Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up SMS Messaging with 10 DLC Compliance

We understand that setting up SMS messaging while staying compliant with 10 DLC (10 Digit Long Code) regulations can be a complex process. This comprehensive guide will walk you through every step, with special emphasis on critical points, to ensure your SMS marketing campaigns are compliant and effective.

Please note: Digably has no control over the approval process. Approval or rejection is strictly in the hands of the carriers. We are fully committed to helping you have the best chance of approval, but we cannot guarantee it.

The approval process can take days, weeks, or months. And there is no way to predict how long it will take. Please DO NOT resubmit an application while one is still pending! It will cost you more money, and it will only slow down the process. Wait for and approval or rejection.

Understanding 10 DLC Compliance

Before we dive into the setup process, it's essential to understand the importance of 10 DLC compliance:

Why 10 DLC?: 10 DLC was introduced to combat the increasing volume of spam messages sent via SMS. To address this issue, Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got involved, leading to the creation of the campaign registry by carriers.

Carriers' Perspective: Keep in mind that from the carriers' perspective, you are not their primary customer. Their customers are the individuals who pay cell phone bills. Your goal is to prove that your business is legitimate and follows the rules to combat spam.

Step 1: Brand Registration

The brand registration process is your first crucial step in achieving 10 DLC compliance. Here's what you need to do:

Business Information:

  • Verify that your business name, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and address match EXACTLY the information on file with the IRS. Discrepancies can lead to rejection.

Website URL:

  • Include your business website URL. Ensure that the webpage accurately reflects your business name and address.

Pro Tip:

If you are a sole proprietor, consider obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. It's free and helps establish your identity, which is essential for verification.

Step 2: Choosing Your Use Case

Selecting the correct use case is vital for 10 DLC compliance. Follow these steps:

Use Case Selection:

  • Choose the use case that best describes your business's purpose for sending SMS messages. Most businesses should probably choose "marketing" and "customer care."

Legitimate Use:

  • Ensure that you have a legitimate reason for using SMS, such as appointment reminders, customer support, or marketing campaigns.

Step 3: Sample Messages

Creating sample SMS messages is essential to prove your compliance. Here's what you need to do:

Sample Messages:

  • Prepare five sample SMS messages that align with your chosen use case. Include your business name in these messages.

See examples below.

Digably: Thank you for your order! Use code SAVE10 to get 10% on your next order. Reply STOP to opt out.

Bright White Dental: Your appointment is confirmed for Friday December 10th. Reply STOP to opt out.

Variety Matters:

  • Diversify your sample messages. Include appointment reminders, marketing offers, and customer care responses.

Pro Tip:

Including your business name in the sample messages demonstrates transparency and helps with compliance.

Step 4: Opt-In Process

Having a clear opt-in process is critical for compliance. Follow these steps:

Opt-In on Your Website:

  • Implement an opt-in process on your website or landing page. Users should agree to receive SMS messages via a clear checkbox and legal language. This could be at the bottom of a purchase form, lead capture form, or newsletter signup.

Explain Opt-In:

  • Even if you don't have a specific URL, explain how users are opting in, such as through lead capture pages or Facebook ads.

Step 5: Subscriber Opt-Out

Make it easy for subscribers to opt-out of SMS messages. Here's how:

Opt-Out Keyword:

  • Include a clear "STOP" keyword that subscribers can text to opt out of SMS messages.

Step 6: Age-Gated Content and Number Pooling

Be cautious about industries related to age-gated content or number pooling, as they may pose compliance challenges.

If you use URL shorteners or embeddable links in your SMS messages, set "embeddable link" to "yes." If you conduct affiliate marketing, set the affiliate marketing option to "yes."

Final Thoughts

Compliance with 10 DLC regulations is critical for successful SMS marketing campaigns. It's an ongoing process, and carriers will periodically review your messaging practices. Always aim to provide valuable content to your subscribers and maintain transparency regarding the opt-in process.

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