Today we wanted to cover a much talked about change in the texting industry: Toll-Free Texting numbers.
Toll-Free numbers have replaced shared short codes as the best way for businesses to text their customers. Toll-Free numbers cost nothing to provision or migrate, and have all the benefits of a dedicated number (including no competition for keywords and streamlined message routing). Most importantly, Toll-Free numbers are not susceptible to sudden shutdowns by carriers like shared short codes were.
Here’s how you can change your number:
- Once signed in, hover over “Account” and click “Account Settings”
- Scroll down and click on “Long Code Setup”
- Click the “Provision” button
- The next step is to choose the Toll-Free number you wish to use. Enter up to 4 digits that you would like to be included in your Toll-Free number and click search
- Select the Toll-Free number you would like to use
- Click “Provision”
- The provisioning process takes about 1-2 minutes to complete. If you refresh the page, the long code section should list out the Toll-Free number you just provisioned and its status.
- Once complete, scroll up to the “User Information” section and click on the “Edit Info and Password” button.
- If your long code has been provisioned, there will be a change button next to your old short code in the “Short Code” section. Click the “Change” button, select your Toll-Free number, and click “Continue”.
Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Toll-Free texting:
Can Toll-Free numbers send messages to Canada?
Yes. Please note that messages sent to Canadian phone numbers cost an additional 3 message credits due to carrier surcharges.
Are Toll-Free numbers guaranteed to not be shut down like shared short codes?
As long as a user’s messaging stays compliant with the regulations of carriers they will not shut down your code.
Has every texting provider ended support for shared short codes?
Yes. The important distinction to make is that carriers like Verizon and AT&T are shutting down shared short codes, not the texting providers. That means all texting service providers will be affected equally and in the same way.
When will Toll-Free Numbers be available?
Toll-Free numbers for texting are available now!
Will I be able to run Text-to-Win Campaigns with my Toll-Free number?
Because all Toll-Free numbers are dedicated to a single user, you are able to run text-to-win contests.
Will alcohol & firearms advertising still be restricted on Toll-Free numbers?
Yes. Messaging content is controlled by the TCPA and CTIA on any code, and does not depend on the number you are using.
Are we able to use multiple keywords with the Toll-Free number?
Yes! All functionalities that you used with shared short codes work the same with Toll-Free numbers. In fact, you are able to have more choice on your keywords, as there will no longer be any competition for the same popular keywords since you own the whole code.
What’s the expected SMS throughput on Toll-Free numbers?
Toll-Free numbers can be provisioned for high throughput, reaching speeds up to 75 messages per second depending on the provider.
With Toll-Free numbers not compatible with MMS in the future?
Toll-Free numbers are not able to send MMS yet, but should be able to at the end of 2020.
Can we check to see if a certain number is available before picking a number?
Yes! Your texting provider should be able to let you test to see if your number is available.
How long does the transition take? If I request the transition now, when would it be ready?
The process to choose and switch your Toll-Free number should be completed in a matter of minutes. The migration itself is instant and should not require any downtime for your texting campaigns.
If you have your own Toll-Free number, how difficult is it to set up?
The process is very simple. You simply need to contact your texting provider to make sure they can provision that number for your specific use case.
If we create a Toll-Free number now, will that affect our ability to create a local 10DLC number later once that option becomes available?
No. You can switch to a Toll-Free number now, and then switch once again to a local 10DLC number later on. However, this will require some planning because subscribers may get confused if you change your number too often.
How long will it be until 10 DLC are available?
There is no set timeline currently available for this.
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