Subscription Management and Keywords

Subscription Management - Overview

SMS Subscription Management enables customers to opt-in or opt-out of receiving SMS notifications. MoEngage complies with the United States SMS regulations. For more information on the regulations, refer to SMS Regulations in the US.

Subscription management begins when the customer signs up to receive communication from the brand and ends when the customer cancels the same.

Opt-ins and Types

Opt-In means that the user has consented (or opted-in) to receive messages from the brand. MoEngage supports single and double opt-ins.

  • Single Opt-in - In a single opt-in process, users turn into subscribers and receive a confirmation text when they text a keyword or submit an opt-in form. They are not required to confirm their opt-in.Single_Opt-In_Flow.png
  • Double Opt-in - In a double opt-in process, users need to confirm that they would like to receive text messages from the brand by opting in. When a user texts a keyword or submits an opt-in form, they are sent an opt-in text to which they must reply with ‘YES’ or a similar keyword. Their opt-in status will be set to opt-in pending until they reply. Once the user replies with the specific opt-in keyword, they will be considered to have opted in and will receive the confirmation text for the same. Click here to learn about how to create event triggered campaigns for a double opt-in process with MoEngage.

    Double opt-in is a recommended practice but is not mandatory. Even though using double opt-in is not a legal requirement of the TCPA, it creates a digital trail and proof of customers' written permission to receive text marketing updates and protects your brand from unnecessary compliance hurdles.



When to use a single opt-in flow?

In a text-to-join program(where a customer signs up to receive messages from the brand using SMS), a keyword is initiated from the subscriber’s mobile phone, and a single opt-in flow will meet the compliance requirements. Single opt-in is commonly used for text-to-join programs.

When to use a double opt-in flow?

A double opt-in is a confirmation process where the customer's express consent is sought. It is recommended for opt-in forms such as a web form-based opt-in or imports. Double opt-in is used primarily when the users submit their mobile numbers on online forms.

MoEngage Subscription Management and Keywords use a single opt-in flow as the keywords originate from the user’s mobile device. If you’re using Sign-up unit templates through On-site messaging on the web, a double opt-in flow is initiated to be compliant with TCPA guidelines.

Ways to get Opt-Ins

MoEngage allows two ways to get opt-ins from users and they are Keywords and Sign-up units.


MoEngage uses Keywords (a set of single words that are used to track the user's SMS Subscription Status)to track the consent information of the customer. Keywords are of two types:

  • A standard set of reserved words such as START, STOP, HELP, INFO, and so on.
  • Custom single words such as BALANCE, 25OFF, and so on.

Keyword Categories and Auto Responders

Keywords can be categorized as Opt-In, Opt-Out, Help, and so on. Keywords and keyword categories can be added and configured in MoEngage. For every keyword category, a list of keywords and an auto-response message can be added.

Auto response messages are automated messages that will be sent when the users respond with any of the keywords in the keyword categories. For example, 'Reply with START to subscribe' could be added as part of the message sent to the customer to categorically seek their informed consent.

When the customer replies with any of the keywords that have been configured, MoEngage will track the response and update the standard user attribute SMS Subscription Status.

For more information on adding keywords and keyword categories, refer to Keyword Management.

Opt-in Status

MoEngage tracks customer consent in the standard user attribute SMS Subscription Status, which can have the following statuses.

Status Description
OPTIN MoEngage has gotten consent from users to receive SMS notifications.
OPTOUT MoEngage has gotten confirmation that the users do not wish to receive SMS notifications.
OPT-IN PENDING MoEngage has gotten confirmation that the user has signed up to receive the SMS notifications but has not explicitly consented to receive SMS notifications.
EMPTY MoEngage has not gotten informed consent from the user to receive SMS notifications. For example, first-time users.

Migrate Opt-ins

MoEngage provides a standard attribute called SMS Subscription Status where you can update your user's opt-in preferences.

You can do it using either of the following methods:

  • User Import/Update feature that MoEngage provides under Segment->Import Users on MoEngage Dashboard. The attribute that needs to be updated is SMS Subscription Status. Read more about it here.
  • User Update APIs to send it directly from your Apps or Backend systems to MoEngage. The attribute you should update via API is moe_sms_subscription. Click here for the API documentation.

Storage of SMS Subscription Preferences

MoEngage stores the SMS subscription preferences of all the users in the backend permanently.  However, this data is visible in the UI for a period of nine months. Brands can fetch this historical subscription preference data upon request.



MoEngage natively integrates with Twilio and Sinch and manages the subscriptions and keywords. MoEngage does not support Subscription and Keyword Management for custom connectors/service providers.

SMS Sign-up Units

Sign-up units are forms filled out by customers to subscribe to receiving text messages from the brand. The MoEngage platform allows marketers to create, design, and manage the sign-up units and add automation for welcome flows directly. Sign-up units can be used to grow the subscriber lists and convert website and app visitors to SMS subscribers. Sign-up units are designed to remain TCPA compliant through in-built legal text, terms of service, and privacy policy placeholders in our templates.

Configuring Sign-up Units

In-App templates can be used to nudge mobile app users to sign-up for SMS; click here for more information. On-Site Messaging Templates can be used to convert website visitors to SMS subscribers; click here for more information.

Impact on Campaigns

When the SMS Subscription Management Toggle is enabled:

  • MoEngage will drop users with subscription status as 'EMPTY', 'OPT-IN PENDING', and 'OPTOUT' from campaigns and mark them as 'Not Reachable via SMS'.
  • For active campaigns(periodic or event-triggered campaigns), the users who have SMS Subscription Status as 'EMPTY', 'OPT-IN PENDING', and 'OPTOUT' will be dropped in the next instance when the campaign is run.

Using Event-Triggered Campaigns for Opt-In Pending Users

When a user has signed up to receive SMS notifications but has not expressly consented to receive SMS notifications, marketers can send a message to acquire consent via keywords.

For example, the double opt-in flow described above. When a user subscribes to SMS notifications externally, an Opt_In Pending event must be fired to inform MoEngage that the user has performed such an action. Marketers can send event-triggered campaigns to such users checking if the user has executed the Opt-In Pending event in the trigger criteria as shown below. 


Overruling Preference Management Settings

To overrule preference management settings for such an event triggered campaign, enable the 'Send campaign to the users opted out in preference management' toggle in the Select audience section, as shown below.




Users who are yet to give their express consent for receiving SMS notifications can only be sent a consent acquisition message, and this is limited to one message for every user initiation.

MoEngage will now set the standard user attribute SMS Subscription Status to OPT-IN PENDING. When the user replies with any keyword from the Opt-in category, only then will the user be considered to have subscribed to the SMS notifications. MoEngage will set the attribute SMS Subscription Status as OPTIN here.

For more information, refer to Create SMS Campaign.

Adding Opt-out Instructions

You can add the opt-out instruction in the SMS content. This is used to let the user know how they can unsubscribe from receiving SMS notifications.



It is recommended that this instruction be included once in every four or five campaigns.


Impact on Preference Management

SMS Subscription Management settings overrule the Preference Management settings for SMS.  For more information, refer to Preference Management for SMS.

The settings cannot be changed in Preference Management when SMS Subscription Management is enabled, as shown below.


SMS Reachability in the User Profile

You can view the status of users who have subscribed or have not subscribed to the SMS notifications under 'Reachability' in the User Profile. For more information on user profiles, refer to User Profile


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