Guide

Small Business Guide to A2P 10DLC Registration

June 20, 2024
Small Business Guide to A2P 10DLC Registration

We've all been there: that annoying buzz in your pocket, only to pull out your phone and see a spam text message. Not only are these messages a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous, potentially containing phishing scams or malware.

The issue is significant. According to Robokiller, a staggering 642 million robotexts were sent per day in January 2024 alone! To combat this growing problem and protect their customers, cellular carriers in the US have implemented a new standard: A2P 10DLC.

Why A2P 10DLC Registration Matters for Your Small Business

This new standard applies to any business that wants to send text messages to its customers. However, the registration process can be confusing, especially for small businesses that might not have the resources to navigate complex regulations.

Perhaps you've already tried to register and been rejected, or maybe you're considering launching text message marketing but are unsure where to start. Whatever your situation, this guide is here to help!

Why Carriers Implemented A2P 10DLC

The driving force behind this new standard comes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Combating robocalls and spam texts has become a top priority for the FCC. In March 2023, they issued an order requiring mobile carriers to block certain text messages deemed "highly likely to be illegal."

In response, major US carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile joined forces to create a new verification system: A2P 10DLC. This standard ensures that all SMS traffic comes from verified phone numbers with the customer's consent. The goal is simple: to separate legitimate businesses like yours from spammers.

Benefits of A2P 10DLC Registration

There are two major benefits to registering for A2P 10DLC. First, it helps to significantly reduce the amount of spam everyone receives, including your own customers. This creates a more positive experience for everyone involved.

Second, registering unlocks the ability to send a higher volume of text messages. The specific number depends on the registration path you choose. Let's explore those options in more detail next!

What are the 10DLC requirements?

The world of text message marketing has undergone a significant shift in recent years, particularly for businesses sending messages through local phone numbers via cloud phone services like LimePhone. To ensure a secure and reliable experience for both businesses and consumers, major US carriers have implemented a new standard: A2P 10DLC registration.

This requirement ensures that all text messages originating from local numbers comply with specific guidelines, ultimately reducing spam and protecting users from unwanted solicitations. While the process has been evolving for several years, it became crucial for businesses to register by August 31, 2023, to avoid blocked messages from unregistered virtual numbers.

What Does A2P 10DLC Registration Entail?

Let's break down the key steps involved in A2P 10DLC registration for your business:

  • Campaign Registry Enrollment: Partnering with your cloud phone service provider like LimePhone simplifies this process. They will guide you through registering with The Campaign Registry, a central database that verifies legitimate business text message senders. During registration, you'll provide details about your company and the types of text messages you typically send through your business number(s).
  • Consent is Key: Building trust and respect with your customers is paramount. A2P 10DLC regulations require you to obtain explicit consent before sending any text messages. This ensures your recipients have opted-in to receive communications from your business.
  • Clear Opt-Out Options: Just as important as obtaining consent is providing a clear and straightforward way for recipients to opt-out of receiving future text messages. This demonstrates your commitment to respecting their preferences and upholding best practices in mobile marketing.

Once you submit your application through your business phone provider, the information goes through a review process. The Campaign Registry and potentially other third-party entities will meticulously examine your registration details to ensure compliance.

Important Considerations Beyond Federal Regulations:

While A2P 10DLC establishes a national standard, it's important to remember that some states may have additional regulations governing business text messaging. These regulations might specify restrictions on sending times (e.g., only during business hours) or outline specific content limitations. Staying informed about any state-specific laws applicable to your location is crucial for maintaining compliance.

Furthermore, certain content categories are strictly prohibited under A2P 10DLC guidelines. These include messages promoting or containing information about sex, hate speech, firearms, and cannabis. Tobacco and alcohol messages may be allowed with proper age verification measures in place. Any violation of these content restrictions will result in automatic rejection of your messages.

Streamlining the Registration Process with LimePhone

LimePhone is committed to making the A2P 10DLC registration process as smooth and efficient as possible for its users. Here's what you can expect when registering through our platform:

  • Initial Automated Review: Once you submit your application, an initial automated review takes place based on the company information you provide. This helps to expedite the process for straightforward applications.
  • Third-Party Review for Added Security: Following the initial automated check, a third-party entity conducts a comprehensive review of your campaign registration details. This in-depth manual review ensures the messaging details you supply in your application adhere to A2P 10DLC guidelines.
  • Enhanced Caller ID with STIR/SHAKEN Registration (Optional): For businesses registered with an Employer Identification Number (EID) or other company tax ID, LimePhone offers the option to register for STIR/SHAKEN alongside A2P 10DLC. This additional layer of verification helps prevent carriers from mistakenly flagging your phone number as "possible spam" or "scam likely" when you call customers.

