Do you want to text a 5 digit number, and are wondering how to do so?
Five digit numbers – often called ‘short codes’, are a great way for companies to encourage text responses. But how are you actually supposed to send a message to them?
Thankfully, the process is quite easy. In this article, I’ll be teaching you how to text 5 or 6 digit numbers, how to know if your text message went through, and also share a bit about why businesses use short codes in the first place!
How Do You Text A 5 Digit Number?
So, how do you send a message to a 5 digit number?
It turns out, it’s the exact same as sending a message to any other phone number!
If you open your messages app and type the 5 digit number in, your phone will automatically recognize it as a short code.
So, the message will send the exact same way as if you were texting a regular, 7 / 10 digit phone number.
That being said, you can always add the number as a contact to your phone, if you want to make it easier to recognize later on. This can be particularly useful if you plan on texting this number over and over again!
How Do You Know If It Worked?
So, once you send a message to a five digit number, how do you know if it actually worked?
Well, most short code numbers will automatically send a reply when you contact them. This will immediately confirm whether or not you sent the message correctly.
Many systems rely on you sending exact words or phrases to the number, in order to track how you’re actually using it. So, if you type something wrong, you may get a message stating that the command was not recognized, or something similar.
But what if you mess up the number entirely?
Thankfully, your carrier should send you an automatic message letting you that the number you texted wasn’t a valid short code.
Then, you can verify the number and try sending another message to the right short code.
Why Are Five Digit Numbers / Short Codes Used, Anyway?
So, now that we know how things work from your perspective, have you ever wondered why businesses even use five digit numbers in the first place?
After all, they are quite expensive to setup – at least $1,000 setup fee in the U.S, plus ongoing costs per message according to one provider, Twilio.
Ultimately, there are a few key benefits.
The first is kind of obvious – short codes are easier to remember!
Whereas a normal phone number would be 10 digits long with the area code, having just 5 digits makes it far easier for consumers to remember.
So, if a business is using their short code as part of an advertisement or promotion, they stand to gain by making it as easy to remember as possible. This will maximize the number of people that actually text it, directly making the company more money.
Another extremely important reason however is in regards to texting limits.
Normally, carriers block messages from being delivered if they are being sent to quickly, at least from standard phone numbers. This limit may be as little as 10 messages per minute!
As you might imagine, this is to cut down on spam. No normal person has a reason to send that many text messages, so by imposing these limits, carriers are able to both reduce their costs, while also protecting you from being bombarded with spam messages.
Short codes however have much higher limits in place. Twilio – the provider listed earlier, is able to send 100 messages per second, or 6,000 per minute! That is 600x higher than a normal phone number. They are able to get away with this, because carriers not only have looser requirements for short codes, but providers also contact the carriers prior to the short code going live.
So, if you are a large company running a large promotion – or you need to send automated codes out regularly, you will need a short code to be able to send higher volumes of messages at once while still maintaining good deliverability.
Texting a five digit number can be done exactly the same way as any other number. Simply type it into the bar where you’d type phone numbers, and send your message.
Often times, you will receive a confirmation back straight away that indicates your message was received.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s taught you something new about short codes. If you have any other questions about 5 or 6 digit numbers, ask them below and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister