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What is 10DLC?

In 2021, SMS providers in the United States started the transition to ten-digit longcodes for the purposes of application-to-person (A2P) communication, with the expectation to complete the implementation in March 2022. 10DLC (10-digit longcode) refers to a new industry that applies to anyone in North America who uses an application or an API to send SMS (or MMS) messages from a United States or Canadian phone number to recipients in the United States.

To comply with 10DLC requirements, businesses and organizations need to register both their brand and their campaign(s) with a designated SMS provider in order to be able to be approved for sending under specific use cases, as organizations (brands) may only send messages in conjunction with the same use case(s) that have been registered with their campaign(s). United States phone numbers also cannot be shared across brands, which includes both geographic numbers and US shared shortcodes.

So, what is a brand?

A brand is the legal entity of the business – who your recipients believe they are receiving messages from. If you conduct business under one organization name and only send content using that name, you would only need to submit one brand for registration.

What is a campaign?

Campaigns refer to the specific purposes of your SMS messaging. Each campaign is its own individual use case and must be approved, even if they are sent using the same brand. Campaigns also have a minimum duration of three months.

Use cases essentially define the kind of messages your organization wants to send, from delivery messages to emergency notifications to political messaging. Once your organization has registered its brand(s), you can then register your specific messaging campaigns under approved standard use case types which include the following:

  • Two-factor authentication: This use case type refers to messages sent that are used for authentication or verification purposes.
  • Account notification: This use case type refers to general notifications sent to account holders in reference to their account.
  • Customer care: This use case type refers to all customer interaction messages, including messages for support and account management purposes.
  • Delivery notifications: This use case type refers to messages sent regarding the delivery of a product or service.
  • Fraud alert messaging: This use case type refers to messages sent to warn users of potentially fraudulent activity on their account.
  • Higher education: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of university or college campaigns, including school districts and other educational institutions that do not fall within the “free to the consumer” messaging model.
  • Marketing: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of promotions or marketing.
  • Polling and voting: This use case type refers to messaging sent to requests for survey completion or for voting in non-political contexts.
  • Public service announcements: This use case type refers to informational messages sent to increase awareness about important issues.
  • Security alerts: This use case type refers to notifications sent to warn that the security of a system has been compromised and that recipients need to take action.
  • Mixed: This campaign type refers to messaging sent that combines two to five standard use cases.
  • Low volume mixed: This use case type refers to messaging sent by brands that is a combination of multiple use cases but have very low throughput requirements.

There are also some special use case types that may require additional review or vetting before being approved for sending. These include:

  • Agents and franchises: This use case type refers to messages sent in relation to agents, franchises, and local branches of business or organization.
  • Carrier exemptions: This use case type refers to messages sent that are mobile carrier exemptions. These can only be approved through a manual review or vetting process.
  • Proxy: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of peer-to-peer app-based group messaging using proxy or pooled phone numbers (e.g. Uber or food delivery apps), or as part of messaging supporting personalized services and the non-disclosure of personal numbers for enterprise or A2P communications.
  • Charity: This use case type refers to message sent by registered charities, excluding religious organizations, that are aimed at proving assistance and raising money for those in need.
  • Emergency: This use case type refers to notifications sent to support public safety and/or health during national or regional emergencies, such as pandemics, natural disasters, conflicts, etc.
  • K-12 education: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of platforms that support schools from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as distance learning centers.
  • Sweepstakes: This use case type refers to messages sent regarding sweepstakes.
  • Political: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of organized federal efforts to influence political decision making. All political use case will need to be verified and are required to be from a non-profit brand.
  • Social: This use case type refers to messages sent as part of social influencer campaigns.
  • Sole Proprietor: This use case type refers to messages sent by entities that hold an Employment Identification number (EIN) or Tax ID.

Before a use case can be approved for sending, an analysis of the registered brand and campaign use case must be completed.


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