With 95% of people reading and responding to text messages within 3 minutes of receiving them, SMS is a highly effective marketing and patient communication channel for dental practices.
If you have been sending text message campaigns to your patients or planning to do so, you must adhere to the latest A2P 10DLC registration requirements that went into effect on January 26, 2023.
What Is A2P 10DLC Registration?
A2P 10DLC is a system in the U.S. that allows companies to send application-to-person (A2P) messages using standard 10-digit long code (10DLC) phone numbers. SMS messages you send to patients via a platform like tab32’s patient communication module are considered A2P.
Registration with carriers is now mandatory when using long codes for A2P texting. Failure to do so could result in penalties such as surcharges, fines, increased filtering, and reduced throughput and deliverability. Carriers could also block you from sending SMS messages altogether.
What’s the Purpose of A2P 10DLC Registration?
While short codes are often used for high-volume A2P texting (e.g., mass marketing campaigns), they’re costly to implement and aren’t the most efficient option for lower-volume use cases like sending personalized appointment reminders to patients.
More businesses, including dental practices, now use 10-digit phone numbers for A2P texting. These long codes were originally intended for low-volume, low-throughput person-to-person (P2P) messaging. Until recently, companies don’t need carrier approval to use 10DLC in A2P messaging as they do with short codes — leading to the proliferation of spam.
Mobile carriers now require businesses to register their long codes for A2P use cases to help them provide better delivery quality and lower filtering risks. The manual campaign vetting process will help reduce spam and fraud, deliver a better user experience, and increase consumer trust.
Ultimately, the new process benefits all businesses that use texting as a communication tool by protecting SMS's reputation as a safe and trusted channel.
How to Register For A2P 10DLC
You must provide details about your business and intended use cases (e.g., sending marketing campaigns) to each mobile carrier so it can check for the campaigns’ legitimacy and appropriateness. Additionally, you must submit the following:
- Message flow and call-to-action: You must submit the user flow detailing how recipients can consent to receive your SMS messages. If you have multiple opt-in methods for a campaign, you must list all of them.
- Opt-in and opt-out keywords: If recipients can text a keyword (e.g., YES, STOP) to start or stop receiving messages from the campaign, you must provide all the keywords. Opt-in keywords are optional, but opt-out keywords are mandatory.
- Opt-in message: If you use opt-in keywords, you must provide the auto-reply message. It should include your practice’s name, confirmation of enrollment into the campaign, and how the recipient can get assistance or opt out.
- Opt-out message: You must send an auto-response to acknowledge that a recipient will no longer receive texts from the campaign upon receiving the opt-out keywords from them.
- Help keywords and message: Recipients should be able to get assistance by texting a keyword (e.g., HELP.) You must provide the keywords and the content of the auto-response that includes your practice’s name and support contact information.
Additionally, you must adhere to the new length requirements of these data fields:
How To Stay A2P 10DLC Compliant
The key to staying A2P 10DLC compliant is to align your communication strategy with the spirit of the new registration requirements — building trust with recipients and delivering a better patient experience.
Remember to add a proper introduction to your practice and direction to opt-out in your welcome message. Also, include your practice name and opt-out instruction in each subsequent text.
But you don’t have to start everything from scratch or submit your registration to individual carriers if you’re a tab32 customer.
We have implemented sample text messages you can use as templates to ensure that your campaign content stays compliant. We also offer a tool for practices to register with carriers directly through our platform so you can manage everything all in one place.
To avoid being blocked by phone companies, please immediately register your phone numbers with your business information at these two sites as well:
Note: Please allow 24 to 48 hours for your number to be unblocked.
Learn more about our robust patient communication module and see how we can help you maximize the power of two-way texting to nurture patient relationships.
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