Help Center

What is the difference between Short Codes, Free-to-End-User Codes, Long Numbers, and Toll-Free Numbers?

 

Short Code (SC)

Free-to-end User (FTEU)

Long Number (LN)

Toll-Free Number (TFN)

Application

Online application; work with your short code manager for code approval

Online application; work with your short code manager for code approval

Complete online application process

Form application; work with your short code manager

Two-way messaging

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pros

  • Easy to remember
  • Brand recognition
  • Trusted number
  • Suitable for large Enterprise traffic
  • Messaging is free for the end-user
  • Does not require opt-in and can be used for critical alerts

 

  • Easy to apply for brand and campaign setup
  • Inexpensive solution suitable for all businesses

 

  • Consistent and trusted branding with existing toll-free number
  • Affordable
  • Quick setup

 

Cons

  • Long setup and compliance process (up to 3 months)
  • More expensive than long numbers and TF numbers (setup and monthly fees)
  • Most expensive (message fees essentially paid for by business)
  • Non-local number may be perceived as less trustworthy by end-user
  • Lower message throughput than short codes or TF numbers
  • None

Throughput

Very High

Very High

Low - Medium (Dependent on trust score)

High

Digits

5-6 digits

5-6 digits

10 digits

10 digits

Cost

$$$

$$$

$$

$

Provisioning time**

8-12 weeks

8-12 weeks

Same day

10-15  days

Types

Random SC: Each customer gets its own unique number (randomly allocated)

Vanity SC: Business selects sequence of numbers to spell out a word that resonates with the brand

Random SC: Each customer gets its own unique number (randomly allocated)

Vanity SC: Business selects sequence of numbers to spell out a word that resonates with the brand

Business can choose a suitable area code for US or Canada User can bring in own TFN number or buy a new number from Clickatell

Most popular use-cases

High-volume, one-time passwords, fraud alerts, notifications, marketing. and reminders

Fraud alerts, important and urgent notices for medical-related appointments, and reminders

Chat (text and voice), event-based interactions, service updates, appointment reminders

Customer service and sales chat applications

Example businesses for reference

* Hosting a Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

*Poll customers using Text-to-Vote surveys

* Fraud alerts for financial transactions

*Health care appointment and exam confirmations and reminders, wellness checkups, hospital pre-registration instructions, pre-operative instructions, lab results, post-discharge follow-up intended to prevent readmission, prescription notifications, and home healthcare instructions.

*Provide SMS Customer service

*Set up texting network for internal staff

*Business with an existing toll-free number can text-enable the toll-free number

* Subject to a list of criteria from the FCC

** Subject to verification periods and/or availability of numbers

Was this article helpful
0 out of 1 found this helpful

Other resources

Ask the community

Visit Stack Overflow to join our community of developers and find the answer you need.

Contact support

Contact our support team and one of our agents will be in touch with you to answer any questions you have.

Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments – do it all with Clickatell’s Chat Commerce platform.