Best Practices for Getting a Short Code Number

Plivo will help you obtain a short code as quickly as possible by making sure you meet the requirements before we submit your application to the carrier.

This document guides you through the preparation steps and application process. If at any time you’d like the assistance of someone at Plivo, or if you have any questions, please reach out to our sales team.

We need the information mentioned in this document to vet your campaign order; missing information will cause delays. US and Canada-based programs are launched commercially based on information approved by carriers. Missing or incorrect information may result in a carrier audit that may delay your campaigns.

Common requirements for all short code campaigns:

  • Specific verbiage, syntax, and wording: Carriers require specific language when instructing customers via mobile terminated (MT) messages how to opt out of a program or how to get help. For example: “Reply STOP to cancel” or “Reply HELP for help”
  • Advance notice of charges: Advise subscribers of possible carrier charges. For example: “Message and data rates may apply" or “Message frequency may vary"
  • For all campaigns with recurring alerts and those that require opting in, the keywords HELP and STOP must be supported.

Help messages must contain either a support email address or a phone number, as well as information about message frequency, and advance notice of charges. 

Required synonym information: INFO

Stop message must include helpful information in addition to confirming the opt-out.

Example of properly formatted STOP message: “You have been opted out and will receive no more messages from Farm League Baseball Sports service. flb.com/help or 800-888-8888.”

Required synonyms: STOP ALL, END, QUIT, CANCEL, UNSUB, and UNSUBSCRIBE

All opt-in confirmation MT messages must contain a program description (for example,
“Movie alerts”), frequency of messaging (or credits remaining), and campaign name or the program sponsor, including the HELP message.

  • Sample opt-in message for an alert service with movie times: “Movie alerts — you will receive up to 5 messages a week. Reply STOP to cancel, HELP for help. Message and data rates may apply.”
  • Note that carriers require that all campaigns for a short code be identified. Carriers will reject campaigns that don't identify the specific organization or entity using the short code. This most commonly impacts organizations that wish to secure a short code and then resell that service to a third-party customer.

Web opt-in mobile identification number requirements

  •      Add “Text HELP to nnnnn for help” and “Text STOP to nnnnn to stop”
  •      Add “Message and data rates may apply” or “Msg&data rates may apply”
  •      Include frequency of messages, or say that message frequency depends on user activity or something similar
  •      Include link to terms and privacy pages
  •      Screenshots are permissible
  •      To gain carrier approval, all provided websites must be functional. If the production site is not ready, carriers will ask to review screenshots of the opt-in process.

Web opt-in

Carriers look for specific language on the opt-in web form. We need a link to your web form or a screenshot of it to submit the application. The web form must include the following: 

  • Opt-out and help keywords in BOLD letters
  • The short code that will be used to send SMS messages
  • The frequency at which users will receive messages
  • List of participating carriers
  • Link to terms and conditions and privacy policy pages

Here's an example that shows what a disclaimer on your web page should contain:

You will receive up to 5 messages per day. Message and data rates may apply. Text HELP to 75486 for help. Text STOP to 75486 to cancel. Supported carriers: AT&T, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, UScellular, and Virgin Mobile. See our SMS Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Keyword opt-in 

Keywords are mandatory for all services delivered via short code. The service must support keywords for opt-in, opt-out, and help. When a user texts any of the supported keywords, the service must have an auto-response that contains specific language around the messaging frequency and message rates.

Examples:

Keyword: START

Response: Thank you subscribing to Plivo’s notification services. Reply HELP for more information. Reply STOP to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency may vary per user.

Keyword: HELP

Response:  You can email us at support@plivo.com. Reply STOP to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency may vary per user.

 Keyword: STOP

Response: You have been unsubscribed from nnnnn and will no longer receive messages. Reply HELP for help. Reply START to resume services.

Terms and conditions

You must submit the URL to your terms and conditions page with your short code application. Here’s what you need to include in your T&Cs. 

  1. A brief description of what you're using the short code for.

Example: We send job alerts to users who have registered on our site and opted in to receive SMS job alerts.

  1. The opt-in process for new users: a short description of how new users can opt in to your services. The opt-in process may include any of the following methods:
  • Keyword opt-in: Text START to 75486 to subscribe to our notifications services.
  • Web opt-in: Sign up through a web form. Users can subscribe to our notifications services while registering an account through the website or changing your notifications preferences in the account settings.
  • Paper opt-in: Sign up by filling out a paper form at a store or kiosk. Users can subscribe to our notification services by completing the membership form at XYZ stores.
  1. Opt-out and help keywords in BOLD including the short code digits. 

Example: You can cancel the SMS service at any time. To cancel, text "STOP" to nnnnn. When we receive a "STOP" message, we'll send one last confirmation SMS to confirm the subscription status, after which no more SMS messages will be sent.

For more information, just text "HELP" to nnnnn. When we receive a “HELP” message, we'll provide instructions on how to use this service and how to unsubscribe.

  1. List of participating carriers

Example: Participating carriers include: AT&T, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, UScellular, and Virgin Mobile.

  1. The following statement, verbatim: T-Mobile is not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. 
  1. A “message and data rate” statement, accompanied by a “message frequency” statement

Example: As always, message and data rates may apply for any messages sent or received. You will receive approximately three messages per week. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, please contact your wireless provider.

  1. A link to your privacy policy page
  2. A support email address and phone number that short code message recipients can use to contact you

A complete messaging policy section for a terms and conditions page might read as follows.

Messaging Policy

Plivo offers an SMS messaging service. You can opt in to our services by texting “START” to 75486. You may choose to opt in to our SMS messaging service at your own discretion, and you may opt out at any time. We will communicate with you via SMS for the purposes of service alerts and notifications. We may also send promotional messages. 

Participating carriers include: AT&T, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, UScellular, and Virgin Mobile. Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. T-Mobile is not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.

As always, message and data rates may apply. You will receive an average of five messages per week, but we may occasionally exceed this number in certain circumstances. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, please contact your wireless provider.

You can cancel the SMS service at any time. To cancel, text "STOP" to 75486. We will respond with a single SMS message to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. After this, you will no longer receive SMS messages from us. 

You may, at any time, text "HELP" to 75486 for a brief help message. We will respond with instructions on how to use our service as well as how to unsubscribe. You may also contact Plivo support at: +1 (877) 555-1212 or email us at sms_support@plivo.com. You can view our privacy policy here.

 

 

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