You may have noticed that some text messages generated through Yapi are sent from a 5-digit phone number instead of a regular 10-digit one. This is what's called a short code and Yapi uses it for some (but not all) outgoing texts from practices in the United States. You may have also noticed that some message come from a 10-digit toll free number. Below is more detailed information about how and when Yapi uses short code and when it doesn't.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Short Code?
- The Move to 10-Digit Toll-Free
- Best Practices for Communicating with Patients
- Related Articles
What Is a Short Code?
A short code is a special 5-digit phone number, pre-approved by phone carriers so messages don't get flagged as spam. Short code is commonly used for sending large amounts of texts at once and while most companies use it for marketing, Yapi's dedicated short code number is used to send appointment reminders from Yapi Classic (our desktop application), recall (hygiene) reminders, new patient welcome messages, review requests, payment requests, mass texts to patients on a single appointment date, and individual texts sent via the Yapi Dashboard.
Yapi provides a short code for you automatically. No applications, no registrations - we've done the heavy lifting so you can start texting your patients right away.
Why is it different outside the United States? Short Code laws and carrier preferences work differently outside the U.S., so we're working on getting short code numbers registered for other countries. Until our applications are approved, we've worked to provide 10-digit numbers our non-U.S. practices can use for text communication.
The Move to 10-Digit Toll-Free
In an effort to bring you continued excellent service, we're switching to the use of 10-digit toll free numbers for all outgoing texts in our new Yapi Leap platform. While we've had plenty of success with our 5-digit short code, we're moving to toll free to make sure our service continues to be reliable as we grow and to lay the groundwork for more exciting features down the line.
Which features use 5-digit short code and which use 10-digit toll free?
Essentially, all of the features within Yapi Leap (our newest web app) use toll free; all the features in Yapi Classic (our desktop application and POP, our older web app) use short code. Here's a helpful list:
|Features Using 5-Digit Short Code
|Features Using 10-Digit Toll Free
Appointment reminders sent from the desktop Dashboard*
Appointment reminders sent from Yapi Leap*
Recall (hygiene) reminders
Form requests sent from Yapi Leap
New patient welcome texts
Mass texts sent from Yapi Leap
Individual texts sent from Yapi Leap
Mass texts sent from POP
Individual texts sent from the desktop Dashboard or from POP
*You should only have Appointment Reminders set up in one platform: the classic Dashboard or Leap, but not both. And we strongly recommend using reminders in Leap, since they're the latest and greatest!
The great thing is that when you use Leap to communicate with a patients, all their texts show up in the same thread for you: you'll see all them messages that were sent to them regardless of what platform they were sent from and one number was used.
Is your toll-free number set up in Yapi Leap? Just follow the steps in our Leap Help Center to check: Dentrix Users \ Open Dental Users \ Eaglesoft Users
Best Practices for Communicating with Patients
Using short code is common for large businesses (you may have even seen short code messages from your own carrier) and patients are generally used to seeing automated messages from short code numbers, even when they have a different number for you in their contacts. But if you're concerned that patients won't recognize the short code as your practice or if you think they'll get confused by receiving messages from two different numbers:
Give Your Patients a Heads Up - When booking new patients, let them know the numbers they can expect texts from. (If you're unsure of the numbers, trying sending a test text to yourself!) Many text templates that come installed with Yapi already include your practice's name, but it always helps to speak with your patients directly about it.
Ask Patients to Save the Numbers - Once a patient receives a text from you through Yapi, they should save each number to their contacts under your practice name. This way, they only need to think about it each number once and will know exactly when they're getting a message from you in the future.