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10DLC vs. Short Code vs. Toll-Free: A Comprehensive Comparison

Updated: Nov 8, 2023


10DLC vs. Short Code vs. Toll-Free numbers


Are you seeking to find a reliable and effective strategy to connect with your customers and grow your business? Simply consider SMS marketing! However, choosing the best text marketing number type can be difficult given the wide range of options available. That's where we come in.


In this blog, we will go into the world of SMS marketing in-depth and explore three well-liked options: 10DLC, shortcodes, and toll-free texting. Here we will provide you with all the information you need to choose the best course of action, from what they are and how they operate to their advantages and disadvantages.


So, tighten your seatbelts and get ready to learn how to find the right SMS number type for your business to thrive!


In this blog, we will go over the following topics.




What is 10DLC?


10DLC is a type of long code that allows businesses to send SMS messages to their customers using a dedicated 10-digit phone number. The system was created to lower the danger of spam and fraud while enhancing the deliverability and dependability of business SMS communications.



Types of 10DLC


  • Standard 10DLC: Businesses that transmit a moderate amount of SMS messages, typically fewer than 300 messages per second, are an ideal market for Standard 10DLC. Small and medium-sized organizations that don't need a lot of messaging can use this kind of 10DLC. Compared to other SMS messaging formats, Standard 10DLC offers better deliverability and reliability because it was created exclusively for business messaging.

  • High Volume 10DLC: As its name indicates, High-Volume 10DLC is made for companies that need to send a lot of messages—typically more than 300 messages per second. Big organizations or companies that need a high flow of messaging, including banks, airlines, and e-commerce operations, should use this type of 10DLC number for texting. Compared to Standard 10DLC, High-Volume 10DLC offers better deliverability, dependability, and scalability because it is intended to handle a high volume of messages.



What is 10DLC messaging?


Businesses can employ 10DLC messaging, a type of text messaging, to interact with customers. For advertising campaigns, customer service requests, appointment reminders, and other forms of communication, this kind of messaging is frequently employed.


With an open rate of 98% for SMS messages compared to 20% for emails, 10DLC messaging is a successful method for quickly and efficiently reaching customers.



What is 10DLC registration and compliance?


Businesses must register and adhere to the rules established by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) before using 10DLC messaging.


To do this, one must submit information about the company, such as its name, address, and contact details, as well as details about how the messaging service will be used. Following registration, a 10-digit phone number will be given to the company, which may be used to SMS message clients.


Businesses must adhere to 10DLC requirements to avoid fines and guarantee the success of their messaging efforts.


For 10DLC messaging, the CTIA has established a set of standards that cover opt-in and opt-out procedures, message content, and message frequency.


According to studies, text messages can have open rates as high as 98%, compared to 20% for emails. As a result, texting short codes is a great approach to reach out to clients for marketing and advertising initiatives as well as to deliver critical alerts or notifications.




What is an SMS short code?


Types of short codess a shortened phone number that is used to send and receive business text messages. Typically, short codes are made up of five or six digits and are easier to remember than a traditional phone number, making them the perfect way of reaching out to customers.


They are mostly used for marketing and advertising purposes, where customers can opt-in to receive messages from a particular business or organization by texting a keyword to a short code.



Types of shortcodes


  • Shared short code: Shortcodes that are shared are often referred to as "common" or "vanity" codes. As the name implies, different companies can send and receive SMS messages using the same short number. However, each company is given a special phrase that they can use to set their messages apart from those sent by other companies using the same shortcode. Small businesses can save money by using shared short codes because they don't have to cover the full expense of acquiring and maintaining a dedicated short code. Shared short codes, however, can provide some difficulties. For instance, all businesses utilizing the same short code may be impacted if one of them breaks the rules of the shared short code service.

  • Dedicated short code: Dedicated short codes are used only by a specific company or group. Being able to utilize any keywords the company chooses gives them greater control over messaging and branding. Although dedicated short codes are often more expensive than shared short codes, they provide many advantages over shared short codes, including enhanced messaging capacity, more messaging flexibility, and thorough reporting. As businesses are not concerned with the acts of other companies using the same short code, dedicated short codes also offer a higher level of security and dependability than shared short codes.


What is short code texting?

Short code texting is a way of sending and receiving SMS messages. Because text messages have a high open rate, short code texting is a very effective way for businesses and organizations to reach out to their clients.


According to studies, text messages can have open rates as high as 98%, compared to 20% for emails. As a result, texting shortcodes is a great approach to reach out to clients for marketing and advertising initiatives as well as to deliver critical alerts or notifications.


The capability to send automated messages is another advantage of short-code texting. For instance, a company might program an automatic message to be delivered to a customer after they've made an order, verifying the purchase's specifics and offering a projected delivery date. This will give customers fast and accurate information and can improve their whole experience.


