What are the requirements for US short code advertisements and opt-in forms?

Carriers require specific information be included wherever the short code is advertised, or where users are invited to sign up for short code messages. This can be paper forms, web pages or any other method through which the end user submits their phone number and will receive a message from a short code as a result. Your company is required to comply with these guidelines in the use of any Twilio-provided short code.

Advertisements and opt-in forms are also known as Calls to Action, or CTAs. The wording of your short code 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 (with your information in the blanks) must appear wherever the short code is advertised (on the web, in print, etc):

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}

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 is dependent on the user, use “1 message/user request”.
  • Twilio provides sample compliant terms and privacy language, which can be integrated directly into an existing terms page.
  • STOP” must appear in bold anywhere it is displayed.

You may also wish to review the CTIA’s Mobile Commerce Compliance Handbook and the MMA’s Best Practices Guide.

Please note: These guidelines are based on carrier conditions of short code service and other industry standards. Each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time. Twilio is not in a position to interpret any laws, rules, or regulations and is providing this information only as a courtesy.  It is very important that customers seek legal counsel for any questions about how the CTIA and other laws will apply to a company’s specific practices.