What are the outbound text messaging limitations and registration requirements?

Important Information About New Industry Approach to Text Messaging from Local Phone Numbers - Action May Be Required

Introduction

As part of the U.S. wireless service industry’s efforts to combat spam and improve the delivery of legitimate text messages, businesses that send text messages to US ten-digit phone numbers will be required to register the phone numbers they are using for their SMS messaging. 

In 2018, SMS (Text Messaging)  was reclassified as an informational service, granting US mobile carriers the ability to regulate how SMS may be sent, what type of content may be sent, and implement and manage fees for different types of SMS. In 2021, US mobile carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-mobile, reclassified all business SMS as 10DLC A2P (Application to Person), a new kind of SMS with numerous regulations, registration requirements, and fees. Failure to comply with these new regulations can result in increased costs, SMS messages being blocked, or significant fines.

 

 

Registration Requirements

To make registration more manageable, the carriers have authorized a new entity, known as The Campaign Registry (TCR), to collect brand information and SMS usage on their behalf. 

Registration involves providing information about the business (Brand Registration) and about how SMS will be used (Campaign Registration).

Messages sent from local numbers by unregistered senders will be blocked altogether.

At this time, registration for toll-free numbers is not required, but there are limits on the number of messages that can be sent. We recommend completing this registration form if you send outbound text messages from a toll-free number. It will increase your SMS limit and improve deliverability. 

What do I need to do?

If you do not intend to use your Phone.com phone numbers for outbound text messaging, you don’t need to do anything. Beginning on July 1, 2023, your Phone.com phone number will work for inbound text messaging only. (Calling is not affected by this change.)

If you intend to use your Phone.com local number(s) for outbound text messaging, your account admin must log into Phone.com and visit the SMS Enrolment portal to register.

 

SMS Enrollement

Pass-through Costs for Outbound SMS Messaging

The Campaign Registry will charge a one-time brand registration fee, a one-time vetting fee, and a monthly fee. These fees are determined and charged by The Campaign Registry, not by Phone.com, so you will incur the same cost no matter what platform you use for texting.  Phone.com is simply passing through the charges we will incur to support text messaging.

 

Item Fee Required For Charged By
Brand Registration Fee $4 (One Time) All Businesses TCR
Campaign Vetting Fee $15 (One Time) All Businesses Syniverse
Low Volume Campaign $1.50 (Monthly Businesses sending fewer than 6,000 messages a day. TCR

*Contact us for pricing for high-volume campaigns.

 

FAQs

Why is Phone.com Implementing This Change?

These new requirements are not the result of a decision by Phone.com. The major US mobile carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, have introduced registration and fee requirements in an effort to reduce unwanted or fraudulent text messages and to cover the costs associated with the increase in commercial text messaging across their networks.  Phone.com is doing what we can to help our customers comply by providing a simple registration form and passing along the fees with no markup. The registration requirements and fees will be the same, no matter which provider you choose. If a provider is not compliant, their customer’s messages will be blocked by the carriers.

This video shows just a few examples of other organizations in the telecommunications industry that have been impacted by this change and are communicating similar information to their customers.

What are the benefits of 10DLC registration for businesses?

10DLC numbers give businesses the best of both worlds: mass text messaging support, with lower overhead costs. Key benefits of using 10DLC:


Better Message Deliverability: A2P 10DLC is designed to ensure better message deliverability, which means that your messages are more likely to reach the intended recipients. 

Improved User Experience: A2P 10DLC enables businesses to use their own phone numbers for messaging, providing a more personalized and recognizable experience for the end-users.This improves the user experience and engagement with your messaging campaigns.

TCPA Compliance: A2P 10DLC introduces strict requirements for businesses to comply with the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) regulations, including obtaining prior consent from users before sending messages and providing opt-out options. These requirements help reduce spam and improve user experience, which can ultimately help build trust and loyalty with your customers.

Cost-Effective: A2P 10DLC is generally more cost-effective than traditional shortcodes. With 10DLC, you can use your own phone number for messaging, eliminating the need to lease a short code. 

What is a brand ID?

A brand ID is a collection of information to identify the business sending a text message. A brand identifies the company or entity the end user believes to be sending a message. For example, if a pool service, Splash & Swim, sends SMS service reminders to its end customers using Phone.com, the brand would be identified as Splash & Swim.

