Brands have begun to treat the mobile short code as a mobile domain name allowing the consumer to text message the brand at an event, in store and off any traditional media.

SMS marketing services typically run off a short code, but sending text messages to an email address is another methodology (though this method is not supported by the carriers).

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The SMS technology has facilitated the development and growth of text messaging.

The connection between the phenomenon of text messaging and the underlying technology is so great that in parts of the world the term "SMS" is used colloquially as a synonym for a text message from another person or the act of sending a text message (even when, as with MMS, a different underlying protocol is being used).

The mobile operators vet every short code application before provisioning and monitor the service to make sure it does not diverge from its original service description.

Another alternative to sending messages by short code or email is to do so through one's own dedicated phone number.

Short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers that have been assigned by all the mobile operators in a given country especially for the use of brand campaign and other consumer services.

Due to the high price of short codes of 0–00 a month, many small businesses opt to share a short code in order to reduce monthly costs.

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Mobile marketing is multi-channel online marketing technique focused at reaching a specific audience on their smart phone, tablets, or any other related devices through websites, E mail, SMS and MMS, social media or mobile applications.

In Europe the first cross-carrier SMS shortcode campaign was run by Txtbomb in 2001 for an Island Records release, In North America it was the Labatt Brewing Company in 2002.