In light of today's business messaging needs, the market options for phone numbers have changed. The good news for Marketers is that you no longer need to have five-digit short codes to be able to send high volume, programmatic SMS. This means your SMS strategy can be just as efficient and significantly more cost-effective when you use toll-free numbers.
A2P vs P2P
A major factor that plays a role in choosing the right type of number for your SMS messaging is whether you intend to send from a number dedicated to A2P (application-to-person) or P2P (person-to-person) messaging. A2P numbers deliver automatic outbound alerts or notifications from an application to a person on the other end. It is associated with higher volume outbound use cases like alerts, appointment reminders, or automatic notifications.
On the other hand, P2P numbers are commonly used to deliver messages from a person to another person. Consequently, they are capable of handling only one message per second.
Here’s a quick comparison to help you understand the differences between long code local and toll-free and short code numbers for SMS.
|Type of Number||Volume Limits||A2P vs P2P||Time to Market||Pricing|
|Local (555-555-5555)||Limited to one message per second, per phone number||P2P or A2P||Instant||$|
|Toll-free (1-800-555-5555)||Virtually unlimited messages per second, with approval||A2P only||Instant||$$|
|Short codes (55555)||Virtually unlimited messages per second, with approval||A2P only||Weeks or months||$$$|
We highly recommend you use toll-free numbers for the following reasons:
- You can send virtually unlimited messages per second. That's a significant advantage toll-free numbers have over local numbers.
- Although toll-free messages need approval, Zaius has already secured that for you with our provider, so you don't have to worry about approval processes and times. In comparison, messages from short codes may take as long as 12 weeks to get carrier approval.
- You're likely to use SMS for A2P (application-to-person) messaging, so you don't need to get a local number, which is ideal for P2P (person-to-person) messaging.
- Compared to short codes, toll-free numbers are much more cost-effective.