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Texting 101

Navigating the SMS registration process, step-by-step

Alia Paavola
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Text messaging has become a vital tool for businesses to keep in touch with customers, offering a direct line for everything from appointment reminders to exclusive offers. As the popularity of this communication channel grows, so does the attention from regulatory bodies aiming to ensure these interactions remain positive and spam-free.

In 2024, it became required for all businesses using SMS to communicate with customers to register their phone numbers. It was a step designed to make sure text messaging stays a trusted and effective way for you to connect with your audience. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss SMS registration basics, including an overview of the registration requirements, how to register, and how Textline can help.

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<h2 id="Rundown">A rundown of SMS campaign registration requirements</h2>

Let’s dive into the who, what, when, where, and why of SMS registration requirements.

Who requires it? Key players in the telecom space, including mobile carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Direct Connect Aggregators.
Who must register? Businesses using A2P text messaging. This means any company sending text messages from an SMS platform like Textline.
What is needed to register? Brands must provide information about their business and messaging use case.
Where do you register? For 10DLC SMS campaigns, you register with The Campaign Registry. For toll-free SMS campaigns, you register with Twilio. Short codes require registration with each separate mobile carrier.
When did the requirement take effect? Registering before sending a text was mandated for 10DLC numbers on Sept. 1, 2023. It was mandated for toll-free numbers on January 31, 2024. Short code numbers have long had this registration-first requirement.
Why was it implemented? Mobile carriers and telecom industry stakeholders are tasked with protecting customers from spam text messages. Creating a registry of brands using SMS and their use cases helps them better monitor messaging.

<h2 id="How">How to register for business SMS</h2>

The SMS registration process looks slightly different based on the phone number type you choose. This section will describe 10DLC and toll-free number registration, which Textline helps businesses complete.

10DLC and toll-free number registration

When registering a 10DLC number, businesses must register with an entity known as The Campaign Registry. For toll-free business texting, brands register with Twilio.

You must register with a campaign service provider regardless of your selected phone number type. CSPs are SMS platforms that have partnered with registration organizations.

Here are the steps for 10DLC and toll-free number registration.

Step 1: Brand registration

The first step to SMS registration is providing information about your brand. This information helps mobile carriers know more about your business to ensure its legitimacy. 

You’ll need to provide:

  • Legal company name
  • Doing business as (DBA) or brand name
  • Country of registration
  • Industry or vertical
  • Company type (public, private, nonprofit, etc.)
  • Tax number or EIN (only if registering a 10DLC)
  • Address
  • Company website (social media pages not accepted for 10DLC) 
  • Stock symbol and stock exchange (if publicly traded)
  • Company size
A brand registration form within the Textline app.

As part of the brand registration process, you must also provide a way for registering entities to contact your company. This includes:

  • Support contact person
  • Support email
  • Support phone number

Step 2: SMS campaign registration

The next step for 10DLC and toll-free registration is telling mobile carriers what messages you will send. You’ll need to provide:

  • Use case. This is a general overview of what you’ll use texting for. Some popular use cases include customer care, delivery notifications, and marketing.

  • Message content and attributes. This helps the carriers know if you’ll be using particular language within your messages. For example, The Campaign Registry wants to know if you’ll use a help command, embedded links, or age-gated content. Twilio wants to know if you’re using your TFN to message Canadian contacts or share promotions. 

10DLC vs. toll-free content attributes for SMS registration

  • Sample texts. You’ll need to provide a few example messages for your SMS campaigns. Come up with a few common scenarios related to your use case and submit those.

Sample messages for SMS registration.

  • Opt-in method. You must describe how you’re collecting consent to text your contacts. You must also provide an opt-in description and a screenshot of your opt-in method.

Step 3: Submit and await approval

Once you fill out your brand and SMS campaign information, it gets submitted for vetting and approval. Textline does the submission on your behalf. Once you register with The Campaign Registry or Twilio, you'll receive a confirmation email. Then, you can start texting.

The registration timelines depend on several factors, including submission volume, messaging use case, content attributes, and brand. 

Are you interested in getting a short code phone number instead? Check out our guide to SMS short codes, including how to register one.

<h2 id="Textline">How Textline can help with SMS registration</h2>

Textline helps businesses register their phone numbers properly. If you pick Textline as your SMS service provider, you can quickly fill out the required information in the app. We have built-in forms that simplify registration and provide examples to help you get registration done right.

We also submit your registration information to Twilio or The Campaign Registry on your behalf as soon as you complete it. You only need to fill out the form and click save. This helps you get campaigns approved and running quickly.

Plus, Textline also waives the registration fees for our customers. 

Tap Textline for a stress-free registration experience

Remember, to text your customers, it’s required to register your phone number first. You must register to be able to use SMS. 

Textline is ahead of the curve. We’ve implemented in-app changes such as a product walk-through designed to help guide you through the registration process. 

Furthermore, we're enhancing our customer communication to ensure you are in compliance with these industry-wide adjustments. Stay tuned for more details!

If you want a stress-free SMS registration experience, partner with Textline. Create an account today and get a 14-day free trial!

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