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Text Message Marketing: Choosing A Local vs. Toll-Free Phone Number. Which One is Right For You?

Updated: Oct 30

When you texting your customers or your community with a texting platform, you have two options when selecting a phone number:

  1. A local phone number — you can choose your desired area code ###-555–5555.

  2. A toll-free phone number — starts with 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844.

What’s the difference?

Depending on your needs, audience size, and marketing strategy, you may prefer one over the other.

Choosing A Local vs. Toll-Free Phone Number. Which One is Right For You?

☎️ Local phone numbers are great if:

  • Telephone carriers typically limit the number of text messages sent from one local phone number per day to about 100 recipients.

  • You like to send MMS/images  — text messages with previewable pictures.

  • You want to retain your local area code to connect to your business and customers in the area.

  • Good for internal, team members communications.

  • You are working under a budget — all Pony Express HQ accounts come with one free dedicated local phone number (unlike competitors, who charge a recurring monthly fee)!

📲 Toll-Free phone numbers are great if:

  • You have thousands of people on your subscriber list.

  • You need to send messages quickly — up to 3 messages per second.

  • You send MMS/pictures that will be sent as a link.

  • Good for your business marketing communications.

  • Toll-free phone numbers are not very restricted in terms of content filtering like local phone numbers.


You told us we listened! We launched toll-free numbers when Pony Express HQ users

said they needed to reach larger audiences without getting blocked by carriers.


How do I reach more people but still retain a local area code?

  • Telephone carriers typically limit the number of text messages sent from one local phone number per day to about 100 recipients. Pony Express HQ automatically assigns you one free local phone number. But, you can purchase additional local phone numbers for a low monthly fee, and you can text to more people. Many of our local businesses do this when their subscriber lists grow past 200 but stay under 300.

Can I switch from a local phone number to a toll-free phone number at any time? Or vice versa?

  • Yes, it’s easy to switch from one to the other in the Pony Express HQ dashboard as your marketing needs change. Remember that once you make the switch, your former phone number will go back into the pool of available numbers.

Are there any limits to how many people I can reach with a toll-free number?

  • No! A toll-free number is a popular option for people who have mobile subscriber lists of 1,000+.

Do I still have the same pricing and dashboard features with either option?

How to switch for a toll-free phone number

Sign-up for a free trial of Pony Express HQ to activate your SMS text message marketing. We hope this guide was helpful! Leave us a comment with any questions. Happy Texting ✨ The Pony Express HQ Team

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Please see our Privacy Policy, Terms Of Use, Anti-Spam Policy to learn about our position on spam and the privacy of your data.

Pony Express HQ has a zero-tolerance policy for text messaging spam and reserve the right to immediately cancel the account for any user that does so. Don't be that person. 🙅‍

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Pony Express HQ neither provides lists of phone numbers nor do we give access to our clients’ contact lists.