SMS Registration

Overview

Over the last year, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have made sweeping changes to the way SMS/MMS deliverability works on their networks and have dramatically increased both the costs of SMS delivery and the complexity in delivering those messages to consumers. These changes have become known to the industry as A2P 10DLC SMS or Application-To-Person Ten-Digit Long Code. All of this is intended to protect end users from SMS becoming the next major source of spam, and to prevent harsh FCC requirements around spam prevention with SMS/MMS. This fear was well described in this article featured recently in The Intercept

SMS Registration is the process by which you can register your phone numbers with the Wireless Carriers in order to prevent them from being blocked. These changes have been happening over the last year, and we provide detail on them here. This guide explains how you can register your phone numbers so they are not blocked by the wireless carriers. 

Please also see associated SMS fees here.

We do not support Spam

Skyetel has strict quality standards for any outbound SMS/MMS originated from our network. We have built our SMS Registration with that in mind, and restrict the kind of SMS/MMS you may send from our network. 

Who needs to do this?

Everyone using US phone numbers to send/receive SMS and MMS.

At this time, registration is not mandatory when using local Canadian phone numbers.

SMS Registration Violations

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There are a few circumstances where you may be fined a substantial amount of money should you violate the 10DLC SMS Registration requirements. 

  • SMS Registration Evasion - $1,000 per sent message
    • This applies if you attempt to buy multiple numbers for SMS delivery, only to swap them out when one gets flagged as spam. 
  • Text Enablement Evasion - $10,000 per sent message
    • This applies if you send messages before your registration is complete
  • Content Violation - $10,000 per sent message
    • This applies if you send messages that contain content that violates our content policy. 

Skyetel has never received one of these fines, and understand them to be extremely rare. So long as you are registering your numbers, sending G-rated and non-spammy content, you should not expect to ever see these fines.

Opt-In, Opt-Out, and HELP

We know that most platforms do not have mechanisms to support requirements around Opt-Out and Help, and decided to build in native support for our customers and offer it for free. We do not want our customers to get in hot water over their use of SMS - so these features are included with SMS Registration for free :) Please note that these message are not customizable or removable.

Opt-In

When you send an outbound SMS or MMS to a consumer, you must have crystal clear permission from them that you are allowed to text them. This Opt-In must be in writing, and be in place prior to sending them their first message. You may not ask for permission to text a consumer by sending them a SMS message.

Opt-Out

When a consumer replies to a message sent from any Skyetel DID that says "STOP" we automatically block your ability to send additional SMSs or MMSs to the consumer. The recipient will also receive a confirmation that identifies your Tenant in their reply. For example, if a recipient replies "STOP" they will receive the following reply:

"You will no longer receive messages from [Tenant Name]. Please reply HELP to learn more, or RESUME to remove this block"

Help

When a recipient replies to your SMS with "HELP," We will automatically reply with the following:

"You are receiving this message from [Tenant Name]. We can be reached at [Number] or [email]. Reply “STOP” and we will never text you again."

Registering Your Numbers

Overview

SMS Registration is done by Tenant, and is done from the Tenants page:

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In order to register a Tenant for SMS, you will need directly identifiable information related to that Tenant so that they may be vetted by The Campaign Registry (the third party responsible for vetting SMS for the wireless carriers). 95% of the time, vetting is done instantly, and you can start sending registered messages within a few minutes of completing a registration.

Once your Tenant is registered, all phone numbers that have SMS enabled and are associated with that Tenant will have their phone numbers automatically registered. Please note that a maximum of 49 SMS enabled phone numbers are allowed per Tenant. It is not possible to increase this limit.

Step 1 - Gather Tenant Information

You will need to have the following information related to your Tenant in order to register your phone numbers:

  • Legal Company Name
  • DBA (if any)
  • Company Type
  • EIN
  • EIN Issuing Country 
  • Website
  • Vertical (Professional, Real Estate, Legal, Financial, etc)
  • Contact Email for the Tenant
  • Support Contact Phone Number 

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Here are a few additional details regarding some of the more sensitive fields:

Company Type:

A. WHEN REGISTERING A PRIVATE COMPANY

Legal company name, country of registration, Employer ID Number (EIN) / Tax ID, address, vertical, contact details, website/online presence (not mandatory but strongly suggested).

B. WHEN REGISTERING A NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION

Legal company name, country of registration, Employer ID Number (EIN) / Tax ID, address, vertical, contact details, website/online presence (not mandatory but strongly suggested). We only accept Non Profit registrations from US Non Profit organizations, or Non Profits with a US EIN.

C. WHEN REGISTERING A GOVERNMENT ENTITY

Legal company name, country of registration, Employer ID Number (EIN) / Tax ID, address, vertical, website, contact details. We only accept Government Entity registrations from US Government entities.

 

EIN/Tax ID:

Tax ID number is used in conjunction with the company’s legal name, address, and other information to ensure we perform a background investigation on the correct company. The following guidance will provide the best verification opportunity for your company.


United States

If you are a US company or a foreign company with a US IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), please enter that nine-digit number in the EIN Tax Number/ID/EIN field and ensure that your legal company name is consistent with your IRS registration and is properly spelled. The address you enter should also be the same that is used in registering with the IRS. The correct information for registration can be found on the Brand’s IRS EIN confirmation letter (SS-4).

