As text messaging continues to be a popular communication channel,
businesses and organizations in North America must comply with specific requirements
when engaging in application-to-person (A2P) text messaging campaigns.
requirements aim to ensure consumer protection, prevent spam, and maintain the integrity
of the SMS ecosystem. In this article, we will explore the three primary options
available for A2P messaging: 10DLC, toll-free numbers, and short codes, and delve into
the specific requirements associated with each.
10DLC (10 Digit Long Code)
10DLC refers to a dedicated 10-digit phone number that is specifically designed for
A2P messaging. It provides a more affordable alternative to short codes and is
widely used by businesses and organizations for customer engagement. However, it is
essential to meet specific guidelines and requirements to use 10DLC effectively.
- Brand Registration: Businesses must register their brand and obtain a Trust
Score with the wireless carriers. This registration process involves providing
information about the company, its intended messaging usage, and adhering to
specific industry and carrier guidelines.
- Campaign Registration: Each A2P campaign conducted using a 10DLC number needs to
be registered with the wireless carriers. The registration typically involves
providing details about the messaging content, expected volume, and campaign
- Opt-in and Opt-out: Businesses must implement a clear opt-in process to ensure
that customers explicitly consent to receive text messages. Additionally, they
must provide an opt-out mechanism, allowing recipients to unsubscribe easily.
- Compliance: Compliance with carrier guidelines, including message content
restrictions, frequency caps, and compliance with industry regulations such as
the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), is essential.
Toll-free numbers have long been associated with voice communication, but they can
be used for A2P messaging. While toll-free numbers offer certain advantages, such as
being easier to remember, their use for SMS campaigns involves specific
- Text-Enabled Toll-Free Numbers: Businesses need to ensure their toll-free
text-enabled, meaning they have the capability to send and receive text
- Opt-in and Opt-out: Similar to 10DLC, businesses must obtain explicit opt-in
from customers before sending SMS messages and provide an opt-out mechanism to
recipients to unsubscribe easily.
- Compliance: Compliance with industry regulations and carrier guidelines,
content restrictions and frequency limits, is crucial.
Short codes are typically five or six-digit numbers designed solely for A2P
They offer several benefits, including high throughput, carrier-level support, and
improved deliverability rates. However, obtaining and utilizing short codes involves
more rigorous requirements and higher costs.
- Short Code Provisioning: Obtaining a short code requires engaging with a Short
Registry Provider (SCRP) or Common Short Code Administration (CSCA). The process
involves completing applications, paying fees, and adhering to carrier-specific
- Compliance: Strict adherence to carrier guidelines, industry regulations, and
compliance with the TCPA and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry
guidelines is mandatory.
- Opt-in and Opt-out: Similar to other A2P messaging options, businesses must
opt-in consent from customers and provide an easy opt-out mechanism.
When engaging in A2P text messaging campaigns in North America, businesses have
three primary options: 10DLC, toll-free numbers, and short codes. Each option comes with
its own set of requirements that ensure consumer protection, prevent spam, and maintain
the integrity of the SMS ecosystem. It is crucial for businesses to understand and
comply with these.