The SMS Marketing Guide to A2P 10DLC Compliance

Ensure 10DLC compliance in your marketing campaigns. Get best practices and tips to ensure your campaigns meet standards & maximize effectiveness.

Are you gearing up to revolutionize your marketing strategy with SMS software? Hold that thought! Before you dive in, there’s a critical piece of the puzzle you need to fit in place – A2P 10DLC compliance.

Learn everything you need to know to stay compliant with this guide from Sakari.

What Is 10DLC?

10DLC, short for 10-Digit Long Code, represents a new standard in the United States for business SMS and MMS messaging. Primarily designed for Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, it enables businesses to send text messages directly to customers. The adoption of 10DLC is growing due to its advantages over traditional long codes, notably its higher throughput and enhanced reliability, making it a preferred choice for modern business communication.

What Is A2P 10DLC?

A2P 10DLC stands for Application-to-Person messaging using 10-Digit Long Codes. It specifically refers to the process where business applications send SMS messages to individuals, such as customers or clients. This system is integral in today’s digital communication, allowing for direct and personalized messaging from businesses to their audience, facilitated through various business software platforms.

What is The Purpose of 10DLC?

The core purpose of 10DLC is to establish a reliable and efficient channel for businesses to engage with their customers through SMS. It aims to strike a balance between effective business outreach and the protection of consumers from unwanted communications. By providing a trusted messaging platform, 10DLC enhances customer engagement while adhering to regulatory standards for consumer protection.

How Is 10DLC Different Than Short Codes?

When comparing 10DLC with short codes for SMS marketing, the key differences lie in their usage, cost, and audience reach.

Short codes, typically 5-6 digit numbers, are tailored for high-volume, nationwide messaging campaigns. They stand out for their ability to handle a large number of messages quickly, making them ideal for expansive marketing efforts. However, this efficiency comes at a higher cost, positioning short codes as a significant investment for businesses.

On the other hand, 10DLC, or 10-Digit Long Codes, offer a more localized and cost-effective approach to SMS marketing. They provide a local presence, fostering trust and familiarity among customers. While traditionally long codes had limitations in message throughput, 10DLC enhances this aspect, making it competitive with short codes.

This combination of local appeal and improved throughput, along with being more budget-friendly, makes 10DLC an attractive option for businesses targeting local audiences or those scaling their messaging strategies.

The Benefits of 10-Digit Long Codes

10-Digit Long Codes offer several advantages. Here are some of the most relevant ones:

  1. Local Presence: They provide a sense of familiarity and trust, as customers recognize local numbers.

  2. Higher Throughput: Unlike traditional long codes, 10DLCs can handle a larger volume of messages, making them ideal for both small-scale and mass messaging.

  3. Cost-Effectiveness: They offer a more affordable solution for businesses, especially small to medium-sized ones, to engage in SMS marketing.

  4. Reduced Spam Risk: With carrier approval, messages sent via 10DLCs are less likely to be flagged as spam, ensuring better delivery rates.

  5. Enhanced Customer Engagement: 10DLC allows for more personalized and targeted messaging, which can significantly improve customer engagement. By using local numbers, businesses can create a more personalized communication experience, fostering stronger customer relationships.

  6. Improved Deliverability and Reliability: 10DLCs are recognized and sanctioned by carriers, which means messages sent via these codes have a higher likelihood of successful delivery. This reliability is crucial for time-sensitive and critical communications.

  7. Compliance with Regulations: Using 10DLC helps businesses comply with messaging regulations and guidelines. This compliance is essential for avoiding legal issues and maintaining a good reputation with both customers and carriers.

  8. Scalability: 10DLCs are scalable to business needs. Whether a business is expanding its customer base or increasing the frequency of its communications, 10DLC can accommodate this growth without the need for significant infrastructure changes.

  9. Brand Consistency: Businesses can maintain brand consistency in their communications by using the same number for different types of messages. This consistency helps in building brand recognition and trust.

  10. Integration with Business Systems: 10DLC can be easily integrated with existing business systems and CRM platforms. This integration allows for automated and efficient communication workflows, saving time and resources.

