Messaging • Last Updated 3/26/2024

10DLC vetting simplified: Why it matters and tips

Navigate the 10DLC vetting process painlessly with our tips. Then, take our quiz to find out if it’s necessary for your brand.


By Emily Bowen

If you're looking to use text messaging to reach your customers, understanding the 10DLC vetting process is crucial. This process ensures businesses can send texts using regular phone numbers. But there's a catch: You need to prove your credibility and that you'll use the service responsibly. It might sound like a hassle, but it's actually a crucial step to ensure your messages are delivered quickly and reliably.

This blog post breaks down everything you need to know about 10DLC vetting. We'll cover why it's important, what you need to do to complete the process, and how it fits into the bigger picture of setting up your business messaging. By the end of this post, you'll understand not just the "what" and the "why" but also the "how" of 10DLC vetting. Get ready to take your business texting to the next level without falling foul of regulations or getting your messages blocked.

What is 10DLC vetting?

10DLC vetting is a screening process for businesses wanting to use regular 10-digit phone numbers to send texts to their customers, tailored for professional use. It's like a background check to ensure the business is credible and plans to use the messaging service responsibly.

This process examines:

  • The business's nature
  • Its reasons for sending messages
  • Whether it meets the messaging practices and regulations standards

The findings from this process affect how quickly messages can be sent (message throughput) and how reliably these messages reach customers.

The 10DLC vetting process is just one step toward getting set up to send business messages with a 10-digit long code (10DLC). Here’s how vetting fits into the broader process of 10DLC:

  1. Register your business with a 10DLC service and provide your information.
  2. Undergo vetting with a centralized entity that works on behalf of multiple carriers to prove your business is credible and your messaging plans comply with regulations.
  3. Get approval to use 10DLC for messaging, with specific rates and privileges based on the vetting results.
  4. Launch and monitor your messaging campaign.

10DLC vetting is a quality assurance step that protects individuals from spam and ensures messages come from trusted verified sources. It helps maintain high standards in business messaging, ensuring only brands that follow the rules can connect with their customers.

Create a free Telnyx account to see how our Messaging platform can accelerate your customer engagement efforts.

Why 10DLC vetting matters

10DLC vetting helps your business send messages that get delivered, keeps your reputation as a sender in good standing, and ensures you're in line with the strict rules around SMS messaging. Let’s unpack why it's important and what could happen if it's not done or done incorrectly.

10DLC vetting is important because it

  • Builds trust: Ensures messages are from a verified source, fostering trust with your customers.
  • Ensures compliance: Helps meet messaging regulations, avoiding legal troubles and fines.
  • Improves message delivery: Proper vetting means higher chances your texts will reach customers effectively.
  • Protects your reputation: Avoids your messages being seen as spam, preserving your brand’s credibility.

If you don’t complete the 10DLC vetting process (or do it incorrectly), you might face consequences like

  • Message blocking: Carriers might block unvetted messages, limiting your reach.
  • Legal penalties: Non-compliance can lead to fines and legal issues.
  • Damaged reputation: Being marked as spam can hurt your brand’s image.
  • Less effective campaigns: Poor vetting can reduce engagement and waste resources.

In short, skipping or mishandling 10DLC vetting can lead to blocked messages, legal issues, and a tarnished brand reputation, making it harder to connect with your audience effectively.

Unpacking the 5-step 10DLC vetting process

10DLC might seem overwhelming at first glance, but it’s straightforward once you break it down. Let's look at the main steps:

1. Brand registration

Introduce your business by providing information about who you are and what you do in order to register your brand.

2. Campaign registration

Detail your messaging campaign. This step involves explaining what your messages are about, what you aim to achieve, and how many messages you plan to send. The goal is to give carriers a clear understanding of your intentions.

3. Review

At this stage, the vetting entity takes a close look at everything you've submitted. They're checking to make sure your plans align with their rules, aiming to keep the SMS ecosystem healthy and spam-free.

4. Secondary vetting

Sometimes, there’s a need for an extra close look, especially if your campaign is complex. This step might involve a third party taking a deeper look at your information to ensure everything meets compliance and integrity standards.

5. Vetting score

Finally, you get a vetting score. This score affects how many messages you can send and how carriers and customers view your trustworthiness.

The 10DLC vetting process is about making sure your business messaging is clear, compliant, and ready for action. It’s a necessary step in moving forward with 10DLC approval. Ultimately, it gets you that much closer to the end goal of sending 10DLC messages.

Tips for achieving 10DLC vetting painlessly

To achieve efficient, compliant SMS messaging, you’ll need to complete the 10DLC vetting process. It seems complicated, but with our tips, you’ll be prepared to navigate the complexities with ease. If you’re ready to become a 10DLC guru, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Be transparent

Being transparent with carriers about your business and messaging campaigns ensures a smoother vetting process. It helps carriers quickly understand your use case, reducing the chances of unnecessary delays or rejections.

