START and STOP Trigger Words

Cell Carriers have standard opt-in and opt-out trigger words, so Shout Bots can’t use them.

Your text conversations need to comply with Spam laws and respect the wishes of your contacts. As a business practice, you don’t want to waste messages on people who don’t want to buy your product, or upset the people do want to buy from you!

Opt-in and Opt-out carrier words

Cell Carriers reserve certain words to help their customers control their own inboxes. When they detect an opt-out word, they will add the sender’s number to a blacklist and prevent future messages from being delivered. Standard opt-out words include STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, and QUIT.

Similarly, there is a set of opt-in words that carriers recognize and will whitelist future messages and ensure delivery. They include START, YES, and UNSTOP. 

Don’t use these as Bot trigger words

Shout Bots shouldn’t share these trigger words! You don’t want a customer who is trying to trigger your bot to get cut off accidentally by their own cell carrier. Shout automatically prevents you from using some of these trigger words, but the best option is to use your own subscription opt-in and out triggers for your bots.

For example, a VIP bot

If you have a VIP group where you promote products or sales, you need to:

  1. Have a clear opt-in message for contacts when they join
  2. Regularly remind your users how to unsubscribe

Beyond being considerate to your customers and good for your business, it’s the law! Here’s how to do both effectively:

Opt-in messages

New subscribers to your VIP group should know that they’ve signed up to receive regular messages from you. The best way to handle that is to automate it directly in your bots! Simply include a message in your bot that lets your contact know that they’ll be receiving regular messages from you, and they can opt-out in the future with a specific trigger. Make sure to set up an opt-out bot as well with a unique trigger like UNVIP to leave the group.

Remind contacts how to leave

After a while, a contact may forget they subscribed to your notifications, or just decide they don’t want to receive further messages from you. It’s a good practice to identify yourself with every message, and every so often to remind people how to opt-out. This will prevent them from using carrier opt-outs (like STOP), which can impact your ability to reach them or other contacts on the same carrier in the future.

The Golden Rule of Business Texting

At the end of the day, you know what it’s like to get spammy text messages. Now that you’re familiar with more of the structure of opt-ins and outs, you’re able to give your customers a better experience.

For more about Spam compliance, see the Shout Terms of Service

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