Toll Free vs Longcode vs Shortcode Phone Numbers For SMS Marketing

Product
August 30, 2022

Howdy, it’s your favorite marketing guy from Roezan Devin Zander

Today we’re going to discuss the three different kinds of phone numbers you can send text messages from so you can see what fits best for your business.

Toll-Free vs LongCode vs ShortCode Phone Numbers

The three different types of phone numbers you can have are:

  • Toll-Free vs Longcode vs Shortcode Phone Numbers
  • Longcode (think a local phone number +1 (727) 123-4567 is an example)
  • Shortcode (think a number like 55555 or 666666 as these numbers are either 5 or 6 characters long)

Why Use A Toll-Free Number For SMS?

Here's the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read):

Roezan uses Toll-Free numbers by default because it’s the best fit for almost every single coach and course creator.

Here's why we use Toll-Free Numbers

  • You don’t need to apply for a toll-free number - you can use it immediately (However we will still register your phone number to improve deliverability)
  • You can send wayyyy more messages per second than longcodes, which is perfect for large blasts such as reminders for webinars (3 MPS or messages per second which is 3x faster than longcodes. We also have the ability to raise your speeds to 25mps for a monthly fee.)
  • Toll free numbers are free while shortcodes start at $2,000 to setup and $1500+ per month depending on the type of number you chose. (Shortcodes can do serious MPS or messages per second so if you’re interested in one please feel free to contact us)
  • Toll-free numbers are available instantly while it can take months for your application to go through for a shortcode and weeks for a longcode
  • Toll-free numbers don’t have “Health Scores” that affect deliverability as much as longcodes do

End TL;DR

Okay… So those are the basics.

Now we can get into the finer details of the differences between Toll-Free, Longcodes & Shortcodes.

Use Cases For Toll Free, Longcode, and Shortcode Numbers

Let's take a look at the use cases for each kind of phone number:

Toll-Free Number Use Cases:

  • Large campaigns “Blasts” where you’re messaging from 50 to 50,000 people at once. This could be something like a time-sensitive promotion or a reminder to join a live webinar that’s starting now.
  • Marketing automations that have 100+ people joining the automation daily 
  • Local businesses that have LARGE amounts of customers

Longcode Number Use Cases:

  • Transactional messages ("Thank you for your purchase" that do NOT go out in batches)
  • Small local businesses that want to have a local SMS phone number

Shortcode Number Use Cases:

  • Large campaigns “Broadcasts” where you’re messaging over 50,000 people at a time and the message is time sensitive (if not time sensitive use Toll-Free)
  • Large companies with more than 50,000 contacts that are sending messages 24/7

Use Cases Shared By All Number Types:

  • 1-on-1 conversations (though I wouldn’t recommend doing this with a shortcode if it’s your only use case due to sheer costs alone)
  • Sales conversations

The Process For Acquiring A Toll-Free, Longcode, and Shortcode Number

Roezan will procure your phone numbers for you. We do not accept phone numbers that aren’t generated by Roezan at this time. 

So, if you do want one of these numbers… What’s the process for getting one?

Process for getting a Toll-Free Number:

There is no additional process required to get a toll-free number. We automatically procure a toll-free number for you when you signup for Roezan and you can begin using it immediately.

After registration, we will ask a set of questions to verify your number and improve deliverability. This is required, but you can use your number before this is completed (currently it can take 3-4 weeks).

Process for getting a Longcode Number:

You must register your number with the carriers before use. The typical turnaround time is 2-14 days. 

Currently we do not natively offer longcode numbers, but if you have a special use case please contact support & we can discuss options & pricing for you.

Process for getting a Shortcode number:

This typically will take 3 months+. We will send you a long form where we collect more information about your business. Afterwards, we send it to carriers for them to review. Typical turnaround time is 3 months. 

Sending Speed (MPS)

Each type of phone number is seen differently by carriers and because of that you’ll be able to send a different amount of MPS (messages per second) from each.

Longcode Phone Numbers MPS: (Slowest)

  • Default 1 message per second (1 MPS)
  • This is the slowest option. If you have a list of 1000 people, it will take ~16+ minutes to send a text. Not very good for "We're live now!" Webinar reminders.
  • This can be raised by practicing good sending habits and SMS list management, keeping your opt outs under 1%, and improving your "sender trust score" which is created via each carrier.

Toll-free Number MPS: (Good Speed)

  • Default 3 MPS (3X faster than long codes)
  • This is a good speed for most people balancing cost and performance.
  • If you have a large number of contacts that you regularly send broadcasts to, and it's important that they go out quickly, you may consider a speed upgrade. This can be upgraded to 25 MPS for a monthly fee. If you're interested please contact our support for options & pricing.

Shortcode Number MPS: (Fastest - But expensive)

  • Default 100 MPS
  • Shortcodes are expensive (comparatively) and take ~90 days to register and implement. However, for the right fit this can be a good option if you are sending large broadcasts (50k+) at a time and need to be time sensitive. Contact support for more information about Longcodes and how you can procure one.

Conclusion

The reality is this:

If you’re a coach or course creator, and you want to get started with SMS right away so you can start increasing your revenue and customer awareness/engagement, Toll-free is the right choice 95% of the time.

If you’re a MASSIVE COMPANY you may want to consider using a Shortcode which we can help you get setup with, just contact our live chat in the bottom right corner

There aren’t a lot of benefits to using a longcode for the use case of most of our clients, however, if you have a specific use case, please contact our support and we can discuss options & pricing.

And if you aren’t yet sending text messages, try out Roezan free for 14 days.

And after your trial ends, if we don’t increase your revenue we’ll provide you a full refund (minus the fees carriers charged us to send your messages).

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,
Devin Zander


 
 

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