What is 10DLC registration for SMS marketing

13 minute read
What is 10DLC registration for SMS marketing

What is 10DLC registration?

10DLC registration is a process for associating your business with your SMS marketing traffic. More specifically, it registers your ten digit long code (10DLC) sending numbers with the phone carriers and help you stay in compliance.

In the fall of 2023 carriers began adding addition fees of approximately $0.01/message for unregistered traffic.

Understanding the jargon

First of all, let’s start by breaking down the acronyms used by the telecommunication carriers:

  • Carriers – Telecommunication companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
  • 10DLC or long code – Ten-digit long code. A standard phone number such as +1-555-123-4567 vs a short-code. Typically costs $1/month to lease.
  • Toll-free long code – numbers which begins with an 8 and are available for both voice and text messaging such as +1-888-123-4567. Typically costs $2-3/month to lease and requires a registration / approval process.
  • Short-code – a 5-6 digit phone number used exclusively for SMS marketing such as 12345. Typically costs $500+/month to lease. Requires and application and carrier approval to lease.
  • A2P – Application-to-Person (A2P) is a type of text message sent from an application, e.g. DailyStory, to a person, e.g. you, sent over a 10DLC.
  • Registered numbers – long codes, toll-free codes, or short-codes that are registered with the carriers.
  • Unregistered numbers – Long codes that are unregistered with the carriers.

The majority of SMS marketing is performed using 10DLC vs. short-codes or toll-free numbers.

Long codes versus short codes and toll-free numbers

Each type of number supports different business needs and desired outcomes.

  • 10DLC best supports a localized, smaller customer base, with typical uses including chat, event-based interactions, service updates, appointment reminders and more. While traditional local long codes send at a rate of 1 message per second and only support sending of a few hundred messages per day, 10DLCs should be capable of sending around 100,000 text messages per month with a send rate of between five and 15 text messages per second. Keep in mind that support for 10DLCs is exclusive to the United States and Canada.
  • Short codes support an enterprise-level, large-scale customer base, with typical uses including marketing blasts, one-time passwords, fraud alerts, transactional and more. While short codes are appealing, their lease rates are the most expensive and can range from $500 to $1,000 per month or more. Short codes feature unlimited throughput and volume. For example, you can use them to send millions of text messages per day and at rates of up to 500 per second.
  • Toll-free long codes support either enterprise-level or localized messaging volumes, with typical uses including customer service chat, customer feedback, notifications and more. Its volume capabilities can be more limited, though. Toll-free long codes can only send at a rate of 3 messages per second, though, with the capability of sending a few thousand texts per day.

Why is it necessary? To stay in compliance

The carriers introduced 10DLC registration in 2021 because more business were using long code for sending application-t0-person (A2P) messaging in North America.

Ten-digit Long Codes were not intended for A2P traffic

Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging was originally designed for semi-exclusive use by short codes. Providers such as Twilio began allows A2P traffic over long code, also known as local codes.

Messages sent through DailyStory are considered A2P messaging.

Driven by a high amount of abuse

This use of long codes for SMS was driven primarily by both cost and convenience. The cost for a long code is minimal and it was possible to use unregistered numbers. Unfortunately this also caused a tremendous amount of abuse such as unwanted messages, phishing messages and SMiShing.

For example, using long codes it is possible to use snowshoeing – a process where a business has dozens to hundreds of numbers used for sending SMS.

Registration eliminates abuse and enforce compliance

The carriers introduced the registration process to help eliminate this abuse, but also enable sending messages at a higher volume with less filtering. And, supposedly this results in fewer carrier violations and a higher deliverability rate.

Short codes do not have voice capabilities, while 10DLC and toll-free do. But 10DLC does not include delivery-receipt capabilities, while short code and toll-free do.

Registrations are managed by an industry organization called the Campaign Registry and your company only needs to register once.

By enforcing the registration the carriers also help to ensure senders follow rules around text messaging compliance.

Compliance reduces carrier violations

Carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) have begun to further restrict SMS marketing by rejecting messages as “carrier violations“.

The telecommunication carriers state they are “updating their systems to  delivery better quality and lower filtering” for certain businesses that use 10DLC A2P.

And, just like any message sent through DailyStory, the message cannot contain any S.H.A.F.T. (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms or Tobacco) content.

SHAFT content is not allowed by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).

History of 10DLC

10DLC is an evolving process. There have been multiple changes and updates in the last several years.

  • May 2021 – 10DLC first introduced.
  • June 2022 – carriers no longer allowed shared short codes.
  • October 2022 – carriers began enforcing registration requirements.
  • November 2022 – carriers removed support for the “Starter” registration type.
  • March 2023 – carriers began enforcing stricter requirements for registrations.
  • August 2023 – AT&T began charging additional $0.01/messages for unregistered numbers.

