Should your business use a dedicated short code, toll-free number or a 10-digit long code? In this article, we'll walk you through how to make a decision.
Text messages are an easy, cost-effective way to get in touch with your customers, employees, fans, or any other group of people. But hang on! Before you send your first message, it’s worthwhile to take the time to figure out what type of number is right for you.
You have three options: a toll-free number, a long code, or a dedicated short code. All of these can send and receive messages, but they differ in a few key ways. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you select a number:
Your answers to these questions will help guide your decision. Let’s start by talking about the most common choice—toll-free numbers.
By default, every SimpleTexting account comes with a dedicated toll-free number. This is because it’s the most versatile type of number. They’re approved for mass messaging and 2-way communication. Toll-free numbers have a high throughput, meaning they can be used to send many messages at once.
If you’d prefer to use a toll-free number you already own, we can text-enable it! This can usually be done in under 48 hours.
Let’s talk about keywords. These are short words or phrases people can text to your number to join your list.
Because toll-free numbers are long, many businesses prefer to have their customers subscribe to messages with an online web form—as opposed to keywords. However, there are two easy workarounds if you plan to use keywords often.
📌 Key info about toll-free numbers:
Another inexpensive option is to use a standard 10-digit number. Yes, just like your landline or VoIP number. If you already have one that you’d like to use, we can text enable it! Calls will go through as usual, and texts will be routed directly to our platform.
Many businesses choose this option because they’re able to send texts from a recognizable area code. Long codes are perfect for 1-on-1 customer service, support, and sales conversations. They can also be used to send text blasts to groups.
📌Key info about 10-digit long codes (10DLC):
10DLC is a messaging solution that allows businesses to send a high-volume of SMS from a local number. You can learn more about 10DLC here.
A dedicated short code is a 5- to 6-digit long number that only your business can use. Because of their cost and set up time, few companies choose to use a dedicated short code.
To lease your own dedicated code can run your business anywhere from $500-$1500 a month. This cost is set by the Common Short Code Administration, which oversees all short codes in the U.S.
If you plan on sending a significant amount of messages, it may be worth the investment.
We have years of experience provisioning short codes and can help make the process as smooth as possible. From completing your service approval form to testing your short code, we’ll be there for you every step of the way.
📌 Key info about dedicated short codes:
In the end, your choice will come down to your budget, intended use, and whether you plan on using mass texts, 1-on-1 messaging for sales and support, or both. The chart below will give you a quick overview of your options.
|Toll-free||Dedicated short code||10-digit long code|
|Format||10 digits||5-6 digits||10 digits|
|Primary Use||Hybrid||Mass texting||1-on-1 comms, mass texting|
We get asked a lot of questions about switching numbers. While it’s easy to change the number associated with your SimpleTexting account, the implications differ depending on what number you were using, and what number you plan on switching to. It’s essential to be aware of what they are before you make any decision.
Whether you’re just getting started with texting or want to provision a dedicated short code—we’re here to help. Get in touch with our support team by clicking the chat bubble at the corner of your screen. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and get you up-and-running with the right number in no time.
Alfredo leads the marketing team at SimpleTexting. In addition to writing about SMS, he also talks about it—literally. Our how-to videos are narrated by him.More Posts from Alfredo Salked
Stay up to date on the latest marketing trends, tactics, and strategies when you subscribe to our weekly newsletter.