- Short Codes can be used for any type of A2P messaging including Marketing.
- Toll-Free Numbers are only available in the USA and Canada. They are permitted for A2P messaging, excluding Marketing.
- Long Numbers are permitted for P2P messaging only. Therefore, you cannot use them for marketing / A2P messaging. If Operators spot patterns that look like A2P traffic on a Long Number, you could be shut down without warning, so take care to pick the right number for your needs!
Considering the following questions will also help you pick the right number for your specific requirements:
- What is your messaging application?
If customer trust is important i.e. if you’re sending from a bank or a healthcare provider, and customers need to feel comfortable exchanging information with you, then Short Codes are the best route to take, thanks to the sturdy approval procedures they are subject to. If time to market is important then you can start sending traffic within days with a Toll-Free Number, so long as it’s not Marketing traffic. If you are planning to set up an SMS based customer support service, something where questions are answered on the fly via P2P, then a Long Number is the best way to go.
- How many messages will you be sending?
When it comes to sending hundreds of messages per seconds (mps) you can use either a Short Code or Toll-Free Number. The latter allows up to 100 mps while you can reach 500 mps on a Short Code.
- How quickly do you want to start sending?
Long Numbers and Toll-Free Numbers literally take minutes to set up. You can in theory, be up and running and sending messages later the same day if you need to. So, if it’s speed to market you’re after, then look at Long Numbers or Toll-Free Numbers.
- What are you hoping to achieve with your messaging?
If you are hoping to gain brand recognition, and are expecting high volumes of customer interactions as a result of your messages, then Short Codes are the route to take. Short and snappy, they’re easy to remember and generate high levels of engagement.
Here’s a handy table, cross referencing all the vital statistics to help find the right number for you:
|Long Number||Toll Free Number||Short Code|
|Format||Standard 10-digit number||Standard 1-800 number||5-6 digit number|
|Throughput||1-2 message per second||10-100 messages per second||10-500 messages per second|
|Other Limitations||1:3 message ratio|
|Fixed Cost||Very Low||Low||High|
|Other Comments||Not approved for A2P use||Can have same number for SMS and voice, with separate providers if needed||Easier to remember|
First published by CLX Communications