Managing Short Code Messaging Programs
Getting started in mobile messaging is exciting, but it can also be stressful. The mobile ecosystem is complex and there are many moving parts.
This topic helps you to understand the essential steps in designing, launching, and running a mobile messaging program in the US. By reading this before you get started, you'll be prepared to move through the process efficiently and launch on time.
In addition to the information provided here, see the Common Short Code Administration website for details about obtaining and using short codes in the US.
This illustration outlines the main steps in the process.
The lifecycle begins with the consultation and contract phase with your Infobip account executive, then commences with program brief development, approval, provisioning, testing, and certification. All these steps must be completed before your program is launched.
Step 1: Consult, select products, and sign contract
Objective: Ensure that your business and Infobip are well matched for a long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnership
During this consultation, you'll work with an Infobip account executive to define the objectives of your mobile messaging program. Once complete, we'll work with you to finalize the contract.
Step 2: Create a program brief, website, and get a short code
Objective: Prepare your program brief and build your website
In this step, you'll work with your Implementation Consultant to obtain a short code (if you haven’t already done so) and design a program brief and website. Both the short code and program brief must be complete before engaging mobile operators for their review and approval.
The CSCA—Common Short Code Administration—is the organization that leases short codes. You can lease a short code yourself or we will help you lease one. Please advise us if you have already acquired your short code or if you are migrating from another aggregator.
Your program brief is an important document. It describes your mobile messaging program in detail, including the user experience (for example, call to action, opt-in, opt-out, and message flow) and information about how the service will be promoted. We will assist you in developing your brief to ensure that your message flow descriptions are complete and clear. You’ll have access to our web-based US Sender Registration app where you can provide the needed details.
We aim to ensure that your program brief is not delayed due to mobile operator questions or requests for information. Your program brief must meet CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) guidelines as well as operator-specific regulations and requirements.
Step 3: Get mobile operator approvals
Objective: Receive mobile operator approval and get provisioned
Once your program brief and supporting website is complete and compliant, we'll submit them to mobile operators for approval.
The mobile operators will review your program brief and website for compliance with guidelines and regulations. When a mobile operator grants ‘commercial approval’ of your program brief and website, you can assume that you comply. At this point, the mobile operator will establish a connection on their network to Infobip for your specific short code. When your program has reached this state we say it’s been "technically provisioned".
In the case where a mobile operator requests more information, we will work with you to make whatever changes are needed to the program brief to ensure its approval.
Step 4: Test your program
Objective: Prepare for mobile operator certification
Some mobile operators, including AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon, require certification testing. (Verizon requires testing only for MMS programs.)
An Infobip Certification Tester will contact you when the carriers are ready to test, and if any issues occur during testing that require your attention. You’ll also receive notification once testing has been completed.
Your service will need to function exactly how it is described in the program brief. It is imperative that no changes to the message flow and website are made during this phase. Any deviation from the information submitted in your program brief will result in delays or possibly a rejection.
Step 5: Launch your program!
Objective: Get certified and launch your messaging program
Once your program is provisioned with all carriers, and it passes certification, you’re ready to run live traffic!
If one or more mobile operators do not certify your program, the Infobip Certification Tester will contact you and advise what changes are necessary.
Step 6: Monitor your program
Objective: Stay in compliance, monitor performance, and consider enhancements
Once your mobile program goes live, we still need to monitor it to stay in compliance with industry and mobile operator requirements.
Compliance updates — CTIA and mobile operators revise their guidelines from time to time, and you will want to ensure that all of your services remain compliant. Infobip will distribute any new guidelines and will be available on our website, enabling you to make the necessary updates to your service (if applicable). For managed clients, you will receive notification via your Account Executives. For Self Service clients, you will receive a notification email. Note that changes are also published in SMS Coverage and Connectivity.
Audits — The CTIA can audit mobile programs, and will notify you directly if it chooses to audit yours. The audit will contain instructions with the changes needed. If you have any questions regarding the audit, your Account Executive will be available for assistance.
Changes to service — Please contact your Account Executive in the event of any significant changes to your mobile program. If you need to make any changes, your Account Executive can assist you in amending your campaign.
Your Infobip team will maintain an ongoing dialog with you about the performance of your program, as well as how you would like it to evolve and what other Infobip products and services might enhance your offerings. This may lead back to Step 1, where you and your Account Executive explore a new or amended contract and initiate the lifecycle again.