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Short codes

  • How much does a shortcode cost?

    Plivo currently offers shortcodes in the US & Canada. A shortcode is a five or six-digit number that can send and receive SMS (and MMS) to and from mobile phones. Shortcodes are recommended for high volume applications. 

    Plivo shortcodes can send 100 messages per second by default. This limit can be raised for an additional fee.

    How much does a shortcode cost?

    Plivo shortcodes have one-time setup fees, regularly billed service charges and per-message usage charges. Here’s a breakdown of all fees and charges.

    One-time Setup Fees

    The following fees are charged once when setting up a shortcode with Plivo:

    Country

    Fee type

    One-time cost

    USA

    Set-up fee

    $1500

    Canada

    Set-up fee

    $4000

     

    Shortcode Recurring Charges

    Shortcode leases and service charges are billed on a quarterly basis (once every three months) or on an annual basis (once every year). 

    Country

    Shortcode type

    Cost

    USA

    Regular (random number)

    $1500/quarter

    Vanity

    $3000/quarter

    Canada

    Regular (random number)

    $2800/4 month

     

    Shortcode Message Pricing

    Shortcode usage is billed at a per-message rate

    Country

    Message  type

    Cost

    USA 

    SMS

    US pricing

    Canada

    SMS

    Canada pricing

    Additional carrier passthrough fees: Some carriers have passthrough fees charged on a per-message basis which will be added to your message cost based on the carrier and message type.

    Shortcode Carrier Passthrough Fees

    Country

    Message type

    Cost

    US

    SMS

    US pricing

    Canada

    SMS

    Canada pricing

  • How long does the carrier approval process take?

    The standard timeline for a carrier to complete the shortcode approval process is between four to six weeks. Our team does their best to expedite carrier approval, however, under some extreme circumstances, the process can take longer.

    We work closely with carriers and will provide updates on your shortcode’s status as they come in. If at any point you have questions, please feel free to contact us.

     

     

  • How do I procure a new shortcode?

    If you would like to procure a new shortcode, please reach out to our sales team. The team will brief you through the entire process of procurement from start to finish. 

    Learn more about the shortcode compliance, in our guide to best practices for shortcode

      

  • Can I transfer my CSCA shortcode lease to Plivo?

    Yes, you can. You will need to provide a receipt from CSCA (usshortcodes.com) showing at least three months of leasing for your shortcode. Contact sales and we can help you get the process started.

    For our complete guide to porting a shortcode, please check the shortcode port-in page.

     

  • What are the shortcode HELP and STOP messages requirements?

    The shortcode HELP and STOP messages are a line of text that tells an end-user how to get help related to an SMS campaign or how to stop or unsubscribe from the campaign. This message is a mandatory requirement and must be included in all SMS campaigns using US shortcodes.

    HELP message text

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

    STOP message text

    Stop messages must include some type of helpful information in addition to confirming the opt-out.

    An example of a 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 include: STOP ALL, END, QUIT, CANCEL, UNSUB, and UNSUBSCRIBE

    We will work with you to help achieve compliance with help and stop messages. Note that in addition to HELP and STOP messages, all shortcode messages need to state the following:

    1. “Message and data rates may apply” * The specific expected message frequency the user will receive. (e.g., “1 message/day”, “5 messages/month”, “1 message/user request”)
    2. “Text HELP to [your shortcode #] for help.” (note that HELP must appear in bold)
    3. “Text STOP to [your shortcode #] to cancel.” (note that STOP must appear in bold)
    4. URL of the SMS terms of service
    5. URL of your privacy policy 

     Please note that Plivo does not control carrier regulations and is not in a position to interpret any laws, rules, or regulations. Plivo will work with you and the carrier to help you become compliant. However, it is important that customers seek legal counsel to clarify laws and regulations as they apply to your company’s specific practices. Each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time.

  • What are the shortcode supported countries? What is the MPS for shortcode?

    We currently offer shortcodes in the US and Canada. We expect to be able to make shortcodes available soon in the UK and other countries. 

    Our shortcode default base rate is 50 SMS per second with higher rates available upon request. Please contact sales to increase your sending rate.

  • 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.

     

     

  • What are the different ways to opt-in?

    New users can opt-in to receive messages and call from your business through the three following options: 

    • Keyword opt-in: for instance, “text START to 75486 to subscribe to our notification services.”
    • Web opt-in: users sign up through a web form. They can subscribe to your notifications services while registering for an account through your website or by changing their notification preferences in the account settings.
    • Paper opt-in: users sign up by filling out a paper form at a store/kiosk. 

    Web opt-in

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

    • 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.
    • A list of participating carriers.
    • A link to the terms and conditions and privacy policy pages.

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

    You will receive up to five 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.

    Screen_Shot_2020-04-03_at_2.09.38_PM.png 

    Keyword opt-in 

    Keywords are mandatory for all services delivered through a shortcode. Your messaging service must support keywords that trigger opt-in, opt-out and help commands. When a user texts any of the supported keywords, the service must have an auto-response that contains specific language around messaging frequency and messaging rates.

    Here are a few examples: 

    Keyword: START

    Response: Thank you for 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.

  • How to write compliant terms & conditions for your shortcode application

    Carriers insist that specific language must be present in your publicly available terms & conditions and privacy policy. Both of these documents are required as part of your shortcode application. There are a few things you must include in your terms and conditions and privacy policy to be compliant with regulations. Please adhere to the following recommendations.  

    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.

  • Can I port an existing shortcode to Plivo?

