If you communicate with your leads and prospects via SMS messaging, times have changed.
In the past, you were able to send as many messages as you wanted without worrying about anything.
Moving forward, though, you’re going to need to bring yourself up to speed on A2P / 10DLC.
In 2024, you have to be compliant -- or risk facing $10,000 fines for each message you send out to a prospect.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly what A2P / 10DLC is, what it means for your business, and how you can get compliant to avoid paying hefty fines and penalties.
A2P / 10DLC stands for “Application-To-Person 10 Digit Long Code” and it’s a new regulation for sending text messages from applications you use -- like REISift.
It refers to using an application to send messages to a person using a 10 digit long phone number and it’s a way for major telecom carriers (like Verizon and T-Mobile) to apply filters to the messages you send.
Each number you send messages from must have their A2P campaign registered before the messages you send from that number will be delivered.
This shift is happening because of several different reasons:
1: Transparency -- With so many spammers and fraudsters relying on SMS campaigns to reach out to their victims, carriers are working to ensure that any messages reaching their consumers are legitimate and wanted. A2P / 10DLC helps provide a way for businesses to register and be vetted before being allowed to send these messages.
2: Compliance -- Regulatory agencies have been getting stricter on the rules surrounding electronic communications. Implementing A2P / 10DLC helps businesses and telecom carriers align with these new regulations, ensuring they fall in line with laws like the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act).
3: Enhanced Functionality & Deliverability -- With increased transparency comes increased trust. A2P / 10DLC aims to help improve the functionality and deliverability of messages by supporting higher volumes and other features like threading, making SMS campaigns more robust for your business.
4: Cost-Savings -- While adopting a new messaging standard does incur some costs, A2P / 10DLC is a more cost-effective solution in the long-term, especially if you send a large number of SMS messages.
These new regulations are not just changing the way you send SMS messages, but it’s also shifting how you communicate with your prospects as a real estate investor.
Any SMS message sent now is being strictly monitored to ensure that any prospect you send the message to has already opted in to receive those messages from you.
Ultimately, this means that you can no longer rely on just SMS messaging to do the bulk of your marketing in your business.
In short, if you send text messages to prospects and leads, you absolutely must be compliant.
Each non-compliant message you send could lead to a fine of up to $10,000 -- with fines being automatic and levied directly to your business.
If you do not register and get compliant, telecom carriers will completely block delivery from any non-registered numbers you use.
There’s no warning message given if your text fails to deliver and carriers will not help you troubleshoot or address any issues that you experience by sending unregistered messages.
Compliance with A2P / 10DLC is mandatory -- it is not optional. If you want to communicate with clients and be compliant with the regulations, you MUST register your business with major U.S. carriers.
Failing to comply will expose your business to risks, not limited to the fines and penalties we mentioned.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, either. The size of your business does not make you exempt from these regulations.
While this is another hoop you have to jump through in order to perform your marketing, it’s a crucial step for ensuring that your business operates as effectively as possible.
Another barrier to compliance is the cost involved with registering your business.
There are two main costs that you’ll incur -- with your carrier and with the platform you use.
Carriers will charge a one-time fee for registering your business, brand, and campaigns. These fees vary based on the carrier you use and the number of campaigns you’re running.
When you’re using a third-party platform to manage and send your SMS messaging campaigns, you may also incur a fee for handling the registration process.
Depending on how your campaigns are structured, you may also incur monthly fees to lease the phone numbers you use for messaging.
Likewise, some carriers may charge ongoing fees for individual campaigns, based on the volume of messages that you’re sending -- or charge for each message you send.
Registering your brand, business, and campaigns with 10DLC involves 5 different steps.
To get started, you’ll need to use a messaging platform that supports A2P / 10DLC registration.
If you aren’t already on a trusted provider or platform, click here to start your free REISift trial now.
Once you’re a member, reach out to our support team to get started with your registration process.
You’ll be required to provide details about your business. This includes your legal business name, address, tax ID or EIN, and other key information.
Then, there may be a one-time registration fee mandated by the carrier you’re registering with. This fee covers registration with all major carriers and can vary from carrier to carrier and provider to provider.
You will need to define the types of SMS campaigns you intend to run. This can range from customer service and support, notifications, or marketing messages. Each type of SMS campaign will need to be separately registered.
You’ll be asked to provide details about the campaigns that you want to register, including the content you’ll be sending, the purpose of the campaigns, the volume you expect to run, and other key information.
