The most common and cost-effective way for businesses to send SMS messages to customers is A2P. A2P messaging is “Application to Person” texting. It removes the manual labor of texting and enables businesses to send text messages in bulk.
But, until now, most phone numbers weren’t specifically designed to send mass SMS messages. And, phone numbers that are built for bulk texting are too expensive for many businesses.
Most organizations had three options to choose from:
Short codes: short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers. Short codes are capable of sending millions of messages per day, at up to 500 messages per second. But, short code numbers can be expensive to purchase and require a long, cumbersome campaign approval process before they can be put to use.
Toll-free long codes: toll-free numbers are an affordable alternative to short codes. But, toll-free long codes are only capable of sending a few thousand messages per day, at a rate of 3 messages per second. Toll-Free long codes also appear impersonal and foreign to your customers and thus may not engage with your campaign.
Local long codes: local long codes are standard phone numbers. They’re affordable. But, they’re designed for person-to-person (P2P) texting. A local long code can only support 1 message per second and a few hundred messages per day.
Using local long codes for A2P messaging is against the CTIA guidelines, as local long codes were initially designed for P2P messaging only. So, using a local long code for commercial text messaging presents both use limitations and regulatory compliance issues.
As you can see, none of these numbers present a low-cost option for sending moderate volumes of A2P SMS messages.
10DLC addresses this issue.
What is 10DLC?
10DLC numbers are designed and sanctioned by the termination vendors for A2P SMS messaging.
A 10DLC number is essentially a local 10-digit phone number that can support high volumes of text messages. Recently, Verizon has implement local A2P messaging with 10DLC, and other carriers like AT&T are following their lead.
Benefits of 10DLC
10DLC numbers give businesses the best of both worlds: mass text messaging support, with lower overhead costs. This is what you can expect from 10DLC.
Higher SMS message volumes. 10DLC numbers are capable of supporting SMS message volumes that are somewhere between the limits of short codes and toll-free long codes.
Currently, 10DLC messaging can send messages at a rate of 5 to 15 messages per second, and that number may go up in the future. So, a 10DLC number is much more capable for A2P text messaging than a local long code.
Lower costs. 10DLC numbers have lower monthly costs than dedicated short codes, and cost about the same as a local long code phone number. So, businesses that can’t afford a short code number or don’t send enough messages to justify paying for a short code have a cost-efficient alternative.
Additionally, businesses will be able to convert their existing landlines to 10DLC numbers. This means businesses can send more messages from their existing phone number, and won’t have to pay for an additional number to get 10DLC capabilities.
Better Deliverability. Because 10DLC numbers are sanctioned by the term vendors, messages sent on these numbers are more likely going to reach the recipient than with regular local long codes.
Who should consider using 10DLC?
Some businesses will still be better off using a short code, depending on their message volume and SMS budget. But, 10DLC numbers will help businesses that fall in that middle ground between short codes and toll-free long codes in terms of message volume and budget.
Is there a pre-vetting process to be approved for 10DLC?
While Verizon does not require a pre-vetting process, AT&T does. This process is similar to the process of applying for a dedicated short code, and requires registering your business as a brand, and creating corresponding A2P campaigns for that brand, and indicating the use cases (e.g 2FA, account notifications etc). We are currently working on a self-service functionality to allow users to register brand and campaigns from within our Mission Control Portal.
10DLC might not be ideal for every business. But, it presents opportunities for more businesses to reach more customers with A2P messaging -- make sure to check out our 10DLC FAQs page for additional information on this initiative.
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