Marketers no longer need to have five-digit short codes to send high volume, programmatic SMS. You can now use other numbers for your SMS strategy.
A2P vs P2P
First, decide whether to send from a number dedicated to A2P (application-to-person) or P2P (person-to-person) messaging.
- A2P – Delivers automatic outbound alerts or notifications from an application to a person on the other end and can be used for higher volumes of messages such as alerts, appointment reminders, or automatic notifications.
- P2P – Commonly used to deliver messages from a person to another person but handles only one message per second.
This comparison shows the differences between local, 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 unlimited messages per second, a significant advantage over local numbers.
- Optimizely has already secured the required approval, so you do not have to worry about approval processes and times. Messages from short codes may take as long as 12 weeks to get carrier approval.
- You only need a local number if you plan to use P2P messaging.
- Toll-free numbers are much more cost-effective than short codes.