Toll-free number texting as an alternative to 10DLC - TCR US A2P 10DLC

Modified on Tue, 12 Sep 2023 at 09:33 AM

If you are wondering if toll-free texting would be a viable solution for your business, we will try to explain the pros and cons in this article.

Why would you want a toll-free number as texting?

Unlike 10DLC number that requires full registration (both brand and campaign) to be successful before you can start sending SMS and MMS to the U.S. customers (on and after August 31, 2023) - toll free numbers can text as soon as they are purchased and the registration is submitted.

As of this moment, Referrizer will submit the registration on your behalf - it doesn't require EIN number nor legal business name.



10DLC/ local

Toll-free (1800)

Registration done by



Who submits data for registrationYou (Referrizer's client)



3 weeks

2-3 weeks

Prohibited items

Same for all

Same for all

Outbound texting possible

After full registration

While registration is pending

However, while the registration is pending, your throughput is limited as follows:

  1. Daily limit:   2,000 message segments
  2. Weekly limit:  6,000 message segments
  3. Monthly limit:  10,000 message segments

Please note, these Toll-Free caps are maximum limits, (not a guaranteed daily minimum), so traffic could still experience message filtering even when well below the daily limits if not verified.

(Message segment is 160 characters of SMS/MMS.)


If you need help to decide what number you should choose for your business (10DLC vs. toll-free), please, read our article that goes through the pros and cons of each.

Referrizer recommends using 10DLC instead of toll-free numbers. 10DLC numbers are more reliable, and have higher delivery rate than toll-free numbers. This results in improved SMS engagement, as receiving a text from a 10-digit number with a local area code feels more personal than receiving a text from a toll-free number.

Now, you as our valued Referrizer client will have the following three (3) options:

Action Required
A. I don't require immediate texting and can wait for the 10DLC registration to be finished. (I don't need toll-free phone number.) You will not be able to send outbound texts until your 10DLC Smartline registration is completed!Start/ Continue with 10DLC registration and wait to be approved (as of Sep 12: 1-2 weeks for campaign approval)
B. I do need texting immediately, but want to keep (or buy - for new customers) my Smartline. Buy me a temporary toll-free number to use while I wait for 10DLC (Smartline) registration to be fully completed.
  1. When you indicated the preference in the pop-up window in Referrizer app/backend, an interim toll-free number will be immediately purchased for you.
  2. Start/ Continue with 10DLC registration and wait to be approved (as of Aug 30 - around 3 wks for campaign approval)
C. I do need texting immediately, but DON'T want to keep my Smartline. (Buy me a permanent toll-free number)
Request a permanent toll-free number

For option (temporary toll-free and keep 10DLC number): Your Smartline (10DLC) number will still be active for receiving inbound SMS/MMS, but your replies will come from the new toll-free line.
Once your 10DLC registration is completed, we will reverse the two numbers: 10DLC will be primary number that will be sending outbound SMS/MMS again. And the toll-free number will be kept for a month, then discontinued.

For option (permanent toll-free number): your 10DLC number remains active for a month to catch any lingering inbound SMS/MMS, after which it will be disconnected. After Twilio's registration of your toll-free number is successful, your limits will increase. 


For toll-free options (B and C): Feel free to let your customers know that they will see this number in your texting communications with them.

Note: if your customers don't recognize the new toll-free number and decide to unsubscribe - they will be unsubscribed from 10DLC number as well. The unsubscribe setting is applied at the account level, not at specific phone number. This should be taken in consideration and communication strategy when deciding which option to choose.

This point also applies for new clients and 10DLC too. Any new phone number that you buy with Referrizer, regardless if it is 10DLC or toll-free, has to be properly introduced to your existing customers.



Q: How do I use this new toll-free number?

A: You don't have to do anything differently. You use the Referrizer platform the same way as before: campaigns, inbox, ...

Q: What about my customers texting Smartline (10DLC) number?

A: If someone decides to text you using the Smartline (10DLC) number, the message will still show up in your inbox. When you text back, it will go from the new toll-free number.


For details of what will happen on August 31, 2023 (the Twilio deadline/ cut off), please, click here.

Moreover, there are Forbidden Message Categories that might be the cause of non-delivered messages. These are applicable for both 10DLC and toll-free numbers. Additional details can be found here.

For more details regarding Twilio toll-free numbers, please, click here.


Glossary of terms


Acronym/ Term



Application to Person; equivalent of B2C (business to consumer)


Ten digit long code e.g. +1.703.123.4567 or “local phone number” - in Referrizer terminology: Smartline


The campaign registry (the regulator)

Message segment

160 characters of SMS / MMS

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