Business text messaging regulations are changing. Find out what to expect and how to stay compliant with updated carrier regulations.
If you own a cell phone, you have undoubtedly had your share of spam texts. Whether it’s an offer to win an expenses-paid vacation or a hefty reward to help an international billionaire recover his lost bank account, these messages are annoying at best. Unfortunately, business text messaging oversight has been a little slow to keep up, but that’s changing.
New processes and regulations can sometimes feel like a headache, but ultimately, these new text messaging oversights should help legitimate businesses reach more customers. This change aims to keep spam texts to a minimum by verifying the companies sending business text messages.
What does all this mean?
Let’s break down some of the jargon before we get into what changes are coming to business text messaging because A2P 10DLC doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
A2P means any application-to-person text. That’s in contrast to P2P, which is person-to-person. When you text your coworker to see if they want to grab lunch, that’s P2P. Generally speaking, appointment reminders or text blasts to notify your customers of a service center discount are A2P. What about that text to a customer who was looking for a specific car that you just brought onto your lot? That’s most likely an A2P text.
10DLC is short for 10-Digit Long Code. That’s in contrast to short code, which is usually a five- or six-digit number that goes out with mass texting. An example of an inbound shortcode would be something like Text CARS to 13579 for a chance to win a free oil change! Only in this case, it would be outbound texting that would be impacted.
It’s also worth noting that although a 10DLC looks like a regular phone number, according to The Campaign Registry, this code is “a reliable messaging channel with throughput levels suitable for SMS campaigns and is sanctioned by the mobile operators.”
Will these business text messaging regulations affect every business?
The short answer is yes. How businesses will be impacted is another issue. The A2P 10DLC text messaging regulations are still being put in place by wireless carriers. And how much the regulations apply to you will depend, partially, on how many messages you regularly send.
1. You will need to register for each campaign. First, don’t think of a campaign the way you might as an auto dealership marketer. In this case, a campaign means how you intend to use text messaging. If you’re using text primarily for promotion, you may need to only register for one campaign or type of use. You would need an additional registration for service appointment reminders and so on. Registration fees for each campaign may be as low as $2 per month, but again, that may vary depending on who you’re working with.
2. There are additional fees. There is also a charge for each message you send. The exact price depends on the carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) and the type of message (SMS vs. MMS), but they are generally under a penny. For example, AT&T currently charges $0.002 per SMS.
3. No, you can’t work around it. It may take time to implement, but at some point, mobile carriers will charge more for unregistered businesses, and they may be filtered or unsupported altogether.
4. You can still send a LOT of texts. Though mobile carriers do have limits, these new text messaging regulations don’t appear to define the number of texts you can send. Depending on your registration, T-Mobile allows you to send between 2,000 and 200,000 messages per day. AT&T, on the other hand, is based on texts-per-minute, with a limit of 4,500 TPM.
5. More of your texts will get through. Because these new text messaging regulations will decrease the number of spam texts, more of your legitimate business texts will be able to make it through to your audience.
You can find out more and register through The Campaign Registry, but before you do, talk to your texting service provider. As an individual business, you may not need to do everything on your own. As a platform that allows business text messaging, AutoRaptor will be facilitating the registration of all of their customers.
One thing you will need to do, however, is to follow text messaging best practices, as set forth by CTIA. You won’t find anything especially shocking: Don’t spam people, don’t text before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m local time, make it easy for customers to opt-out, and other similar practices.
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