10DLC: a new era in SMS marketing…

The brand new year brings a reinvigorated mindset and motivation. It is a great time for you to take a fresh look and expand your approach to your marketing and business communications. It’s also important to be on top of developments in the systems you use.

Now is the perfect time to take a look at A2P 10DLC, and what it means for your business or other organization.

What Does 10DLC Mean?

10DLC refers to 10-digit long codes. They are carrier-approved routes for messaging and have high security and performance standards. A commercial long code is a standard, 10-digit phone number which supports high volume messaging and is ideal for use by businesses and organizations with significant mass text messaging requirements.

10-Digit Long Code Basics – A2P vs P2P

A2P messaging, or application-to-person messaging, refers to sending SMS messages to consumers or other businesses via a computer program. These messages are generally SMS marketing content, including, for example, automated appointment or reservation reminders.

P2P messaging, or person-to-person, refers to a text message sent directly between phones.

US and Canadian mobile operators are eliminating all P2P long code business messaging systems, as well as most shared shortcodes, in favour of dedicated shortcodes and 10DLCs.

Short Codes

Shared shortcodes have been the go-to for A2P for some years now, but they can be problematic. More than 1000 businesses can share the same shortcode and this results in a lack of accountability and transparency. These codes can be an easy target for scammers and, if another user who shares a shortcode with your business contravenes good practices in terms of their messaging, your business may suffer the consequences.

The messaging services which support A2P messages are evolving and 10DLC messaging is the next big thing in terms of A2P.

How is A2P 10DLC Beneficial?

A2P 10DLC is specifically designed for business messaging and supports a mid-to-large volume of messaging throughput that a business requires.

It is:

  • Simple
  • Reliable
  • Stable
  • Secure
  • High-Volume Capability
  • Accountable
  • Affordable
  • Fast to Register and Implement

In the past, US-based long codes were designed for P2P (person to person) messaging. Throughput volume was limited, and security was suboptimal.

Shortcodes have more recently been the main option for sending A2P SMS messages. They are 5- or 6-digit numbers which are used for bulk SMS and SMS marketing and support very high-volume messaging. Shortcodes don’t support phone calls, require no formal application processes, and have a long waiting period for implementation. They can be very costly for businesses. Mobile carriers also perceive shared shortcodes to be at high risk of spam and this can be difficult to regulate.

Long codes have been a business alternative to shortcodes. These included standard toll-free numbers which support both phone calls and text messages, yet they send messages at a slow rate and limit throughput to only a few thousand texts daily – not suitable for large bulk text messaging requirements. Local long codes (normal phone numbers), similarly, are extremely limited in their scope and capabilities.

10DLC offers another option which is designed to support mid-to-high volume send rates, and mobile carriers suggest a send rate of 5-15 SMS per second, with a throughput of 100,000 SMS messages monthly. Unlike shortcodes, fees for 10DLC are projected to be on par with standard long codes and much more affordable for businesses to utilise. 10DLC requires registration and vetting by the carrier before implementation.

Other Features of 10DLC

Benefits of 10 digit long codes infographic

10-digit long codes are specifically configured for business use:

  • They will cost far less than dedicated shortcodes
  • Provide higher volume messaging throughput than standard long codes
  • They will require registration and vetting
  • Sending rates will be maximised
  • No long codes will be shared, mitigating risks – you will have a dedicated line
  • Voice-enabled for better consumer experience
  • Networks will be sanctioned, reducing the risk of fraudulent association or activity
  • Brandable, retaining local area codes
  • Tier-1 mobile carriers are committed to keeping the 10DLC route free of spam.

When Will We See this Tech?

Soon! As North American carriers launch A2P 10DLC, they are insisting that existing shared code traffic be migrated to dedicated shortcodes or 10DLCs.

10DLC services have already been launched in the USA and Canada by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, with Sprint next onboard, and soon every major North American mobile carrier will offer supported A2P 10DLC services. Other nations worldwide will eventually follow.

As per updated codes of conduct, AT&T and T-Mobile prohibit shared shortcodes with few exemptions, and brands will need to migrate to dedicated code originators by some (yet unspecified) point after March 1 2021. As such, businesses in the USA will need to decide whether to migrate to a dedicated shortcode or A2P 10DLC.

Of these, A2P 10DLC is more affordable, is sanctioned by your preferred carrier network, and is faster to implement.

The time is right now for every business in the USA and Canada that uses SMS messaging to prepare for A2P 10DLC for better audience communications. Your chosen SMS gateway and bulk SMS provider can help you audit your existing systems, determine which long codes you need to migrate, and move on from shortcodes for better business communications into the future.

Choose ClickSend for SMS

As a leading communications platform and SMS gateway, ClickSend works with hundreds of clients worldwide to power billions of lightning-fast messages with global coverage, including in the USA and Canada. Our platform integrates with thousands of popular apps, from Shopify to Zendesk and countless more.

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