Toll-Free Messaging

In this article we will explain the importance behind toll-free messaging and use case submission

Munashe Lawrence Chifungo avatar
Written by Munashe Lawrence Chifungo
Updated this week

For those looking to make large messaging campaigns, Telnyx supports messaging on toll-free numbers. We support SMS. Toll-Free MMS is supported (US and Canada only). This article details valid use cases, best practices and the verification process.

In this article, find information about

Toll-Free Messaging Use Case Registration Information

To get started with toll-free messaging it's necessary to first have your use case approved. Verifying Toll Free Numbers ensures compliance and alignment with new industry standards. Use of non verified toll free numbers may result in spam blocks at any time. The unblocking of the spam blocks can only be achieved through use case verification.

How do I register my toll free number's use case?

What Information do I need to provide?

You'll be asked to clarify your use case and provide information such as:

  • Business Details

  • The toll-free number being used for the campaign

  • A summary of the use case

  • Message Content Examples

    • Expected volume per month

  • The Opt-in process

  • Additional Use Case Details

    • Terms URL

    • Privacy Policy

  • Whether you're a reseller or independent software vendor

Can I register my toll free use case through the API?

Yes! you can register via API, which allows for bulk use case submissions and ability to track status of submitted TFNs. Visit our developer documentation to set up toll-free use case registration by API.

How do I track the progress of my use case registration?

Note: It can potentially take 4 weeks for the use case to be approved and only one unique use case can be associated with one toll-free number. i.e multiple toll-free numbers can not send the same messaging content as this is considered an industry bad practice, where there is a higher chance of such numbers becoming spam blocked.

Note: From the 8th of November 2023, any unverified toll-free numbers that attempt to send messages will be blocked. This is an industry wide change, so please make sure to register your toll-free number and it's use case through your account. If you have any toll free numbers that were in a pending verification state prior to this date, you will still be able to send traffic. However, please note that we expect industry wide changes, in the early new year, that toll free numbers will not be able to send messages unless a use case is in an approved state first.

Note: Current use case approval times is now 2 weeks.

Note: From the early new year (February), we also expect an improvement in the time to approve use case from 2 weeks to 1 week.

After you have completed the submission, you can track the status from the requests tab.

Toll free messaging settings portal.

You can amend the details at any time by clicking "Submit Changes".

You can also receive updates via webhook about status changes by inputting a webhook url. This way we can inform you as to whether the use case was approved or if further amendments need to be clarified.

Appropriate Message Content

Message content length

  • UCS-2 (16 bit) = 70 character maximum. For longer multi-part messages, a user data header (UDH) is added to the message to instruct the receiving device on how to reassemble the message, resulting in a maximum of 67 characters for the body of the message.

  • Latin1 (8 bit) = 140 character maximum. For longer multi-part messages, a user data header (UDH) is added to the message to instruct the receiving device on how to reassemble the message, resulting in a maximum of 134 characters for the body of the message.

  • *Most Common* GSM7 (7 bit) = 160 character maximum. For longer multi-part messages, a user data header (UDH) is added to the message to instruct the receiving device on how to reassemble the message, resulting in a maximum of 153 characters for the body of the message. Any message segment which has been broken up from a single message due to length will be treated as a single message as will messages to multiple recipients

When sending toll-free sms it's important to have an appropriate use case and adhere to best practices. Violation of best practice principals could result in:

  • Blocking of individual messages

  • Blocking of phone numbers

  • Repeated violation may result in account termination or blocking

Valid Use Cases

The Following are examples of acceptable use cases permitted on the Telnyx Toll-Free SMS service:

  • 2FA

  • Account Notification

  • Customer Care

  • Delivery Notification

  • Fraud Alert Messaging

  • Higher Education

  • Low Volume Mixed

  • Marketing

  • Mixed

  • Polling and Voting

  • Public Service Announcements

Inappropriate Use Cases

The Following are examples of content and behaviors that are not permitted using on the Telnyx Toll-Free SMS service. Messages found to be associated with the following content may be blocked regardless of opt-in status:

  1. Social Marketing

  2. Collections

  3. Financial services whether account notifications, marketing, collections or billing for:

    • High-risk/subprime lending/credit card companies

    • Auto loans

    • Mortgages

    • Payday loans

    • Short-term loans

    • Student loans

    • Debt consolidation/reduction/forgiveness

  4. Insurance

    • Car Insurance

    • Health Insurance

  5. Gambling, Casino, and Bingo

  6. Gift cards

  7. Sweepstake's

  8. Free prizes

  9. Investment opportunities

  10. Lead generation

  11. Recruiting

  12. Commission programs

  13. Credit repair

  14. Tax relief

  15. Illicit or illegal substances (including Cannabis)

  16. Work from home

  17. Get rich quick

  18. UGGS and RayBan campaigns

  19. Phishing

  20. Fraud or scams

  21. Cannabis

  22. Deceptive marketing

  23. SHAFT: Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms or Tobacco

Additionally, the following practices should also be avoided to ensure high deliverability rates for toll-free messaging campaigns:

  • High Frequency Messages
    Senders should also avoid sending a high frequency of messages to subscribers. Senders may not send more than 10 messages to a recipient in any 24 hour period unless the following conditions are met:

    • The recipient has engaged in two-way communication over SMS such as for a chat feature.

    • The customer has explicitly opted in to receiving frequent messages.

  • Spoofing

    Senders may not represent or identify themselves as another individual or business in any way. More specifically, you may not use the message body or the phone number in a way that would lead the recipient to believe you are another individual or business.

  • Engaging in Fraud or Phishing For Information

    Sending messages with fraudulent information or phishing to get confidential information from a recipient is explicitly prohibited.

Toll-Free Messaging Limits

Toll Free Messaging Verification Status

Daily Message Limit

Weekly Message Limit

Monthly Message Limit





Restricted (no pending or accepted verification)




Toll-Free Messaging Best Practices

Before sending out messages it's important to obtain consent from receivers this means having a clear call-to-action. A call to action should ensure that receiver are aware of:

  • The program or product description;

  • The phone number(s) or short code(s) from which messaging will originate;

  • The specific identity of the organization or individual being represented in the initial message;

  • Clear and conspicuous language about opt-in and any associated fees or charges; and

  • Other applicable terms and conditions (e.g., how to opt-out, customer care contact information and any applicable privacy policy)

  • A clear opt-in mechanism is necessary to prevent unwanted messages to receivers. Receivers may also choose to unsubscribe from future messages by sending stop words such as STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE. Senders have up to 24 hours to remove the recipient from the list.

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