Hey there! This is Gabriel Carrillo, VP of Operations at ConversionFormula. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of something regarding “Mandatory SMS Registration” by now – and if you aren’t then you need to be. But before I continue, if you answer YES to the question “Does your business send SMS/MMS messages to anyone in the United States from a local phone number?” then this article is for you and you should pay very close attention. If you answer NO, why not?! SMS marketing is one of the best and most cost-effective methods of generating new business – if you do it right.
(P.S – If you’re a ConversionFormula customer using Ralience (ConversionFormula’s CRM system) – the answer to the above question is YES, so keep reading.)
The purpose of this article is to explain what all of this is, why you should care, and what you need to do. As a former not-so-tech-savy person myself, I promise to do my best keeping this simple so everyone can understand and make sure their business is compliant. So let’s get started!
What Is This Mandatory Registration?
This mandatory registration that I’m referring to is called Application to Person 10-Digit Long Code Phone Number, or A2P 10DLC for the rest of us sane people. You may have heard of this before but have no clue what it means or how it applies to you (trust me, you’re not alone) – and that’s what I’m going to clear up for you.
But first, let’s make some things 100% clear…
- This mandatory registration is required for EVERY business within the United States who is sending SMS/text messages to customers from a local phone number
- This is being mandated by phone carriers themselves (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc), not any agency or business
- The goal of this registration is to reduce spam texts nation-wide, which will benefit us all in the end since customers won’t be inundated with spam and will only receive meaningful messages
- This registration needs to be completed by July 5th, 2023 (thank the phone carries for this short notice) or your messages will be blocked. SMS blocking starts on July 5th, 2023 for any unregistered numbers and gradually increases until August 31st, 2023 – then ALL non-registered messages will be blocked
What is A2P 10DLC?
A2P 10DLC is a registration system designed to verify that a business sending SMS messages is a legitimate business and isn’t spamming their customers. This system was created by the phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc) who provide businesses like yours with local phone numbers to text customers. This previously optional registration is now going to be required for all businesses in the U.S starting on July 5th, 2023. A2P 10DLC doesn’t impact toll free numbers, only local phone numbers.
Why Should You Care?
Simply put, if you send text messages to customers and want to continue doing that – you need to register for A2P 10DLC. Like I mentioned before, if you don’t register, your messages will start being blocked on July 5th, 2023 and will be permanently blocked on August 31s, 2023 until you register.
What You Need to Do
As you’ve probably guessed by now, what you need to do is register your business for A2P 10DLC. You can register through your business phone number provider, like Twilio.
Thankfully, this process is extremely simple for businesses using ConversionFormula’s CRM Ralience. Our clients can easily complete this registration within their Ralience account by navigating to Phone Numbers > Trust Center > A2P Brand and Campaign Registration (SMS) > Start Registration.
Please Note: For ConversionFormula clients with multiple Ralience accounts, you’ll need to repeat this process for each account. You can use the exact same information for each submission, so feel free to just copy-paste your responses.
How to Register for A2P 10DLC
Are you a ConversionFormula client? If yes, you’re in luck!
We have the most simple walkthrough documentation and videos provided to our clients to make this process as easy as possible. You can find this documentation in your Ralience account in Settings > Phone Numbers > Trust Center.
For everyone else, the information below will get you off to a great start!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do your best to ensure the business information you include is exactly as it’s written on your original business registration (even down to the formatting of addresses – ex: 1234 N 10th Ln vs. 1234 North 10th Lane). If your business has an EIN, make sure to write all your information EXACTLY as it’s shown on your CP575 Letter (this is the letter that came form the IRS that gives you your EIN). Small details like spaces or hyphens or abbreviations can be a common cause of why your application gets delayed. If you don’t have your CP575, just do your best to make sure the information is accurate.
First, you’ll start with this question:
Do you have a business EIN?
- If yes, you’ll register using your EIN – a.k.a “Standard Brand”
- If no, you’ll register as a Sole Proprietor – a.k.a “Sole proprietor Brand”
Here’s a breakdown of how the process goes and what information you’ll need based on your answer above:
Info Needed to Register With EIN (Standard Brand)
1. Business Information
- Business Name
- Physical Address (Street, City, State/Province/Region, Postal Code, Country)
- Business Identity (Direct Customer or ISV/Reseller/Partner)
- Business Type (Sole Proprietorship/Partnership/Corporation /Co-Operative/LLC/Non-Profit)
- Company Status (Private/Public)
- Stock Ticker & Exchange (if Public)
- Business Registration Number & Type (EIN for US-based companies, other business identifier for non-US companies)
- Regions of Operations
2. Points of Contact
One authorized business representative with the following info:
- Phone Number
- Job Position (Director/VP/GM/General Counsel/CEO/CFO)
Info Needed to Register Without EIN (Sole Proprietor Brand)
- Brand or business name
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number (in US or Canada)
- Physical address (in US or Canada)
General Registration Process
The registration application will require the information listed above, and will walk through these sections:
- Outlining Opt-In: As required by U.S law, you need to receive permission to text contacts. The A2P 10DLC registration will ask you to explain HOW you receive this permission from your contacts.
- ex: I use a website chat widget that has clear opt-in language, my website form requires users to check a consent box before submitting
- Describing Campaigns: Similar to the Opt-In Outlining, the registration will want some examples of WHAT you’ll be texting contacts.
- Ex: We send appointment booking reminders, post-tour survey links, links to customer invoices, etc. For Ralience users, you can even copy-paste examples of any SMS templates in your Ralience account.
- Including Links or Phone Numbers: The application will most likely ask if your SMS messages include links or phone numbers. We recommend choosing YES, even if you’re not sure – as it’s better safe than sorry to assume you may in the future (or already have unknowingly).
- Registration Fees: Unfortunately, all businesses are required to pay one-time and monthly registration fees to continue sending SMS (even us). They are generally pretty small ($19 to register + $1.50/month). Here’s a breakdown from Twilio of what these fees could look like for you.
Please Note: The more detailed you are in all these sections – the better. Be thorough, detailed, and even include website links/screenshots if possible! The current ETA for registration approval is 5-6 weeks, and if the ‘A2P 10DLC gods’ aren’t satisfied with the information provided, you’ll be rejected and forced to resubmit – and wait another 5-6 weeks before texting contacts/customers.
After You Register
After your application is completed and approved, your business will be completely free to send SMS messages as usual. The phone carriers will review your application and assign you a Trust Score, on a scale from 1-100 with 100 being the highest (a.k.a least likely to spam). This Trust Score will determine the maximum number of SMS you’re allowed to send per campaign per day.
A higher Trust Score means better deliverability, stronger functionality, and more freedom to conduct mass SMS campaigns – so make sure to put your best foot forward when completing your application!
Need Help With A2P 10DLC Registration?
If you’re already a ConversionFormula client, you can always reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with navigating the A2P 10DLC registration process. We’re here to help you every step of the way.
If you’re not yet a ConversionFormula client, we invite you to sign up for Ralience, our powerful CRM system. Although advertised for the senior living industry – Ralience provides guided support for A2P 10DLC registration and offers numerous benefits tailored to businesses of all types. By joining Ralience, you’ll gain access to expert guidance, comprehensive features, and a platform that can streamline your compliance with A2P 10DLC while enhancing your overall SMS marketing strategies.
I hope this article was helpful – good luck to everyone on their registration journey!