message may occur, see standard text message fees and premium text message fees.

Alternate Spellings: shortcode

To enter, text the keyword ENTER to short code DISNEY.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.