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The Campaign Registry explained: How to register, forms you need, FAQs

Nina Godlewski
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If your business uses SMS to connect with customers (which it should!), you’ve probably heard something about The Campaign Registry. While it might seem daunting, it’s not something to put off learning about.

We’re going to help you learn everything you need to know about The Campaign Registry. From what it is, why you need to register, and why it's important to keeping your business texting running smoothly. Plus, learn how it can help you to avoid potential fines or messages going undelivered.

What is The Campaign Registry?

The Campaign Registry was created following legislation passed to regulate the telecommunication industries, including SMS services. The laws were meant to regulate robocalls, spam texts, and to make opt-outs for messaging an industry standard. The FCC then followed suit by instituting new rules, all with the end goal of making SMS messaging more secure and more trustworthy. To do this, a new entity was created to manage the use of 10-digit-long-code, also called 10DLC, phone numbers for application-to-person, or A2P, messages including bulk text messages.

Ultimately, this will benefit both those on the receiving end and those sending messages and hopefully reduce the amount of SPAM in telecoms. To create this more secure and trustworthy communication, the Mobile Network Operators, called MNOs, joined together to form The Campaign Registry. The MNOs are carriers, like AT&T or T-Mobile, the networks where messages are sent and who they’re delivered by. We’re going to refer to them as carriers throughout this piece to make it easier to understand. Just know that a carrier might also be called an MNO.

This registry will serve as the record of who is using those networks and what they’re using them for. By joining together, the carriers hope to consolidate their users into the singular registry to help enact better compliance with those laws and new rules that were passed in 2019 and 2020.

Phone with a spam mail icon

What is Textline’s role?

Our role is to be your partner in taking on and understanding the new requirements of The Campaign Registry. The telecom industry is highly regulated and can be difficult to navigate, so our job is to help you keep running your business with as little disruption as possible. Textline is not a carrier, so we aren’t an MNO. Textline is what’s called a communication service provider, or a CSP.

As The Campaign Registry continues to evolve and the carriers continue to put new rules in place to comply with telecom legislation, we plan to help you navigate those requirements. Textline will help keep you informed about any updates to registration, fees associated with The Campaign Registry, or new regulations. Plus, we plan to work with The Campaign Registry to ensure there’s minimal disruption to your use of business texting with Textline.

Why you need to register with The Campaign Registry

Registering with The Campaign Registry is important for a few reasons, including that it’s required by The Campaign Registry, which was created by the carriers. But registering is also just good for your business. It can help you message customers more efficiently and lower the frequency with which your messages are undelivered or flagged. That’s due to the fact that registered numbers aren’t monitored with the same level of scrutiny as unregistered numbers are. All thanks to the fact that they already know what you’re texting and why due to your registration.

Increase trust and security

Being registered with The Campaign Registry will also increase the trust and security around your messaging. Since the goal is to eliminate spam and fraud, if your messages aren’t eliminated, it helps legitimize your reasons for contacting customers. This gives them the confidence that you aren’t fraud, spam, or robotexting.

The more companies that register, the higher chances are that the industry will be full of good actors texting for legitimate reasons. This can help create a greater sense of trust and security throughout the industry. Not to mention, cutting down on spam overall can help create a greater sense of trust for those customers who are receiving messages.

Improve deliverability

Registering will help improve the deliverability of your messages because those messages will be less likely to be flagged or blocked by the carriers. Since the legislation to regulate mobile communication was passed, the carriers have increased their filtering of potential violations like spam or fraud. You can think of registering with The Campaign Registry as a pre-screening or pre-verification of your business., kind of like TSA PreCheck at the airport, but for your messaging. What you’re messaging and why you’re messaging will already be on record and therefore less likely to be flagged and blocked.

Send more messages per second

In addition to more security, you should be able to send more messages per second once you’ve registered. This is called your throughput rate, and single-use campaigns will have higher throughputs than mixed-use campaigns will when registered with the Campaign Registry. Before The Campaign Registry, the rate of sending texts was one text per second. After, it will be more than that, though The Campaign Registry has not yet released an exact number per second.

Plus, this will allow companies to send bulk messages without using a shortcode which can save a significant amount of money. Shortcodes can cost thousands per month, and after registering with The Campaign Registry, they won’t be necessary any longer.

Penalties for not registering

The reasons to register aren’t only because it will benefit your business, but there are also some real-life penalties for not registering with The Campaign Registry.

  • You could end up banned by the carriers for texting as well as voice calls.
  • Your messages could be flagged by the carriers and then not delivered to the recipient.
  • Carriers can also fine you up to $10 per message. If you’re sending messages in bulk, those fines will add up quickly.

Information and forms to have ready when you go to register

There are a few forms and some information that would be helpful for you to have on hand when you start your registration. Certain information is necessary to verify your business, what your business does, how it uses texting, and more.