Why use 10 digit long codes for your SMS marketing?

Using a long code for your SMS marketing is substantially more affordable than using a short code.

Low-cost option

When compared to short codes, 10DLCs are far more affordable for small businesses. They typically cost only a few dollars per month. Granted, if you have the budget to use both short codes and 10DLCs, definitely do since they both serve different purposes and have different benefits.

Local phone number recognition

10DLC enables businesses to reach customers individually or in mass with a local phone number. This vastly improves user experience and then customer engagement as a result. Think about your own experience as a consumer. Are you more trusting of a local number being used by a nearby restaurant?

Both text and voice-enabled

10DLCs support voice, which means customers can send and receive text messages on the same number they call you on. Again, this contributes to a better, less-confusing and more-seamless user experience. The better the experience, the better your results.

Higher messaging volume (but not the highest)

10DLC numbers feature a higher messaging volume than traditional long codes and toll-free numbers for about the same cost. They can’t compare to the volume that short codes feature, but depending on your SMS text messaging goals, that might not matter to your business.

What is the 10DLC registration process?

If you are sending SMS marketing using long code, the 10DLC registration process requires you register and pass an approval process. This includes details such as:

  • Creation of a business profile with either EIN or DUNS number
  • Business address
  • Identifying business points of contact
  • Describing and classifying the type of business

DailyStory will continue to provide guidance on this new requirement as it evolves.

The process requires multiple steps. The first step is creating a brand, then one or more campaigns associated with the brand. Finally, updates may be required for your website.

We’ve detailed these requirements below.

Create a 10DLC brand

A 10DLC brand is the registration of your company or entity. The following fields are required to submit the brand’s registration.

Company NameThe company name as listed on your EIN or Tax ID. Be sure there is no restricted content in your company name.Yes
Brand NameThis can be the same name or a DBA. Ideally the brand is the name referenced in campaigns.Yes
Entity Type
  • Charity / Non-Profit
  • Government
  • Private Company
  • Publicly Traded Company
  • Sole Proprietorship

Selecting Publicly Traded Company will required additional information about your publicly traded Stock.

VerticalThe industry vertical the organization does business in, e.g. Education, Healthcare, Information Technology.Yes
CountryThe country the entity is registered in.Yes
WebsiteThe full URL of your company’s website. Include “http://” or “https://” at the beginning of the address. Be sure there is no restricted content in your company’s URL.No
EIN CountryThe country the entity’s EIN (Employee Identification Number) is registered in.Yes
  • If you’re registering a US or non-US entity that has an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), enter your nine-digit EIN. Please remember to also include the dash. The legal company name, EIN, and physical address that you enter must all match the company information that is registered with the IRS.
  • If you’re registering a Canadian entity, enter your federal or provincial Corporation number. Don’t enter the Business Number (BN) provided by the CRA. The legal company name, Corporation number, and physical address that you enter must all match the company information that is registered with Corporations Canada.
Business AddressThe entity’s mailing address.Yes
Business CityThe entity’s mailing address city.Yes
Business RegionThe entity’s mailing address state or region.Yes
Business Postal CodeThe entity’s mailing address postal code.Yes
Email AddressYour company’s email address where someone can be reached. Be sure there is no restricted content in your email address and it is not a Gmail address. When possible, it should be an address that matches your company domain. For instance, hello@dailystory.com.Yes
Phone NumberPrimary contact’s phone number.Yes

Submit the 10DLC brand

Once the above information is collected it is submitted along with a vetting request. The vetting request is done by a 3rd party that review the submitted information and that it is a legal entity.

There are fees associated with the vetting request. Although vetting is not required, DailyStory does require vetting of all 10DLC submissions.

Vetting submissions that are approved are typically rates higher (more throughput) than brands that are not vetted.

Create 10DLC campaign(s)

Once the 10DLC brand is approved, the 10DLC campaign is created. Whereas the brand is used to validate and verify the business or organization, the campaign is used to identify the type of message the brand intends to send.

A brand can create submit 1 or more campaigns. Multiple campaigns can be used for different types of messages. For example, multiple campaigns could be used for:

  • Marketing
  • Notifications
  • One Time Passwords (OTP)

We recommend creating a separate OTP campaign if you intend to use a 10DLC number for OTP.

About the campaign and attributes

To submit a 10DLC campaign the following details will need to be provided:

Campaign DescriptionA brief description of the purpose of the campaign.
Campaign Use CaseThe purpose of the campaign, e.g. Marketing.
Subscriber Opt-inYes (required by DailyStory)
Subscriber Opt-outYes (required by DailyStory)
Subscriber HelpYes (required by DailyStory)
Number PoolingOptional (supported by DailyStory)
Direct Lending or LoansOptional (supported by DailyStory)
Embedded LinksYes (supported by DailyStory)
Embedded PhoneOptional (not recommended)
Affiliate MarketingOptional
Age-Gated ContentOptional

Additionally you will need to provide several sample text messages.