You may also be asked to pay a small fee for each campaign that you register. These fees can either be a one-time fee or an ongoing charge, depending on the carrier and provider.
In order to finalize your campaign registration, you’ll need to select a number to use for messaging and then lease that number from your carrier.
The provider you use may give you different options for leasing a number on a regular basis.
Once you’re registered, the next step is ensuring that you remain compliant with any changes to the regulations surrounding A2P / 10DLC.
This includes adhering to the content requirements, opt-out practices, and other compliance issues that could change as the regulations change and evolve.
Registering your brand and campaigns is a multi-step process that involves working with your message provider. While it can seem complex at first (and frustrating, at times), the team at REISift can help you navigate your registration.
The process of registering your brand and SMS campaigns involves multiple different steps and can take some time, depending on the number of issues you run into.
Registering your brand can typically take around a few business days once you’ve submitted all of the required information. Delays can occur if there are issues with the information you’ve submitted, such as discrepancies in details or documentation that isn’t complete.
Registering your campaign can vary from two to three weeks and relies on the number of campaigns you’re registering, how complex those campaigns are, and how complete the information is that you’re submitting for each of the campaigns you intend to run.
Leasing and registering your 10DLC numbers can typically be done in less than a week and depends on your provider’s ability to submit the numbers that you’re going to be leasing from them.
The overall A2P / 10DLC registration process can take anywhere from a few days to upwards of a month, or longer, if you provide incomplete or inaccurate information.
It’s worth noting, too, that your carrier will not provide specific information around why your registration has failed, either, if you happen to fail.
You are able to re-submit as many times as you want without incurring additional fees but, to make this process as smooth (and as short) as possible, make sure that information you’re submitting is accurate.
A big part of successfully registering your A2P / 10DLC campaigns revolves around the provider that you’re using to register.
You want to ensure they’re a trusted provider, having a track record of helping brands and businesses like yours get successfully approved -- and staying compliant as regulations change and evolve.
REISift helps you register your business with a combination of compliant practices, a proven track record of keeping spammers off the platform, and putting our team on your side during the registration process.
One key requirement for registering your brand and campaigns is that your business has compliance statements that can be verified.
Remaining compliant requires that you let people know that when they opt in to your lists or campaigns that they’ll be receiving marketing and promotional messages -- both via email and SMS messaging.
Our clients have a proven track record of successfully registering their campaigns with major carriers.
We work with them to help ensure your applications are streamlined and accurate to avoid rejections and delays in the registration process.
The A2P / 10DLC registration process is dictated by the major telecom carriers and is definitely not a straightforward process.
Our customer service team has seen it all and is available to assist you through navigating registering your business and campaigns and can provide insight if something goes wrong.
The A2P / 10DLC registration process takes time and there’s nothing you can really do to expedite approval.
While you’re waiting, though, there are other things you can be doing to grow your business.
Direct mail marketing is still one of the most effective ways to get in touch with your leads and potential prospects. Check out our guide on direct mail marketing to learn more.
You can also still cold call your prospects as long as you’re not using a platform or software to make the calls. Picking up the phone, smiling, and dialing can be incredibly effective if you’re willing to do it.
The key, though, is making sure you’re being as effective as possible since cold calling requires a good amount of effort and follow-through.
To learn the right way to cold call -- so you convert more leads into prospects -- check out our guide on cold calling for real estate investors.
While A2P / 10DLC is definitely changing the way real estate investors conduct their business and marketing strategies, there’s still hope.
Since the requirements (and staying in compliance) can be tedious at best, and frustrating at worst, many investors are going to opt out of registering their brands and campaigns.
If you’re willing to register and stay compliant, though, that means you have less competition in the realm of SMS marketing. It’s creating new opportunities for investors willing to embrace change and keep their business compliant with the latest marketing regulations.
But, remember -- compliance is not optional.
If you do not register your brands and campaigns and you are sending mass messaging through text or SMS, you could face fines and penalties of up to $10,000 for each text message that you send.
These fines are not warnings. They will be levied directly to your business and carriers are required to report your campaigns if you fall out of compliance.
Follow the steps in this guide, though, ensure accuracy in your submissions, and have patience as you’re registering your campaigns, and you can stay compliant with those new regulations.
Then use a trusted provider like REISift to manage your marketing campaigns. Click here now to start your free REISift trial today.