January Third

Short Codes

Short Codes Make it Obvious

B2B Ad Campaign

What are those five-digit numbers businesses use to text their customers?

You get those automated texts everyday. From your bank, airline or even hair salon. They're called Short Codes. You know what they are — but you probably didn't know their name. And that's exactly the problem we set out to solve with our national awareness campaign.

Short Codes are five and six-digit numbers that businesses use to text customers for shipping notifications, two factor authentication, banking alerts, and pretty much everything else. But no one knows what they're called — and it's hard to use something you can't name. It's especially hard to Google for them. So we built an integrated campaign to raise awareness about Short Codes and ultimately increase the number of Short Codes leased.


Short codes are (obviously) effective.

The data doesn't lie: Short Codes are an extremely effective way for businesses to reach customers. Over 90% of text messages sent as short codes are opened and read within three minutes. Compare that to the open rate for a marketing email at under 1%. They're the obvious solution for customer engagement, public safety, marketing, and operations updates. So we designed a campaign to tell the world just that: Short Codes Make it Obvious.

In our campaign, "obvious" is also a reference to the way short codes are delivered. While most marketing and operations messages from companies are lost in a sea of noise and clutter — just check you personal inbox for proof — short codes land on your phone right besides text messages from your mom or wife. Short codes are the obvious choice in part because they're so hard to miss. You can't pick up your phone without seeing them. In our campaign, users are bombarded by billboard-sized messages that mirror the obvious quality of Short Codes.



In the campaign's second spot — which we used to retarget viewers who had seen the first ad or had visited the website — we compared the effectiveness of Short Codes to other methods of communication. We watch as our hero, Todd, misses a series of attempts to reach him. His office phone rings. The junk mail piles up. His email nears capacity.

But he's utterly oblivious as he sips his coffee and stares into the middle distance of his fluorescent lit office. It's not until his phone chirps that he looks down at the phone in his hand. Short Codes prove to be un-missable again.

Integrated marketing campaign by January Third
Screen Shot 2021-12-28 at 4.32.45 PM

The Results: They Also Make it Obvious

When it comes to reaching your customers, Short Codes obviously work. And so did our campaign. The "Short Codes Make it Obvious" campaign went live on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook — with all platforms beating their CPM goals. Predictably, LinkedIn was especially effective for our B2B audience. Our LinkedIn campaign saw an 81% video view rate, and a 3x more efficient CPM than the platform's average.

Those CPMs translated into a huge spike in traffic on the site and more Short Codes leased. Just as importantly, the campaign helped to give a name to those strange — and strangely effective — five and six-digit numbers texts.

Next case study

Destination DC | Experience DC Tourism Campaign