The top priority of all businesses is to meet the demands of their customers and provide them great customer experience. One of the methods employed by businesses is to use text-messaging services which allows them to connect to their customers quickly and directly. This connection can be further enhanced by using a toll-free number that enables your customers to text you anytime without any charges. Yes! Doesn't it sound like a more convenient and appealing offer for your customers? To learn more about the text-enabled toll-free numbers and how they work, let's dive into the details of the article.

What is a text-enabled toll-free number?

Toll-free numbers (TFNs) refer to telephone numbers, having a unique 3-digit code that your customers can dial from their landlines free of cost. Text-enabled toll-free numbers mean that your customers can also send you free text messages on your provided number and you can respond back via SMS. However, customers calling from a mobile phone may be charged for airtime minutes during the toll-free call if they don't have an unlimited charging plan.

Suitable time for sending SMS from a toll-free number

Given below are some of the examples of when you should send an SMS message from your business toll-free number:

  • Informational alerts: Toll-free texts are great for informational alerts that keep your customers informed regarding relevant events such as service disruption alerts (in case of power outage), package delivery notifications, etc.

  • Appointment alerts: These toll-free texts to your customers allow them to schedule their day better, and inform timely in case of rescheduling because missed appointments cause great revenue loss to businesses.

  • Customer surveys: Toll-free texts also enable you to send a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey to your customers that lets you know about your brand position by determining the satisfaction and engagement level of your customers from their responses.

  • Marketing messages: It lets your customers know about the promotional offers, sales event notifications, coupons, grand openings, and loyalty club perks reminders. Also, it informs them about the customized offers they have been waiting for.

  • Community updates: Toll-free text enables you to reach different institutions and communities to update them about the COVID conditions, safety precautions, weather closing schedule for schools, registration deadlines, road closures, and transit alerts.

Which SMS messages should be avoided to send from a toll-free number?

Given below are examples of text messages that should not be sent from your toll-free number:

  • High-risk financial services: High-risk financial service content is not allowed to send from your business's toll-free number including auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, short-term-high interest loans, payday loans, gambling, sweepstakes, stock alerts, cryptocurrency, and third-party lending programs. However, any account-related content that does not promote disallowed content is allowed to send.

  • 'Get rich quick' schemes: It includes multi-level marketing or investment opportunities schemes that attract customers to get rich within days by doing specific promotional work programs.

  • Third-party debt collection: It includes third-party debt collection content such as debt reduction, debt forgiveness, and credit card repairs.

  • SHAFT content: SHAFT stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. It means that such content which includes pornography or sexually explicit content, hate speech, alcohol products, weapons, or tobacco products is strictly prohibited to send from toll-free numbers.

  • Indirect marketing: Indirect marketing content is not allowed to send from toll-free numbers such as lead generation, where customer opt-in data is shared or sold to third parties, or sending promotional messages through a third-party instead of the brand itself.

  • Controlled substances: Sending illegal drugs including medical marijuana and cannabis dispensaries are not allowed from a toll-free number.

Cost of applying for a text-enabled toll-free number

If you want a toll-free texting service for your business, you need to keep in mind certain charges in order to set up and run your business toll-free number that includes standard message fee, number lease fee, and carrier pass-through fee (which depends upon your carriers).