Carriers require specific verbiage to be inserted into the first message that mobile users receive from a service so that they can easily get assistance (HELP) or unsubscribe (STOP, QUIT or CANCEL) from receiving the messages. A violation, i.e., not including the required wording, can result in the short code being disconnected by the carrier. Accordingly, TextPower enforces this requirement for users of our shared short codes in order to protect all of the other users of the shared short code. For users of shared short codes the verbiage can be placed in an auto-welcome message or in the keyword reply message (more details below).
TextPower customers who use their own dedicated short code or a dedicated toll-free number (TFN) are allowed more flexibility because if the code gets disconnected it only affects them. Adhering to the carrier requirements, while advised, isn't enforced by TextPower for dedicated short code or TFN users.
In either case we strongly recommend that our customer put the required verbiage Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for more, QUIT to opt-out. in the auto-welcome message if they are using one. The auto-welcome message is a unique and useful option for TextPower customers. It is sent only one time - when the customer first opts in - and if used then the required verbiage does not have to be included in the keyword reply message. This leaves much more room in the keyword reply message for pertinent information about the service as the required verbiage is 65 characters. If the customer elects to not use the auto-welcome function then the required verbiage must be in the keyword reply message.
Two important notes here:
- The keyword reply message is the message sent in response to the keyword being texted into the short code. Anytime the keyword is texted into the shared short code, even if that mobile number is already opted in, this is the response that will be sent. That is why it is more helpful to put the carrier-required verbiage in an auto-welcome message which only gets sent once; there is no sense consuming valuable characters in a message limited to 160 characters (although there are exceptions to this) - as long as the customer has received the information about the message and data rates, finding help and unsubscribing in the first message there is no need to repeat it in every message.
- The auto-welcome message is sent only when the mobile user is opted in by texting the keyword, their number is added by a partner service (e.g., an OMS or IVR provider) or their mobile number is added using TextPower's AlertManager application. It is not sent if a customer is opted in uploading a file to our system using the bulk opt-in process. If you are using our file upload/sync feature to opt-in mobile numbers no message will be sent so we strongly recommend that you compose and send a "welcome" or introductory message to those newly opted-in numbers that includes your company name and the required verbiage (shown in red, above).
Other articles that may be relevant to this question: