Choosing a phone number

Choosing a phone number

There are three types of phone numbers through which brands can engage in SMS Marketing: Short Codes, 10 Digit Long Code (10 DLC), and Toll-Free Number.


  1. Short Codes

Short Codes are five to six-digit numbers that marketers can purchase and use to send SMS messages. There are two types of shortcodes: random and vanity. Random as the name suggests is a short code number allotted on a random basis. Vanity short codes are specifically chosen by marketers based on their preferences from the available codes.

Short Codes have the highest throughput. The standard throughput is 100 messages/second/shortcode. Note: Some providers allow marketers to pay more for increased throughput on a short code.

If you’re sending more than a few hundred messages a day from a long code, your messages run the risk of being marked as spam. Short codes are pre-approved by carriers to have a high throughput and are not subject to carrier filtering. This makes them perfect for sending those high-volume or time-sensitive messages.

Read more about shortcode here:


  1. Long Code

A long code number is a standard phone number used to send and receive voice calls and SMS messages. Phone numbers are typically called “long codes” (10-digit numbers in many countries) when comparing them with SMS short codes (5-6 digit numbers). They are the 10-digit long codes (10-DLC) that support voice and MMS marketing. They use the latest long code technology and are more affordable compared to SMS short codes. They however do not support read receipts.

Long code numbers are tied to an area code and are typically used in e-commerce marketing for such functions as sending shipping and tracking messages.

One of the most noticeable differences between long code vs short code SMS is that you can make and receive calls with SMS long codes.

The standard throughput was one message/second when 10-DLCs were launched, but now it varies based on the brand’s Trust Score and Use Case (campaign) type.  Some carriers such as T-mobile also impose daily message limits on A2P messages sent over 10-DLC.

Read more about long code here:


  1. Verified Toll-Free Numbers

Toll-Free numbers are 10-digit numbers that operate at no cost to the consumer and hence the name toll-free. Toll-Free numbers are designated for business messaging and are required to go through a verification process prior to use.  Brands that have their own toll-free numbers that are already being used for voice can apply to use the same number to send A2P messaging for their brand.  Applicants can select from a list of available numbers or bring their own numbers.

The standard throughput is three messages/second. Additional throughput can be purchased on a number for an additional cost.  This can be a great option for a new brand as short codes tend to be very expensive. When the brand begins to grow significantly over time, it would require higher throughput, and having the option to purchase additional throughput on the toll-free number is a great option for them. 

Additional throughputs can be purchased for additional fees through some vendors.

Read more about verified toll-free numbers here:

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