US and Canadian Toll-Free Phone Number FAQ


Note:

The average carrier review process is within 72 hours of submission.

Important:

Beginning Jan 31, 2024, the industry’s Toll-Free aggregator will block messaging traffic for unverified Toll-Free numbers. 

 

What is Toll-Free Verification?

The Toll-Free verification process is free of charge. It pre-qualifies messaging traffic as 'verified' with our downstream peers, which helps to increase message deliverability on the Toll-Free number.

Verification is not whitelisting, so approval doesn’t guarantee that you won’t experience any blocking. However, as long as the sent messages align with what's stated on the approved verification application, we can work with our peers more swiftly and ask for a block to be removed.

 

How do I submit a Toll-Free verification form? 

Verification can be completed directly from the Sender page in Sakari.

Information Required

  • Business Name: The business name of the Sakari customer.
  • Business Contact Email: The contact information for the compliance point of contact (POC).
  • Legal Company Name: The legal company name of the business sending the actual messages to consumers.
  • Organization Type: Use the drop-down menu to select the type of the message sender company.
  • State of Incorporation: The state where the message sender company was registered.
  • Business Address: The primary/corporate address of the message sender.
  • Campaign Description: Please describe your use case and the purpose of your messages (i.e. appointment reminders, receipts, etc.)
  • What types of messages are being sent?: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes your message type:
    • Conversational: Conversational messaging is a one-to-one message exchange between a business and an end user (recipient).
      • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Please describe how potential subscribers are opted in to receive messages.
    • Informational: These messages inform your customers of things like service updates, appointments, and scheduling. Informational messages do not sell or promote anything regarding the business.
      • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes how subscribers opt in to the messaging program:
        • IVR: A potential subscriber provides their consent via an interactive voice response.
        • Keyword: A potential subscriber texts a keyword (i.e JOIN) to opt into a messaging program.
        • POS or other on-site location: A potential subscriber provides their consent at the point of sale or other on-site location.
        • Via paper form: A potential subscriber provides their consent at an in-person location via a paper form. 
        • Weblink/URL: A potential subscriber enters their telephone number through a website to opt into a messaging program.
        • Other: Use this field to detail any other type of opt-in not listed above.
    • Marketing: A text message sent that contains a sales or marketing promotion. 
        • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes how subscribers opt in to the messaging program (see the list above).
  • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes how subscribers opt in to the messaging program (see the list above). A screenshot and/or URL will be required to move forward.
  • Sample Messages: Please include 1-3 variations of the messages you intend to send.
  • Please choose the category that best represents your use case/content: Use the drop-down menu to select a category that closely resembles your use case.
  • Are you using more than one sending number?
    • No: Select this option if you're not using more than one sending number.
    • Yes: Select this option if you're using more than one sending number.
  • Estimated Monthly Message Volume: Use the drop-down menu to select a number that best represents the estimated monthly message volume.
  • Canadian Traffic: Please choose the appropriate drop-down selection if a majority of the traffic is expected to be delivered to Canadian handsets.
  • Supporting Documentation: Please attach any additional information that would be useful.
  •  

Please note, it is not necessary to include samples of every different variation on your messaging, but it is strongly recommended that your message samples are representative of the majority of the messaging you plan to send.

Opt-in

  • Make sure the opt-in flow is thoroughly detailed.
  • Consumer consent should be collected by the direct (first) party sending the messages.
  • If Website opt-in: Screenshots of the web form where the client adds a number and agrees to receive messaging.
  • Website Posting (Support): Where is the number advertised and where does the customer find the number to text in.
  • If a keyword or QR Code Opt-in: Where does the customer find the keyword in order to opt-in to these messages? Please provide this material (photos or screenshots) for verification.
  • If Voice/IVR opt-in: In this case please provide a screenshot record of opt-in via voice in the client's database/ CRM. (i.e., a check box on their CRM saying that the customer opted in and the date)
  • 2FA/OTP: Please provide a screenshot process to receive the initial text
  • Paper form (Customer/ Employee): please upload a photo of the form

Examples of opt-in:

Screenshot 2023-10-12 at 12.39.52 PM.pngoptin_example_2.png

Click here to view: United States Messaging Campaign Best Practices

Questions? Please open a ticket with the Sakari support team.

