Postscript offers two options when it comes to your SMS texting number: a dedicated short code or a toll-free number (TFN).
In this article, we discuss the two options and highlight the differences between them.
What is a Short Code?
A short code is a 5 or 6-digit number a shop can use to send SMS and MMS messages to a subscriber's mobile device. You've likely seen a short code in a texting campaign, such as "Text FRIYAY to 56798." Here, 56798 is the short code.
A short code is ideal for shops with a growing subscriber list who want fast, consistent delivery speeds.
Shops wishing to use a short code must apply for the short code, and the Postscript team is there to help every step of the way. This application process includes an audit of opt-in methods to ensure they meet TCAP and CTIA compliance guidelines.
Short codes are dedicated, meaning the shop a short code is assigned to is the only entity allowed to send messages using that number. Shops can request a custom shortcode in their application.
What is a Toll-Free Number?
A toll-free number is a 10-digit number starting with (8XX) that a shop can use to send SMS and MMS messages to a subscriber's mobile device. You've likely seen a toll-free number in a texting campaign, such as "Text HOLIDAYS to 1-833-555-1234."
Postscript assigns a toll-free number to a shop once it's created in the application. You can view your shop's toll-free number on your Keywords page.
Short Codes vs. Toll-Free Numbers
To better visualize the differences between a dedicated short code and a toll-free number, we created a chart that breaks down what you need to know.
|Short Code||Toll-Free Number|
|Format||5 or 6-digits (e.g., 543-21)||10-digit starting with (8XX) (e.g., 833-555-1234)|
|Approval||Approx. 4-7 weeks via application||None. Available immediately|
|Throughput*||Built for high-volume sending. Short codes are 7x faster for SMS messages. Think of an express lane on the highway—your messages fly through.||Economical deliverability and throughput. Think of a general highway—messages cruise along with other messages alongside.|
|Filtering||Reduced carrier filtering and faster resolution for erroneous carrier filtering. Shops can reduce filtering by complying with CTIA rules, TCPA requirements, and industry best practices.||The least carrier filtering provided shop avoids banned subjects, follows compliant list growth/opt-out practices, and properly uses subscriber lists (i.e., SMS marketing). Slower resolution times with carriers for erroneous carrier filtering.|
|Availability||US only. Would need to use a TFN for Canada.||US & Canada|
|MMS Capable||Yes. Short codes are at least 10x faster for MMS.||Yes|
*Throughput: The speed at which messages move through messaging pipelines.
Need ongoing channel strategy guidance? Please fill out this form and we'll connect you to one of our certified partners.