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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

A2P 10DLC - Demystifying SMS Marketing for Businesses

A2P 10DLC - Demystifying SMS Marketing for Businesses

If you’re a marketer or someone that’s responsible for sending company text messages, you need to know what A2P 10DLC means. You might not really want to know, but it’s about sending text messages the right way, and Application-to-Person and 10 Digit Long Codes might be your answer.

Application to Person means messages come from an app or system - which is different than texting your friends or family. This can be automatic, such as a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) code, or manual, like when someone sends an SMS marketing message to multiple recipients.

The 10-digit long code refers to the phone number format. Instead of short codes or toll-free numbers, A2P 10DLC uses standard 10-digit local or long-distance phone numbers, just like your landline. This helps build trust and recognition with your customers.

Short codes, also used for SMS marketing, tend to only have 5 or 6 digits instead of 10, and toll-free numbers (TFN), start with 800 or similar.

Wondering if A2P 10DLC is for you? Keep reading!

Evolution of A2P Messaging

Text messaging has traditionally offered instant, casual communication. It’s not shocking that in recent years, businesses have decided to leverage text messaging, too - mostly because of its speed and higher response rates when compared to email. Now, businesses are realizing there are so many more messaging capabilities beyond simple notifications. It’s become conversational, with options for channels, formats, and often integrations.

This revelation, of A2P messaging, began around 2000. SMS usage among cellphone users had been rising, so businesses were increasingly exploring its applications.

Fortunately, technology has advanced significantly, and modern A2P messages are sent more efficiently, reducing processing times compared to older technologies like GSM.

In 2000, the early apps that sent out messages still had to go through an SMS gateway, and it potentially took 2 seconds to send a single SMS message. This meant that in order to send a higher volume of messages, it could take a matter of hours. Sending out 100,000 messages and handling the read receipts could take up to 4 hours in total. Yikes!

Modern-day A2P messaging is used in many aspects of life, from weather and transportation alerts to securing our social media accounts. It has become ubiquitous in today’s society and often goes unnoticed by consumers.

SMS remains one of the most personal and trusted methods of communication, with a 98% open rate. This explains its popularity as a marketing tool. For instance, sending customers a discount code to boost sales at a local restaurant or offering limited-time deals are effective strategies.

Since 2021, significant efforts have been made in the US to adopt 10DLC and tighten regulations around SMS marketing to alleviate spam and phishing messages. This effort involves cell carriers and government agencies who have worked together to implement stringent regulations in place to govern the SMS ecosystem.

10DLC registration is now a requirement for those who wish to use enterprise text messaging, and this means that brands and campaigns must be identified and approved before they can contact consumers. Failure to follow 10DLC compliance can result in substantial fines.

With the adoption of A2P 10DLC, fewer spam messages are reaching consumers thanks to the SMS compliance regulations, safeguarding consumer confidence in small business text messaging.

Benefits of A2P 10DLC

If you Googled something like, “How many text messages are sent daily?” you’d see a variety of answers in the billions - maybe even trillions. That’s reason enough for why 10DLC has become a popular business texting channel. It is probably the most common way people communicate with each other, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a top messaging tool for companies, too.

Here are a few reasons why:

Deliverability: As part of the campaign process, your business must complete a Brand Registration. Many messaging companies, like Clerk Chat, will assist with this and help your company be verified. Carriers view verified messages from registered brands as less likely to be spam. This means your messages are more likely to reach your target audience’s inboxes.

Spam Filters: Traditional SMS marketing methods like shortcodes often get flagged as spam. A2P 10DLC leverages dedicated channels that mobile carriers recognize as legitimate, significantly boosting your message deliverability and landing them directly in your customers’ inboxes.

TCR: Unregistered A2P messages face higher per-message costs and increased scrutiny from carriers to ensure they’re not spam. By registering with The Campaign Registry (TCR), you avoid these hassles and potentially save money.

Build Trust and Brand Recognition: A2P 10DLC allows you to send messages from a local or recognizable area code. This makes your brand more approachable, increasing the chances of engagement.

Cost: A2P 10DLC pricing is generally more budget-friendly compared to dedicated shortcodes. This makes it a cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes, allowing you to leverage the power of SMS marketing without breaking the bank.