Toll-Free Numbers: A Separate Consideration

While A2P 10DLC registration applies to local 10-digit long code numbers, it's important to note that toll-free numbers are exempt from this requirement. However, due to evolving regulations, toll-free numbers still need to be verified. LimePhone simplifies this process as well, offering a separate registration form for toll-free numbers within your workspace. Remember, if your business utilizes multiple toll-free numbers, each one must be registered individually.

By understanding the A2P 10DLC registration process and its associated requirements, you can ensure your business remains compliant and leverages text message marketing effectively while prioritizing the trust and preferences of your customers.

Simple A2P 10DLC Registration with LimePhone: Your Step-by-Step Guide

The A2P 10DLC registration process might seem daunting at first, but with LimePhone as your partner, it can be a smooth and efficient experience. This guide will walk you through the six simple steps involved in registering your business for A2P 10DLC compliance, ensuring your text message marketing efforts reach the right audience while adhering to regulations.

Important Note:

The registration path you choose depends on whether your business has a Business Employer Identification Number (EIN) or other equivalent tax ID. Let's explore both options:

Scenario 1: Registering with a Business EIN or Tax ID

If your business operates with a valid tax ID, you're eligible for the Low Volume Standard registration option within LimePhone. 

Here's a breakdown of the steps involved:

Step 1: Gather Your Information

Before diving into the registration process, it's crucial to have all the necessary details readily available. This includes:

  • Legal Business Name: Ensure it matches the name on your EIN or business registration documentation. You can verify this using the HIPAASpace lookup website for US businesses.
  • Business Type: Select the appropriate category from options like Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, etc.
  • Company Type: Choose from Private, Public Profit, Non-Profit, or Government.
  • Business Registration ID: Fill in your EIN, Company Number, or relevant tax ID depending on your location.
  • Industry: Select the category that best aligns with your business activities.
  • Website: Include the full URL of your official website, ensuring it's functional and doesn't exceed the 100-character limit. If you don't have a website, a social media page URL can be included.
  • Region of Operation: Specify your primary business location (e.g., USA and Canada, Europe, etc.).
  • Business Address: Enter the physical address associated with your business registration and tax ID. Ensure all details like street, city, state/province, and postal code are accurate.
  • Business Contact: Provide the details of your primary business contact person, including name, email, title, phone number, and job title.
  • Messaging Details: Describe the types of messages your business typically sends to customers.
  • Message Examples: Provide at least two samples of messages you typically send, ensuring they include opt-out keywords and indicate any templated fields used.
  • Consent Collection Method: Describe how you obtain consent from customers to receive text messages. Make sure your chosen method (e.g., website form) is documented and functional on your website. The form should clearly explain what users are opting into, the number used for sending messages, and include a link to your terms and conditions.

Step 2: Initiate the Registration Process

Important Note: You'll need an active (non-trial) LimePhone account to proceed.

Open the LimePhone 10DLC Application Form and proceed.

Step 3: Complete the Questionnaire

Click "Get Started" to begin a brief questionnaire that will guide you towards the correct registration type based on your business details.

Step 4: Fill Out the Form

The Low Volume Standard registration form requires you to provide the information gathered in Step 1. Double-check all details for accuracy to ensure a smooth review process.

Step 5: Review and Submission

Once you've completed the form, carefully review your entries for any errors. When satisfied, submit the form, and LimePhone will handle the rest by forwarding your application to the TCR (The Campaign Registry) and other relevant third-party entities for verification.

Step 6: Approval

You can monitor your registration status within the "Trust Center" section of the LimePhone app at any time. Once submitted, no further action is required from your end unless your application is marked as "rejected" or "failed." In such cases, LimePhone will provide you with further instructions to rectify the situation.

