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How does The Campaign Registry work for the U.S. regarding MMS and SMS?

Long codes (10DLC, U.S. & Canada local phone numbers) for marketing campaigns have grown in popularity due to their simplicity and capacity to satisfy the demands of application-to-person (A2P) messaging between companies and customers. While most companies are using messaging as a way to enhance customer experiences, some are utilizing it for spam text messages. The proliferation of spam is detrimental to businesses, consumers, and the mobile sector. The Campaign Registry, a recent regulation effort spearheaded by major US cell operators, aims to change that.

As of January 20, 2022, all SMS messages from 10-digit phone numbers (person-to-person long codes) between mobile and non-mobile (i.e. commercial VoIP) providers in the United States are governed by new rules. Mobile operators classify all such messages as “message campaigns,” whether they are application-to-person (A2P) or person-to-person (P2P) communications. Like the STIR/SHAKEN protocol designed to combat robocaller spam, this action is ostensibly aimed at addressing the problem of unsolicited and spam SMS texts.

The Campaign Registry is the single source of information for 10-digit long code (10DLC) messaging campaigns in the United States. It allows mobile network operators (MNOs) to document who sent a particular 10DLC message, allowing them to verify and validate claims against the actual messaging activity.

The Background and the Changes

Since 2003, five-to-six-digit shortcodes have been authorized as A2P numbers for marketing, public safety, and other automated campaigns. Until now, organizations’ SMS P2P long codes were only intended for person-to-person communications, had low volume throughput, and lacked security standards.

Mobile carriers have traditionally viewed P2P as an unofficial SMS channel for commercial communications prone to blocking and throttling. Furthermore, because of the low barriers to entry, unscrupulous actors could misuse SMS for spamming purposes via P2P long codes.

Mobile U.S. telecom carriers like US Cellular, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have started requiring that all A2P messages be sent using 10DLC-approved numbers to reduce spam and unwanted communications. 10DLC is the latest North American application-to-person (A2P) business messaging model. 10DLC numbers are long codes that MNOs have sanctioned, allowing them to route and deliver large quantities of text messages at cheaper rates than dedicated shortcodes. Wireless service providers have agreed to block all SMS A2P traffic from unregistered businesses. Companies across the United States that wish to use SMS and MMS to communicate with their customers need to register their brands and campaigns through their service provider with The Campaign Registry.

Will Your Business Be Affected?

You must migrate to the A2P ecosystem if you’re using an application programming interface (API) to send text messages in any use case (for example, as a reminder for an appointment, chatting with a client over SMS/MMS, or two-factor authentication). There has been an increase in MNOs blocking SMS/MMS as SPAM, and carriers are only continuing to ramp up the rate at which they are rejecting them.

Verified and Unverified Status

The Campaign Registry has enhanced its verification program for businesses. Any business registered with The Campaign Registry will now have its legal company name, address, and EIN/Tax ID verified against several databases, resulting in a Verified or Unverified status. The brands marked “Unverified” can update their data and resubmit it to The Campaign Registry. Every brand must have a distinct EIN; no two brands may have the same EIN or they risk lowering their trust score. Sole proprietors that don’t have EINs can also register their campaigns but will have limitations on the daily number of texts allowed and throughput. And service providers must segment and report sole proprietors monthly messaging volume to The Campaign Registry. 

Wireless carriers may block messages originating from unregistered A2P traffic, resulting in higher costs and penalties. Even if they can still send traffic, customers who do not want to register will be assigned the lowest throughput by wireless carriers. AT&T claims it will block messages originating from phone numbers without a designated campaign. So, you could be cut off from your service.

Benefits of Being on A2P

Upon registration, you’ll be pre-approved to send messages at the specified throughput, sometimes more than 60 messages per minute. Another advantage is your text messages’ will have enhanced deliverability due to the A2P architecture (close to 100%). One of the most significant advantages of registering with TCR is that the MNOs are aware of you and the content you intend to send out (since you can submit sample content), resulting in increased deliverability.

Furthermore, given that the aim is to deliver actual campaigns and that The Campaign Registry will identify spam or invalid brands and campaigns at the outset, end-users will receive only those messages that have been reviewed and authorized. Receiving relevant communications boosts consumer confidence, strengthening their trust in the company and the messages they are receiving.

Best Registration Practices

First, be honest and upfront. You don’t want your brand flagged because of an error in your brand information or other requested information.

Second, be clear and thorough, especially when listing unique use cases. The purpose of your campaign is what you’ll be using it for; this informs the MNOs of the type of messaging they should expect. Mobile carriers will examine the campaign’s description to see if it matches the sent messages.

Finally, the registry will also want to see messages or message templates to ensure that your use case is as you claim it. Even if you don’t think you’ll have standard messages, consider generating a few of your most typical situations, especially if you intend to leverage the campaign for everyday use cases; it’ll assist the registry in evaluating your validity and verifying your business.

The brand information that you’ll be required to provide during registration includes:

  • Legal company name – The name used in your company’s legal documents, such as its Articles of Incorporation or bylaws (often shortened to DBA), or brand name (if distinct from the legal name).
  • Full address
  • Tax Number/ID/EIN (unless sole proprietor)
  • Business entity
  • Country of registration
  • Website
  • Stock Symbol (will be required if your company is publicly-traded)

Providing this information is all to guarantee that you’re a real business sending people SMS and MMS for genuine reasons rather than leveraging a 10DLC to send fraudulent or prohibited communications. You are validating the legality of your company by providing all of this information during registration with The Campaign Registry.

How Can Signalmash Help?

Signalmash provides easy and simple onboarding of brand and campaign registration. Also, Signalmash provides the campaign ID/API function for customers that choose to register directly with The Campaign Registry but choose Signalmash as their connectivity partner.

Because the telecom business is highly regulated, it is often tough to navigate. Our objective is to be your partner in helping you understand new requirements so that you have the best messaging experience possible. As the industry continues to provide new guidelines and implement new regulations, Signalmash is here to help you navigate. Contact us today.

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