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A2P 10DLC FAQ: Texting Rules That Affect Businesses

What is A2P 10DLC & Why It Matters

It used to be just the larger brands or web-based businesses that relied on SMS text communication. Today, even local small and medium businesses have begun to rely heavily on text messaging to communicate with their customers.

However, the rise in spam, phishing, and unsolicited messages has prompted the telecom industry to implement strict guidelines to ensure a safer messaging environment. Enter A2P 10DLC, Application-to-Person 10-Digit Long Code. In this comprehensive FAQ, we will explore the details of A2P 10DLC guidelines and discuss how these new texting rules affect businesses.

If you use Intulse (or any other provider/carrier) to send SMS text messages, or if you send SMS text messages on behalf of your businesses these regulations apply to you.

Here’s a quick breakdown with links to each question:

What is A2P 10DLC?

A2P 10DLC is a framework designed by the telecom industry to regulate Application-to-Person text messaging. It introduced a 10-digit long code (10DLC) system that authenticates and verifies the legitimacy of business text messages. This system aims to reduce the amount of spam messages and enhance consumer’s quality of life. Nobody likes getting spam texts, right?

The basic structure of A2P DLC breaks down into:

  • Brand (i.e. your company name)
  • Campaign: You can create campaigns for various marketing efforts, and there is a recurring monthly cost for these. They are not required, but can help with deliverability.
  • Individual messages

This breakdown is important because there are fees associated with A2P 10DLC registration and SMS message transmission.

Additionally, it is important to note that in February of 2023 the FCC issued new rules and regulations as part of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 about A2P text messaging which can be found in their FCC Fact Sheet.

Why was A2P 10DLC Created?

A2P 10DLC was created to address the challenges faced by businesses and consumers because of the increasing volume of spam and unsolicited text messages. The guidelines were developed to establish stricter regulations and verification processes, ultimately improving trust, reliability, and security in business messaging.

Is A2P 10DLC Registration Required?

A2P 10DLC campaign registration is not technically required, but this does impact all carriers, such as Intulse. However, at the time of the writing this article Intulse takes on brand registration for A2P 10DLC for our clients when they enroll in our SMS text messaging services.

Additionally, campaign registration does help to prevent messages from being flagged or rejected as spam or unsolicited.

Does A2P 10DLC Cost Anything?

Yes, there are fees associated with A2P 10DLC, and SMS messaging fees will still be charged by mobile carriers even if a business is not registered through A2P 10DLC. These fees are not set by Intulse, but rather are set by the receiving carriers like Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.

There are several different costs associated with using SMS business texting through A2P DLC, and while Intulse reserves the right to pass those costs along to our clients at the time of this article Intulse is happy to take on brand registration and messaging fees for our clients.

The published fees from the mobile carriers are always changing, so we are not including specific rates in this article. At this time the fees break down like this:

  • Brand registration: a small one-time fee, typically around $4-5 per brand
  • Campaign registration: Currently a small monthly fee, though some carriers have proposed a one-time cost structure. Intulse handles this with a small, one-time fee along with the monthly registration fee as part of our recurring billing.
  • Message fees: Per-message fees are incredibly low in cost (thousandths of a cent), and the calculation for the cost per message is incredibly complex. Per-message fees are higher for unregistered brands/campaigns.

Once again, at the time of the writing of this article Intulse absorbs registration and messaging fees in our monthly costs in most cases.

Intulse is always up front about our pricing, and we do not hide any fees (unlike some of the bigger providers out there). In fact, you can always view your rates, fees, and detailed billing in the Intulse Account Center, including text messaging costs.

More detail on how Intulse handles 10DLC business messaging can be found in our support center.

How Do A2P 10DLC Guidelines Impact Businesses?

A2P 10DLC guidelines have several fairly positive implications for businesses:

  • Improved Message Delivery: A2P 10DLC prioritizes messages from registered senders, which can result in higher message delivery rates. Businesses can lower the risk of their messages being flagged as spam by adhering to the guidelines.
  • Enhanced Sender Identification: Under A2P 10DLC, businesses are required to register their messaging campaigns and associate them with a verified phone number. This makes it easier for your clients to know that the message came from you, and they will be less likely to ignore or block your messages.
  • Carrier Filtering: A2P 10DLC assigns a trust score to businesses based on their compliance. A higher trust score means less carrier filtering, so messages from trusted senders are less likely to be blocked or delayed. This helps time-sensitive information reach customers sooner.

How Do Businesses Comply With A2P 10DLC?

To comply with A2P 10DLC guidelines, businesses should follow these steps:

  • Identification and Branding: Businesses should associate their messaging campaigns with a verified phone number that reflects their brand identity. This helps recipients recognize the sender and establishes trust in the legitimacy of the messages. At this time, Intulse handles all of this for you.
  • Campaign Registration: Businesses should consider registering their messaging campaigns to obtain a Campaign ID from the respective carriers or service providers. This process involves providing detailed information about the messaging campaign, including its purpose, expected message volume, and anticipated audience.

    At this time, new campaigns require that you contact Intulse support, though in the future we will be making the tools available for you to manage your own campaigns.
  • Content Compliance: Message content must adhere to carrier-specific guidelines and industry regulations. This includes refraining from sending unsolicited or prohibited content, such as illegal advertisements or deceptive messages. Basically, don’t send spam messages, or messages to people that have not provided their contact information.
  • Opt-Out Mechanism: A2P 10DLC requires businesses to include an opt-out mechanism in their messages, allowing recipients to easily unsubscribe from further communications. It is crucial for businesses to honor these requests promptly to maintain compliance.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Businesses should monitor their messaging campaigns and promptly address any issues or complaints raised by recipients. Compliance reports may also be required by carriers or service providers, and businesses should be prepared to provide these as necessary.

So, Does A2P 10DLC Apply?

A2P 10DLC guidelines have brought about significant changes in the business messaging landscape, with the goal of reducing spam and helping both businesses and consumers. Intulse is happy to help implement and register for A2P 10DLC as well so you can comply with these guidelines This will help you improve message deliverability, establish and build trust with your customers, and ensure that your messages are reaching your clients or customers on time.

Do you have questions or need help with SMS text communication for your business? Intulse can help, so contact us today!