What is a campaign ID?

A campaign denotes your phone numbers and how you’ll use them for outbound text messaging. A company will typically have only one brand ID but may have several campaign IDs, depending on its SMS usage. For example, if Splash & Swim wants to ask its customers for referrals via SMS, the campaign ID for that usage would be “marketing.”

Can I opt out of registration?

If you want to opt out of registering with TCR, you may do so, but you will be unable to use SMS messaging on Phone.com’s network.

Phone.com can’t allow unregistered message traffic across our network. If you do not complete the registration form, you will have opted out of registration.

What is the Process for SMS Enrollment?

Log into My.Phone.com with Admin credentials. Click on SMS Enrollment in the menu. Then:

  • Register your Brand
  • Register your Campaign
  • Associate numbers to your campaigns.

How long does the registration process take?​

Brand registration is usually immediate. Campaign registration takes approximately 3-15 business days (can take shorter or longer depending on the information submitted).


Can I expedite this verification process?

No. For faster results, please ensure you correctly fill out the form. If your submission was rejected due to an incorrect submission, you'll have to start the process all over again.


Can I register multiple brands under the one phone.com account?

Yes, you can register and manage multiple brands under one Phone.com account. 

What Brand information should I provide?

It is important that the brand information you provide matches the IRS tax records exactly. If not, the brand registration will be rejected.

 

IRS

Can I use my Social Security number as my tax ID?

No.  Social Security numbers are not accepted by the TCR and will result in a rejection of your Brand registration.

How can I register a brand if I don't have an EIN?

If you do not have an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for your business, Please visit the IRS website and apply for EIN. 

My EIN registration is in process. Can I send messages?

If your EIN registration is still in process, you will not be able to send messages until your EIN is approved and activated by the IRS and the public information databases are populated. It is best to wait two weeks after you receive your EIN to register.

My Brand is rejected. How do I proceed?

If your Brand is rejected, you will need to resubmit it and pay the applicable registration fees.  The most common reason for Brand rejection is that the information provided is not an exact match with the IRS data for the EIN provided.

To ensure acceptance:

  • Use the legal business name associated with the EIN, not the DBA.
  • Type the legal business name exactly as it appears on the IRS EIN document, including punctuation.  For example, "ACME Inc" is not the same as "ACME, Inc."
  • Select the correct industry type.
  • Wait at least two weeks after getting a new EIN before attempting to register.
  • Canadian customers should use the Canadian Business number, not the Corporation number.

Can I register multiple campaigns under one brand?

Yes, you can register multiple campaigns under one brand. This allows you to create and manage multiple initiatives or promotions for your brand, each with its own unique message and call to action.

We are a small business, and we have multiple use cases for SMS. Do we need to create multiple campaigns? 

As a small business with multiple use cases for SMS, we are defaulting the use case to “Low volume Mixed.” This use case should cover most of your business use cases.

What is OPT-IN?

Opt-in is a process by which individuals explicitly give their permission to receive marketing messages or communications from a business or organization. In the context of A2P messaging, opt-in typically refers to the process of subscribers agreeing to receive text messages from a business by providing their mobile phone number and confirming their consent to receive messages.


What is OPT-OUT?

Opt-out is the process by which individuals can stop receiving marketing messages or communications from a business or organization. In the context of A2P Messaging, opt-out typically refers to the process of subscribers requesting to be removed from a business's text messaging list.

Businesses are legally required to provide subscribers with a clear and easy way to opt-out of receiving messages, and failure to do so can result in regulatory penalties.

What is the Help keyword?

The "HELP" keyword is a common keyword used in A2P Messaging marketing to provide subscribers with information and assistance. The "HELP" keyword is required by many A2P regulations as a way to ensure that subscribers have access to important information and assistance, and failure to provide proper help resources can result in regulatory penalties and legal action.

When setting up an A2P Messaging campaign, it's important to include clear and easy-to-understand information about how subscribers can use the "HELP" keyword to receive assistance and to ensure that the help resources provided are accurate and up-to-date. 

Is opt-in/out/help required for non-marketing messages?

Yes, US carriers require these options for any kind of message. This includes two-way conversational messages, marketing, informational-only messages, customer care, etc.

Why do I need to provide sample messages?

When registering a brand or campaign for A2P Messaging, it's common for service providers or regulatory bodies to require sample messages as part of the registration process. There are a few reasons why sample messages may be required:

  1. Compliance: A2P Messaging is subject to a range of regulations and laws, and service providers and regulatory bodies need to ensure that all messages sent are compliant with these rules. By providing sample messages, businesses can demonstrate that they understand the relevant regulations and are taking steps to comply with them.
  2. Quality control: Service providers may require sample messages to ensure that the messages sent by a business are of high quality and are consistent with their brand and messaging strategies. Sample messages can help service providers identify any issues or areas for improvement before the messages are sent to subscribers.
  3. Approval: In some cases, service providers or regulatory bodies may need to approve or review the messages sent by a business before they can be sent to subscribers. Sample messages can be used to facilitate this review process and ensure that all messages meet the necessary criteria.

It's important for businesses to provide accurate and representative sample messages as part of the registration process, as failure to do so can result in delays, rejection of the brand or campaign, or regulatory penalties. By providing high-quality sample messages, businesses can help ensure that their A2P Messaging campaigns are effective, compliant, and well-received by subscribers. Also, it helps in whitelisting the messages that will be sent in the future. 

Can I send messages other than sample messages?

Yes, once your brand and campaign are approved and registered, you can send messages beyond the sample messages that you provided during the registration process. However, it's important to ensure that all messages sent are compliant with relevant regulations and laws and that they align with your brand and messaging strategies.

Can I update sample messages to a verified campaign?

If a user wants to modify a sample message in a verified campaign, they will be required to undergo a pre-approval process. You can make changes to the messages that you send as part of the campaign, as long as those messages are compliant with relevant regulations and laws. It's important to ensure that any changes you make to the messaging align with your overall marketing strategy.

Can I update the OPT-IN, and OPT-OUT keywords to a verified campaign?

 In general, once a campaign has been verified and approved, it may not be advisable to make changes to the OPT-IN and OPT-OUT keywords that were approved as part of the registration process. This is because the approved keywords were evaluated as part of the verification process, and any changes to those keywords could impact the validity of that evaluation.

My campaign got unverified. How to proceed?

If your campaign has been unverified, it means that it no longer meets the requirements or regulations set by the relevant regulatory body or service provider. In order to proceed, you will need to address the issues that led to the campaign being unverified and take steps to ensure that it meets all necessary requirements.

Please contact the phone.com team to get assistance.

How many numbers can I add to the campaign?

You can add up to 49 phone numbers to a verified/registered campaign. If you want to add more than 49 numbers please contact the phone.com team.

Can I use the same number in multiple campaigns?

No, You cannot use the same number for multiple campaigns.

I have ported - a number to Phone.com.  Can I port in my Brand and Campaign? 

No. The TCR does not allow customers to move registration from one provider to another. You will need to re-register.

Why do I receive the message "[SYS-MSG] Message undeliverable. Please contact your service provider. Ref:<DID>" when I try to send outbound SMS/MMS?

 

error

This is likely occurring because the DID that is attempting to send the SMS/MMS has not yet been associated with a Campaign and Brand, which is a requirement for 10DLC.

Will a campaign with no associated numbers continue to auto-renew or be billed?

Yes, a campaign with no associated numbers will not continue to auto-renew or be billed. When you create a campaign, you are required to associate one or more phone numbers with it. If you delete all the associated numbers, your campaign will continue to be billed and may incur some penalties.

To stop the billing of the campaign, it must be deleted.

Can I reassign my number to a different campaign?

Yes, but there is a time limitation. The DCA (Direct Connect Aggregator) limits the time between the campaign to campaign switching to 90 days. This is a SPAM/fraud prevention measure implemented by the mobile carriers. Numbers should generally be static and stay on a campaign for a long amount of time. 

 


Do I need a business website in order to register my number?

No, if you do not have a business website you can use a social media page, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. If you have none of these properties, you may skip this field.


If you do have a business website, Facebook or LinkedIn to provide be sure to submit the full URL for your business and ensure your website has a sufficient Compliant Privacy Policy to avoid registration rejection.