Your business/brand

When answering questions or filling out forms that refer to your “brand,” this means your business or company. In this part of the registration, you’ll essentially tell The Campaign Registry what type of business you have or who is sending the messages.

You’ll want to have information on hand that pertains to your business. These might include but aren’t limited to:

  • Legal company name, or  “Doing Business As” (DBA) or brand name (if different from legal name)
  • Country of registration
  • Business entity
  • Tax Number/ID/EIN
  • Full address
  • Website
  • Stock Symbol (required if a publicly-traded company)

This is all to ensure that you’re an actual business texting people for a real reason and not abusing a 10DLC by sending fraudulent messages or messages that fall into prohibited categories. By giving all of this information when registering, you’re verifying the legitimacy of your business.

Campaign use cases including example messages

The second part of the registration has more to do with how you’re using your 10DLC for messaging people. This use case section is important to verify the actual content of the messages you’re sending.

The Campaign Registry will refer to this section as the campaign, this information pertains to your Departments in the Textline platform. In this section of the registration, you’ll be asked to provide the use case, message content and attributes, and two example messages for each Department on your account. You can have multiple departments for one campaign if the use cases are all similar. Keep in mind that single-use campaigns have a higher throughput rate than mixed-use campaigns.

See our help page for a full list of the potential use cases, and message content and attributes. Keep in mind that because The Campaign Registry is so new, use cases are continually being added and updated. So if you don’t currently see an applicable use case, one might be added soon.

For the example messages, you’ll want to offer some standard messages your Department might send as announcements in Textline. These will be a big part of how the registry decides that your messaging is legitimate, so give some thought to this section.

Below we’ll offer example text messages, and each one corresponds to another blog article you can read to see more examples and use cases. Here are a few example messages you might include:

Offering pricing quotes to interested customers for home services:

Text message example of a lead reaching out after seeing an ad

Use HIPAA-compliant texting to check in with patients, schedule or confirm appointments:

Using HIPAA-compliant texting to try and fill any appointments that opened up

Use texting to send customer satisfaction surveys like CSAT:

Text message example of using CSAT following an on-boarding

Use texting to communicate and coordinate with employees working in the field:

Example of sending out a last-minute text to fill a shift

Or use texting to improve your billing and collections with customers:

Texting a customer a reminder that their bill is due

The Campaign Registry FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about The Campaign Registry.

How much does it cost?

As of March 2021, there were no fees yet associated with registering. But Textline has been informed that there will be costs in the future. This cost is determined and charged by The Campaign Registry, not by Textline, so no matter what platform you use for texting, you will need to pay the fee to register. When we have finished negotiating prices, we will update you and this piece when those costs are announced. For a full explainer of pricing and fees, please see our pricing page.

Will I be able to use Textline if I don’t register?

As of April 12 when this article was published: Yes.

However, companies will be subject to carrier penalties and fines. Textline customers who choose not to register with The Campaign Registry will be charged a monthly service fee per unregistered phone number.

If carriers change their requirements, though, we reserve the right to no longer allow unregistered companies on Textline.

Do I have to register?

Yes, if you’re sending SMS or MMS messages to customers or individuals, you need to register with The Campaign Registry. Registering is a way to show The Campaign Registry that you’re a legitimate business sending messages and not SPAM. If you fail to register, the carriers (MNOs) could fine you or block your numbers. You will also be charged a service fee with Textline and could end up banned if rules suddenly change.

Is there a deadline to register?

The Campaign Registry began allowing registration in August 2020, and businesses should register as soon as possible to avoid fees and other penalties outlined above.

How long will it take to register?

According to The Campaign Registry, standard use case campaigns can be approved immediately after being submitted, but others might take a bit longer. Generally, it should take about three to five days for approval after the registration is submitted.

Why aren't other texting platforms encouraging their customers to register for TCR?

Other texting platforms like Textline might not be aware of The Campaign Registry and the new regulations in place. Or they just might leave it up to their customers to figure out instead of taking the role of advocate. This means they can’t help you ensure that your messages won’t be blocked, that you won’t be fined, or that your numbers won’t be blocked either. Note: when you change platforms, you will need to re-register.

The Campaign Registry terms to know

Here are some terms to keep in mind while reading about The Campaign Registry.

MNO - Mobile network operators, like AT&T or T-Mobile

CSP - Campaign service provider, like Textline

A2P - Application to person, if you’re texting from a CSP you’re texting A2P

10DLC - Ten-digit long code, a 10-digit phone number that is the new standard for A2P messaging

DCA - Direct connect aggregator

Brand - This is who is sending a message. On Textline, this is called the “Organization” and is usually your business or company name

Campaign -  This gives a better idea of how your brand uses texting and what messages it’s sending. It could be your “Department” in Textline

Disclaimer: The information in this article is the opinion of the Textline editorial team and is not intended as legal advice.

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