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10 DLC Updates and FAQs

What is 10DLC?

10DLC is way for cell phone carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon) to push back against spam messages by requiring that all businesses that are sending text messages register their business and use case. Essentially, businesses must only send text messages to people that have opted in to receive text messages from them.

10DLC registration is now required by wireless carriers to ensure that text messaging services are used responsibly and in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

The main reason for this requirement is to combat spam and fraud, which are common issues with text messaging services. By requiring businesses to register for 10DLC numbers and go through an approval process, the carriers can screen out businesses that may be engaged in spam or fraud and ensure that only legitimate businesses can use the service.

What type of phone numbers does 10DLC apply to?

10DLC only applies to local area code phone numbers. It does not apply to toll-free numbers.

Does 10DLC affect calling and/or texting?

No, 10DLC only affects outgoing text messages and does not affect incoming text messages. It also does not affecting incoming and outgoing calls.

I have not registered my 10DLC. Do I need to do it?

Yes, if you your business strategy includes sending text outgoing text messages to your leads then you must register to continue sending them text messages. If you don’t register for 10DLC then your messages will not be delivered to any customers of any US cell phone carrier.

How long does 10DLC process take?

Currently, the wait time is up to 2 months and can be longer if some information is missing. It is anticipated that this time will be drastically reduced in next couple of months once the rush of registration is behind us.

My 10DLC is not approved yet but I want to continue to send text messages to my hot leads. What should I do?

You must get a toll-free number in order to continue following up with your leads while your 10DLC is in approval process.

Once my 10DLC is approved, can I continue sending text messages without any issues?

No, I believe that there are going to some major changes to text messaging once 10DLC in is full effect. This is the information we received from our provider “Aim for a spam report rate of 1 per 8,000 messages or less (spam reports should be extremely rare if customers are properly identifying themselves and obtaining consent from recipients)” As you can imagine, we as real estate investors will have a very tough time staying under that spam report rate so I highly encourage you all to be very diligent with your text messaging usage. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting your phone numbers blocked by carriers and in worst case having your brand (company) be blocked.

How do I get my leads to opt in to receive text messages?

If you are receiving any leads through your website, then please ensure that you have the opt in checkbox on all forms on your website. REsimpli websites automatically do that for you on all the forms to make your website 10DLC compliant.

Leads through phone calls – You can let the lead know that the call is being recorded and during the call ask them for their permission to send them text messages to follow up related to their property.

Do I need to include any Opt Out language in my text messages?

Ensure that you clearly identify yourself and provide opt-out instructions in your first message to a recipient (best practice, very recommended)

The opt-out language you include in your messages must include a widely accepted keyword for opt-out. In the US and Canada this is typically STOP, e.g. “Reply STOP to unsubscribe.” Using alternative phrases like “text 2 to opt out” is not compliant, and will result in filtering.

What if someone opts out of receiving text messages from me, do I need to maintain a database of those people so I don’t accidentally send them text messages again?

No, you don’t necessarily need to do that. Once someone opts out from receiving text messages from your, our providers will automatically manage that to ensure that you don’t send text message to that person again. But we highly recommend you move that that lead to Dead Lead and remove from any future text message marketing.

What are some other best practices related to Consent and Opt Out?

Ensure that you only send messages to mobile users who have provided consent (opted-in) to receive messages from you.

Ensure that your messages clearly identify who is sending the message, and how to opt-out. If you are contacting the same recipients multiple times per month, you do not need to provide opt-out instructions in every message, but you must do it at least once per month.

A good example of consent would be as long as the following are true:

  1. The data is collected directly by your company that will be sending SMS to the end user
  2. The data is never shared with any other parties, third party opt in is not allowed
  3. The user is contacted in a reasonable amount of time after filling out this form, i.e. within a week or two
  4. The user is not randomly cold messaged months later asking if they may want to sell their house

We mention these points because real estate cold messaging is not a supported use case for SMS. Users should only be texted after they have expressed interest in selling a property, a message should never be sent to randomly check if someone might want to sell their property.

What happens if I receive a lot of opt out from my leads?

If you receive a high number of opt out from your leads, then your phone numbers will get blocked by carriers. For example, you receive a very high number of opt outs from your leads that are T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile will likely block your phone numbers to send any messages to their customers. If you continue to do that, your could have your brand be blocked completely by T-Mobile.

Some other best practices related to text messages

  • URL shortening: Do not send links that have been shortened using shared public URL shorteners, such as TinyUrl or free Bitly links. United States carrier policies discourage the use of shared public URL shorteners, and state that your URL shortener should be both proprietary and properly branded (details here). Other countries might not totally forbid using shared public URL shorteners, but it is not advisable. If you want to include shortened URLs in your messages, we recommend using a dedicated short domain. For details, see How can I send shortened URLs (links) in my messages?
  • If possible, when sending URLs/links in your messages, use domains that you control. Similar to the shortened URL guidance above, when sending links it is best to use a URL that is specific to your business. For example, if you control the domain, you can be certain that only your business is using this domain, and nobody else could be sending URLs with that domain name that could link to objectionable content. Using URLs that may also be used by other services/individuals is permitted and is not guaranteed to result in filtering. However, it increases filtering risk, as another user of that same URL domain could send something spammy or objectionable and get that domain flagged by filtering systems. Obfuscated URLs are common in spoofing/phishing attempts, and will be filtered.
  • Don’t use emojis, or unnecessary special characters/capitalization, and watch your grammar and spelling. Typically, these messages are structured in a way to attempt to evade detection of unwanted messaging, and your messages will be filtered.
  • Your website should not contain any of the negative verbiage stated below. 10DLC registrations are getting rejected if your website uses “cash” keywords.
    – We buy houses for cash
    – cash offers
    – get your cash offer
    – get your fast cash
    – sell your house quick
    – get your cash in 24 hours
    Note: If your page does contain any of this negative verbiage it may get declined by the TCR as it is deemed as non-compliant.

If text messaging is getting so regulated, what should I do?

I would be very careful about only sending text messages to people that have opted in to receive text messages. I would also start looking into more inbound marketing like Direct Mail, PPC, Radio, TV, etc. As text messaging gets more regulated, I would expect to see a lot of investors especially newbie investors doing more cold calling to get started. But the more you care about protecting the integrity of your reputation with cell phone carriers, the more opportunities it will create for you as a lot of spammy investors will be weeded out.