Before you submit an application for a short code in Canada, review the process. The linked document explains how to make sure your application details are compliant.
Short code-specific requirements in Canada
Carriers have specific requirements for short code owners, and they must review your use case and campaign details, including specific language, opt-in, and responses, to ensure you’re compliant. Shared short codes are not supported.
To prepare for a short code application, take these four steps.
- Update your Terms and Conditions page to reflect carrier-required language.
- If you use a web form for opt-in, make sure it contains carrier-mandated verbiage.
- Review your keyword responses. Your short code must accept certain predefined keywords for opt-in, opt-out, and help, and your short code must respond with predefined, approved messages to each keyword.
- Submit an application describing your short code usage details and chosen keywords and keyword responses. Check our documentation.
How to ensure your Terms and Conditions page is compliant
Carriers insist that specific language be present on your publicly available Terms and Conditions page. In your short code application, you must submit the URL to your Terms and Conditions page, and it must include the following elements and language:
- A brief description of what you’re using the short code for. For example:
We send alerts to users who have registered on our site and opted in to receive SMS alerts.
- A short description of how new users can opt in to your services. You can use keyword, web, or paper opt-ins but you must describe each.
- Keyword opt-in. We recommend that you use an opt-in keyword associated with your brand or campaign rather than a generic keyword such as START or JOIN. For example:
Text PLIVO to 75486 to subscribe to our notifications services.
- Web opt-in: Signing up through a web form. Example description:
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: Signing up from filling out a physical paper form at a store/kiosk. Example description:
Users can subscribe to our notifications services by completing the membership form at XYZ stores.
- Opt-out and Help/Info keywords in BOLD including the short code digits. For example:
You can cancel the SMS service at any time by texting "STOP" to XXXXX. When we receive a "STOP" message, we will send one last confirmation message to confirm the subscription status, after which no more SMS messages will be sent.
For more information, text "HELP" to XXXXX. When we receive a “HELP” message, we will provide instructions on how to use this service and how to unsubscribe.
"ARRET" XXXXX. Lorsque nous recevons un message "ARRET", nous envoyons un dernier SMS de confirmation pour confirmer le statut de l'abonnement, après quoi plus aucun SMS ne sera envoyé.
Pour plus d'informations, envoyez simplement "AIDE" par SMS à XXXXX. Lorsque nous recevrons un message "AIDE", nous vous fournirons des instructions sur la façon d'utiliser ce service et comment vous désinscrire.
- The following statement, verbatim:
Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
- A “message and data rates” statement, accompanied by a “message frequency” statement. For example:
As always, message and data rates may apply for messages sent and received. You will receive approximately three messages per week. If you have questions about your text or data plan, please contact your wireless provider.
- A support email address and phone number that short code message recipients can use to contact you.
Example messaging policy section for a Terms & Conditions page
Plivo offers an SMS messaging service. You can opt in to our services by texting “PLIVO” 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.
Carriers are 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. If you have 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 message to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. After this, you will no longer receive SMS messages from us.
Guidelines for web-form opt-in
Carriers look for specific language on the opt-in web form. You must provide a link to your web form or a screenshot of the form with the application. The web form must include these four elements:
- Opt-out and help keywords in BOLD capital letters.
- The short code that will be used to send messages.
- The frequency at which the end users will receive messages.
Guidelines for keywords
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.
Response: Thank you for 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.
Response: Plivo: For HELP, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Text STOP to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency may vary per user.
Response: Plivo: You have been unsubscribed from xxx and will no longer receive messages. Reply HELP for help. Reply PLIVO to resume services.
Response: Plivo : Pour obtenir de l'AIDE, vous pouvez nous envoyer un email à email@example.com. Textez STOP pour annuler. Des tarifs message et data peuvent s'appliquer. La fréquence des messages peut varier selon l'utilisateur.
Response: Plivo : Vous avez été désabonné de xxx et ne recevrez plus de messages. Répondez AIDE pour obtenir de l'aide. Répondez PLIVO pour reprendre les services.
Response: Pour obtenir de l'INFO, vous pouvez nous envoyer un email à firstname.lastname@example.org. Textez STOP pour annuler. Des tarifs message et data peuvent s'appliquer. La fréquence des messages peut varier selon l'utilisateur.