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The Complete Guide to A2P 10DLC Registration for SMS Marketing [2023]

Chaim Heber
July 27, 2023
999
min read
The Complete Guide to A2P 10DLC Registration for SMS Marketing [2023]

Introduction to A2P 10DLC Registration for SMS Marketing

Text messaging is an extremely effective channel for customer engagement and sales. But recent regulations around A2P 10DLC compliance aim to cut down on spam texts and require clear consumer consent.

As a brand using SMS marketing, it's crucial you understand and comply with A2P 10DLC registration to continue messaging customers legally.

If you've been experiencing deliverability issues with your SMS messages, you're not alone. Many businesses face this challenge, but the good news is, you've landed in the right place to find a solution. Let's explore how to navigate these waters and ensure your messages reach their intended recipients, every time.

At Chatform, we are experts in guiding brands through A2P 10DLC registration. By partnering with us, we handle compliance on your behalf and ensure your SMS program stays up and running.

This comprehensive guide will explain everything brands need to know about A2P 10DLC, including:

What is A2P 10DLC?

A2P stands for “Application to Person” and refers to automated texts sent from a business platform to customers’ mobile phones.

10DLC means 10-digit long codes - these are standard 10-digit local phone numbers used for business purposes like sales, marketing, notifications, alerts and more.

A2P 10DLC registration is required by US law for any business utilizing a 10DLC number to send automated texts to consumers.

Without proper registration, texts may be blocked by major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and others.

Why A2P 10DLC Registration Matters

Compliance with A2P 10DLC is not optional - it is mandatory for any brand using text messaging. Here are some key reasons it's crucial to register:

  • Legal compliance - All companies sending automated texts must complete A2P 10DLC registration to comply with the law. Violations can lead to lawsuits and blocking.
  • Protects consumer privacy - Registration verifies you have obtained consumer consent properly and helps cut down on spam texts.
  • Maintain open engagement channels - With 98% open rates, texting is essential for engaging customers. Registration keeps this channel available.
  • Avoid blocking - Carriers are filtering more unregistered traffic which could block your texts to customers!

Essentially, A2P 10DLC compliance allows brands to keep texting customers legally, ensure deliverability and maintain this highly effective engagement channel.

The A2P 10DLC Registration Process

Registering for A2P 10DLC requires working with a trusted messaging partner to complete the process across four key steps:

1. Business Identity Verification

This involves submitting official business documents and info like:

  • Tax ID
  • Website URL
  • Physical address
  • Industry/type of business

This verifies to regulators that you are a valid, registered business entity.

Note that If you do not have a Tax ID there is still hope. You can submit specified information that is required for brands that do not have a Tax ID.

2. Secure Brand Approval

Your compliance partner will submit your business info to the appropriate telecom regulators and request brand approval.

This step essentially verifies that you are a legitimate, operating business. Brand approval is required to move forward.

3. Define Messaging Use Cases

Here you will outline your specific use cases for text messaging customers. For example:

  • Promotions and sales
  • Alerts and reminders
  • Event updates
  • Appointment confirmations
  • Shipping notifications
  • Customer support

Be as accurate as possible in defining use cases, as exceeding them later can warrant re-approval.

You'll also need to provide example text scripts for approval to illustrate your use cases.

4. Confirm Opt-In Consent Process

An essential part of the application is detailing how customers consent to receive your texts.

Regulators will specifically look for proof of opt-in consent before approving a campaign. More on this below.

Once submitted, the average A2P 10DLC approval timeline is currently 1-2 months due to backlogs (as the regulations go in to effect, every brand is rushing to register). So it's best to start the registration process right away.

Defining Messaging Use Cases

One of the most important parts of securing A2P 10DLC approval is outlining your intended use cases for texting customers.

Regulators want to know exactly how you plan to message subscribers to prevent misuse and spam.

