You may have noticed that 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 all outgoing texts from practices in the United States. Below is more detailed information about why YAPI uses Short Code and how using it helps ensure better communication to your patients.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Short Code?
- The Benefits of Using a Short Code
- 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, recall (hygiene) reminders, new patient welcome messages, review requests, payment requests, mass texts to patients on a single appointment date, and individual texts.
The Benefits of Using a Short Code
Messages Send Faster - Short Code numbers are able to send and receive text messages more quickly than their 10-digit counterparts (about 100 times faster, to be exact). That means faster two-way messaging between you and your patients.
Consistent, Uninterrupted Communication - When major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon see large amounts of texts coming from a single number, they tend to flag them as spam and stop them from getting to their destination. Because Short Code numbers are registered for business purposes, though, phone carriers don't flag them as spam.
You Don't Need to Register a Number - 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.
Best Practices for Communicating with Patients
Using Short Code numbers is common for large businesses (you may have even seen Short Code messages from your own carrier), but if you're concerned that patients won't recognize the Short Code as your practice:
Give Your Patients a Heads Up - When booking new patients, let them know the Short Code number they can expect texts from. (If you're unsure of the number, 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 Number - Once a patient receives a text from you through YAPI, they should save the number to their contacts under your practice name. This way, they only need to think about it once and will know exactly when they're getting a message from you in the future.