  11. Flexibility in Message Content: Unlike short codes, which often have stricter content restrictions, 10DLC offers more flexibility in the type of content that can be sent. This flexibility allows businesses to be more creative and responsive in their messaging strategies.

10DLC Compliance and Regulations

To comply with 10DLC regulations, businesses must undertake several critical steps:

  1. Use Case Registration: Registering the specific use cases of your messaging with carriers is essential. This process involves detailing how and why you will be using 10DLC for your business communications.

  2. Obtaining Consent: It’s crucial to obtain explicit consent from customers before sending them messages. This consent must be documented and verifiable.

  3. Providing Opt-Out Options: Every message sent must include clear instructions on how recipients can opt out of receiving future communications.

  4. Adhering to Content Guidelines: Carriers have set specific content guidelines that must be followed. These guidelines are in place to ensure messages are appropriate, relevant, and non-intrusive.

Why Are Opt-Ins Required for 10DLC Compliance?

Opt-ins are a fundamental requirement for 10DLC compliance, serving as a key mechanism to regulate SMS messaging and protect consumers. In the vast landscape of daily text messaging, where billions of texts are exchanged, the risk of harmful content such as phishing or unwanted marketing is significant. This reality prompted a more stringent regulatory approach by the US government, holding cell carriers accountable for the content transmitted over their networks.

Major carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, have established dedicated organizations to oversee business texting, particularly focusing on Application-to-Person (A2P) platforms. One such organization, The Campaign Registry, specifically manages SMS campaigns that utilize 10DLC phone numbers. Their goal is to ensure that business texting adheres to higher standards of content and consent.

For businesses, obtaining clear opt-ins means building a more engaged and receptive audience. For consumers, it translates to receiving messages that are relevant and desired, enhancing their experience and trust in SMS as a communication channel.

Why Did Carriers Create 10DLC Regulations?

Carriers introduced 10DLC regulations to improve the quality of SMS marketing, protect consumers from spam, and establish a system that distinguishes legitimate business communication. 10DLC regulations have a threefold purpose:

  1. Enhancing SMS Marketing Quality: By setting standards, carriers aim to elevate the overall quality of SMS marketing, ensuring that it remains an effective tool for businesses.

  2. Consumer Protection from Spam: A significant driver for these regulations is the protection of consumers from unsolicited and potentially harmful spam messages.

  3. Legitimacy in Business Communication: These regulations help in distinguishing legitimate business communications from spam, thereby maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of A2P messaging.

The Vetting and Registration Process

10DLC is a comprehensive framework applicable to any business utilizing Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS messaging in the United States. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, if your communication strategy includes sending text messages to customers, 10DLC is relevant to you.

A2P 10DLC vetting is a critical step in the process. Here, carriers assess a business’s messaging use case to determine the appropriate level of throughput (the number of messages that can be sent within a given timeframe) and evaluate the potential spam risk. This vetting process is tailored to understand the nature of your messaging – whether it’s for customer service, marketing, alerts, or other use cases.

Mandatory Registration for Compliance

Registration for 10DLC is not optional; it’s a mandatory requirement for businesses using A2P SMS in the U.S. By registering, businesses will adhere to regulatory standards and demonstrate their commitment to responsible messaging practices.

Compliance with 10DLC regulations supports best practices in SMS marketing. By going through the vetting and registration process, businesses can:

  • Ensure Higher Message Deliverability: Compliant messages are less likely to be flagged as spam, ensuring they reach your audience.

  • Build Customer Trust: By adhering to these standards, you demonstrate respect for customer preferences and privacy.

  • Stay Ahead of Regulatory Changes: Being compliant means you’re better prepared for any future regulatory shifts in the SMS marketing landscape.

The 10DLC Registration Process

The registration process for 10DLC involves providing detailed information about your business and its messaging practices. This includes:

  • Business Identification: Offering clear information about your business, including industry type, size, and nature of messaging.

  • Messaging Use Case: Detailing the specific purposes for which you’ll be using A2P SMS, such as marketing, alerts, reminders, or customer service.

  • Obtaining a 10DLC Number: Partnering with a registered service provider to obtain your unique 10DLC number, which will be used for all your A2P SMS activities.

