SMS Sending Numbers: Toll-Free, 10DLC, & Short Code

When it comes to sending SMS messages, there are different types of sending numbers available, each with its unique characteristics and purposes. In this article, we’ll explore three types of SMS sending numbers: Toll-Free, 10DLC, and Short Code, and help you determine which one is the best for your business.

sending numbers

Toll-Free SMS Sending Numbers

A Toll-Free SMS Sending Number is a phone number that starts with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833 area codes. It’s commonly used by businesses to receive incoming SMS messages from customers and to send automated messages, such as order confirmations, shipping updates, and appointment reminders.

Toll-Free SMS Sending Numbers are typically free for the customer to send messages to, which can increase customer satisfaction and engagement. They also allow for high throughput, which means you can send a large volume of messages quickly. However, because Toll-Free numbers are shared across many businesses, there can be delays in message delivery or even messages getting blocked due to high traffic.

Another potential downside of using Toll-Free SMS Sending Numbers is that they are not ideal for marketing campaigns or bulk messaging. Toll-Free numbers are meant to be used for transactional messages, and sending unsolicited marketing messages to customers can result in high opt-out rates and decreased engagement.

10DLC SMS Sending Numbers

A 10DLC SMS Sending Number is a new type of SMS number that stands for a 10-Digit Long Code. It’s a local phone number that’s registered with wireless carriers to send and receive SMS messages. 10DLC numbers are meant to be used by businesses for sending application-to-person (A2P) SMS messages, such as marketing campaigns, bulk promotional sms, and other types of bulk messaging.

Unlike Toll-Free numbers, 10DLC numbers are not shared, which means there is less congestion, and message deliverability rates are higher. 10DLC numbers also offer better throughput than shared short codes, which are limited to 100 messages per second, and they are generally more affordable than Short Codes.

One of the main advantages of 10DLC SMS Sending Numbers is that they provide businesses with a dedicated number, which means there is less competition for message delivery. This also means that the business has more control over message deliverability rates and can customize the messaging experience for its customers.

However, using 10DLC SMS Sending Numbers requires businesses to go through a registration process with the wireless carriers, which can be time-consuming and requires specific technical knowledge. The registration process also involves a review of the business and its messaging practices, which can be a potential barrier to entry for smaller businesses.

Short Code SMS Sending Numbers

A Short Code SMS Sending Number is a 5 or 6-digit number that is used to send and receive SMS messages. Short Codes are commonly used for high-volume messaging, such as voting in TV shows, mobile coupons, and other interactive campaigns. Short Codes are costly, and the application process is lengthy, so they’re typically only used by large corporations.

One of the biggest advantages of Short Codes is that they offer high throughput, which means they can handle thousands of messages per second. They also provide a high level of customization, as businesses can choose a vanity Short Code that spells out a keyword, making it easier for customers to remember.

Short Codes are also ideal for businesses that require a high level of security for their messaging campaigns. Short Codes can be provisioned with a keyword, which means that customers need to provide a specific response before they can receive messages from the Short Code. This can prevent spam and ensure that customers are engaging with the business in a meaningful way.

However, While Toll-Free numbers and 10DLC numbers are fairly new, Short Codes have been around for a while and are widely used for SMS marketing. In the United States, Short Codes are 5 or 6-digit numbers that are specifically designed for sending and receiving SMS messages. They are unique to each business or organization and are leased through a Short Code provider.

Short Codes are known for being the most reliable type of SMS number. They are capable of sending high volumes of messages at once, making them perfect for mass SMS campaigns. They are also easy to remember, which is great for businesses that want their customers to remember their numbers.

For example, if you are a pizza restaurant, you can use a Short Code to allow your customers to place orders through SMS. You can use an easy-to-remember Short Code like 555-PIZZA and promote it through your marketing channels.

Short Codes come in two varieties: shared and dedicated. Shared Short Codes are shared among multiple businesses or organizations, while dedicated Short Codes are leased to a single business or organization.

Shared Short Codes are a cost-effective solution for small businesses that don’t have the budget for a dedicated Short Code. However, dedicated Short Codes are recommended for larger businesses that require more control over their messaging campaigns.

When it comes to choosing the right type of SMS-sending number for your business, there are several factors to consider. Toll-Free numbers, 10DLC numbers, and Short Codes each have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals.

As a general rule, Short Codes are the best option for businesses that need a reliable and memorable number for mass SMS campaigns. Toll-Free numbers are a good choice for businesses that want to provide a free, easy-to-remember number for their customers to call. 10DLC numbers are a good choice for businesses that want to send SMS messages in compliance with carrier regulations but don’t want to pay the higher fees associated with Short Codes.


In conclusion, SMS marketing can be an effective way for businesses to reach their customers, and choosing the right type of SMS sending number is an important part of a successful SMS campaign.

While there are several options available, Toll-Free numbers, 10DLC numbers, and Short Codes are the most common. Each type of number has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals.