What are Short Code HELP and STOP messages and what are the requirements?

The Short Code HELP and STOP message is a line of text that tells the end user how to get help regarding the SMS Short Code campaign and how to stop or unsubscribe from the campaign. This message is a mandatory requirement and needs to be included in all SMS campaigns using US Short Codes.

A typical SMS Short Code campaign message that includes a HELP and STOP message may resemble the following:

“Welcome to Company X’s discount alerts! Message and data rates may apply. You will receive 1 message per day. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel. [URL of the SMS terms of service] [URL of your privacy policy]”

Below is the flow and message requirements for HELP and STOP messages.

HELP Message

  1. During a SMS Short Code campaign, the end user replies to your Short Code with HELP or INFO

  2. Your app must reply with: “[Company Campaign Name] [Description of Campaign]: Help at [state method of getting help] or [company toll-free number] Message and data rates may apply. [Message frequency] Reply STOP to cancel. [URL of the SMS terms of service] [URL of your privacy policy]”

STOP Message

  1. During a SMS Short Code campaign, the end user replies to your Short Code with “STOP” or END, QUIT, CANCEL, OR UNSUBSCRIBE.

  2. Your app must reply with: “[Company Campaign Name] [Description of Campaign]: No more messages will be sent. Reply HELP for help or call [company toll-free number] [URL of the SMS terms of service] [URL of your privacy policy]”

See What are Opt-Out Requests and how do I manage them? for more info.

We will work with you towards compliance. However, in addition to HELP and STOP messages all messages need to state the following:

  • “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”)

  • “Text HELP to [your Short Code #] for help.” (note that HELP must appear in bold)

  • “Text STOP to [your Short Code #] to cancel.” (note that STOP must appear in bold)

  • URL of the SMS terms of service

  • 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 our customer seek legal counsel on how laws and regulations apply to your company’s specific practices. Also, each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time.

For best practices please visit the following resources: