What is A2P 10DLC Registration?
…and Could it Affect Your Business?
How Did We Get Here?
Text messages have an exceptionally high open rate compared to email, and it was only a matter of time before businesses started using SMS messages as a way to communicate with customers and leads. But long code text messaging – that is, any 10-digit, local phone number you’re used to seeing – was meant for P2P, or person to person. Too many bad actors and overzealous businesses abused P2P texting, leading cell carriers to implement A2P 10DLC (Application to Person, 10 Digit Long Code) regulations for business texting.
Basically? Carriers don’t want their customers to feel they’re getting spammed with unwanted communication, and they’re obligated to uphold the rules of the Telephone Communication Protection Act (TCPA).
The solution is a registration process for companies to use local numbers for business texting use cases. The registration helps vet businesses and their intended text campaigns for legitimacy and relevance. You essentially have to say who you are, what phone numbers you’ll be using to text consumers, and what kind of messages you send. That’s it!
Not registering can lead to fines, surcharges, penalties, and carriers refusing to deliver messages. And you won’t necessarily be notified if your messages were filtered out by the receiving carrier. As a business, you want to complete this process – if you’re legitimate and following the rules, registration only enhances the throughput, speed, deliverability, and lowest possible cost of messages.
Who Is A2p DLC Registration For?
You might think that if your business is small enough, maybe this isn’t for you. But no – if you’re using technology to text clients, whether from your CRM, a cloud phone system like smrtPhone, or even Google Voice – you need to register. The “A” in A2P stands for Application, regardless of your purpose of texting, so registration applies if that’s how you’re texting.
Is A2P 10DLC Worth the Registration?
Yes! A2P 10DLC has many benefits, and the process of registering is easy enough that it should not make you ditch your local numbers. Consider these advantages over just using short codes or Toll-Free numbers:
- Higher Message Volume than standard local number texting
- Higher Throughput due to separate channel intended only for those who register
- Cost Savings compared to short codes and not registering at all
- More Credibility and less likely to be labeled as SPAM
- Local Number Flexibility and personalization, compared to Toll Free Numbers
- Voice Enabled Numbers meaning recipients can call you back on the number you text from
How Do I Register?
There are four steps to registering for A2P 10DLC when you use smrtPhone:
- Complete a Trust Center business profile to verify your company’s information. They will ask for some personal information, such as a personal phone number (one not linked to your business), your EIN, and your physical address. Remember that you’re trying to bolster trustworthiness with the carriers, so these details are necessary. (Learn how to do this here >>)Once your company brand is registered for A2P, you can…
- Register your brand for A2P. Approval should take minutes, but could be up to 5 days.
- Select and register for one of the two available A2P plans: Low Volume Standard or (regular) Standard. (Learn more about the plan options here>>)
- Add your phone numbers that you’ll be using for text campaigns – don’t worry, they’re easy to swap in and out later, if you buy new ones or want to try different numbers on the campaign.
Note: As of January 26, 2023, new A2P Campaign registrations will be subject to a new vetting process, which includes a one-time $15 campaign fee. This is an industry-wide fee, collected by smrtPhone on behalf of the carriers, and passed along without markup.
Do I need a Low Volume or a Standard Plan?
The answer depends on how you text! Our Low Volume Plan (LV) is for businesses that use text messaging more for personalized conversations than high volumes of templated messages. LV can be used for mixed messaging campaigns, multiple numbers per campaign, higher throughput and lower filtering.
- Send 6,000 Messages per day across all registered phone numbers (T-Mobile limits it to 2,000)
- Limit of 400 phone numbers per campaign
- 1 type of campaign: mixed messaging
- One time Brand registration fee of $4
- Campaign Registration fee of $15 per campaign, ongoing campaign fees of $1.5/Month/Campaign
The Standard Brand Plan is a fuller registration for businesses with larger volumes of communication. You can have as many phone numbers registered as you like, and the limit per day is commonly set at around 200,000 messages per day.
- Send roughly 200,000 messages per day, depending on Trust Score
- Unlimited amount of phone numbers registered per campaign
- Many types of Campaign options: including 2FA, Account Alerts, Marketing Promotions, Mixed-Use, and more
- One time Brand Registration fee of $44,
- Campaign Registration fee of $15 per campaign, ongoing campaign registration fees ranging from $2 to $10/month/campaign
Our documentation has even more detailed information on the different plans.
Campaign Best Practices
Part of the new registration process, Campaigns have to be registered to ensure that you’re using texting the way you promised you would. Indicating what type of Campaign you’re registering helps the mobile carriers understand the content of your messages and determine whether they’re worthy of passing on to consumers. Anyone conducting a legitimate business should find this process straightforward.
For anyone using the Low Volume Standard Plan, all of your Campaigns are automatically considered Mixed Use – a combination of conversational, marketing, promotional, or customer care. Standard Plan Campaigns will require more specificity, such as 2FA, Marketing, or Account Notifications. Our documentation has a more detailed list of the common Campaign Use Cases.
⚠️ Note: The nature of your business will affect which campaign types you are allowed to choose. For example, if you are a for-profit commercial store, you will not be able to create Education campaigns or Charity campaigns. The information entered for your Trust Center Business Profile will impact the campaigns that are available to you.
As of January 26th, along with the new $15 fee we mentioned earlier, Campaigns will now be going through a manual vetting process. This only further necessitates using Best Practices when submitting a Campaign for registration.
What Happens After Registration?
Once you’ve registered your brand, you’ll get a Trust Score assigned to you. The Campaign Registry is a third-party that administers the registration system for US wireless carriers. A reputation algorithm is used to review your company, and your assigned Trust Score is static, meaning it won’t change over time.
The number one reason a brand might receive a low Trust Score is discrepancies in the information you submit with A2P registration, such as a different address than the one associated with your EIN. Keep this in mind when registering – don’t do it haphazardly, and make sure the data associated with your EIN matches what you’re submitting.
Twilio’s A2P overview goes much more in depth on how your Campaign type, Carrier, and Trust score can all be slightly variable – we suggest checking out their documentation if you have more questions, since they’re our communication partner.
Time to Get Registering!
We know this may sound confusing, but industry-wide shifts like this A2P registration will always require a bit of a learning curve. smrtPhone wants to make this as transparent and painless as possible.
You can reach our Customer Support team from 9 AM ET to 9 PM ET every weekday, and we guarantee it’s always a real person. They’re ready to handle any A2P questions you have. No matter how you do your business texting, A2P registration is required to ensure your messages are delivered – you might as well register with a phone system that is prepared and on top of the rules!
Happy Texting 🙂