How to Get Started with A2P 10DLC

If you know you want to use a classic 10DLC phone number for your business messaging, but you’re not sure how to start, consider breaking it down to a handful of simple steps.

  • Research: It’s not recommended to use a personal cell phone when sending text messages for company purposes. So, find a reputable platform or app that will help you enable messaging on a 10DLC phone number. Consider factors like pricing, features, ease of use, and customer support.
  • Acquire Phone Number: When creating an account with Clerk Chat, you have the option to get a new phone number or activate an existing one - potentially the number your customers or clients are already using.
  • Set Up: Once your phone number has been activated, it becomes your inbox. If you’re sharing this inbox with additional colleagues, it’s easy to invite them and grant leveled access. You can manually add contacts, upload a csv, or connect to the CRM that you currently use.
  • Register Your Brand: Partner with your provider. Work together! At Clerk Chat we guide you through the registration process as needed. This helps your business and message use cases be accepted by mobile carriers.
  • Explore Features: How do you plan to use A2P 10DLC messaging? Daily? Weekly? Are you sending 1:1 messages, groups, or campaigns? Do you prefer to send immediately or schedule? Do you need extra support or sales agents and therefore need an AI assistant? Are workflows and automating out-of-office messages important?
  • Send a Message: Utilize your number to message a customer or try a small, targeted marketing campaign. Consider appointment scheduling or reminders and customer service. Ideas are neverending. Try sending a handful of messages and watch the replies roll in.

And two bonuses:

  1. Many messaging products offer free trials or tiered pricing options so you can discover whether or not it’s the right tool for you before you truly commit.
  2. When you compare 10DLC vs toll free vs short codes it is clear that 10DLC has one of the best deliverability rates.


A2P registration and Implementation

When using A2P messaging, many companies will make use of a business texting platform or implement various integrations such as Hubspot SMS integration or SMS for Salesforce. The beauty of 10-digit long codes and A2P is that there are many possible integrations with existing Contact Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

The integrations that are available have made it really easy to incorporate the existing data the business already holds into the SMS marketing campaigns. This is something that can benefit organizations across many different industries and sectors. Ensure you have verifiable opt-in permission before starting any new campaigns. Incorporating text templates can allow for the sending of personalizable text messages that include the name of the recipient and this can increase trust.

The future of SMS advertising likely includes stricter regulations. However, this isn’t a hindrance, as most reputable businesses recognize this as a positive step. We’ve already seen what happens when our email inboxes are filled with spam - missed messages, frustrated customers, lots of unsubscribes - spam text messages will do the same and frustrate many industries in the process.

We will continue to see growth as forecasts predict a potential annual increase of 3% in the number of SMS messages sent by 2030. This suggests A2P 10DLC messaging will stick around and be a focus in the market.

The Impact of Text Messaging on Customers and Companies

A2P 10DLC and Customer Engagement

Companies are now required to register their brand prior to sending a campaign. Safeguarding SMS messages from spammers ultimately maintains consumer trust - who wants spam hitting their text message inbox? This initiative helps carriers filter misuse and restricts usage to legitimate businesses.

Additionally, since 10DLC is a way for businesses to send messages from a local or familiar area code, customers are more likely to open and engage with the messages.

10DLC numbers can also be used for two-way messaging, which means customers can respond to texts, ask questions, or provide feedback. It’s more interactive and personal.

A2P 10DLC and Companies

There are many industries, like retail and finance, that benefit from A2P 10DLC. Order confirmations, delivery updates, customer support, stock alerts, etc. - businesses have a variety of ways to integrate messaging into their customer outreach strategy.

If your company is properly registered, your messages will reach their intended audience. This means better deliverability rates and a strong ROI. It also indicates your commitment to responsible communication, which leads to a loyal customer base.

And generally, text messaging is probably the fastest way to communicate with a customer. Expedite confirmations, time-sensitive messages, and responses to customer.

What’s Next for A2P 10DLC messaging?

SMS isn’t going anywhere. Which means neither is using your 10DLC number for business messaging. So, the best thing you can do? Continue to learn and follow best practices.

And if you haven’t yet added SMS into your marketing plan, now’s a great time to give it a try.

Make sure you’re working with a messaging provider, like Clerk Chat, that is compliant and up-to-date with rules, regulations, and can assist you with proper opt-in.

When or if you have questions, we’re here to help. Schedule a demo to learn more.

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