August 10, 2021
TCR Registration: Campaign Service Provider or Reseller?
Campaign Service Providers and Resellers aren’t like Jedi and Sith. So deciding which one you’ll register as on The Campaign Registry (TCR) isn’t like choosing between the light and dark side of the Force. It’s a matter of picking the best option for your business needs and preferences.
But since there are pros and cons to each option, we’ll take a look at each one in detail and show you how TCR registration works.
For this blog, we’ll assume you have some basic understanding of The Campaign Registry (TCR). If you need to brush up on your knowledge of TCR, read: What is A2P 10DLC? And Why Does it Matter in 2022?
As a high-level recap, to become compliant with A2P 10DLC, you must do the following:
- Set up your profile as a CSP or as a Reseller in TCR;
- Set up brands and campaigns under your profile; and,
- Associate phone numbers to each TCR campaign with your Messaging Service Provider
What is a Campaign Service Provider (CSP)?
A Campaign Service Provider (CSP) supports businesses of all shapes and sizes by registering the brand and its SMS messaging campaigns with The Campaign Registry (TCR) and kickstarting each campaign. Since CSPs are the primary users of The Campaign Registry, brands, campaigns, and additional brand vetting that’s been paid for is saved under the CSP’s profile.
With CSPs, you don’t need to pay “one-time fees” for brand registration or additional vetting everytime you migrate to another messaging provider. It’s truly a one-and-done deal. You just need to pay the carrier’s registration fees when you switch.
*Note: If you do plan to switch, keep in mind that TCR doesn’t prorate your fees.
The minimum criteria to become a CSP is to have more than one brand under your CSP profile. Interested in becoming one? Schedule a meeting with us to discuss next steps.
What is a Reseller?
Resellers also use TCR to register brands and campaigns, but they have to go through a “middle-man” to do it. This third party sits between them and their brands and campaigns (i.e. a Messaging Service Provider who registers the brand and campaigns on the reseller’s behalf). While this approach may sound enticing, since it’s less hands-on work for the reseller, it does entrench you with your messaging provider.
In addition, resellers don’t get a pass when it comes to “one-time fees.” They have to pay them every time they migrate to another CSP. This includes brand registration fees, mid-month campaign activation fees, T-Mobile activation fees, one-time carrier fees for special use cases, and brand vetting fees.
On top of all that, there’s no conversion path from Reseller to CSP should you want to become one at some point in the future.
Campaign Service Provider Versus Reseller
To make a choice between a CSP and Reseller profile, you need to carefully consider the pros and cons. Let’s look at just a few.
Benefits of Registering as a Campaign Service Provider
Becoming a CSP is similar to having “One Ring To Rule Them All”. All of your brands, campaigns, and brand vetting are controlled by and connected to your CSP profile, and you, in essence, own those soft assets.
Being a CSP also comes with added flexibility to move to another messaging provider should your existing provider stop meeting your needs (e.g., low customer satisfaction, high downtime, low deliverability or throughput, or unfavorable pricing). This flexibility comes in the form of low switchover costs (e.g., from an engineering and finance perspective) and low effort from a change management lens.
Telgorithm enjoys the structural flexibility of being vendor agnostic, so we firmly believe that you should own much of that flexibility as well. Our mission is to earn your business day-after-day. If we stop delivering on value, we’ll even help you move to another provider for free. We don’t believe in being covetous.
Drawbacks to Registering as a Reseller
When you’re a Reseller, everything that your CSP (messaging provider) has built for you in TCR is theirs to keep. And everything you do on behalf of your clients has to go through them.
At the same time, migrating is much more complicated, requiring you to:
- Rebuild brands and campaigns in TCR when you switch to a new CSP or become your own CSP
- Repay one-time brand registration and brand vetting fees
- Reperform brand vetting for higher throughput needs
And, if you continue to stick with your Reseller profile, subsequent provider migrations will require you to rinse & repeat the steps above.
The Cost of Migrating as a Reseller
Like all high-profile divorces, the cost of severing your relationship with your CSP is high. To illustrate, we’ve outlined the Cost of Migration below to help you better anticipate costs of migrating as a Reseller:
How to Register with The Campaign Registry
Once you’ve made a decision between operating as a Campaign Service Provider or Reseller, you need to get registered with TCR.
To register with The Campaign Registry (as either a CSP or Reseller), you’ll need to gather two types of information from your customers: brand information and campaign information. The brand being the legal entity or role responsible for the messaging content in a campaign. And a campaign tying together the who (the CSP and Brand) and the what (use case) for all 10DLC messaging campaigns.
Registering a Brand
If you’re in the SaaS space, gathering brand information means collecting all the businesses that use your product or service. All of the information can be populated and then accessed in The Campaign Registry with a CSP profile via an API (or via the TCR portal), which Telgorithm can guide you through. As a Reseller, you will be gathering the information to provide to your CSP. Here’s what you will need:
- Legal Company Name
- Country of Registration (or country in which the business resides)
- Organization Type (e.g., Public, Private, Non-Profit, etc)
- Tax Number / ID / EIN
- Business Address
- Vertical Type (e.g., Agriculture, Media and Communications, Education, etc)
- Stock Symbol (if Organization Type = Public)
- Stock Exchange (if Organization Type = Public)
- First and Last Name (if Organization Type = Sole Proprietor)
- DBA or Brand Name
- EIN Issuing Country
- DUNS / GIIN / LEI Number
- Brand’s Website URL
Registering a Campaign
Before creating a campaign, a CSP or a Reseller must do all of the pre-work of gathering information and registering a campaign. As you’re gathering information, we suggest creating a spreadsheet that allows you to capture the following information:
Important: As a Reseller, if you move to another CSP, you forfeit the ownership of this data in TCR, which is 85% of the effort required to get A2P compliant.
At the end of the day, we recognize you need to do what’s right for your customers and your organization. Balancing these finer details isn’t always easy, but with the right planning and thoughtful TCR registration, you and your customers can both find success.
Book a meeting with us to see whether a CSP or Reseller is right for you.
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