Expect to provide detailed information about your business and the nature of your messaging campaigns. Carriers are looking for clarity on how you intend to use their network for SMS communications.

Action steps:

  • Prepare comprehensive documentation: Compile documents detailing your business’s legal name, tax ID, industry category, and messaging campaign descriptions.
  • Provide accurate campaign descriptions: Clearly define the purpose, message types, volume, and audience of your campaigns.

Learn how to create a 10DLC campaign with Telnyx, and find out exactly what documentation you’ll need.

Understand the guidelines

Understanding carrier and industry guidelines ensures your messaging campaigns are designed to comply with regulatory standards from the outset, minimizing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Invest time in familiarizing yourself with the evolving landscape of SMS regulations, which can vary significantly between carriers and countries.

Action steps:

  • Study carrier policies: Review compliance guidelines provided by major carriers and the CTIA.
  • Attend webinars or workshops: Engage in educational sessions offered by regulatory bodies, carriers, or service providers like Telnyx.

Watch past Telnyx webinars and sign up for our next Tech Talk.

Stay agile and informed

The regulatory environment for SMS messaging is constantly changing. Staying informed allows you to adapt swiftly to new rules, ensuring ongoing compliance and optimal deliverability.

Be prepared to regularly update your messaging strategies in response to regulatory changes, which may involve adjusting campaign content, volume, or targeting practices.

Action steps:

  • Set up alerts: Use tools to receive real-time updates on regulatory changes. Follow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), CTIA, and Mobile Marketing Association, subscribe to industry newsletters, and participate in forums or groups.
  • Conduct quarterly reviews: Compare your messaging strategy against current regulations.

Get 10DLC approval tips in the Telnyx Portal.

Is 10DLC vetting necessary for your brand? Take the quiz!

Not every brand needs to go through the 10DLC vetting process; it often depends on the volume of messages you plan to send and the nature of your messaging campaigns. If you're wondering whether the 10DLC vetting process is essential for your SMS strategy, this quick quiz can help guide your decision.

Remember, while this quiz offers a preliminary assessment, we always recommend consulting with a 10DLC expert for a detailed evaluation.

Quiz questions

  1. Messaging volume: How many SMS messages does your brand plan to send monthly?

    • A: Less than 5,000 messages
    • B: More than 5,000 messages

      The threshold for considering vetting is not strict, but brands with significantly low messaging volumes might initially forgo the full vetting process.

  2. Brand recognition: Is your brand part of the Russell 3000 index or similarly recognized?

    • A: Yes, it’s widely recognized.
    • B: No, it’s not. OR I'm unsure.

      Due to their established reputation, high-profile brands might have different compliance expectations and benefits in the vetting process.

  3. Importance of message delivery speed: How critical is immediate delivery and high throughput for your SMS campaigns?

    • A: Not critical. Slow delivery is acceptable.
    • B: Very critical. We need fast and reliable delivery.

      If your campaigns don’t require immediate message delivery or high throughput, the urgency for vetting might be lower. But it's still beneficial for optimizing deliverability.

Interpreting your answers

If you selected "A" for any question, the immediate need for undergoing 10DLC vetting might be less for your brand. However, remember that skipping vetting can impact your deliverability and sender reputation over time. Assess your long-term needs and consider a proactive approach to vetting.

If you selected "B" for all questions, proceeding with the 10DLC vetting process is strongly recommended. Undergoing vetting enhances your messaging capabilities, ensures compliance, and optimizes deliverability, providing a superior messaging experience to your audience.

Regardless of your quiz results, the evolving nature of SMS regulations means staying informed and prepared is key. Consider reaching out to a Telnyx 10DLC specialist to discuss your specific needs and ensure your SMS strategy is both compliant and set up for success.

Choose a 10DLC partner that makes compliance quick and easy

Your business's success in messaging may hinge on navigating the 10DLC vetting process effectively. If your use case meets the requirements for using 10DLC, this vetting step is non-negotiable for ensuring your messages hit their mark while keeping you on the right side of compliance. The importance of picking a 10DLC partner who knows their stuff and has your back can’t be understated. It's a decision that directly impacts the effectiveness of your communications.

Telnyx stands out as the obvious choice of partner because we strip away the complexity of 10DLC compliance, making it straightforward and hassle-free. Our API is designed for ease, enabling quick registration and third-party vetting. Plus, with built-in approval tips in our Portal, you're guided through the process step by step.

Choosing Telnyx for 10DLC brings tangible benefits:

  • Quicker approval times
  • No hidden fees for campaign migration
  • A unified API and Portal that simplify your messaging strategy from start to finish.
  • Competitive pricing without sacrificing quality or support, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.

Telnyx is more than just a service provider. We're your ally in crafting impactful, compliant messaging strategies.

Contact our team of experts to get started with 10DLC campaign registration and vetting.

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