What Does DND Mean in Texting?

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Aayush Bangali

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April 15, 2024

What Does DND Mean in Texting?

Key Takeaways

  1. DND is an abbreviated form of 'Do Not Disturb' and as the literal meaning suggests, users register their phone numbers as DND so that they do not receive nay promotional communication from brands
  2. Although, DND mostly restricts promotional SMS communication, transactional text messages which contain important information can still reach DND recipients using Text
  3. Check DND numbers before executing an SMS campaign is crucial since it affects text delivery statuses and overall campaign performance
  4. Sending text messages to DND could lead to some violation penalties depending on a country's rules and regulations
  5. You can register and deregister yourself from the DND list according to your requirements. Additionally, it is always recommended to use a reliable provider like Message Central for your text campaigns

In the world of business communication, DND is an acronym that stands for 'Do Not Disturb'. It refers to a feature that allows individuals to opt-out of receiving promotional or marketing SMS/calls.  
A2P messaging generally has 2 subsets: -

  1. Promotional SMS
  2. Transactional SMS

While DND restrictions mostly apply to promotional SMS, transactional SMS can still be sent using quick transaction route enabling use cases like OTP SMS through SMS verification services. The content templates for both these types are also registered separately.
This article will explore what DND numbers are, why it is important to check for them, the consequences of sending SMS to DND numbers, and how to effectively manage DND registrations.

What are DND Numbers?

DND numbers, or 'Do Not Disturb' numbers, refer to phone numbers that have been registered on a DND registry to avoid receiving unsolicited promotional calls and SMS campaigns using SMS APIs. Different countries have implemented DND registries in collaboration with telecom operators to protect consumers from unwanted communication. Anyone can add their number to the DND registry free of charge. For example:-

  1. United States: US National Do Not Call Registry
  2. Australia: Do Not Call Register
  3. India: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
  4. UK: Telephone Preference Service
  5. Canada: National Do Not Call List
  6. New Zealand: Name Suppression Service

Why Checking for DND Numbers is Crucial?

As a business engaging in SMS marketing, it is essential to check whether a phone number is listed as a DND number before sending promotional messages. Telemarketing to DND numbers is against the law in many countries, and disregarding this can result in severe consequences.  

Additionally, even if your subscribers have opted in to receive SMS marketing, some may still be registered on a DND registry, which means your marketing texts may not reach them.

Regularly checking for DND numbers in your subscriber list ensures compliance with regulations and helps you avoid penalties or damage to your brand reputation.

Consequences of Sending SMS to DND Numbers

Failure to comply with DND regulations for promotional messages can have serious consequences. For instance,

  1. In India, violating Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulations could lead to disconnection of the sender's telephone connection and blacklisting of personal details for two years.  
  2. In the United States, violations of the National Do Not Call Registry can result in fines of up to $16,000 per incident.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations applicable to your subscribers' location to ensure your SMS campaigns are legally compliant.

Exceptions: When You Can Legally Text DND Numbers

While it is generally prohibited to send promotional SMS to DND numbers, there are exceptions for transactional SMS messages.  
Transactional SMS messages are essential communications related to conducting business, such as order confirmations, payment reminders, appointment reminders, SMS pin code requests, or debt collection requests. However, it is important to review the specific regulations governing your country or region to ensure compliance.

Certain organizations, such as charities and political organizations, may also be exempt from the restrictions imposed on SMS marketing to DND numbers. Always check the relevant regulations to understand the scope of exceptions for your industry or organization type.

How to Check for DND and Non-DND Numbers?

To ensure compliance with DND regulations, it is necessary to regularly check your contact list for DND numbers. The process involves accessing the DND registry applicable to your subscribers and screening your database against it. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform these checks:

  1. Determine the relevant DND registry based on your subscribers' location.
  2. Visit the official website of the registry and create an account, if necessary.
  3. Access the registry's database and download the DND files.
  4. Screen the downloaded files against your contact list to identify DND numbers.
  5. Remove the identified DND numbers from your subscriber list.

It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the specific DND registry to ensure accurate and up-to-date results. Various countries, such as the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, have their own DND registries.

De-registering a DND Number

If a subscriber wishes to receive marketing communications and has registered their number on a DND registry, they need to de-register from the list. The de-registration process may vary depending on the country or region. Here are a few common methods:

a. De-registering by Call

One method is to call the designated number for de-registration. In some cases, you can choose between two options:

  1. Through Customer Care Executive: Call the provided number and request the customer care representative to de-register your number. The representative will guide you through the process and confirm the de-registration. You will also receive an SMS confirming the successful de-registration. SMS verification stays an exception for this.  
  2. Through IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System): Dial the designated number and follow the instructions provided by the automated system to de-register your number. Once completed, you will receive an SMS confirming the de-registration.

b. De-registering by SMS

Another method is to send an SMS to the specified number to initiate the de-registration process. Here's how:

  1. Send an SMS with the keyword "STOP" to the designated de-registration number.
  2. Upon receiving your SMS, you will receive a response confirming your de-registration request.
  3. To confirm your request, send another message to the same number.
  4. Once the de-registration is processed, you will receive a message confirming your successful de-registration.
  5. The specific de-registration process may vary, so it is important to follow the instructions provided by the relevant DND registry.

Protecting Consumers and Your Business

DND registries are in place to protect consumers who have chosen to opt-out of receiving SMS marketing. As a business owner or marketer, it is your responsibility to respect consumers' choices and ensure that DND numbers are removed from your subscriber list. By doing so, you not only comply with legal regulations but also demonstrate your commitment to ethical communication practices.
Maintaining a clean and updated subscriber list, regularly checking for DND numbers, and respecting consumer preferences will help you build trust and credibility with your audience. This is one of the best practices for SMS marketing.  

The Importance of SMS Campaign Compliance

Compliance with SMS marketing regulations is crucial for businesses to avoid legal consequences and protect their brand reputation. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations applicable to your target audience's location and stay informed about any updates or changes.

Additionally, implementing proper consent management systems, ensuring accurate DND checks, and educating your team on compliance best practices are essential steps to maintain a successful and legally compliant use of SMS marketing for your business.  


Understanding DND in texting is essential for businesses engaged in SMS marketing. By respecting consumers' preferences and complying with DND regulations, you can build trust and foster positive relationships with your audience. Regularly checking for DND numbers, removing them from your subscriber list, and de-registering as necessary are key steps in ensuring compliance and successful SMS marketing campaigns.

Remember, protecting consumer interests and adhering to regulations not only safeguards your business but also contributes to a more ethical and responsible marketing ecosystem. Stay informed, stay compliant, and deliver engaging SMS messages to your audience while respecting their communication preferences.

SMS APIs by Message Now

Leveraging SMS marketing has become crucial for businesses to differentiate from their competitors. Message Now by Message Central is an SMS API provider used by fastest growing businesses across the world. The platform provides:-

  1. Direct operator connectivity
  1. Lowest SMS rates
  1. Best routes for both transactional and promotional SMS  

You can get in touch with the team to get started with SMS marketing.  

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