Why Toll-Free SMS is Better Than Short Codes

High-volume text message services can be costly to maintain, but that's the price of doing business, right? Not necessarily.

Compared with short codes, toll-free numbers can help your organization's stakeholders save time and money.

Shared Short Codes are Disappearing

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons companies are shifting away from short codes is that access to shared codes is dwindling rapidly as more carriers discontinue the service. Previously, shared short codes made financial sense because their costs could be spread between multiple businesses. For example two businesses could use the same short code with unique sets of keywords. However, because one business could use the code send non-compliant messages, every organization using the code could be subject to penalties.

AT&T has already announced its plans to end shared short codes, and more carriers are likely to follow suit.

Toll-Free Numbers Have Lower Costs

Though shared short codes are going away, dedicated short codes are still an option, albeit an expensive one. Due to the limited nature of short codes, it can cost around $500 per month to lease a non-vanity short code and more than $1,000 per month to lease a vanity short code with digits specifically selected by a brand.

That's a significant, ongoing expense that does not include the cost of actually sending messages. Toll free long-codes are much more affordable and easier to procure.

Toll-free numbers provide the ability to switch between text and voice seamlessly.Toll-free numbers provide the ability to switch between text and voice seamlessly.

Short Codes Aren't Convenient

Unlike short codes, organizations can use toll-free phone numbers for text messaging and voice calling. That means financial stakeholders can further streamline their costs by unifying their phone services from a single vendor.

Likewise, a toll-free number can reduce the amount of time customers spend attempting to reach a business. If a company uses short codes for texts and long codes for voice calls, customers have to find two numbers. A toll-free solution reduces this burden, and improves the customer experience.

Toll-Free Numbers Can Make Your Teams More Productive

Text message campaigns must comply with regulations which can vary by jurisdiction. So, when companies spend out campaigns on their short codes, they need to get their messages approved by each of their short code carriers. This process can take weeks or months to accomplish, which can feel like an eternity in the modern marketing landscape.

Toll-free numbers have a much shorter approval process, so companies can requisition their number and start sending messages in a short period of time.

Long Codes Are Right for A2P Messaging

Today, businesses use application-to-person SMS for a variety of functions ranging from customer outreach to technician management. Toll-free numbers can give organizations the ability to scale these functions as needed, while also gaining the ability to switch between voice and text on the same long-code.

For example, if a customer service representative is communicating with a customer via text message, and they need to switch to a voice conversation, a toll-free number allows this movement to happen seamlessly. From the customer's perspective, it's no different than calling or texting one of their friends.

If your organization sends a high volume of calls and text messages, you may be able to significantly reduce costs by switching from short codes to toll-free numbers. To learn more, schedule a free demo of Swift SMS Gateway today.