Short codes are designed to be easy to remember and are widely used as value-add services such as donations, voting lines and more. A cost-effective solution with the ability to push real-time responses to your email inbox and take your campaign to the next level. Adding more value, you could also integrate airtime or mobile data rewards to encourage consumer interaction. Short codes can also be used for competitions, lead generation, and selling content (i.e. music, quotes, ringtones, jokes). Example – you can advertise “SMS info to 45984” and you will receive incoming messages from prospective customers. Depending on your chosen rate band the cost for the individual sending an SMS to the short code ranges from R0.50 up to R30.00.

Case Background

A competition for Brand X was run on a standard rated short code for four consecutive months. Consumers had to SMS the last four digits of the product’s barcode to a unique short code found on product packaging. This competition consisted of three different prize categories. First prize category – three international trips for two people to watch a UEFA soccer match live (all expenses paid). Second prize category – a flat-screen TV was awarded to one lucky participant every day for a three-month period. Third prize category – in order to achieve increased volumes and encourage consumer interaction in the competition, Brand X decided to award random participants with airtime vouchers to the value of R20.00. The total budget for airtime vouchers was R500 000.00, which awarded R20.00 airtime vouchers to 208 random participants every day for the four-month campaign. Using a randomized system, winners were automatically selected daily and the R20.00 airtime vouchers were sent to them via an SMS.

200 million unique four-digit barcodes were printed on the promotional packs. Promotional packs were distributed in all nine provinces and at different retail outlets. Brand X was highly satisfied with the marketing campaign and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) delivered by Connect Mobile’s short code solution.


● The short code on promotional packs could only be used once with a valid cell phone number.
● There was no limit per mobile handset.
● Winners were notified via SMS.
268 500 entries in 120 days (four-month period).
24 960 airtime vouchers awarded in 120 days (four-month period).
144 900 000 products were sold in the four-month campaign period.

Why short codes?

Connect Mobile has mastered the art of short codes and define the customer’s experience through excellent service delivery. The use of unique short codes makes it easier for customers to remember your company’s contact details. Premium rated short codes are also an important revenue generator.

What are the different types of short codes?

Standard – The cost for the customer to submit a message to a standard rated code is the same cost as a standard SMS.

Premium – Rate bands up to R1.50 are available for clients that wish to run a competition and earn revenue share to either cover the costs of running the promo or to fund the prize.

Reverse Billed (FTEU- Free to end user) – By making use of a reverse billed short code you ensure that even those without a positive airtime balance can engage with your brand or enter your competition free of charge. Most educational institutions prefer this option as a means for students to communicate at no cost to them.

To learn more about short codes and other innovative services that we offer, visit our website, like our Facebook Page, follow us on LinkedIn or send an email to