What are the differences between Verified, Pending, and Restricted numbers?

The Toll-free Aggregator has created 3 Classes of Service to classify verification status: Verified, Pending Verification, and Restricted.

Verified

Verified numbers have gone through the Toll-Free verification process and were approved. Their traffic is subjected to limited filters. If traffic does trigger any filters that specific content will be blocked but the number will not be automatically blocked.

Pending Verification

Pending Verification numbers have submitted a Toll-Free verification application, and are currently awaiting a response from the aggregator. These numbers will remain in this pending state until a decision has been made on verification status.

  Previous Limit Limit starting Jan 31, 2024
Daily Limit (segments) 2,000 0
Weekly Limit (segments) 6,000 0
Monthly Limit (segments) 10,000 0

Restricted (Unverified)

Restricted numbers have either 1) not submitted a verification request or 2) have had their application denied. 

  Previous Limit Limit effective Nov 8, 2023
Daily Limit (segments) 2,000 0
Weekly Limit (segments) 12,000 0
Monthly Limit (segments) 25,000 0

Toll-Free numbers sending traffic to Canadian destinations will need to have their traffic verified or the traffic will be blocked. 

 

Cost of Toll Free Verification

The Toll-Free verification process is free of charge. 

 

Requirements to get verified

The minimum requirements to verify your toll free number are:

  • One or more Toll-Free numbers
  • The use case is not listed on our Ineligible Use Case list
  • A documented/detailed opt-in process (a screenshot and/or URL is required for marketing use cases).  See below for examples. 
  • Sakari Terms of Service and Carrier Best Practices (CTIA guidelines) are being followed

 

How long does it take to be approved?

Currently the average carrier processing time to review a Toll-Free submission is approximately 4 weeks.

Once submitted, your Toll Free number will be pending verification, which will be subject to the sending limits as stated above.

Benefits of a Toll-Free Number

Toll free phone numbers have several benefits compared to local phone numbers: 

  • Higher Rates- Toll-Free Phone Numbers are made for application-to-person (A2P) SMS and offer higher send rates than long code (local) phone numbers.
  • Call Forwarding- All inbound calls can be forwarded to an existing phone number

Alternatives to a Toll-Free Number

If you prefer to message from a United States Local phone number (e.g. 415, 206, 919), we can set that up on your account.  Please note that businesses messaging on local phone numbers have a separate registration process called 10DLC that must be completed.  10DLC registrations typically are approved with 3 business days.

 

Ineligible Use Cases

High-Risk Financial Services Get Rich Quick Schemes Debt Forgiveness Illegal Substances/ Activities General

Payday loans

Short-term, high-interest loans

Auto loans

Mortgage loans

Student loans

Gambling

Sweepstakes

Stock alerts

Cryptocurrency

Debt consolidation

Debt reduction

Credit repair programs

Deceptive work from home programs

Multi-level marketing

Work from home programs

Risk investment opportunities

Debt collection or consolidation

Cannabis

Alcohol

Tobacco or vape

Phishing

Fraud or scams

Deceptive marketing

Pornography

Profanity or hate speech

 

Toll-Free Messaging Best Practices

Toll-Free messaging users must adhere to the following standards:

  • Obtain clear opt-in from your recipients before sending them messages (the opt-in does not need to be via text messaging) see the article here.
  • Provide easy ways for your users to opt-out of messages
  • Maintain a very low opt-out (STOP reply) rate from your recipients
  • Use shortened, branded URLs for the highest deliverability levels when sending links in the message body. Do not use shared URL shorteners (such as popular free URL shortening services) as these are forbidden by US carriers and will result in filtering.  We provide a free of charge URL shortener, you can learn more about that here
  • Do not "load balance" by sending the same or similar messages using multiple Toll-Free numbers. Carriers call this "snowshoeing" and it is specifically targeted for filtering on Toll-Free SMS.
    • If you have a valid use case for sending the same or similar messages over multiple Toll-Free numbers, please contact Sakari support.
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