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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

What is 10DLC? A Guide for Businesses

What is 10DLC? A Guide for Businesses

If you’ve ever sent a text to a customer, patient, or client, it’s likely you used 10DLC. And, what is 10DLC?

It stands for 10 Digit Long Code, a method that allows businesses to send and receive text messages using their own dedicated phone numbers.

It’s worth taking the time to explore its benefits: cost-effectiveness, higher message capacity, improved customer engagement, compliance adherence, and future-ready communication tactics.

Whether you’re a marketer looking for affordable and effective messaging solutions or a business owner wanting to increase sales and receive massive savings, 10DLC has got you covered.

Understanding What is 10DLC

10DLC, short for 10-Digit Long Codes, represents a standardized approach to business communication via SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) using standard 10-digit phone numbers, including a local area code. Initially, people primarily used these long codes for person-to-person (P2P) communication.

But with 10DLC’s arrival, businesses now use these long codes for better communication with customers in Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging and often high-volume sending.

The concept of 10DLC messaging stemmed from the necessity to provide a more cost-effective and versatile alternative to traditional short codes for business messaging. Short codes were often expensive and had limited availability, making them less accessible to smaller businesses. 10DLC emerged to bridge this gap, offering a more affordable and accessible option for businesses to engage with customers using the same familiar 10-digit phone numbers while still maintaining compliance and quality standards.

How it works

You register your business for 10DLC by providing requested information about your company, which verifies its legitimacy. You’ll also explain things like your use case, why you’re using messaging, how recipients can opt-in (or out).

Registering helps ensure messages reach their intended recipients, filtering out spam and boosting deliverability rates.

Note to Clerk Chat users: You’ll find Brand Registration in the Settings.

Brand Registration
Brand Registration

Why should businesses consider adopting 10DLC?

Coincidentally, using 10DLC SMS brings several advantages to businesses:

  • Cost-Effective: When compared to short codes and toll-free, a 10DLC phone number is often less expensive.
  • Two-Way Conversations: Unlike short codes, which are primarily used for one-way communication, 10DLC facilitates two-way messaging. Customers can reply to your texts, enabling real-time conversations and improved customer service experiences.
  • Familiarity: It enhances customer engagement by leveraging either an already existing phone number, or one that’s local because of the area code. This helps instill trust and recognition among recipients.
  • Deliverability: Since brands are now required to register, once a number is verified, it’s less likely to get caught in a spam filter. You’ll know it’ll make it to your customers’ inbox or phone.

Implementation and Best Practices For 10DLC Phone Numbers

Setting up and registering for 10DLC involves a structured procedure to ensure compliance and efficient messaging. Initially, businesses need to partner with a trusted service provider to acquire a 10DLC number.

Clerk Chat, which prioritizes 10DLC compliance during onboarding, has two options: enable an existing business phone number or activate a new one. Once you decide which option is best for your use case, it’s time to register your brand. The registration process typically involves providing details about the business, its intended use of 10DLC, and adhering to carrier-specific requirements and guidelines.

The 10DLC registration process with Clerk Chat involves sharing your company’s:

  • 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

After registration, businesses must vet their campaigns to guarantee alignment with carrier guidelines. This process aims to maintain the quality of messaging and avoid spam or misuse of the system, ensuring a positive experience for both businesses and recipients.

The Campaign Registry (TCR) helps Campaign Service Providers (CSP) register messaging campaigns, provided they can explain who is sending the campaign and what the campaign is about.


10DLC Best Practices

Trust: When completing your Brand Registration, be honest. Provide accurate information including who you are and why you use messaging services as a communication method with your customers.

Opt-In: Make it clear to your customers that they have opted-in to receive communication from you via text message. One way to do this is through a form builder.

Opt-Out: Recipients must be able to easily opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving messages if they choose.

Compliance: Stay up-to-date on the rules and regulations and safeguard your customer’s data.

Form Builder
Form Builder

Industry Applications for 10DLC Messaging

Numerous industries and business sectors leverage 10DLC messaging for their business communication needs. Here are some common use case examples:

Real Estate: Confirm appointments for viewings, inspections, or closings. Quickly send clients property details. Share new listings or notify of price changes.

Retail: Send targeted promotions or sale information. Two-way communication for personalized customer support.

Nonprofit: Create greater awareness for your cause. Send urgent information about events, volunteer opportunities, or critical and timely needs.

Finance: Share verification codes promptly and securely. Send alerts about suspicious activity on an account.

These are a handful of examples, but the possibilities are endless.

Comparing 10DLC with Other Messaging Solutions

When it comes to business messaging, explore 10DLC and conduct an A2P messaging methods comparison. Each has its strengths and specific uses. Understanding the differences between 10DLC and other messaging systems is important for businesses seeking effective communication channels.

Here are a few examples:

10DLC vs. Short Codes: Short codes, which are short and easy to remember numbers, are widely used for commercial messaging. These exclusive, dedicated numbers offer high throughput and instant recognition. However, acquiring and maintaining a short code can be expensive and time-consuming.

10DLC vs. Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers have been the go-to for businesses, providing a free calling option for customers. It also supports messaging but mostly focuses on voice calls. Toll-free numbers can be expensive and have limited availability.

10DLC vs. P2P Messaging: Person-to-person (P2P) messaging involves traditional, non-commercial use of standard phone numbers for personal communication. P2P messaging allows for direct and informal exchanges between individuals. While P2P messaging focuses on personal interactions, 10DLC extends the use of these numbers for professional and promotional purposes.


Why is 10DLC important? It makes sure your messages reach their intended recipients.

Should I consider using 10DLC for my business? If message deliverability, brand reputation, customer experience, and the ability for you to have conversations with your customers are all important to you, then you have your answer. 10DLC is versatile for SMBs and also an enterprise SMS tool.

Do I need to register to use 10DLC? Yes, you must complete a Brand Registration. If you work with a provider, like Clerk Chat, they will help you and keep you updated once you fill out the requested information.

How much does 10DLC cost? Although it’s usually a more cost-effective option than short codes or toll-free options, costs can vary depending on your provider, number of messages sent, and any other potential, related fees.

Business Messaging Potential with 10DLC

While taking the time to register your brand and wait for verification might seem like an extra step in the process, it’s become welcomed by businesses (and the recipients). You ultimately gain higher message volumes, trust from customers, reliability for deliverability, and you’ll probably save money in the process.

A2P 10DLC has become an effective communication channel with your customers, and it shows that carriers want to know more about how businesses are using SMS. It makes it possible for businesses to establish a trustworthy and direct line of communication and stay connected with their customers in a convenient and efficient manner.

And, the ability to adapt these numbers for commercial use while maintaining compliance with carrier regulations ensures a sustainable and efficient messaging system for businesses across various industries.

A few tips for success: follow carrier guidelines, be honest with customers, and fine-tune your messaging.

Schedule a demo to understand 10DLC’s impact on your business communication. We are here to help.

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