One such platform where you can send automated messages is Falkon SMS which is a cloud-based text messaging application.



How do you get a short code?

To get a short code, you need to follow certain guidelines by the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA).


  • Determining the need of your business, whether a shared or dedicated short code is required. Small firms can save money by using shared short codes, while larger organizations that need more communications control should use dedicated short codes.

  • Selecting a short code provider as it is essential to choose an authentic provider certified by CSCA. You can also find a list of certified providers on the CSCA website.

  • An application needs to be submitted to CSCA. With comprehensive information about your company, the planned use of the short code, and the kinds of communications you intend to send as part of the application process.

  • The application you submit will be reviewed by the CSCA to see if it complies with their requirements. You will be given a brief code if your application is accepted.

  • Once a short code has been given to you, you must register it with the CSCA. To do this, you must provide details regarding the short-code campaigns you intend to run.

  • Once your short code is registered, you can start using it to send messages to your customers.




What is toll-free texting?


Customers can communicate with businesses by texting them via a service called toll-free texting. Numbers that start with specified prefixes, such as 800, 888, 877, 866, and 855, are considered toll-free numbers. Typically, these numbers are utilized for marketing, support, and customer service.



Types of toll-free numbers

  • Vanity Number: Vanity numbers are toll-free numbers that use a combination of letters and digits to spell out a particular word or phrase. Using 1-800-PIZZA or 1-800-HAIRCUT as examples. Businesses frequently utilize these numbers for marketing and branding since they are simple to recall. Businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and make it simpler for customers to remember their contact information by using vanity numbers.

  • Non-Vanity Numbers: Non-vanity numbers are toll-free numbers made of a random series of numbers, such as 1-800-678-1232. Although these numbers are less distinctive than vanity numbers, they nonetheless provide the same toll-free calling advantages, such as free calling for the caller and higher levels of client engagement for the company.



How can you text enable your toll-free number?


The toll-free number can be set up by the text messaging service provider to support two-way texting, allowing customers to communicate with the company by text.


Businesses must collaborate with a toll-free texting provider that offers this service to enable text messaging on toll-free numbers. Falkon SMS is one such provider that can help you text, enabling your toll-free number.


Businesses can use the toll-free number to send automated texts like order confirmations, appointment reminders, and promotional messages once it has been made text enabled. By using this strategy, organizations can decrease the number of calls and emails they get, which can speed up response times and increase customer satisfaction.




10DLC vs. Short Code vs. Toll-Free


Why 10DLC?

  • Higher Delivery rates.

  • Less expensive.

  • Direct customer interaction.

  • Personalized touch with local area code.

  • In line with carrier regulation.

Why Not?

  • More regulations than long codes.

  • Not for high-volume campaigns.

  • Branding and messaging capabilities are limited.

Why Short Code?

  • Ideal for high-volume campaigns.

  • SMS and MMS messaging capabilities.

  • Strict guidelines for message delivery compliance.

  • Easy to remember.

  • Fast message delivery time.


Why Not?

  • Hefty Price.

  • Branding and messaging capabilities are limited.

  • Not for one-on-one communication.


Why Toll-free?

  • Ideal for one-on-one interaction.

  • Free for customers.

  • Vanity numbers to build a brand.

  • Less expensive.

  • Good compliance regulations.

Why Not?

  • Not for high-volume campaigns.

  • Limited messaging capabilities.

  • Slow message delivery.



How choose between 10DLC, shortcodes, and toll-free numbers?


There are quite a few things companies or businesses should consider before selecting, depending upon requirements.

  • Use cases: While 10DLC and toll-free numbers are more suited for one-on-one client engagement, shortcodes are perfect for high-volume initiatives like sending out large promotions. Companies that want to give their clients a direct channel of connection should use 10DLC and toll-free numbers.

  • Budget: With set-up costs of $500 to $1500 and monthly costs of $500 to $1500, shortcodes can be expensive. Toll-free and 10DLC numbers, on the other hand, have cheaper cost structures.

  • Delivery rates: Shortcodes, which are created exclusively for business usage, have a greater delivery rate than 10DLC and toll-free numbers. However, 10DLC numbers were introduced to raise deliverability rates, and the industry is adopting them quickly.

  • Branding & messaging potential: Toll-free numbers have more branding choices, such as utilizing a vanity number, and messaging capabilities, such as delivering longer messages, than shortcodes and 10DLC numbers, which have more limited branding and messaging capabilities.



Which one is better: 10DLC, Short Code, or Toll-free?


The specific demands and objectives of the firm will determine the answer for which one among them is better. Short codes are the greatest choice for companies who wish to send out big volumes of advertisements. Toll-free or 10DLC numbers, however, would be a preferable option if a company wants to establish a direct line of connection with its clients.



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