Scenario 2: Registering Without a Business Tax ID

If your business doesn't currently have a Business EIN or other tax ID, you can still register for A2P 10DLC texting with LimePhone. However, this option comes with a lower daily message volume limit. For detailed information on this alternative registration path, refer to LimePhone's dedicated US carrier registration guide.

By following these steps and leveraging LimePhone's user-friendly platform, you can ensure your business is A2P 10DLC compliant and ready to unlock the power of text message marketing to connect with your customers.

A Breakdown of Costs

The A2P 10DLC registration process involves fees associated with application review and maintaining good standing with major US cell carriers. It's important to note that 100% of these fees go directly to The Campaign Registry (TCR) and other third-party entities responsible for reviewing your application and ensuring compliance. Let's explore the specific fees involved:

Carrier Review and Setup Fees:

  • Manual Review Fee: A one-time fee of $19 is charged by TCR to meticulously examine the text message samples and additional campaign details you provide within your carrier registration application. This in-depth review ensures your messaging aligns with A2P 10DLC guidelines.

Maintaining Registration Status Fees:

  • Low Volume Standard Fee: Once your application is approved, TCR charges a monthly fee of $1.50 to help you maintain your Low Volume Standard status with major US cell carriers. This ongoing fee helps to ensure your continued compliance with regulations.
  • Alternative Registration Statuses: For businesses that register as a Sole Proprietor or a non-profit organization, the monthly maintenance fees differ slightly. Sole Proprietorships incur a $2.00 monthly fee, while non-profit organizations pay $3.00 per month. These fees also contribute to maintaining your registration status with the carriers.

Resubmission Fee:

In the event that your initial application is rejected, a $15 resubmission fee goes directly to your carrier partner. To help you avoid this scenario, we'll provide some common reasons for application rejection in the next section. By understanding these potential pitfalls, you can streamline the registration process and minimize the chance of encountering any delays.

Avoiding A2P 10DLC Registration Rejection

While the A2P 10DLC registration process strives to be efficient, there are occasional instances where applications might be rejected. Understanding these potential roadblocks can help you ensure a smooth and successful registration experience. Here, we'll explore five common reasons for application rejection and provide valuable tips to prevent them:

1. Ensuring Accurate and Consistent Documentation

A significant contributor to application rejection is mismatched or incorrect documentation. Here's how to guarantee a seamless review process:

  • Match Your EIN or Tax ID: Double-check that the legal business name you provide during registration precisely matches the name associated with your EIN or Tax ID on file with the relevant governing body. For example, if you received your EIN from the IRS, the EIN, business name, and address you supply during registration should mirror the details shown on the CP-575 form you received from them. Even minor formatting errors with your EIN can lead to rejection.

2. Maintaining a Professional and Secure Website Presence

The application process involves a website review, so it's crucial to maintain a professional and secure online presence. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Functional and Secure Website: If you provide a website URL (excluding social media pages), ensure it's fully functional with secure access. A broken link or a "this site is not secure" warning might result in rejection.
  • SMS Opt-In Language and Disclosures: If your website has forms requiring phone numbers, these forms must explicitly include clear SMS opt-in language and disclosures.
  • Comprehensive Privacy Policy: Websites (except for sole proprietorships) require a detailed privacy policy. This policy should outline the types of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) you collect, how this information is used, whether it's shared with third parties, and how users can opt out. Alternatively, it can clearly state that PII is not shared or sold to third parties.

3. Providing Clear and Consistent Text Messaging Information

Your application requires sample text messages that reflect the types of messages your business typically sends to customers. Here's how to ensure your message samples meet the criteria:

  • Sample Message Quantity: At minimum, provide two clear and informative sample text messages. However, including even more samples for additional message use cases is highly recommended.
  • Opt-Out Language Inclusion: We strongly advise incorporating opt-out language into at least one of your sample messages.
  • Maintaining Consistency: Your sample messages should be consistent with the company name, email address, and website address you provide during registration. For instance, if your company is Acme with a website at www.acme.com, but your sample messages say, "Here's your one-time passcode for logging into www.contoso.com," your application will be rejected.
  • LimePhone Users: How to Describe Message Usage: LimePhone customers specifically will be asked to detail "How will your business use text messaging day to day?" Here, provide examples of the types of text messages your team typically sends to US phone numbers. For instance, a massage therapy studio could outline how they use text messages by saying, "Our massage therapy business will send an appointment confirmation text after someone opts in after scheduling an appointment on our website."

