How to Start a SMS Short Code Business in Nigeria

SMS short codes provide mobile content to phone users through a text message. The purpose is to engage the receiver in a response to the text. People that subscribe to the short code are billed by the network provider. The short code originator receives a percentage of said sum for each subscriber.
What is Short Code?
A Short code is a special six or five digit phone number used by GSM provider to send text information to users. Everyone at sometime have received those sometimes annoying text messages. The people that send the messages are smiling to the bank anytime there is a subscriber.
Products and Services of Short Code Company
Short code companies offer small businesses different products and services. The products are SMS marketing, business text and MMS marketing. Others include SMS API, text messaging and short codes
woman, phone
How it Works
Investors looking to cash in on this gold mine can get the code from third party providers. Top networks like MTN, GLO supply the code to providers and in turn small business owners can get a shared or direct short code.
Types of Short code
There are basically two types of short codes the dedicated short code or shared short code.
Dedicated Short Code
The dedicated short code is used exclusively by a brand. A dedicated short code can cost from N360, 000+ and providing it could take a substantial time. You need ongoing financial commitment, technical expertise and time.
The band handles the entire process such as setup and associated fees. Setting up a dedicated code requires some level of technical expertise and huge funds.
Shared Short Code
The shared code is cheaper and best for small businesses on a budget. The shared code is used by multiple brands that share the fees and setup.
This makes it easier to setup and much more affordable than dedicated short codes. The reason brands can use a shared code is the different Keywords.
The system basically uses a keyword routing system. The keyword differentiates the users and account holders.  
Some provide advanced features that automatically handle opt-in/out requirements and sub-keywords. The keyword is what the subscribers send to receive the information.
 A good example is Text ‘Vote’  to 33551. The keyword in the example is Vote. Shared keywords are ideal for small business on a small budget. They can start relatively quickly and infinitely less startup expense.
Short Code Earnings
The amount of money you make depends on the sharing formula. The amount deducted from each subscriber is shared between the small business, the provider and the network provider.
The usual value of airtime deducted is N30, N50, and N100 that is shared. The third party provider shares the 50/50% with the small business owner
Here is how the Network Deducts
Tariff (NGN)
30.00 NGN
50.00 NGN
100.00 NGN

How Subscribers are billed
Once a GMS user answers the text they become subscribers. Subscribers are billed through a tariff system deducted from them once they subscribe. The tariff system is N30, N50, N100 based on the cost of the subscription. A good example of reality shows earning huge amounts through short code messaging is The BIG Brother Franchise.
Uses of Short Code
There are many uses for short code that could generate engagement. Good examples are reality shows, game shows, health tips, business tips and win promotions.
Some are used to provide useful information and tips to subscribers. Setting up a short code business along this line equates to huge earnings for the small business.
How Small Business Make Money with Short Code
The small business owner makes money with short code in partnership with the company that issues the code. They also provide access to the dedicated phone number for marketing.
To make money with short code you need to get one. The next step is getting people to respond to the text message. The more responders the more money you make.
Before you can make money you get the short code, choose a campaign and get the message out to the public. Once you get responders you start raking in the cash.
How to get the Message Out
To get the message out to the public you need to promote the short code. The best way is to use traditional methods such as printing flyers, posters or banners. Use radio or television advertisement to reach potential subscribers. Other effective promotional methods are bulk SMS sites to promote the code.
Types of Campaign
The type of campaign you run would determine success or failure. Typical campaigns are education, health and fitness related.
Others are relationship, competitions or wealth creation tips. Once you get a good campaign you tend to make good money. The more subscribers you get the greater your profit sharing.
Product Uses
Product uses include subscription services, SMS quiz, and information services. Others are SMS voting promotions, and SMS competitions.
Product Uses
  • subscription services
  • SMS quiz
  • information services
  • SMS voting
  • Promotions
  • SMS competitions.
Target Market for Short Codes
There is a huge list of people to target with your short code. Popular targets are students writing job, graduate seeking employment and Men looking for love. Others are people interested in entertainment, sports betting tips and religious people.


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