With prefixes like 888, 844, 833, or 800, toll-free numbers are easier to remember than regular phone numbers. This gives businesses a more branded appearance when providing customer support, running promotional campaigns, or sending alerts and notifications. A company can register a toll-free number and use it to communicate with customers, much like long and short codes.
Benefits of Toll-Free Text Messaging
1. Professionalism and Brand Identity
Toll-free texting helps foster professionalism in business messaging, showing that the company is customer-oriented and easy to access. It can also maintain a consistent brand identity since customers can easily recognize the number and associate it with the company.
2. High Throughput
Toll-free SMS platforms are known to handle large volumes of text messages. This makes it ideal for promotional campaigns and other cases where businesses need to send and receive messages as efficiently as possible.
3. One Number for Voice and Text
A toll-free phone number can serve as a single mode of contact for both voice and text. This creates a unified experience for customers, giving them the choice to reach out via their preferred communication channel.
4. Delivery Receipts
The delivery receipt functionality of toll-free number texting lets the sender know when their messages have successfully reached the recipient. This feature is key for tracking and confirming the delivery of messages.
5. Use of Existing Numbers
Companies that have existing toll-free phone numbers can easily text-enable them. They can maintain their current branding and customers' familiarity with their phone numbers while expanding their communication options.
6. Wide Range of Use Cases
The versatility of toll-free text messaging means that companies can use it in a variety of industries and use cases. These include surveys, promotions, order tracking, customer service, appointment reminders, and more. Both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) companies can make use of toll-free SMS.
7. Automation and Keyword Compatibility
Platforms that provide toll-free texting often support marketing automation and keyword recognition. This enables companies to create auto-replies to common customer questions, saving a great deal of time for agents.
8. Support for MMS and Automation
Toll-free text messaging allows for sending images, videos, and other multimedia content to customers in the form of MMS messages. Thanks to compatibility with automation, businesses can automate multimedia communication based on customer interactions.
9. National Campaigns and Engagement
Businesses can use toll-free numbers to run regional or nationwide SMS marketing campaigns. It reinforces customer engagement through interactive and two-way conversations, making it ideal for surveys, contests, and feedback.
Common Use Cases of Toll-Free Numbers
1. Alerts and Notifications
Healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and government agencies employ toll-free messaging to send out emergency alerts to a wide audience. These can include health advice, school closure announcements, and severe weather warnings. Toll-free texting is also a common way for businesses to send notifications about service interruptions or changes in the schedule.
2. Customer Service
Toll-free texting allows companies to offer customer support via SMS. Customers can report problems, seek assistance, and ask about products or services. Businesses can, in turn, provide a timely response—often with the help of chatbots or autoresponders.
3. Promotional Campaigns
Running promotional campaigns is another use case of toll-free messaging. Businesses can advertise special offers, discounts, and more via SMS or MMS messages. They can also use keywords in their messages so that customers can interact with the campaigns.
4. Appointment Confirmations
Companies in sectors like healthcare, beauty, and consulting use toll-free text messaging to send automated appointment reminders and confirmations. And if customers need to cancel or reschedule appointments, they can do so by texting the toll-free number.
Toll-Free Numbers Vs. Short Codes Vs. 10-Digit Long Codes
Toll-free and 10-digit numbers are cheaper than short codes, with the former being the least expensive. While short codes involve high setup costs and monthly fees, toll-free and 10DLC numbers are often subject to standard messaging rates.
Designed with high message throughput in mind, short codes are suitable for bulk texting and promotional campaigns. Toll-free phone numbers offer decent throughput as well but don’t handle large volumes as efficiently as short codes. 10DLCs are similar to toll-free numbers in this regard.
In terms of delivery speed, toll-free texting isn’t any different from 10DLC texting. Short codes, on the other hand, offer faster message transmission, making them a better choice for sending timer-sensitive notifications.
Businesses can carry out two-way communication with both toll-free and 10DLC numbers. This is not possible with short codes, which only support one-way messaging.
How to Get Started With Toll-Free Texting
Businesses can provision an SMS toll-free number by registering with a service provider. The provider will be responsible for allocating the number and managing its usage. This acquisition process often involves licensing and subscription fees. The associated costs will vary depending on factors like the service provider and the messaging volume.
The use of toll-free numbers must be in accordance with text message privacy regulations. The verification process takes around five weeks. It includes verifying the business's identity, sharing details about it, and explaining the use cases of the phone number. While the business can start messaging in the meantime, the message volume for pending numbers shouldn’t exceed 6,000 messages a week.
The company should also make sure the number supports both voice and text messaging. It can do this by having the number text enabled, if necessary.
Integrating the toll-free number texting platform with customer relationship management (CRM) systems allows for logging and tracking customer interactions. Integration can also involve using chatbots and auto-replies, which can come in handy for common customer inquiries.
4. Sending and Receiving Messages
Once the business verifies the toll-free SMS number, it can start sending and receiving messages. Toll-free numbers support two-way communication, which enables customer support, feedback, inquiries, and other interactions.
Choosing the Right Toll-Free SMS Provider
Reliability: What is the provider’s track record for reliability and service uptime?
Features: Does the toll-free texting provider offer all the features necessary for your company’s messaging needs?
Scalability: Can the platform cater to business growth and evolving communication requirements?
Pricing: What is the pricing structure (setup fees, monthly fees, and messaging rates)?
Compliance: Is the provider compliant with regulations like the GDPR?
Integration: Can the platform be integrated with existing systems like CRM?
Security: Does the provider have any security measures in place to safeguard customer information?
Interface: Is the platform user-friendly and easy to navigate?
Reputation and user reviews: Does the provider have a good reputation, and what are users saying about the platform?
Customer support: How responsive and accessible is the customer support?
Why Choose Dexatel
With Dexatel, companies and organizations benefit from a seamless and efficient toll-free texting experience. The messaging service provides dedicated customer support in addition to robust integration capabilities for effortless compatibility with existing systems. As a GDPR-compliant provider, Dexatel prioritizes data privacy and security. The comprehensive and user-friendly platform offers a variety of features, like automation, analytics, campaign scheduling, and two-way communication.
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Other FeaturesText-to-LandlineWith text-to-landline, businesses can send messages, receive replies, and manage conversations without the internet or specialized hardware. Custom Sender IDA custom sender ID is a substitute for a number that appears on the recipient’s mobile device to which a business sends a one-way text message. Dedicated Short CodesA dedicated short code is a 5 or 6-digit number that you can use to send text messages to consumers.Virtual Number SMSA virtual number SMS is useful for businesses that need to have multiple numbers, allowing for easy messaging and increased security and privacy.
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