As a business owner, you may already use short code or long code numbers to text message customers, but things have changed: 10DLC is the new system. Consumers might miss the industry-wide changes, but the process for incorporating 10DLC impacts how U.S. businesses will contact their customers via text messaging and SMS campaigns.
This article will discuss the new 10DLC system and how it changes the way companies approach SMS marketing and texting.
What Is 10DLC?
10DLC stands for 10-digit long code, which are local long-code phone numbers for business texting campaigns. To use the new system, companies must register a 10DLC local number with The Campaign Registry, the central campaign database, and have a mobile network operator approve their messages.¹
In addition to registering, every U.S. wireless carrier has different requirements regarding price and volume limits for 10DLC texting. However, the 10DLC system is beneficial: The numbers can support large-scale texting campaigns. Plus, it allows businesses to connect with each customer more reliably—text messages have a 98% open rate, much higher than email.²
What Is A2P 10DLC?
A2P stands for Application-to-Person, a method that businesses use to text-message customers directly. A2P 10DLC is the new U.S.-wide system and standard for companies to communicate with customers via SMS or MMS messages.
With the new A2P messaging system, short-code SMS messaging is no longer viable and ended as of June 1st, 2021.
As of June 1st, 2021, American telecom providers don’t support businesses using P2P (person-to-person) long codes to send A2P messages.3 As of March 1st, 2022, Tier 1 carriers increased surcharge fees for any unregistered traffic via local numbers on the network.4 Fortunately, switching to the new A2P SMS system is advantageous: It’s more affordable and improves throughput and delivery rate.
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What Is 10DLC Messaging?
10DLC messaging is a mandatory change affecting businesses using SMS messaging to communicate with customers. The system requires companies to use 10-digit long code text messaging. In the past, using local long-code texting was discouraged. Instead, companies used shared short codes, which are very expensive.
The new 10DLC number change will make the business text messaging experience better for customers, as it protects them from receiving spam or unwanted messages. In addition, the switch to 10DLC allows for higher messaging throughput than traditional long-code numbers and improves deliverability.5
Who Is 10DLC Applicable To?
10DLC is mandatory for certain businesses.6 If your company sends long-code A2P messaging, you must switch to 10DLC messaging. Each brand will need individual registration, which means businesses may not group together similar campaigns in one registration.7
In addition to businesses that send A2P messaging, Independent Service Vendors and resellers with end-users who are separate business entities must comply with the new 10DLC system. However, it’s only applicable for businesses that use a high volume of A2P messaging, which we’ll cover in the next section.8
Is a 10DLC Required?
Registering is required by all Weave customers. You must register your campaigns through The Campaign Registry. After that, you can send registered traffic to your customer base via 10DLC text messages, taking advantage of the increased throughput rate.9
Besides the industry-wide changes, U.S. mobile carriers all have different regulations. For example, some limit texting volume, and every carrier has a unique method of calculating fees for companies using 10DLC business messaging or SMS marketing. Unregistered messaging is subject to heavy filtering.10
10DLC Regulations and 10DLC Compliance
Your business must follow regulations to remain compliant with the 10DLC system. The FCC and mobile carriers phased out the old method for texting consumers in 2021, so most businesses have already migrated to the new long-code text messaging system.11
Your company must complete registration with The Campaign Registry, the central 10DLC database, if you use more than five phone number for sending SMS messages or if you send more than 3000 each day. If you want to use Tier 1 wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.), you’ll also have to follow the specific regulations of your chosen carrier. In addition, companies with multiple brands must complete registration for each one and create an individual campaign type detailing its purpose and name.6
A quick briefing on 10DLC Registration
Your business must first complete the registration process with The Campaign Registry to send A2P SMS messages. As a campaign service provider, you have to register any businesses or separate entities with The Campaign Registry, although it uses the term “brands.” Once you complete campaign registration, you can officially message your customer base using the new 10DLC system.
You may be subject to penalties if you don’t register and then continue texting your customer base, including higher filtering and spam flagging.12 Plus, your carrier may levy additional fines for unregistered 10DLC message traffic, which can add up quickly if you send messages in large-scale volume.13
How much does 10DLC registration cost?
Fees are determined by the MNOs and their partners. Weave includes a Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee on your service charges to defray and recover certain direct and indirect costs associated with 10DLC messaging, and other regulatory programs such as E911, STIR/SHAKEN, local number portability, among other items.
If you decide not to register, you may be subject to additional fees and penalties from the MNOs and their partners. These additional fees will be added to your service charges.
A 10DLC campaign is the specific use-case of the message type you send to customers. Remember, you must register every campaign with your carrier to distinguish the kind of traffic you’re sending to their mobile subscribers. The Campaign Registry lists two campaign categories:
Special Use Campaigns: Confidential or sensitive campaigns that need additional approval before acceptance.
Standard Use Campaigns: Standard-use campaigns are freely available to registered businesses.
Brands that are political committees should register with Campaign Verify, a vetting partner of The Campaign Registry. It’s not mandatory, but registering earns the committee a higher throughput rate.17
The new 10DLC system for A2P messaging was a significant change, but one that businesses eventually welcomed. The system provides numerous benefits, including higher message volumes and throughput, considerable cost savings, local number recognition for customers, improved deliverability, and easier compliance. While many companies found the switch initially challenging, it’s clear that the advantages far outweigh the negatives.
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- The Campaign Registry CSP Portal Guide
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- What is A2P 10DLC?
- The complete guide to messaging with 10DLC
- Application-to-Person 10-Digit Long Codes (A2P 10DLC)
- Special requirements for sending SMS messages to US destinations
- U.S. Carrier Penalties for Non-Compliant Messaging
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- Short Codes and Texting – What Every Business Needs to Know
- Campaign Verify is a non-partisan, nonprofit service for U.S. political campaigns, parties, and PACs to verify their identity.