Provide Sample SMS messages

As part of the 10DLC campaign submission you are required to provide up to 4 samples text messages.

We recommend submitting the maximum of 4 samples messages.

Website Updates

Finally, the website associated with your business should be updated to include terms of service for SMS marketing. And, on your contact page provide clear information about how to opt-in and opt-out of SMS.

Example website contact us form update

Below is an example of what a website contact us form may look like to include consent information about SMS.

SMS marketing website consent

Sample language for consent

By opting into our SMS campaign, you agree to receive recurring automated marketing messages at the phone number provided. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Reply STOP to unsubscribe. Reply HELP for help. Message frequency varies. Message and data rates may apply. View our Privacy Policy.

Optionally updates for contact us

If your contact us page does not include a form, you can include this language on the page as well:

Opt-in to SMS messages: Text JOIN to (555) 123-4567

Opt-out of SMS messages: Text STOP to (555) 123-4567

Once 10DLC is submitted

Once you’ve submitted the brand, the campaign(s), and updated your website you should expect to receive an approval or denial within 5-30 business days.

In conclusion

SMS marketing is a powerful tactic that businesses should be using in their overall digital marketing strategies. Registering your 10 digit long codes for 10DLC will help get your messages delivered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding 10DLC registration.

Do I need to register for 10DLC?

If you choose not to register for 10DLC your messaging traffic is sent as “unregistered”. This may result in lower delivery rates. However, there are many factors that can impact your delivery rate. We still have many customers sending unregistered traffic and getting 95%+ delivery rates.

What if I don’t want to register for 10DLC?

We understand that you may not wish to participate. While we understand this, please know that not participating in 10 DLC will have an impact on the deliverability of your messaging. The phone carriers have stated that they will implement additional filtering on content sent by non-registered businesses.

In the fall of 2023 carriers began adding addition fees of approximately $0.01/message for unregistered traffic.

As it applies to 10DLC carriers identity traffic as:

  • Registered, messages are sent using a number that is registered to a 10DLC profile.
  • Unregistered, messages are sent using a number that is not-registered with 10DLC

What happens if I don’t register?

Traffic registered with 10DLC is claimed to receive less carrier filtering. Unregistered traffic is subject to both higher filtering and additional costs (up to $0.1/message).

What happened to the free “Starter” registration?

On November 1st, 2022 the carriers removed the “Starter” registration. This registration type was meant for smaller businesses sending less than 10K messages/day. We have been told that a “Starter” registration type will most likely be re-introduced, but we do not have a date as to when that may happen. Currently, your only option to be registered is as a “Standard” Registration.

What if I registered previously with a “Starter” registration?

If you completed the DailyStory 10DLC application process with a “Starter” registration previously you will need to resubmit your application.

Are there any fees associated with registration?

Yes, each Standard campaign registration will incur a one-time registration fee of $100. This fee is charged by the carriers, not by DailyStory. However, DailyStory will pay for it on your behalf and it will appear on your next invoice.

Additionally, there is a $20/month 10DLC fee, also charged by the carriers, which will be added to your monthly invoice if you utilize DailyStory’s text message marketing.

How should I plan around this?

At DailyStory we know how important SMS marketing is to your business.

We also continue to recommend using SMS marketing, but we also recommend investing in other marketing channels (email marketing, social, SEO, etc.).

DailyStory also continues to support both registered and unregistered traffic.

Will registration impact my deliverability?

We have been told that registered traffic will have a higher deliverability.

What happens if I don’t complete the registration?

If you do not complete a registration your messaging traffic is sent as unregistered.

What if I don’t have an Employee Identification Number (EIN)?

An employee identification number (EIN) is only required if you want to complete the registration.

What if my business name or website URL has restricted content in it?

If your business name or URL has restricted content you cannot register with that business name or URL. You will need to create a new EIN or business website to use.

Can I use a Gmail address as my business email in the application?

No, please do not use a @gmail address in your application (or any other free email address). We recommend using a business email address.

What does this mean for the content of my text messages?

It is very important that messages are sent to opted-in subscribers and contain content that is clean. Attempts to include restricted content either as text or images will result in your messages getting blocked and then ultimately may result in your entire account getting blocked by the carriers (preventing any future delivery).

Does this change how many phone numbers I need?

Yes, you will only need 1 phone number for SMS/MMS. However, you may still wish to have multiple numbers for different area codes / locations.

Will the cost of my text messages change?

There will potentially be cost-savings for sending registered 10DLC traffic. However, we don’t know yet what those are.


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