The USA operators have recently implemented several changes to A2P messaging. Most notably they are now requiring registration of brands and campaigns on both standard long codes routes, also know as 10DLC, as well as routes using toll free senders. Below we have put together some information we believe will be helpful in determining which route is best for your traffic, what type of traffic is allowed or banned, and how to get the content registered for the allowed traffic.
In general the operators in the US accept transactional content and opt-in marketing.
Transactional content includes one time passwords (OTP) and notifications like "Your dentist appointment with Doctor Spock is confirmed" or "Your Delta flight # 007 is delayed"
Opt-in marketing is when a company (brand) sends promotional messages to mobile subscribers that have explicitly given that company permission to send them messages. The permission is typically given on the companies website with appropriate disclaimers like "By entering your mobile number above you authorize Pineapple Communications to send you offers and promotions via SMS".
Here is a list of explicitly prohibited content and campaigns:
10DLC is just the new name for sending primarily 1-way A2P messages over local long codes. In the past using local long codes was primarily for 2-way conversational traffic (P2P) but companies were using it for 1-way traffic as well. If you wanted to send any kind of volume of messages via long codes (more than a few hundred a day) you had to use a pool of senders because velocity filters would treat high volumes of messages coming from one sender as SPAM and automatically block the sender. Now with 10DLC registration you can send higher volumes of messages from a single sender. This works really well for sending under about 2,000 messages per day and if you or your customer wants a local sender in their area. External vetting is also available for an additional fee to get more than 2,000 messages per day per sender.
In order to fill out the form properly here is more information about "Brands" and "Campaigns":
In order to send messages over this route the Operators and interconnected gateways require registering the brands and campaigns with TCR (The Campaign Registry), they are an independent registry that is authorized to register brands and campaigns with T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon, the other major USA operators do not currently participate but are not as strict with registration at this time. Approval takes 1-5 business days. Client needs to show opt-in process and be able to handle auto responders for HELP/STOP/CANCEL as well as maintain opt-out database per campaign. In order to get approved we need to submit the following information to them:
TCR charges us a setup fee per brand and a monthly fee per campaign.
Setup charge per brand: $15
Monthly fee per campaign/use-case: $10
Monthly fee per sender: $1.
External vetting: $40 per campaign (optional)
A few years ago Operators started allowing SMS to be delivered via the toll free number pool that was previously only for voice calls. Toll free numbers are also 10 digits long but all start with one of the following dial codes: 1800, 1888, 1877, 1866, 1855, 1844 or 1833. This route allows for handset DLR (delivery receipt) instead of the less accurate gateway DLR provided on 10 DLC. The route also did not have a volume limit per sender like long codes do so it was ideal for business use. Additionally, the service comes with auto responders built in for STOP, HELP and CANCEL responses from mobile subscribers, and has a gateway maintained opt-out database per sender. The route currently has the same content restrictions as 10 DLC.
In order to send messages over this route we need to get the campaigns approved by the toll free gateway. They require a lot less information than TCR does for 10DLC but they are still strict on content. Below is the verification form that we need completed to submit for approval.
There are no setup or monthly fees with this route other than the minimal $1 monthly fee per toll fee sender.
In the USA a short code is a dedicated 5 or 6 digit sender ID assigned to a specific brand for a specific purpose or campaign. A good example is a bank sending one time codes to their customers for 2 factor authentication. This is the most premium SMS service in the USA as it has handset DLR and goes through a lengthy vetting process. There are several requirements to get one of these codes approved, they take about 1-2 months to get fully approved and have significant monthly and setup fees, so they are typically used by larger corporations with very high volume sending. Client needs to show opt-in process and be able to handle auto responders for HELP/STOP/CANCEL as well as maintain opt-out database per campaign. Please contact email@example.com for pricing.
In order to send messages over this route we need to get the campaigns approved by the Operators. Below is the information required to submit a campaign for approval:
USA short code monthly fee including SC lease = $650
USA short code setup fee = $2,500
Additional $500 per month for vanity SC's
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