Understand US and Canadian SMS sending numbers

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You will learn

Please note that only account Owners and Admins will have the ability to add/manage sending numbers.

Learn about sending numbers for the US and Canada, including what each can do and which number type might be best for you. 

Overview of sending number features

Features

Toll-free

Short code

Short code (vanity)

Available countries

 

US 

CAN

(the same toll-free number is used in both countries)

US 

 

US 

CAN

Klaviyo plan needed

Free & paid

Paid-only

Paid-only

Cost

$0 (included in every plan)

$650/month

US: $1,150/month

CAN: $1,000/month

MMS

US:

CAN:

US:

CAN:

Base throughput (messages per second)

10 mps

100 mps

100 mps

SMS conversations, click-to-text, and keywords

Branded

Toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers are the default sending numbers in Klaviyo for the US and Canada, and are automatically created as soon as you set up SMS. The same toll-free number can send to both countries.

You should use a toll-free number if any of the following apply:

  • You are new to SMS marketing
  • You send fewer than 300,000 messages at a time
    • Note: if you send more than 100,000 messages at once, you may need to ask for additional throughput. 
  • You are mostly sending texts via flows or to small, segmented groups
  • You want to send image or GIFs to Canada
    • Note: toll-free numbers are the only Canadian sending number that can send MMS

Toll-free verification

Toll-free numbers must be verified, although not all industries are eligible. We do not recommend sending from unverified toll-free numbers. Toll-free number verification typically takes 7 to 10 business days. 

When you turn on SMS, you will be asked for information in order to receive a toll-free number. After you fill out this information, Klaviyo will assign you a number and automatically submit it for verification.

Releasing a toll-free number

Releasing a toll-free number is not recommended. 

The same toll-free number is used for both the US and Canada. If you release the toll-free number shown for the US, it will remove the number for Canada as well. 

The only time when you might want to release your toll-free number is if you already have a short code for both the US and Canada.

Short code

Short codes are only good for the country they were approved in. If you have a US short code, you cannot use this short code for Canadian recipients, and vice versa. 

Short codes are best for high-volume senders. If you are sending SMS campaigns to more than 300,000 people (and they are engaging with your texts), a short code may be the best choice for you. 

Not all businesses and industries are eligible for a short code. You must apply for them and be approved. This approval process takes several weeks, so even if you are eligible, you cannot instantly start sending on a short code. 

What happens if you have a toll-free number and a short code

Say you purchase a short code for only 1 country and are using a toll-free number for the other country.

In this case, the short code will send all messages to the country where it was approved, while the toll-free number will send to the other country.  

Vanity short code

Vanity short codes are exactly the same as regular short codes, and they can only send to 1 country. The only difference is that you get to pick the number. 

Vanity short codes are for those who want to get a short code that fits with their brand. They are also the only type of short code available in Canada.

You do need to check if the short code you want is available. Since short codes are only good for 1 country, each country keeps its own list of available vanity short codes. 

Additional resources 

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