WHICH TYPES OF TOLL-FREE NUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE?
Currently, there are three types of toll-free numbers available for the U.S. and Canada.
While there is the possibility of international toll-free numbers, the coverage is not comprehensive and varies greatly from country to country. As we have information about toll-free messaging in other countries, we will update this space.
However, if want to check the status of international toll-free calling for a particular country and do not see any information on our website, please get in touch with us. We will do our best to see if it is a viable option for your needs
Option 1: Regular toll-free number
You do not need to get approval for this number. You just add it to your account and start using it. Messages sent through this type of toll-free number are still subject to carrier filtering, but not as much as those sent by local 10-digit numbers. Regular toll-free numbers process SMS messages at a rate of 3 messages per second ( 3 MPS) by default.
In general, toll-free numbers are usually used when you need a vanity number, e.g. 1-800-flowers, and might be great for branding. The bigger value here is they offer the power and flexibility similar to short codes but at a fraction of the cost.
The cost of a toll-free number is equal to 250 messaging credits. This works out to be about $4-$6/ number depending on your plan. Compare this to a shared short code that costs $15k/year.
In the past, a few churches bought toll-free, 2-way, vanity numbers from an external vendor and ported them over to PastorsLine. That’s still an option, but we have made adding a new toll-free number easy for you to do. This Help Desk article will guide you: http://help.pastorsline.com/en/articles/3090769-adding-a-toll-free-number-to-your-account
Option 2: High throughput toll-free number
These are toll-free numbers which have a higher than usual message rate. They are purchased for an additional cost. In other words, this cost is in addition to your PastorsLine plan / subscription. At the moment, the minimum rate is 25 messages per second (25 MPS) - compared to the default of 3 MPS for the regular toll-free number (see #1 above). For an added cost, this message send rate can be increased even more.
High throughput toll-free numbers can be used like a short code to reduce carrier filtering. To do that, you have to fill out an application. Your application then gets submitted to the carriers for approval. Essentially, this process creates "pre-approved" traffic to the carriers which means they don't have to check (and filter) your messages on a regular basis. Your number then becomes a high throughput, verified, toll-free number.
If you would like more information about this option and/or a quote, please use the online chat option on our website to contact us, or send us an email to [email protected] .
Option 3: PastorsLine shared, high throughput, verified toll-free number
Just like our shared short code (77411), PastorsLine now has a shared, high throughput, verified toll-free number.
When you are sending a message, you can now choose to send it via your PastorsLine number, our shared short code, or our shared, high throughput, verified, toll-free number. This Help Desk article has the information you need to do that: https://help.pastorsline.com/en/articles/5338068-hub-choosing-the-high-throughput-shared-verified-toll-free-number
Since our shared short code is not available for our CA churches, our shared toll-free number is a great option for you to help reduce carrier filtering.
USING TOLL-FREE NUMBERS
To reduce carrier filtering to a minimum, here are tips for best practices.
TIP 1: Make sure all your contacts have opted in to received your messages. Offer them the "Stop to Opt Out" option in each message.
TIP 2: Sending shortened links can be problematic. Do not send links that have been shortened using shared public URL shorteners, such as free TinyUrl or Bitly links. Many spammers/scanners, etc. use shortened links. As a result, carriers often filter messages containing shortened URLs like those.
You could use a dedicated short domain that belongs to your church and get carrier approval for it. However, this is a complicated process and does not guarantee success.