Peer-to-peer texting is an extremely effective way to spread the word about a campaign or cause. However, the volume of political texting has increased so much in recent years that carriers (companies like AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are tightening texting regulations, particularly to reduce spam.
In particular, you may have heard of a set of regulations called 10DLC. Although this term may seem mysterious, it’s not as complex as it sounds. Read on to learn everything you need to know about 10DLC for your political campaign or organization.
What is 10DLC?
10DLC stands for “10-digit long code,” but it really refers to a set of peer-to-peer texting regulations enforced by mobile carriers. Businesses and organizations that register their long code will experience better deliverability and throughput for their text messages. Failure to register may result in fines or blocked messages.
Once you complete your 10DLC registration (more on that below), your SMS provider works with mobile carriers to determine a Trust Score for your brand. This score will determine how many messages you can send per day — the higher your score is, the better your messaging throughput.
Who needs to register for 10DLC?
10DLC doesn’t only apply to businesses. If your campaign, nonprofit, advocacy organization, or union engages in SMS marketing (namely peer-to-peer texting) you need to register for 10DLC. The only exceptions include:
- If you already use a short code for your political SMS messages
- If you already use a toll-free number (numbers starting with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833) for your political SMS messages
- If you send less than 3,000 messages per day
You can register under the classification of Special Use Cases, which applies to charity/501(c)(3) nonprofits and political groups.
How does 10DLC affect my campaign, nonprofit, advocacy org, or union?
Depending on your classification, you may be limited to sending anywhere from 5,000 to 200,000 messages per day per carrier. But there is a chance you can increase this limit by registering with Campaign Verify. Campaign Verify is a non-partisan, non-profit service provider that can help to confirm the legitimacy of your traffic and increase your message limits. See if you qualify to register by visiting the Campaign Verify website here.
How do I register for 10DLC?
The first step is to reach out to your SMS provider, like Impactive. That provider will facilitate the process of registering through their underlying SMS vendor, like Twilio. Your provider can also clarify the process of registering with Campaign Verify to increase your traffic limits. To speed the process along, you can get started with Campaign Verify registration on your own here.
What information do I need for 10DLC registration?
You’ll need to submit information about your brand, including:
- Your business name, address, and type
- The contact details of an authorized representative as a point of contact
Read the full list of required information here.
What do I need to know about 10DLC costs?
When you register for 10DLC, you’ll need to pay an initial registration fee, as well as carrier fees attached to the messages you send. Registration fees for the Special Use Case type start at $3 per month. Carrier fees vary and are outlined here. (Some texting providers, like Impactive, absorb these fees on your behalf!)
How does 10DLC affect me if I’m running peer-to-peer texting programs for multiple campaigns?
Consultants running texting programs for various campaigns will need to register for each campaign that they support. In most cases, your texting provider, like Impactive, can facilitate the process of multiple registrations.
What are some ways I can comply with 10DLC regulations?
Registering for 10DLC isn’t all you have to do: these regulations also require that you adhere to the following rules for each of your peer-to-peer texting campaigns:
- Clearly identify your organization as the sender within your script. Start your message with an introduction (“Hi, this is [volunteer name] with [your organization].”) to make it clear who the text is coming from. Regardless of 10DLC, this is a good practice for high-converting text messages.
- Include opt-out language in your script. Any text recipient should be able to stop receiving text messages with a standard opt-out keyword, such as Stop2Quit, UNSUBSCRIBE, STOP, CANCEL, QUIT, or END. Your script must include a line that clearly communicates the recipient’s ability to opt out, like “Reply STOP to unsubscribe.”
- Remove landlines from texting lists. Take care to remove any phone numbers that can’t receive text messages. This preliminary step will ensure higher deliverability rates when you start sending texts.
Read more best practices for adhering to 10DLC regulations here.
As with many things in the political landscape, 10DLC regulations are continually evolving. Ensure you’re up to date by regularly checking in with your texting provider. Impactive maintains an up-to-date overview of the steps we’re taking to assist our clients with 10DLC; find it here.