Best Practices for Getting a Shortcode Number

Plivo will help you through the preparation and application process to help you obtain a shortcode as quickly as possible. We want to make sure you have met all the necessary requirements before we submit your application to the carrier.

This document will guide 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.

The information below will help to ensure your campaign(s) move through the provisioning process with carriers in a timely manner. Provide the information in the steps listed below to help a Plivo team member vet your campaign order; missing information will result in a delayed launch. US and Canada-based programs should be launched commercially based on the information approved by the carriers. Any deviance may result in a carrier audit that may take additional time before you can enter the market.

For additional information, please check out the industry manual: CTIA - http://www.ctia.org/

Common requirements for all shortcode campaigns:

  • Specific verbiage, syntax, and wording: many carriers require specific language when instructing customers 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: please advise subscribers of possible carrier charges.  For example: “Msg&Data rates may apply" or “Msg freq may vary".
  • For all campaigns with recurring alerts or opt-in nature, the keywords HELP & STOP must be supported.

    HELP MT

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

          Required synonym information: 

           STOP MT

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

Example of properly formatted STOP MT: “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 Mobile Terminated (MT) messages must contain a program description (e.g.
“Movie alerts”), frequency of messaging (or credits remaining) and campaign name or the program sponsor, including the HELP MT.

  • Sample opt-in MT for an alert service with movie times: “Movie Alerts – You will receive up to 5 msgs/week. Reply STOP to cancel, HELP for help. Msg&Data rates may apply.”
  • Note that carriers require that all specific campaigns for a shortcode be identified. Carriers will reject campaigns that do not identify the specific organization or entity using the shortcode. This most commonly impacts organizations that wish to secure a shortcode and then resell that service to a third-party customer.

Web opt-in mobile identification number requirements

  •       Add “Text HELP to 55512 for help” and “Text STOP to 55512 to stop”
  •       Add “Message & Data Rates May Apply” or “Msg&Data Rates May Apply”
  •       Frequency of messages (i.e. message frequency depends on user activity or something similar)
  •       Link to terms and privacy pages
  •      Screenshots are permissible.
  •      For carrier approval, all websites must be functional. If the actual production site is not ready, carriers will ask to review screenshots of the opt-in process.

Web opt-in

Similar to the terms and conditions page, carriers look for specific language on the opt-in web form. We will need a link to your web form or a screenshot of this form to submit the application. The web form must include the following: 

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

 For example, this is what the disclaimer on your web page should contain:

You will receive up to 5 messages per day. Message & `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 PCS, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Nextel & Virgin Mobile. See our SMS Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Keyword opt-in 

Keywords are mandatory for all services delivered via shortcode. 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.

For example:

Keyword: START

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

Keyword: HELP

Response:  You can email us at support@plivo.com. Reply STOP to cancel. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg freq may vary per user.

 Keyword: STOP

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

Terms & Conditions

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

  1. A brief description of what you are using the shortcode 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 into 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 shortcode digits. 

Example: You can cancel the SMS service at any time. Just text "STOP" to XXXXX. When we receive a "STOP" message, we will 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 xxxx. When we receive a “HELP” message, we will 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 PCS, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Nextel & 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.
  2. A support email address and phone number that shortcode message recipients can use to contact you.

A complete messaging policy section for a Terms & 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 PCS, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Nextel & 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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