What is 10DLC?

10DLC means the utilization of a ten-digit long code through a US Carrier-Sanctioned A2P channel reserved for business communication. 10DLC allows businesses to communicate marketing messages, newsletters and alerts.

As the rate of change in the world accelerates, the world of mobile messaging is no exception. In fact, as a means of communication, mobile messaging is now the preferred method for many. Conversations over the telephone with your friends, family and business associates are becoming a thing of the past. This is why so many companies are adopting text messaging as a vital means of communication with their customers.

It is not practical for a business to assign a single person to type out and send each text message to hundreds of customers. This is where A2P messaging saves the day. A2P, or Application to Person messaging, allows a computer program to send messages to individuals at scale. With proper software development, these messages can be delivered in the millions, instantaneously, and with customized personal sentiment. Typically, if a consumer receives a text message from a business, no matter the content, the message has likely been sent via A2P. 

Why Are Companies Choosing 10DLC?

10DLC allows companies to be pre-approved to use these sanctioned channels. The verification process is a 2-step process. First, a business is registered and goes through a brief vetting process. Second, each campaign or use case is registered and will be reviewed to ensure it is indeed a sanctioned use case. Once both steps have been completed, that approved business may begin sending messages along the phone numbers attributed to the approved campaign. The carriers will then monitor to ensure that the messaging stays consistent with the use case the business and campaigns have been approved for.

Volume of Messages

By registering all aspects of the business, messaging and use cases, the volume of messages will be less restricted and deliverability of messages will be increased greatly. Beyond 10 digit long codes, there are also other means to send messages. Considering 10 digit long codes as the primary method for message delivery, other options like short codes and toll free numbers also fall under 10DLC compliance. 

Toll-Free Long Code Numbers

The benefit of toll-free numbers is that they are generally recognized by the average person as belonging to a business and that may increase the feeling of confidence that the messages are being delivered from the company they claim to represent. Toll-free numbers are standard telephone numbers that allow for text messages and phone calls and they are, of course, toll-free. One concern is that they are not optimal for bulk messaging. A business can send three text messages per second and only a few thousand messages a day. As the 10DLC Carrier Approval process evolves it will be interesting to see if and how it will affect Toll-Free Long Codes.

Short Code Numbers

Short Code Numbers are a strong option for companies that want to send bulk SMS messages. A business can send millions of messages a day and up to 500 messages per second. The actual telephone number, as the name implies, is shorter in length than both 10 Digit Long Codes and Toll-Free numbers with only 5- or 6-digit numbers. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this type of message delivery option and that is the cost. Companies should expect a Short Code number to cost up to $1,500 per short code per month. It is likely that in your mobile device you have a message or two from a Short Code number as many businesses still choose to use Short Code numbers despite their high cost. 

Accountability and Compliance

What Are US Carriers Doing to Combat Spam? 

The 10DLC brand and campaign vetting process is a major step in accountability. This process will hopefully help stop consumers from falling victims to scams and every major cellular company wants to utilize the resource. Each Carrier however operates in an entirely unique manner which does make it difficult for businesses to understand and adhere to the intricacies of each Carrier’s brand and campaign approval process, messaging standards and technical implementation. Each Carrier will essentially use its own Scoring process to determine a business and campaign’s sending restrictions.

For example, T-Mobile plans to implement a vetting score that dictates how many messages they can send per day. A company with a score between 0 and 24 may only be allowed to send 2,000 messages per day. In comparison, a large well known company could earn a score of 75 or higher and may be able to send up to 200,000 messages per day. 

10DLC Will Change A2P Messaging

Through this new 10DLC vetting and approval process 10DLC phone numbers will likely become more affordable for companies and more secure for consumers. To improve recognizability by consumers companies can even text-enable their existing landline number and use that to send messages. This gives consumers confidence as they will recognize the number, they can call back the number as they would any other phone number and get through to the company as usual.

However, to make 10DLC the bulk messaging norm, all cell carriers will have to get on board. When SMS was first released, cell carriers were slow to pick up on this new technology. Luckily, that likely not be the case this time around and we are actively working with our Carrier partners to standardize this process so that our clients can easily navigate this new process with great success.

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