Example EIN confirmation letter:

irs-ein.png

 

Canada

If your primary business registration is in Canada, please enter one of the following tax IDs:

1. Your Canadian Business Number (BN) that was issued by the CRA. Please only enter the first 9 numeric digits.
Example:
CAN.png
Only enter what is in the red box.
2. Your Corporation/Incorporation Number
3. Your Registry ID

 

As always, please ensure that your legal company name is consistent with your corporation registration and is properly spelled. The address you enter should also be the same as that used in registering with Corporations Canada. To help check the details of a Canadian Brand, you can use the following free resources:

https://beta.canadasbusinessregistries.ca/search

https://ised-isde.canada.ca/cc/lgcy/fdrlCrpSrch.html

 

Step 2 - Verify Current Address

You will be required to provide an address used especially for SMS. This information will automatically be imported from the main Tenant Address. Please make sure you verify that address is correct prior to submitting a registration request. Incorrect information may result in a huge fine levied by the wireless carriers. 

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Step 3 - Define Your Use Case

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This is the most important step of SMS Registration. There are two categories of information you will need to provide:

  • Content Attributes
  • Use Case

These cases are defined as follows.

Content Attributes

A content attributes defines the kind of interaction the content of your message contains. Specifically, you will need to specify whether your messages contain any of the following:

  1. Embedded Links
  2. Embedded Phone Numbers
  3. Affiliate Marketing (see note 2 below)
  4. Age-Gated Content (see note 2 below)
  5. Direct Lending/Loan Arrangements (see note 2 below)
  6. Subscriber Opt-in (you must have this prior to sending SMS to consumers)
  7. Subscriber Opt-out (Skyetel does this for you - see above)
  8. Subscriber Help (Skyetel does this for you - see above)

There are a few important things to note about Content Attributes:

  1. Skyetel automatically handles Subscriber Opt-out and Subscriber Help on all messages. This means that someone replies with "Stop" or "Help" to a SMS/MMS you send, Skyetel will respond on your behalf. For example, "Stop" will blacklist the destination number from being able to receive future SMS/MMS. 
  2. Skyetel does not allow Affiliate Marketing, Age-Gated Content or Direct Lending/Loan Arrangements without prior approval. This policy is to protect our network from being used for Spam. If you need support for these Content Attributes, please contact your account manager. Don't worry - because these attributes are restricted, you will not see them in the drop down.
  3. Embedded Links must not use a public URL shortener. Doing so will cause your numbers to be blocked permanently from sending outbound SMS. We recommend using rebrandly for a custom URL shortener that is compliant with SMS Registration requirements.

Use Case

A Use Case is the most important part of SMS Registration. Specifically, a use case answers the question "why are you sending these messages?" You will need to select at least 2 intended use cases, but no more than 5. We recommend you use as many use cases as possible so that you do not have to delete and create a registration later (and get hit with the fees again).

Skyetel supports the following use cases:

  1. 2FA
  2. Account Notifications
  3. Customer Care
  4. Delivery Notifications
  5. Fraud Alerts
  6. Higher Education 
  7. Public Service Announcements
  8. Security Alerts

In order to protect our network from being used for spam, we do not currently allow sending messages with the following use cases:

  • Marketing
  • Polling & Voting

Sample Messages

All Use Cases will need an example message as part of the registration. For example, if you are only using SMS Registration for Customer Care, a good example message should look like this:

"Hi Susan, Joe from Awesome Company here to make sure you got your shipment. Did it arrive as expected?"

 

If you are sending Account Notifications, a good example of that would be this:

"Jack - your account is past due. Please contact us at [number] as soon as possible."

 

If you are sending Public Service Announcements, a good example would be:

"April 11 - Snow Day for Vancouver Public Schools. No Attendance is required"

 

Step 4 - Verifying Approval

When your registration is approved, you will see this status:

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If your Registration is ever revoked, don't worry. We will automatically remove the registration, stop you from being able from sending messages, and contact you with next steps. 

SMS Enablement Timeline and Status

Once your SMS Registration is completed, your SMS Registration information is sent to the wireless carriers for review. As of January 31, 2023 all SMS Registration requests are reviewed manually by a human within each wireless carrier to verify that the information you provide is accurate and legal. This process can be slow, and the timeline we have been told is that it may take 5 business days or more for the registration to be approved. During this review period your SMS Registration will show an Orange clock icon next to the Pending link:

Clicking the Pending link for your SMS Registration will reveal Status: Pending Approval.

If your SMS Registration status has been Pending for more than 5 business days, then it may have been rejected. Please click on the Registration Logs link to view all additional details regarding your SMS Registration status.

You may place your cursor above any Event for additional details regarding that SMS Registration log.

Once this manual review is complete, the Orange clock icon will be removed and clicking the View link for your SMS Registration will reveal Status: Verified.

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You will then be able to enable SMS on your Skyetel phone numbers.

 

Your Privacy

This information, like all information you provide Skyetel, is kept strictly confidential and is never sold or given to third parties unless compelled to by a court order. This information is submitted to the Campaign Registry so that they may understand your use case and register your phone numbers.

When a recipient of one of your SMS or MMS receives a message, they will receive Tenant identifying information and contact information as part of the Opt-Out and Help features. 

 

 

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