August 8, 2023

SMS Marketers: 10DLC Registration Deadline is Approaching

Oveview of 10DLC in SMS marketing. Understand its key regulations, and the urgent registration deadline of Aug 31 for uninterrupted service.

SMS Marketers: 10DLC Registration Deadline is Approaching

SMS marketers who fail to register for 10DLC can expect to have their messages blocked by carriers as soon as August 15, 2023. Read on to learn more about the 10DLC texting ecosystem.

What is 10DLC?

10DLC is simply an abbreviation for a 10-digit long code phone number. All standard phone numbers (including VoIP lines) are considered 10DLC numbers, with the exception of toll-free numbers, to which the 10DLC regulations do not apply. 

Traditionally, commercial texts were sent using long codes (10DLC numbers) or short codes, which are four, five, or six-digit numbers commonly used for mass automated messaging.  Because short codes are far more expensive than long codes, companies often shared them to reduce those costs, which caused issues that began to degrade the integrity of the text messaging channel. Legitimate senders and spammers wound up sharing the same code, resulting in considerable confusion, complaints, frustration, and litigation. 

Carriers eventually stopped allowing companies to share short codes as a preliminary step towards introducing 10DLC as the de facto standard for commercial messages.  

What are the 10DLC Regulations? 

Under pressure from the FCC to curb illegal SMS activity, mobile carriers implemented 10DLC regulations to prevent SMS spamming to better ensure consumers only receive messages they actually want. The ultimate goal of the 10DLC regulations is to ensure that texting remains a clean and effective channel for business communications.

There are many 10DLC regulations that affect the telecommunications industry, but the most significant ones for marketers are the following:

  • Your company must register with The Campaign Registry
  • You must prove that your contacts have opted-in to receive the messages you want to send them.

What is the Campaign Registry?

The Campaign Registry operates as a central hub for mobile carriers and companies that want to send messages through their networks. Any company seeking to send commercial 10DLC messages must register on the Campaign Registry website, which leads to greater transparency into message senders and content, allowing mobile carriers to provide a more reliable and simple messaging service.  

In essence, the Registry verifies that a company seeking to send commercial messages is legitimate, and that it texts consumers in accordance with applicable law, so registering with the Campaign Registry helps ensure messages can be delivered reliably and at scale. 

To register, you must provide your Tax ID (EIN) and the legal company name and provide some details about your business and the SMS campaigns you intend to run. Note that not every campaign will be accepted for registration, and companies operating in certain industries- such as cannabis/hemp, firearms, payday loans, and sexually explicit content, can expect to be rejected.

The Role of DCAs

DCA stands for Direct Connect Aggregator. These are companies that have a direct connection to a mobile network operator gateway and transmit messages on behalf of their customers, which are often texting software platforms. Essentially, DCAs act as middlemen between texting platforms and carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. Their role is to ensure the reliable delivery of messages sent by texting platform users.

Mobile carriers are now requiring DCAs to conduct an additional, manual vetting process to prove that the contacts a business is texting have indeed opted in to receive those messages.  DCAs work with texting platform operators to undertake this task.

The 10DLC Deadline

The deadline for registering your company for 10DLC is August 31st, 2023. Companies that fail to register by that date can expect to have their message volume significantly reduced, and in many cases blocked entirely.

SMS Marketers: 10DLC Registration Deadline is Approaching

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