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Message Deliverability: The 3 Types of A2P Messaging

George Perry George Perry
George Perry
Computer screen with text bubbles and numbers on it

Part 3 of a 5 part series

Today’s messaging landscape can be complicated and confusing, especially when you’re sending thousands or millions of messages at scale. Application-to-person messaging routes (known in the industry as A2P) are used for high-volume alerts, notifications, marketing, and other information your customers depend on. So, making sure they get delivered is critical to your business.

The third video in our “Message Deliverability: It’s not as simple as hitting send” series looks at the differences between the three types of A2P messaging—short codes, toll-free, and local 10-digit numbers.

So how much difference can the number you use really make?

Short Codes vs. Toll-Free vs. Local 10-Digit Numbers

In the past, 5-or 6-digit short codes were the only way to send high-volume A2P messages, but with technology evolving, toll-free and local numbers can now also deliver A2P messages at scale.

So, which type of A2P messaging is right for you? Let’s have a look.

Message Volume

Toll-free and local numbers are now capable of sending the same volume of messages as short codes. All it takes is a few special permission adjustments to your number and you can be sending out sanctioned high-volume messages.


Dedicated short codes have a monthly usage cost of over $500, in addition to your per message fees. Toll-free and local numbers cost just a few dollars, meaning you can save thousands of dollars every year.

Time to Market

Because your short code use case has to be setup and approved by each carrier ahead of time, it can often take weeks or months before you can start sending messages.  Toll-free numbers can be setup in just a matter of days, saving you valuable time.

User Experience

Finally, think about the user experience you’re delivering. Short codes work great for ‘text-in’ campaigns like ‘Text DEALS to 555-55 to receive 20% off.’ They’re memorable and easy.

Toll-free and local numbers, on the other hand, use a number your customers may already be dialing for sales or support calls. If you’re sending messages on behalf of an entire brand, your toll-free number may be the most expected channel. If you’ve got a local brick and mortar or many locations, you may see a higher response rate by using a local number your customers may be more familiar with.   

Ready to get your messages delivered?

Now that you’ve found the right messaging product, let’s get those messages delivered!  Check out our Messaging Deliverability page to learn more, and stay tuned for parts 4 and 5 of our series.

Learn more about message deliverability


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