What are the opt-in requirements for Canada short codes?

Canadian wireless carriers require that all short code advertisements and opt-in message flows meet certain criteria. Twilio recommends that your short code advertisements and opt-in message flows follow the examples provided below in order to meet carriers’ compliance standards.

Please note: the character limit for Canada short code SMS is 136 characters. Messages with more than 136 characters will not be delivered.

Short Code Advertisement (also known as “Call to Action” or CTA) Guidelines

The wording of your short code advertisement (also known as a Call to Action, or CTA) will vary depending on the sign up method, since it tells users how to opt into a short code campaign. An SMS Keyword Call to Action, for example, should look like this:

Text {Keyword} to ##### to sign up for alerts.

For all sign up methods, the following language must appear wherever the short code is advertised (on the web, in print, etc):

Standard message and data rates may apply. {Message frequency}. Text HELP to ##### for help. Text STOP to ##### to cancel. For terms: {URL to SMS terms of service}. For privacy: {URL to privacy policy}

Your website must also display a mailing address for your business.

Keep the following points in mind when writing your Call to Action:

• Message frequency must be specific, for example: “1 message/day” or “4 messages/month.” If the message frequency will vary, it must be user-prompted (for example, “1 message/user request”). Note: the abbreviation “msgs” is not accepted; please use “msg” instead.
• The words “HELP” and “STOP” must appear in bold.

Opt-In Guidelines

Users can opt into a short code several ways: by sending a text message or opting in from a mobile app (Handset Opt-In); or by signing up on a web site, filling out a paper form, making a verbal agreement, or otherwise opting in without using a handset (Non-Handset Opt-in). In each case, the campaign’s opt-in message flow must meet certain compliance standards set by the wireless carriers. Be sure to follow these opt-in compliance guidelines carefully:

Handset Opt-In

When a user signs up from a mobile handset, a double opt-in process is advised, but not required. A compliant message flow should look like this:

End user: {Keyword}
Short code: Welcome to {Campaign Name} {Description} Alerts! Std msg&data rates may apply.
{Message frequency} Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.

Non-Handset Opt-In

When a user initially signs up by any means other than from a mobile handset, a double opt-in process is required. A compliant message flow should look like this:

(End user signs up without using mobile handset, and receives a text message from the short code asking to confirm opt-in)
Short code: Text YES to join {Campaign Name} {Description} Alerts. Std msg&data rates may apply. {Message frequency} Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.
End user: YES
Short code: Welcome to {Campaign Name} {Description} Alerts! Std msg&data rates may apply.
{Message frequency} Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.

Note: Rather than confirming opt-in with a text message keyword such as YES, users may confirm by entering a verification code online instead. Once the verification code has been entered, a compliant welcome message must be sent to the handset.

You can review other short code compliance guidelines here.

Please note: These guidelines are based on carrier conditions of short code service and other industry standards. Your company is required to comply with these guidelines in the use of any Twilio-provided short code. Each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time.