Here are some tips for defining compliant use cases:

  • Be specific - Explain precisely how you will text customers whether for promotions, updates, reminders, alerts etc. Don't overreach what you will actually do.
  • Start narrow - It's recommended to start with a narrower initial use case, like alerts only. Once approved, you can expand to more use cases.
  • Provide examples - Supply regulators sample text scripts that match your use cases. This further illustrates legitimate messaging.
  • Be consistent - Only text customers in the ways outlined in your approved use cases. Straying from approved use cases risks non-compliance.
  • Get re-approved for new campaigns - If you want to add new text messaging campaigns later beyond your initial approved use cases, you'll need to get re-approved by regulators.

Following these best practices ensures your defined use cases comply with A2P 10DLC regulations.

Gaining Opt-In Consent

The other critical component regulators look for is proof of consumer opt-in consent.

Obtaining clear opt-in consent is mandatory before sending customers automated texts.

Here are some tips for securing compliant opt-in consent:

Have Opt-In Language on Website Forms

Any web form where customers provide their phone number should include clear opt-in language, like:

  • "By submitting this form, I consent to receive text messages from [Company] at the number provided."
  • "I agree to receive recurring automated text messages from [Company] on updates, promotions, and alerts."

Regulators will check your website and forms to verify clear opt-in language is present before approving A2P registration.

Allow Instant Opt-Out

Include clear opt-out instructions in all texts sent so customers can instantly opt out if they change their mind. For example:

  • "Reply STOP to opt out."

Honor and document all opt-out requests immediately.

When using a platform like Chatform all these requirements to stay compliant are already adhered to.

Pick an A2P Compliance Partner

While A2P 10DLC registration is mandatory for SMS marketing, the process can be complex for brands to handle on their own.

That's why partnering with a dedicated A2P compliance provider like Chatform is highly recommended.

With an expert A2P compliance partner like Chatform, you get:

  • Compliance experts who know the A2P registration process in-depth
  • SMS compliance tools that make it easy to gather consent
  • Faster approval times through relationships with regulators
  • Ongoing compliance monitoring to ensure you maintain compliance
  • Updated use case approvals as your text messaging needs change

By leveraging a trusted A2P partner, brands can ensure smooth compliance, deliver text campaigns legally, and focus on what matters most - engaging with customers.

Start the A2P Registration Process ASAP

With carriers increasingly filtering out unregistered texts, it's crucial to start the A2P 10DLC approval process immediately to avoid disruptions.

And with registration taking 1-2 months on average currently, get started now to make sure compliance is secured in time, especially with peak sales seasons like holidays approaching.

At Chatform, our A2P compliance experts are ready to guide you through fast, hassle-free registration from start to finish so you can text legally. Get started today!

FAQs on A2P 10DLC Compliance

We've collated some common questions around A2P 10DLC registration to help provide more clarity:

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The FTC can impose fines $10,000 Upon complaint of unverified 10DLC registration. Carriers can also block all unregistered traffic.

Can I register multiple use cases?

Yes, you can include multiple compliant messaging use cases in your initial registration, and add more later through amendments.

Can I port my number and keep compliance?

While you can port your 10DLC number, the registration itself doesn't automatically port over. You'll need to re-register under the new provider.

How do I show consent evidence to regulators?

Your compliance partner will compile and document evidence of consumer opt-in consent to showcase to regulators.

Are there other ways to text legally besides 10DLC?

Yes, toll-free numbers don't require A2P registration. However, 10DLC are still the best option for most businesses.

When do the A2P 10DLC requirements take full effect?

Effective July 5, 2023, all 10DLC phone numbers used to send SMS and MMS messages to U.S. phone numbers must be fully registered to an approved campaign under your brand.

Messages sent using unregistered 10DLC numbers will face gradual blocking by carriers starting July 5, 2023.

Full blocking of all non-compliant SMS traffic takes effect August 31, 2023.

Get A2P Compliant with Chatform

As SMS marketing becomes more regulated, A2P 10DLC registration is the cost of doing business legally. But it's manageable with an expert guide.

At Chatform, we make compliance easy through our fully managed registration process. We want to see all brands texting customers impactfully while following regulations.

Our A2P experts handle your registration from start to finish, optimizing the process for fastest approval. We also stay on top of changing regulations to keep our clients continuously compliant.

Get started with Chatform today and let us handle your A2P registration while you focus on your SMS marketing campaigns. Contact us at support@chatform.com with any questions!

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