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Industry standards for Mandatory keyword responses required in Canada (HELP, AIDE, INFO, STOP, ARRET)

Per Twilio’s Acceptable Use Policy, your company is required to comply with the wireless carrier compliance rules, industry standards, as well as applicable law, in the use of any Twilio-provided short code.  To comply with industry standards, the application you use to manage your Canadian short code messaging campaign must be built to respond to the five mandatory keywords HELP, AIDE, INFO, STOP and ARRET. The generated responses to these keywords must respond back with all of the necessary disclaimers as well as in the appropriate language (ie: French keywords should respond in French, while English keywords respond in English). All 5 mandatory keyword responses must contain no more than 160 characters. 

The industry standards for mandatory keyword responses can be found on the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) website located here. We've also included examples for each mandatory keyword below. 


STOP/ARRET Message Guidelines

A compliant response is required whenever users text either STOP or ARRET to your short code, regardless of whether the user was subscribed to the program previously. The response to STOP must be in English, and the response to ARRET must be in French. Example: 

    • Short code: You are unsubscribed from {Campaign Name} Alerts, no more msg will be sent. Reply HELP for help or {source of help 1}. Std msg&data rates may apply.
  • End user: ARRET
    • Short code: Vous êtes désabonné des alertes {Nom de la campagne}, aucun autre message ne sera envoyé. Répondez AIDE pour obtenir de l'aide ou {source d'aide 1}. Des tarifs standard de messagerie et de données peuvent s'appliquer.

Whenever an end user texts a non-supported keyword, your short code is required to respond as follows:

  • End user: (Invalid Keyword)
    • Short code: {Campaign Name} Alerts: Invalid keyword, please try again. Std msg&data rates may apply.

Managing Opt-Out Requests

Unlike on long codes, Twilio does not manage opt-out requests for short codes. Your short code must independently manage subscription lists and requests from end-users to re-opt in.

A key compliance requirement for text messaging campaigns is allowing recipients of your text messages to opt-out of receiving messages by sending the keyword STOP or ARRET to your short code.

HELP/AIDE/INFO Message Guidelines

A compliant response is required whenever users text the words HELP, INFO, or AIDE to your short code, regardless of whether the user is subscribed to the program. The response to HELP must be in English, while the response to AIDE must be in French. The response to INFO must be bilingual and list the Content Provider company name as well as the customer service contact information in both English and French. Example: 

  • End user: HELP
    • Short code:  {Campaign Name} Alerts: Help at {source of help 1}. Std msg&data rates may apply. {Message frequency}. Reply STOP to cancel.
  • End user: AIDE
    • Short code: Alertes de {Nom de la campagne}: Pour de l’aide, {source d'aide 1}. {Message frequency}. Répondez ARRET pour désabonner.
  • End user: INFO
    • Short code: {Campaign Name} Alerts: For support, please email {source of help 1} | Alertes de {Nom de la campagne}: pour de l’aide: {source d'aide 1}.


These guidelines are based on industry standards for Canada short code service. We recommend that you review the full set of industry standards at the CWTA’s website.  You should expect that your short code campaign will be audited for compliance with industry standards.  Nonetheless, please note that each carrier reserves the right to suspend short code service for any user at any time, so compliance with the above guidelines is not a guarantee against suspension of service by a carrier.

In addition to the industry standards, there may be compliance requirements under Canadian law, including the Canadian Anti-SPAM Law (CASL), depending on the nature of your text messaging campaign.  The specific legal compliance requirements will depend on the details of your text message campaign, and you should consult with your legal counsel to ensure that your text messaging campaign complies with the wireless carriers standards, industry standards, and with the law applicable to your campaign.

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