10DLC Registration Guidelines

Updated April 24, 2023

Table of Contents

10DLC registration requires businesses provide information about themselves. Follow the instructions here to minimize the possibility of your brand or campaigns being rejected by The Campaign Registry (TCR).

Brands and campaigns are typically approved or rejected within one week. If your application is rejected because you didn’t follow these guidelines, you must make changes and ask Shape to resubmit your application. The process can take one to two weeks.  If the information you submit is incorrect, you will be charged a $15.00 re-submission fee. 

Brand Registration

Here are some things to keep in mind as you provide information:

You must provide a unique contact address, email address, and phone number for each registration. TCR prohibits using the same contact information for multiple brands. Brands found in violation of this policy may be deactivated by Shape or TCR.

Campaign Registration

The use case of a campaign must be appropriate for the brand with which it is associated. For example, a marketing company should not try to create a campaign for a mortgage use case. TCR and carriers may reject campaign registrations that they deem unrelated to or not consistent with the brand.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you provide information:

Note: Three new campaign fields “Message Flow”, “Opt-Out Message” & “Help Message” become mandatory in beginning November 17, 2023.

Be honest. If a campaign is related to loans, for instance, specify Yes for the Direct Lending or Loan Arrangement option. Businesses found to be providing incorrect attribute information may have their campaigns suspended.

If you have questions about 10DLC registration, contact your customer success manager or the Shape support team.

Best Practices for A2P Messaging in the US

High-quality, well-formatted content is more likely to be opened and less likely to be mistaken as spam by consumers, operators, and carriers. Follow these guidelines to make sure your SMS content meets the standards for great messaging. 

All use of Shape services is subject to our acceptable use policy; violations may lead to suspension of your services.

SMS content best practices

These best practices for message content make messages more valuable to consumers and less likely to trigger real-time content analysis from messages flagged incorrectly as spam.

As a general rule, carriers don’t pre-approve or whitelist messaging content. A carrier may review any message content as part of an account review. Message content flagged by automatic spam detection algorithms is reviewed by a human operator. If the message is reviewed by a third party, out of context, it should appear to be a transactional, application-to-person message, originating from a specific request by the end user. If the operator decides the message is inappropriate, it may block the sending number.

In general, message content should include:

While a STOP message does not need to be included in every message sent, consider sending it with every fourth or fifth message.

Message content should avoid:

Use of URLs in messages

If your message contains a link, use a URL in a domain that your business owns and that aligns with the brand or campaign from which you send the message.

Use full URLs in your messages when you can. Avoid public URL shorteners such as Bitly and TinyURL. US carrier policies discourage the use of public URL shorteners, which means a higher risk your message will be filtered with no recourse. If you use a URL shortener, we recommend getting one that’s specific to your business (such as swoo.sh, which is used by Nike). Bear in mind, though, that many recipients view shortened URLs warily and refuse to click on them because they can be used by spammers and in phishing attempts.

URLs included in your messages must avoid multiple redirects, which are generally perceived as suspicious. Operators or message recipients might flag a message with multiple redirects as a phishing attempt, which might result in the suspension of your campaign.

Use natural language

Use natural language in your messages. Avoid nonstandard spellings (“H! h0w ar3 u do1ng?”).

Set expectations for message frequency

If you plan to send five texts a month, disclosing “5 messages a month” on the first interaction leads to a better user experience.

Deceptive marketing

Marketing messages must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence in order to meet the standards set by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Truth In Advertising rules. The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium, including text messages.

Fraud or scam

Any messages that constitute fraud or scam and involve wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain are prohibited. These messages generally involve money and/or some sort of business transaction.

SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco)

Content related to SHAFT use cases such as the following is prohibited in the US by local or federal law.

Other prohibited content

Content related to SHAFT use cases such as the following is prohibited in the US by local or federal law.

Contact your customer success manager or our support team if you suspect your use case falls under a prohibited content type and find CTIA messaging principles and best practices here.

Promotional messages

Promotional messaging is not allowed on toll-free numbers and is subject to blocking.