    Yes, you can port an existing shortcode to Plivo. To do so, we will need the following details: 

    1. The authorization of the shortcode in CSCA. This authorization can be submitted right from the customer portal (CSCA) without needing to submit legal documentation.
    2. A three-month payment receipt. If payments were made on a quarterly basis, we need one receipt. If the payments were made on a monthly basis, we need three receipts. The receipt must be the most recent receipt with all the correct information.
    3. The shortcode number.

    Please note that we do not port in shared shortcodes. 

    Once we have all the details listed above, we will submit the campaign to the carriers. It usually takes four to six weeks for the port to be completed. For more information on the carrier review process, please refer to this article.

  • What are the benefits of having a shortcode?

    Shortcodes are the easiest way for a business to send and receive SMS messages at scale. With a default base rate of 50 SMS per second (higher rates available upon request), Plivo’s shortcode service is perfect for time-sensitive info that needs to reach large audiences. Unlike regular phone numbers, shortcodes are not tied to an area code and can be used as a memorable unique identifier across the entire country.

    Under the US carrier regulations, only shortcodes are allowed for application-to-person (A2P) communications. Long codes are only allowed for person-to-person communication (P2P). Carrier regulations also require that the ratio of inbound to outbound SMS for long codes be better than 1:3, while there are no such restrictions on shortcodes. Long codes are also tied to an area code, whereas a shortcode remains the same nationwide. It’s for these reasons that businesses that need to communicate to customers on a large scale exclusively use shortcodes. We have two main shortcode offerings: vanity shortcodes and random shortcodes.

    For more information, please refer to this article: What is the difference between a shortcode vs a long code?

  • What happens during the carrier approval process?

    All shortcodes must be reviewed by mobile carriers before they can be used. There are two parts of the approval process that take place after you’ve submitted your application for a Plivo shortcode.

    Plivo review process (about 1-1.5 weeks):

    Plivo will review your entire application and help you refine it before submitting your application to the carriers. This helps speed up the process. Rental fees, hosting, and set-up charges will be collected at this time.

    Carrier review process (4 to 6 weeks):

    Carriers then review your application form and any related websites or mobile apps. If questions arise, we will work with the carrier to answer them. The carriers will also add the shortcode to their networks and test it at this time. Upon final carrier approval, your shortcode will go live. Then we will notify you that your shortcode is ready to be used.

    Note: Carriers also require leasing payments upfront in minimum 3-month payment intervals. Therefore, all fees will be charged upon your application submission. You will be billed for your shortcode from the beginning of the application process onward. In the event that your application is not approved or delayed, we will work with you to edit or resubmit another application.

    Please note that Plivo does not control carrier regulations and is not in a position to interpret any laws, rules, or regulations. Plivo will work with you and the carrier to help address any shortcode compliance issues; however, it is important that our customers seek legal counsel in regard to laws, regulations, and to your company’s specific practices. Each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time.

    For more best practices regarding shortcodes, please read this article or visit the following page: https://www.mmaglobal.com/policies/code-of-conduct

  • What happens when my shortcode is audited?

    Your shortcode may be subject to an audit by the CTIA or by individual carriers for compliance purposes. Plivo takes a proactive approach to ensure that your campaign is compliant. In the event that a shortcode is found to be non-compliant, we will work with you to remedy the situation. You are typically given 48-72 hours to resolve any issues. If the issue(s) have not been resolved within the given deadline, your shortcode will be at risk of suspension.

    Visit our Shortcode Compliance Guidelines page for more info.

  • What is the difference between a shortcode vs a long code?

    Shortcodes enable your application to send SMS at 50 messages per second. Conversely, a long code can send five messages per second. 

    Shortcodes are perfect for applications that need to send SMS messages to lots of users, or that need to send many time-sensitive messages. Based on the type of application you build and the messages you're sending, a shortcode may be the only type of number that can support your use case. Applications that are best on a shortcode are, for example, marketing communications, large-volume messaging, one-way notifications to users, and SMS marketing messages.

    Shortcodes are not location-specific and can be used nationwide. At the moment, Plivo only provides shortcodes for the US and Canada. A shortcode will only able to send and messages from same-country phone numbers on operator networks that have approved the shortcode, as they are provisioned on a country-to-country basis.

    For international destinations, you will have to use regular phone numbers.

     

    Long codes

    Shortcodes

    What is it?

    A unique ten-digit phone number that’s tied to an area code (e.g., +1-415-484-7489)

    A five to six-digit number that can be used nationwide. For example, PLIVO (75486)

    When do I need it?

    P2P communication: when a person interacts with another person. e.g. Google Voice.

    A2P communication: when an application interacts with a person. e.g. notifications.

    What apps can I build?

    Group messaging, agent-to-person apps, peer-to-peer apps.

    Marketing campaigns, alerts, confirmations, two-factor authentication.

    How fast can I send my SMS?

    5 SMS/second. Carrier regulations do not allow long codes to be used for SMS broadcasting.

    Default base rate is 50 SMS per second. To increase this rate, please contact Sales.

    Are there limitations on my SMS traffic pattern?

    Carrier regulations require that the ratio of inbound to outbound SMS traffic be better than 1:3.

    This means you may not send more than 200 SMS per day per long code number

    No limitations.

    How much does this cost?

    Check out our SMS rates on our pricing page.

    Check out our shortcode page for complete pricing details.

     

  • What is a shortcode?

    A shortcode is a five or six-digit number (e.g., 12345) used to send to and receive SMS messages from mobile phones. Shortcodes are allowed for Application to Person (A2P) communication, which is why businesses that need to communicate to customers on a large scale can only use shortcodes (and not long codes). Plivo offers dedicated shortcodes for your business needs. 

    Read more: what is the difference between a shortcode vs a long code? 

    Contact our dedicated sales team if you have any questions about anything related to Plivo shortcodes.