Brands in every industry are tapping into the benefits of text messaging. Meanwhile, savvy consumers know it’s necessary to be cautious about communications, especially with a 58% rise in spam text messages. Thus, carriers and phone providers are cracking down on Short Message Service (SMS) and constantly implementing new security measures. Here’s what you need to know about notifications and short codes in 2023.
Benefits to reap
If you want to reach a wider audience anytime and anywhere, SMS is one of the most viable marketing options out there. Using an SMS short code provides the most throughput because it is recognized and prioritized by mobile carriers. Thus, you are less likely to get labeled as a spammer, and you’ll get high levels of engagement.
Short codes are five-to-six-digit numbers used in sending SMS messages. Because they are pre-approved by mobile carriers, they are not subject to filtering and are ideal for sending high-volume or time-sensitive messages. The high throughput rate means messages like alert notifications, coupons, and promotions will get to your target audience.
Changes to stay spam free
In an effort to prevent brands from sharing the same code (and causing confusion), short code texting that included sharing codes (SSCs) was eliminated in March 2022. In many ways, this is a good thing. Scammers using the same code as a reputable brand could easily ruin the reputation of that brand via texts.
With SSCs going away, it has led to a rise in Dedicated Short Codes (DSCs). As you might expect, it is also a five-to-six-digit number, but it is exclusive to your brand. DSCs can deliver millions of SMS texts daily.
This is a great option for brands that send a high volume of texts, but make sure your audience gives the okay. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now mandates brands must receive user permission for SMS marketing, outlining that even if users opt-in for emails and provide a contact number, that doesn’t imply approval for marketing in their SMS inbox.
Additionally, short codes now must be registered with Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), a trade association representing the U.S. wireless communications industry.
Registration takes approximately 24-48 hours, making it possible for your code to be in compliance with both the CTIA and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) immediately after it is registered.
Considering the long (code) game
The cost for short code may be cost-prohibitive for some brands, but there are other alternatives. 10-Digit Long Codes (10DLCs) have become the new standard in North America. 10DLCs are local long-code numbers approved by mobile network operators for Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging. It used to be that these long codes were reserved only for person-to-person communication (P2P). Now A2P numbers are vetted by operators, which allows for a higher throughput rate and lower filtering risks.
Recent changes in the industry require companies using text message marketing services to register their brand and campaigns. The Campaign Registry is a central information hub for registering 10DLC messaging campaigns. It was created after federal laws were passed to regulate the telecommunication industries, including SMS services.
This change in the industry impacts 10DCL, but the process typically takes just a few days to complete (with automatic renewals after the initial registration).
This option can be less expensive than short codes, and you can market with 10DLC numbers, which were once limited to short codes. Another benefit is that before The Campaign Registry, brands using SMS on P2P-10DLC could send about one message per second. Now, many brands will find that message volume is higher.
A cost-effective option that can send at a faster rate than a local long code is toll-free (TF) SMS. TF texting can be used for transactional messaging, such as notifications or account-related alerts. While it’s possible to utilize an 800-phone number already in use for voice and apply it to text, one of the challenges is that it lacks brand visibility, and they are far less sustainable. Additionally, TF numbers can only send one message at a time.
Still have questions? Need help?
While SMS marketing can be incredibly effective, it can sometimes be aggravatingly difficult to navigate as a novice. That’s why we’re here! As a customer of Simplified Alerts we work with your team and the registries to ensure high delivery rates and guide you through all the steps to be in compliance. Let’s chat so we can find ways to start engaging your audience via SMS.