Sample messages

Example: Good content

Example: Bad content

Prohibited Messaging Practices

All messages in the US must adhere to the codes of conduct published by mobile network operators (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon). If a message sender is observed sending any of the kinds of disallowed content listed below, Shape will perform an account review. This review can result in the suspension of sending rights for a provisioned phone number, restriction of high-throughput access, suspension of provisioning rights for new phone numbers, and/or suspension of all network services. Message senders are expected to enforce restrictions on their own networks to prevent these types of content at the intake source.


Phishing is the practice of sending messages that appear to come from reputable companies but in fact trick consumers into revealing personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.


Snowshoeing is a technique that uses multiple source numbers for messaging with the intent to evade filters. All operators prohibit snowshoeing. Using the practice may result in poor deliverability and in some cases campaign or account suspension.

Filter evasion assistance and number cycling

The practice of automatically providing a sender with new phone numbers to replace previously blocked phone numbers is prohibited. Similarly, number cycling is a technique in which messaging providers discard numbers upon seeing poor deliverability and provide replacement numbers. This results in a poor experience for customers and suggests to operators unwanted messaging or lack of customer consent. Instead of number cycling, work with Shape to identify the root cause of poor deliverability and fix the issue.

Managing Messaging Campaigns for Better Deliverability

Here are some best practices that can help you improve your message deliverability scores.

Customer consent

All Shape customers must comply with the opt-in requirements outlined in the CTIA guidelines. In short, businesses should send messages to customers only after receiving opt-in permission. Also, message senders should not use opt-in lists that have been rented, sold, or shared. 

When customers opt in, you should send them a confirmation message that includes details about the campaign, possible charges, whether they’ll get recurring messages, and how to opt out. Example: Welcome to Shape customer outreach. Message and data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.

You should collect the consumer consent yourself. Don’t use consent acquired from a third party. Consumers expect a relationship with the businesses with which they interact.

Shape reserves the right to suspend or terminate your messaging services if we learn you’ve failed to comply with opt-in guidelines.

If your opt-in process involves a web form, you should ensure that it clearly conveys all of these details to the consumer.

Proof of opt-in

Shape recommends maintaining an updated list with a record of every opted-in user. If we receive carrier or subscriber complaints about spam, Shape and its partners may carry out an audit. In that event we will ask you for proof of opt-in consent. For each user, you must be able to produce this information as proof of opt-in.

You should also offer an opt-out mechanism in every message to avoid violations. Shape also recommends that you review inbound messages for messages like “I’m not interested,” ”Do not send messages,” ”Not required,” etc., and remove those subscribers from your target group.

Allow customers to opt out

Ensure that users can opt out of your messages easily. A general best practice is to add opt-out instructions to your messages, particularly for informational, marketing, and promotional messages. Shape recommends adding “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” or “reply STOP to cancel” to the end of your message. 

Not providing an opt-out option or sending people messages after they have opted out is a violation that could result in the termination of your campaign. 

A high rate of opt-outs from your numbers or campaigns may result in filtering or blocking your traffic.

Carrier Monitoring

Our carriers continuously monitor text messages sent over their networks. To ensure uninterrupted service, avoid incurring a high number of consumer complaints and a high opt-out rate.

Consumer complaints

Major operators in North America support consumer-driven spam controls. Their mobile subscribers can forward unwanted or unconsented text messages to the short code 7726 (it spells “SPAM” on the dialpad).

Carriers actively monitor consumer complaints sent to this service. When multiple complaints are received for a sender, mobile network operators (MNO) send a notification to the message sender that includes the source phone number, destination phone number, timestamp, and original message ID. Upon receipt, the sender provider must provide proof of a TCPA-compliant opt-in for those specific messages, as well as an overview of the messaging campaign and the opt-in process that the unwanted message was a part of.

If a large number of unwanted or unconsented messages are reported on a source phone number, that number may have its sending rights suspended while opt-in is being confirmed.

Opt-out rate

MNOs also track opt-out rates. The daily opt-out rate on a phone number is defined as the number of opted-out consumers that were sent messages divide by the unique consumer phone numbers contacted within a 24-hour period.

If the daily opt-out rate on a sending phone number is 5% or greater, the account is flagged for monitoring. An opt-out rate of 10% or greater on a sending phone number may result in immediate suspension of services.

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