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What is 10DLC messaging? A step-by-step guide

What is 10DLC messaging? A step-by-step guide
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You’ve probably heard of 10DLC by now. It was introduced in 2019 to support application-to-person (A2P) SMS messaging in the U.S. and Canada. But there is so much more to know.  

But first, a little background. Back in the old days, long numbers were designed for person-to-person communication. Nowadays, these legacy long codes don’t have essential features, while shared short codes have become a source of compliance and security issues, like phishing and malware. Sound like a lot to digest? No need to worry. We’re here to walk you through what it means and what you need to do to register for 10DLC and start reaping the benefits of this integral system.  


What is 10DLC? 

10-Digit Long Codes, or 10DLC, is a type of long number used in the U.S. and Canada that is registered with carriers to support high volume A2P SMS messaging with the 10-digit phone number format. Traditional long numbers are used for person-to-person (P2P) messaging only in the U.S., and American carriers have said that businesses that still use them need to switch to a sanctioned channel, like 10DLC, or risk fines, increase fees, and potentially heavy filtering or blocking. As a conversational messaging solution, it gives brands better visibility and builds trust. In short, 10DLC increases engagement and delivers reliable, top-notch customer experience, all with a single local number that supports the following features:  


Benefits of 10DLC messaging

What are the benefits of 10DLC?


10DLC messaging lets businesses have their cake and eat it, too, with mass text messaging capabilities and lower monthly lease costs than short codes. But that’s not all, it also offers the following: 



Build trust and increase open rates with local, recognizable phone numbers. You can even get specific (vanity) area codes. 

MMS, RCS, and voice calls 

Need more than just simple texting capabilities? 10DLC has got you covered, supporting a range of channels, like RCS, MMS and voice calls.  

Landline text message enablement

Businesses can provision their landlines as 10DLC and use existing numbers for sending and receiving SMS.  

Two-way conversations

10DLC messaging enables more personalized, two-way business messaging so you can engage with more customers.  


Getting started with 10DLC 

Getting started with 10DLC is a simple two-step process: You need to register your brand and then register the campaign you’d like to run. To be clear, one brand can have multiple campaigns, and each customer can have multiple brands.  

Step 1: Register your brand 

All brands must register their company information in The Campaign Registry (TCR) and get approval before sending 10DLC messaging campaigns. If you do not have a direct partnership with TCR, we can help with registering.   

  • Visit the TCR portal and select "Register Now", or

  • Share your brand information (company name, tax identification number, and contact details) with us, and we’ll register your brand for you. 

Either way, ensure your company name, tax ID, and company address are 100% accurate - inaccurate information will cause delays in your time to market. 

Once you’ve registered, your brand is in a “verified” state. This means that the TCR is performing an identity check to make sure things match up and you can get started. 

If you are in an “unverified” state, you’ll need to fix any issues before you can run a 10DLC campaign. 

Before taking the next steps, however, review your throughput needs. If you do not go through vetting, you’ll get the lowest throughput available. This means you’ll be limited to 2000 messages per day on T-Mobile. Need to send more than that? Have your brand vetted before registering any campaigns. 

Step 1a: Vetting 


Standard vetting is optional, but it’s recommended if you need higher throughput than the baseline capabilities. It’s required for brand verification purposes and uses an external partner to confirm the brand and intended aggregator ID.  

Choose between standard vetting or enhanced vetting. 

  • The standard vet includes a basic credit check to verify your identity.  

  • The enhanced vet is a full investigation into your company, and it takes about 2-weeks to complete. 

Either of these options will result in a brand score which will determine your throughput level. Take a look here for more details on vetting scores and how they apply to carrier throughput matrices. 

Step 2: Register your campaign 

Once your brand is approved, you can register your messaging campaigns through TCR. Here are some steps about registration you should know: 

  • Visit the TCR portal and select “Register Campaign”. (To simplify the process, select Sinch as your "connectivity partner” when completing the form. Alternatively, give Sinch your use-case details: Account notification, marketing, alerts, reminders, etc.) 

  • Each brand can have multiple campaigns, but each campaign must belong to only one brand. 

  • Provide a campaign description and sample messages - including HELP and STOP responses. 

  • For marketing or promotional campaigns, detail the call-to-action and opt-in/opt-out details and keywords. 

Once registration is completed, TCR generates your campaign ID. 

Step 3: Purchase or port your 10DLC numbers 

Next, you’ll need the 10DLC numbers for your campaigns and get them text enabled, both of which we can help you with.   

Throughput is set at either a number or campaign level. This depends on your use case on AT&T and at a brand level on T-Mobile. We can port your existing numbers for you, but there are limitations depending on your current number supplier. Also, Letters of Authority (LOAs) will need to be provided. 

10DLC is now set up to allow a single number to deliver all your messages, rather than using multiple numbers.  

Step 4: Submission 

If you’ve registered your brand and campaign on TCR, you can send us your campaign ID, and we’ll take it from there. We will tag the campaign ID to your 10DLC when we submit your messages to the carriers. 

10 DLC best practices

Congratulations - you’re ready to start your new campaigns using 10DLC A2P messaging. 

Want to learn more? Get started with 10DLC here or watch our on-demand webinar.