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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

10DLC Registration - What You Need to Know

10DLC Registration - What You Need to Know

New regulations require businesses to understand 10DLC SMS registration. A Ten-Digit Long Code (10DLC) is a regular US phone number or landline with a local area code at the start to geographically “place” the business.

The typical format is (xxx) xxx-xxxx, and, for example, if you wanted to contact us here at Clerk Chat, you would use (415) 943-6084. A familiar local area code on a 10DLC line builds trust with customers.

In order to use text messaging for your business (A2P SMS), you need to comply with mobile carrier rules. This applies to all industries in the decision of 10DLC vs Toll-free. Toll-free just means that the number used will adhere to the toll-free format (800) instead of a traditional area code etc.

Protecting Trust and Growth by Regulating 10DLC

The need to regulate 10DLC SMS messaging comes from the abuse of SMS marketing by companies using it for phishing and spamming. The regulations have been put in place to stop SMS marketing from becoming another overwhelming, cluttered channel, like email.

At present, SMS messaging, known for its high open rate, makes it one of the most effective ways to market to consumers, and this level of consumer trust needs to be protected. The SMS market was forecast to grow 20.3% between 2019 and 2025, a rate of over 3% per year and it is profitable for the mobile network operators (MNOs). They are keen to protect this growth, which is a significant reason for the regulatory requirements.

10DLC is a modern alternative to shortcodes but it does have a stricter registration process in comparison. The problem with shortcodes is that they could be shared by multiple businesses.

10DLC Regulations for SMS Marketing

The 10DLC regulations, implemented by the Mobile Network Operators, are essential for the future of the SMS marketing in the US. It is a requirement to register information about your business with a third-party organization which will keep the data on file.

Being able to collate all of the relevant information in one place gives The Campaign Registry:

  • Awareness of industry trends.
  • Ability to track best practices.
  • Verification rights to make sure companies deliver appropriate info to the end-user.
  • A way to identify and penalize violators.

What is 10DLC Registration

The 10DLC registration process, managed by The Campaign Registry, is relatively simple. It does require prep work and the gathering of a lot of information. There is a 10DLC registration form that can be filled in on their website.

Alternatively, if you’re using a service to provide SMS capabilities to your phone number, check to see if they assist with the process.

Clerk Chat, for instance, tries to make the process as easy as possible.

There are two main steps:

Brand Registration

10DLC brand registration establishes your company’s identity. This requires having access to your enterprise SMS messaging business information including:

  • Legal company name
  • Brand name
  • Country of registration
  • Organization legal form (i.e. non profit, government, etc.)
  • Company EIN and issuing country
  • Address
  • Point of contact

Clerk Chat customers can submit these details directly from the app, which can be found under Settings and Brand Registration.

Try to provide as much information and as accurately as possible when undergoing this process, as this will help you to be approved far more quickly.

You will be asked to disclose where you received the sign-ups that allow you to send out messages to consumers, and it is important to provide proof that user consent has been granted. You will also be expected to have a privacy policy and terms of use available on your website that lets potential customers know of any costs associated with using your service.

Campaign Registration

Once you have been approved for the Brand Registration you will need to be aware of a few more key points.

Share your messaging purpose. This may mean disclosing your SMS templates to help TCR prevent spam.

Wait for approval. Once your company is verified and your campaign receives approval from TCR, you’re good to go.

Accept transparency. The TCR will check the messages you are sending out to make sure they’re in line with what you told TCR about your use case.

SMS messages are essentially graded on their content. Avoid poorly worded and “spammy” messages.

10DLC Registration Requirements

Before sending texts through Clerk Chat or another SMS marketing platform, make sure you’ve fulfilled all requirements. Some of these platforms offer SMS integrations, including Outlook, Hubspot and Salesforce. In order to be able to use these contacts for messaging, you will have to prove that they have opted-in to receive the SMS messages.

The easiest way to do this is to link to the sign-up form on the website, which contains the user’s information. It also helps to demonstrate how this works in practice, for example, explaining that the form then adds a database record with the user’s information or sends an email to the administrator notifying them of the sign-up.

10DLC Deadline

Although it was previously indicated that delivery of messages from unregistered numbers would be significantly reduced by August 31, 2023, there is currently no official deadline in place for submitting your 10DLC registration, but, in practice, if you want to send SMS messages, you must register sooner rather than later..

The sooner you bite the bullet and complete the 10DLC registration process with TCR, the better. Sending SMS campaigns that get results and have high open and engagement rates of smartphone users is much better than worrying about unreliability, slow delivery, and potential fines further down the line.

Penalties for Non-Registration

The small business messaging sector faces real penalties if it breaches the rules surrounding 10DLC as business messaging regulations are now much tighter than they had been in previous years.

When a business tries to use 10DLC to text from a different number but doesn’t have a valid A2P registration, there can be a variety of sanctions taken, including throttling the messages, which drastically slows how quickly they send. Many Mobile Network Operators just won’t send the company’s SMS messages, which can have real implications for consumer trust in a business.

If the end-user expects to receive stock updates or other time-sensitive information, it can negatively affect their opinion of the business whose messages didn’t arrive. This can cause serious reputational damage and lead to your business underperforming financially as a result.

On top of this, harsh financial penalties can be applied, and these can be up to $10 per message. Most companies who send messages will have sent thousands at a time, so being fined $10 per message can quickly become a massive sum of money. It is simply not worth the risk of not completing the 10DLC registration.

The Future of 10DLC Registration

The TL;DR? Unregistered numbers will be blocked. And currently numbers that aren’t registered see inconsistencies and unreliability in delivery rates, especially for 1:many messaging.

Here are our takeaways:

10DLC registration is effective: If you use SMS marketing and want it to continue being a powerful tool, verify your business.

It might take time, but it’s easy: Once you do your part, it’s in The Campaign Registry’s hands. And, if you’re working with a provider like Clerk Chat, they’ll help you through the process.

Don’t wait. Unregistered brands and campaigns are seeing unreliability. It’s not worth it.

Complete your registration and you’ll make sure your messages reach your audience and build trust with your customers.

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