Businesses looking to start the registration process for 10DLC can begin by engaging with a Campaign Service Provider (CSP) or an authorized 10DLC service provider like Sakari. These providers act as intermediaries between businesses and carriers, facilitating the registration and compliance process.

Text Messaging Best Practices for 10DLC Compliance

Effective, engaging, and respectful communication with your audience is also part of your 10DLC compliance journey. Here are key strategies to ensure your text messaging aligns with 10DLC standards and resonates with your recipients:

  1. Craft Clear and Transparent Messages: Precision in language is crucial. Your messages should be straightforward, leaving no room for misunderstandings. Clearly communicate the purpose of your messages, whether they are for marketing, updates, or reminders.

  2. Maintain Consistency in Tone and Frequency: Your brand’s voice should shine through in every message, building recognition and trust. Balance the frequency of your messages to keep your audience engaged without overwhelming them. Regular, but not excessive, communication keeps your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds.

  3. Encourage Engagement and Two-Way Communication: Foster a dialogue with your audience. Invite them to interact through feedback requests or polls, and ensure you respond promptly and personally to any engagement.

  4. Ensure Relevance and Value in Content: Tailor your messages to align with your customer’s interests and preferences. Use customer data to personalize your communication, ensuring each message provides value, be it through information, offers, or entertainment.

  5. Opt-In and Opt-Out Clarity: Clearly define opt-in and opt-out processes. Opt-outs should be straightforward, typically involving a simple keyword like “STOP.” Respect these choices promptly to maintain trust and compliance. Double opt-ins, while not mandatory, are a best practice to ensure genuine engagement and avoid sending messages to those who are not interested.

  6. Robust Tracking of Opt-Ins: Keep a detailed record of opt-ins to track your subscribers effectively. This practice is not only essential for compliance but also for the efficacy of your SMS campaigns. Utilize tools like spreadsheets or integrated CRM systems to manage this data efficiently.

  7. Honor Privacy and Security Agreements: Treat your subscribers’ information with the utmost respect and confidentiality. Avoid sharing or selling lists to third parties, as this breaches trust and compliance. Implement robust security measures like two-factor authentication and encryption to protect subscriber data.

  8. Balanced Message Frequency: Align your messaging frequency with audience preferences, adjusting based on engagement metrics. This balance ensures your messages are anticipated and welcomed rather than seen as an intrusion.

How Do You Keep Your Texts from Being Marked as Spam?

  1. Ensure Explicit Consent from Recipients: Always get clear permission before sending messages. This not only complies with legal requirements but also shows respect for your audience’s privacy and preferences.

  2. Avoid Aggressive Marketing Language: Keep your messaging tone helpful and informative rather than pushy or salesy. Messages that are too promotional can turn off your audience and increase the likelihood of being marked as spam.

  3. Regularly Update Your Contact List: Keep your list of contacts up-to-date. Regularly remove those who have opted out of your messages and refresh your list with new opt-ins. This helps in maintaining a clean and engaged audience for your messaging campaigns.

By following these best practices, you can use 10DLC to enhance your text messaging strategy, ensuring compliance and fostering a positive relationship with your customers. Remember, the key to successful SMS marketing lies in respectful, valuable, and engaging communication.

Transform Your SMS Strategy – Experience Sakari with a Free Trial!

With Sakari, seamless A2P 10DLC compliance and engaging customer communication are just a few clicks away. Experience the power of personalized, compliant, and effective SMS strategies with our easy-to-use platform. Don’t let compliance complexities hold you back.

With Sakari, seamless A2P 10DLC compliance and engaging customer communication are just a few clicks away.

Interesting in trying it out for yourself? Sign up for a 14-day trial today.

10DLC Compliance FAQ

  1. Can I Send MMS with 10DLC?

Yes, MMS messages can be sent with 10DLC, but check with your service provider for any additional costs or limitations.

  1. What Is a DCA (Direct Connect Aggregator)?

A DCA acts as an intermediary between businesses and carriers for A2P messaging, helping navigate carrier regulations and ensure compliance.

  1. How Much Does 10DLC Registration Cost?

Costs vary but generally include a one-time registration fee and ongoing monthly charges based on usage.

Start a free trial of Sakari now

Leave a Comment

Your email adress will not be published