Become an Authorized Sender of Business Text Messages

What A2P 10DLC Registration Will Mean for Your Business (and Why You Should Do It!)

It’s finally here! An industry shift that has been coming down the pipeline for over a year, A2P 10DLC Registration for texting has arrived. We know – it sounds daunting. But it doesn’t need to be, especially with the right tools and guidance.

If you’re a business that utilizes texting to reach your audience, you may have already heard about this change and are gearing up for it. Or it’s possible you’re just hearing about it now, and have a lot to learn about authorized business texting and why it’s important. Either way, this primer has a ton of useful information that can make the registration process fast and easy.

Most importantly, try not to think of this industry shift as a bad thing. It will help weed out bad actors from reaching consumers, which will inevitably increase trust and help your messages stand out! 

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First things first: What is A2P 10DLC?

A2P stands for Application to Person, and any texting done via smrtPhone or a similar software is considered A2P. 10DLC means 10-digit long code, and refers to any local, non toll-free phone number. A2P 10DLC is a new business texting channel created specifically to help legitimate businesses better reach their prospects and clients, creating more speed, order, and accountability. 

To gain access to this new channel and to avoid penalties, carriers are requiring businesses that utilize A2P 10DLC to register. The carriers want to know WHO is sending the text messages and WHAT the nature of the content of those messages is. That’s all the registration process is determining.

Why do I have to register my phone numbers for business texting?

Texting was initially created for personal use – P2P, or Person to Person – but it’s clearly become an effective and efficient business tool. The natural conclusion is that carriers have created new requirements to make sure texting is being done in an ethical way. Nobody wants customers bombarded with spam or inappropriate messages – not the consumers, not the mobile carriers, and not the authentic businesses like yours.  It’s a bad situation for everyone when consumers can no longer trust the messages in their inboxes. 

Cell phone carriers like AT&T or T-Mobile can detect if messages are sent from another mobile carrier or from an application. They have decided to classify all text messages sent from an application as business related. Carriers want to be sure your business is legitimate before delivering your messages, and registration data goes a long way in ensuring your business and its messages can be trusted. 

The other side of this change is that text messages sent A2P without registration will be marked as spam, be filtered, and eventually will be completely blocked by the mobile carriers. Think of it this way: you want to register for A2P for faster speeds, increased trust, and to be not considered Spam – but also just to get your messages through! 

Will registering for A2P be a difficult process? 

You can register directly through smrtPhone in our Trust Center and we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible. 

Think of registration as an introduction to the carriers: they want to know your business name, the numbers you intend to use to text, as well as a basic understanding of the types of messages you intend to send.

There are three main steps:

  1. Create a business profile for your company in the Trust Center (one time)

  2. Register your brand(s) for A2P texting (one time)

  3. Select a A2P Plan, Starter or Standard (one time) and register your phone numbers to campaigns/use cases (ongoing)

You will have two plan options: Starter and Standard. 

Here is a quick primer on the two options: 

The Starter Plan is for small businesses or sole proprietorships that use 5 or fewer phone numbers and send 3,000 or fewer text messages per month. This plan has no registration fees.  

The Standard Plan is for those who exceed those maximums – you want to send more than 3000 messages a day or send text messages from more than 5 phone numbers (or both!) With the Standard Plan, there is one extra layer of the registration process where you need to register specific campaign types, such as Marketing, Customer Care, or Mixed Use. This plan requires registration fees and ongoing maintenance fees. 

You’ll find that regardless of which plan you end up with, smrtPhone has many resources on how to register, and ultimately it will be a straight-forward process that should take only minutes once your business identity is verified. 

Is A2P 10DLC expensive? 

Regardless of whether you choose to register or not, this industry shift in business texting requirements makes business text messaging more expensive across the board.

The additional fees for business texting are coming from the mobile carriers, and this is industry-wide, not specific to any one application or service. You’ll find that no matter what software you want to use to do your A2P texting, the price for registering and sending business texts is going up, as of March 1, 2022.

Not only that – unregistered texts will cost more than registered messages and could carry hefty penalties. 

What happens if I don’t register for A2P 10DLC?

Besides the additional costs and penalties, unregistered texts will be under extra scrutiny for TCPA violations and may not be delivered at all.

Carriers haven’t said exactly when they’ll be blocking unregistered texts, but it is expected that they will stop being delivered entirely at a some point. Though additional costs are always hard to swallow, this industry shift has been expected, and it’s best to adapt quickly in order to stay compliant and keep your customers’ trust. 

Carriers haven’t announced when they’ll start officially enforcing this new requirement, but that’s all the more reason to start the process now – it could be soon. 

Are there benefits to A2P 10DLC registration? 

When you register your phone numbers, your texts are far less likely to be marked as spam before they get through to your contacts. Your text messages will be delivered faster, and the throughput rate is higher than if you choose not to register. 

Registering your numbers is the best way to prove you are a legitimate business, which is how carriers decide whether your texts should be getting to your customers. Carriers assign businesses a Trust Score that tracks your reputation in the eyes of mobile carriers. Registration increases your Trust Score, which improves message throughput – you can send more messages, faster.

At the end of the day, carriers want to protect their customers from Spam, messages they didn’t consent to, and inappropriate texts. Registering is the most meaningful way to signal that your business won’t engage in these practices. 

Okay, you’ve convinced me – how do I register A2P 10DLC?

smrtPhone’s Trust Center is where you can register your brand, campaigns, and phone numbers for A2P as well as other security and brand-enhancing products. Think of the Trust Center as your hub for products that will enable compliance, boost your brand, improve customer confidence, and increase engagement. 

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Don’t forget – all the rules of TCPA still exist! 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was passed in 1991 to save consumers from unwanted communication from telemarketers. We all benefit from this Act, even as businesses that send marketing messages. It separates honest business communication from bad actors who abuse texting and calling. There are important rules set up by TCPA that will still apply to your authorized business texting, and unregistered numbers will be the most scrutinized for TCPA violations. Keeping your messages compliant is an important part of this registration shift, and we encourage you to read more about it here.  

What else do I need to know?

smrtPhone encourages its customers to always follow local and federal laws around texting including maintaining clear records of opt-in consent when texting.

This shift towards registration is largely focused on keeping business compliant, and smrtPhone wants to be an integral part of helping you achieve this compliance. Read our documentation on the subject, and take pride in the fact that your business is legitimate, and should be treated as such by mobile carriers. 

As you decide the best course of action for registering your business’ phone numbers, we want to reiterate that carriers will be phasing out delivering messages from unregistered numbers entirely, and you could reach a point where none of your text messages are received if you choose not to register. smrtPhone is available to help you with the process, and our documentation is ever-expanding as the phone industry grows and adapts.

Getting ahead of this shift is the best way to set your business up for success. 

How can I learn more?

The first place you should go is to our documentation collection specifically around A2P 10DLC. As you get into the process, if you have questions, you are welcome to reach out to our Support Team using our chat feature.

We are also hosting a live Q&A about A2P 10DLC on April 5, 2022 at 2pm ET. You can register to attend here.

A2P 10DLC Q&A webinar