4. Registering with the Correct Brand Information

Registration information needs to be directly associated with the brand behind the text message campaign. Let's explore this concept further:

  • Managed Service Providers, Agencies, and Third-Party Vendors: If your business falls into any of these categories, registering with your own company information instead of the brand's information will result in rejection. For example, a company that provides messaging services for dental offices should register the individual dental practice that will be the brand represented in the text messages.

5. Crafting a Clear and Compliant Call to Action (CTA) Section

The Call to Action (CTA) section within your application needs to clearly explain where and how consumers opt-in to receive text messages from your brand. Let's break down the essential elements of your CTA:

  • Opt-In Method Description: Describe the method(s) by which consumers typically opt in, such as via email, your website, appointments, or other channels.
  • Minimum CTA Message Length: Your opt-in message needs to be at least 40 characters long.
  • Required Content in the CTA Message: The message must include the following:
  • "You've now opted in to receive messages from [campaign name] campaign."
  • "Message and data rates may apply."
  • "Messages will be sent [message frequency] (you can say that the frequency is varied.)"
  • "Reply 'STOP' to cancel."
  • Website Availability of Opt-In Language: If you indicate that consumers can opt in to your campaign through your website, the opt-in language must be readily available on your website itself. For instance, if your brand collects phone numbers on the website, but the website lacks opt-in language like, "By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from [company name]. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies," your campaign application will be rejected.
  • Verifying SMS Consent Collection: In some instances, you might be required to provide proof of how you gather SMS consent. If your CTA information cannot be verified, your application can be rejected.

By carefully considering these common pitfalls and implementing the recommended solutions, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful A2P 10DLC registration experience. Remember, a smooth registration process paves the way for effective and compliant text message marketing that strengthens your connection with your customers.

Maintaining A2P 10DLC Compliance: A Commitment to Best Practices

The A2P 10DLC registration process is a critical step towards ensuring your text message marketing efforts are legitimate and reach the right audience. But remember, maintaining compliance is an ongoing commitment. Let's explore some key practices to keep your campaigns compliant and deliver a positive customer experience:

Sustaining Consent and Respecting Opt-Ins

  • Continuous Consent Acquisition: Even after receiving initial approval, it's crucial to consistently acquire proper consent before sending any A2P 10DLC campaign messages. You can utilize various methods for consent gathering, such as an online registration form, a paper opt-in form, or incorporating consent as part of a phone script. Additionally, customers may be able to opt-in directly by sending a specific text message keyword, like "Text INFO to 12345 to receive updates."
  • Prioritizing Clear and Transparent Opt-Out Options: Remember, just as important as obtaining consent is providing clear and straightforward opt-out options for your customers. This empowers them to control their communication preferences and fosters trust in your brand.

Avoiding Spam Triggers and Maintaining Message Quality

Obtaining consent is just one piece of the puzzle. Here are additional tips to ensure your messages aren't flagged as spam:

  • Professional Message Tone: Avoid sending messages entirely in uppercase letters, which can appear aggressive and impersonal.
  • Refrain from Shortened URLs: Shortened URLs like those generated by bit.ly services can raise red flags with spam filters. Instead, opt for using your full, reputable website URL within your messages.
  • Focus on Value and Transparency: A core principle of A2P 10DLC compliance is delivering messages that provide value to your customers. Craft clear and concise messages that are relevant to the opt-in preferences they provided.

The Bigger Picture: A Collaborative Effort

These A2P 10DLC regulations are designed to protect consumers from unwanted text messages and create a more positive text message experience for everyone. By adhering to these best practices and maintaining a registered and compliant status, you're not only following the rules, but also contributing to a more secure and trustworthy text message marketing landscape.

LimePhone Support: Your Partner in A2P 10DLC Compliance

Do you have lingering questions regarding the A2P 10DLC registration process for your LimePhone workspace? Our dedicated LimePhone Support team is readily available to assist you. Feel free to reach out, and we'll be happy to guide you through the process and ensure your business is on the path to successful and compliant text message marketing.

Sign up today and discover how LimePhone can revolutionize the way your business communicates! Embrace the freedom, flexibility, and efficiency that LimePhone brings to the table, and watch your communication soar to new heights.

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