Short Codes

Special 5 or 6 digit numbers that typically have higher delivery rates but with a fee.

Short codes are special 5 or 6 digit phone numbers that can be used for both SMS and MMS messaging. They typically have higher delivery rates than traditional long code numbers, but as a result come with a hefty price tag.

If you already have a short code phone number you can port it into Avochato. You also have the option to lease a short code number through Avochato. Reach out to our sales staff for an estimate at (415) 214-8977.

Application Process

Because short codes are federally regulated and must also be approved by our provider as well as all participating carriers, the application process can be lengthy. Once you submit your application to us, we will review it to make sure it is compliant with carrier requirements and federal regulations (CTIA).

After final submission it can take from 8-12 weeks on average for carriers to review and approve short code applications.

As you initiate the process with us, please have answers to the following questions ready:

What country would you like to have a short code for?
  • Short Codes are provisioned on a per-country basis. Each Short Code can only send messages to and receive messages from carriers in the country in which the Short Code was provisioned (e.g. a Short Code provisioned in the US cannot send or receive messages from users of Canadian mobile phone services). For maximum coverage you'll need to obtain Short Codes in each country you're interested in messaging in.
Does your business and industry qualify for a short code, or is your industry an unsupported use case?
  • Before we can proceed, please verify that your SMS campaign does not fall into one of the following unsupported use case categories for SMS campaigns in the US:
    • High risk financial services (payday loans, non-direct lenders, short term-high interest loans, auto and mortgage loans from a 3rd party, student loans)
    • Products or services which are not legal both federally and in all 50 states (CBD, Cannabis)
    • Debt forgiveness/repair programs
    • Debt collection (past due payment reminders and notifications)
    • Gambling
    • Work & investment opportunities
    • Third party aggregation services (loan aggregators, job boards, insurance aggregators)
    • Lead generation campaigns that indicate the sharing of collected information with 3rd parties
    • Messaging which directly competes with wireless offerings from telcos
    • Shared short codes (multiple brands on one code with no single message controller)
Do you have an existing short code, or would you like a new one?
  • I want to obtain a new Short Code
  • I have a Short Code lease and want to run messaging through it with Avochato
  • I have a Short Code lease through another provider and want to migrate to Avochato
Would you like a vanity short code, or a random short code?
  • All short codes are 5- or 6-digits long. If you would like to choose what those 5-6 digits are, or would like a letter phrase (e.g MyBiz), you will need to select a vanity short code. If you have no preference, select a random short code. Vanity codes are subject to availability. The cost of a short code can be found here.
How frequently do you want to pay for the short code?
  • Quarterly and annual options are available (annual includes 1 free month). Mobile carriers require that you start the short code lease payments before they review your application for approval. Avochato will not charge you until you are ready to start the provisioning process, where we conduct an in-depth review and then submits to carriers.
Do you want to enable MMS?
  • MMS (multimedia messaging service) can be enabled on a short code to send multimedia (i.e. picture) messages. You may enable MMS now or later down the line.
Please provide the following information on your company
  • Company name
  • Company website
  • Company address (including city, state, country)
  • Point of Contact Name, email address, and phone
Please provide the following information on your SMS campaign
  • Campaign name: The SMS campaign name needs to be consistently displayed in your messaging, Terms of Service, and anywhere your users sign up for your program.
  • SMS campaign brand website: The main website of the brand associated with your SMS campaign.
  • SMS campaign customer care information: Short Code SMS campaigns must have a toll-free support line or support email address where users can reach out for assistance with any issues they are having with the campaign. Separate entries with a comma.
  • SMS campaign frequency: Carriers require that you disclose the specific frequency which consumers can expect to receive messages from your SMS campaign. Options:
    • One message per signup
    • Limited messages per signup
    • Limited messages at recurring intervals
    • Variable number of messages sent at unpredictable intervals
    • Limited number of messages sent only in response to inbound keywords
    • Combination of the above
  • Description of the kinds of messages your program will send:
    • Example: This program will send promotional messages to users who register through our retail website.
    • Example: This program will send two-factor authentication messages to verify users signing into their account profile.
    • Example: This program will send monthly payment reminder messages for a customer's water utility bill.
Please provide the following information on your SMS keyword responses
  • Short Codes must always respond to HELP and STOP, regardless of whether the phone number sending the keywords is actually subscribed to your campaign. Provide your responses to these required keywords.
Please provide the following information on how users signup in your flow
Does your SMS campaign have a double opt-in process?
  • Double opt-ins are when you send a text to your users after sign-up asking them to respond with a keyword to confirm their sign-up. They help ensure your users entered their phone number correctly when signing up and help ensure that your user wants to receive your messages. This is a best practice, but not a requirement.
What are examples of messages your users will receive?
  • Opt-in confirmation messages must contain your SMS campaign name, expected message frequency, message and data rate fee disclosure, and STOP and HELP keywords.

What are the federal limitations on Short Code messaging?

Short codes are federally regulated and therefore must adhere to CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) Messaging Principles and Best Practices guidelines. These impose limitations on messaging that include (but are not limited to) topics of firearms, drugs (including cannabis), alcohol, and tobacco.


As short code phone numbers are in limited supply, they incur higher costs. Short code specific fees are as follows:

One-time setup fees

Short codes set up through Avochato come with one-time setup fees. The following are charged when setting up a short code for the first time. (MMS enablement is optional, depending if your company needs MMS messaging)

Setup Price
MMS Enablement

Recurring Charges

Short code leasing and service charges is billed annually at the following rates:

Short Code Type
Annual Cost
Random Number
Vanity Number
Customer self-leased
Vanity Number
Customer self-leased
Random Number
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