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How to Choose the Best TCR Campaign for Your Business

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The Campaign Registry  (TCR) created two general categories for messaging campaigns: standard campaigns and special campaigns. But choosing a category isn’t as easy as you might think. Besides having multiple sub-categories, each TCR campaign type is best suited to specific use cases and required throughputs.

Feeling overwhelmed already? Don’t worry. We’ve got the breakdown for each TCR campaign type below. But first, let’s clarify what we mean by “use case” and “required throughput.”

Here we go.

Criteria to Consider When Choosing a TCR Campaign Type

While the process of choosing a campaign type is nuanced, most of the considerations can be traced back to your use case and required throughput. So naturally, it’s important to start by identifying your desired use case and calculating your needed throughput.

Use case. A use case is simply the reason why you’re setting up a messaging service(s). Each use case is tied to one campaign type. This can include 2FA, account notifications, fraud alert messaging, and marketing, to name a few.

Required throughput. Based on your use case, you should calculate how many messages you need to send per minute or per day. This is your throughput. When choosing a TCR campaign type, you need to make sure the throughput meets or exceeds your throughput requirements, or you can wind up bottlenecking your campaigns and creating friction in your customer experience.

Note: Each carrier has its own perspectives on throughput. For example, AT&T sets throughputs at the campaign level while T-Mobile sets theirs at the brand level (meaning capacity is shared across all campaigns). As of this writing, Verizon and U.S. Cellular will both likely set their throughput at the campaign level, similar to AT&T.
For more information on throughput, read Campaign Types and what they mean for your throughput.

What are Standard Campaigns?

Standard Campaigns are, well…standard. They’re available to most, if not all, brands registered with TCR. And because they don’t involve sensitive information or time-sensitive details, they don’t require any special authorization either. In fact, they can be approved almost instantaneously.

Standard Campaigns are divided into two sub-categories. The first is declared or dedicated campaigns, and the second is a Mixed Campaign type. Here’s what each sub-category involves.

What is a Declared / Dedicated Campaign Type?

A Declared / Dedicated Campaign type is a campaign with a single use case, which makes it easier for TCR and mobile network operators (MNOs) to track and trace messages sent over their network. Obviously, there are pros and cons to declared campaigns, though.

Advantages: 

  • Individual campaigns allow your brands to protect themselves against a situation where a number and the content are flagged as SPAM, which triggers the MNOs and Aggregators to flag / block the entire campaign via the Campaign ID.
    • Note: As of this writing, TCR limits you to five use cases under a Mixed Campaign Type.
  • Typically, you will receive higher throughput and lower surcharges than a Mixed Campaign Type. This is meant to incentivize declaring a single use case, as this type of campaign provides the greatest transparency for the A2P ecosystem.

Disadvantages:

  • Increased cost as each use case has to be registered as its own campaign.
  • Numbers cannot be assigned to more than one campaign.

What is a Mixed Campaign Type? 

A Mixed Campaign allows for multiple use cases put together in a single campaign. Under the Mixed Campaign type, there is a minimum of two use cases and a maximum number of five use cases, like so:

Mixed Campaign Type

Here again, there are both advantages and disadvantages to Mixed Campaigns.

Advantages of Mixed Campaigns:

  • Able to use a single number for multiple use cases
  • Single campaign fee of $10.00 per month

Disadvantages of Mixed Campaigns

  • When use cases share a campaign, non-compliant messaging on one use case could suspend service for the entire campaign
  • Higher AT&T surcharges for mixed campaigns (Verizon and U.S. Cellular treatment of mixed campaigns is pending)
  • Lower throughputs

So, when is it actually better to opt for a Mixed Campaign Type? Simple. If your brand or the brands that you manage require a single phone number to send messages with multiple use cases (without the need for higher throughput), then you want to use a Mixed Campaign Type. However (and we can’t stress this enough), if a use case under your Mixed Campaign is flagged as SPAM, it will spell possible disaster for the entire Mixed Campaign, so tread carefully.

Standard Campaigns in TCR w/ Monthly Maintenance Fees

Whether you choose to go the declared route or opt for a Mixed Campaign, you will have monthly maintenance fees to pay on your campaigns. These rates are based on your campaign use cases, which you can see a breakdown of, below.

Standard Campaign Type

Want to know more about standard campaigns? Let’s chat. 

What is a Special Campaign Type?

Special Campaigns are typically time-sensitive, critical, or unique in nature. As a result, they generally require vetting and approval from individual phone carriers sometime during the registration process (“Emergency” messages don’t). Messages in this category can’t be sent to customers or leads until this is completed.

The table below describes the expected vetting process for each Special Campaign Type.

Special Campaign Types

How does the pre-registration and post-registration approval process work?

  • Pre-registration approval process: Pre-registration approval is done at the Brand Level. Your Messaging Provider will take your Brand ID to the phone carrier for approval. Once your brand is approved, the following campaigns in TCR will be unlocked: Political, Sole Proprietor, and Platform Free Trial campaigns.
  • Post-registration approval process: Post-registration approval is done at the Campaign Level. Your Messaging Provider will take your Campaign ID to the MNO for approval. Once your campaign is approved, the ‘Carrier Status’ page under the campaign will show approved in TCR (a green checkmark will be visually displayed),  signaling the campaign is now active.

When is it better to opt for a Special Campaign Type? 

Depending on the use case, Special Campaigns require pre-registration or post-registration approval. Because Special Campaigns require additional approval, the process naturally will take longer (duration varies). However, when your use case matches a Special Campaign type, we recommend taking this route because of the advantages it brings, including:

  • Potentially lower pass-through fees
  • Higher throughputs
  • Lower likelihood of your messages being flagged as SPAM (especially if you choose to register a Standard Campaign that does not match the actual use case)

Ultimately, every business is different, so you need to take some time to figure out what TCR campaign type will fit your needs best. There’s no model you can copy. That being said, by comparing your use cases and throughput needs with TCR’s campaign types, you can find the best solution for your brand as a whole and your current campaign.

Need a little extra help? We’ll help you find the right TCR campaign type and throughput for your brand.

Book a meeting with us.

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