Texting and Opt Out Status

Texting and Opt Out Status

When determining whether or not to opt students into receiving text messages, there are many ethical and legal questions to consider. Please refer to these resources for more information:

How Students Can Opt Out of Receiving Text Messages

After students are opted in, there are two ways that they can be opted out of receiving texts from Cadence:

Automatic opt out

Students can opt out by replying to a text sent from Cadence with one of these trigger words: STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT. The student will receive one final automated message confirming that the opt out has occurred.
The student will be opted-out of receiving texts from anyone in that department. Additionally, if that staff member/phone number exists in another department, the student will be opted-out of receiving texts from that person.
Note: The trigger word can be any capitalization, however, the text message must only contain the word itself. 

Staff-initiated opt out

Within Cadence, any user can go into the student’s conversation view (or Students > Search) and click [ OPT-OUT].
The student will be opted-out of receiving texts from anyone in that department.

A few words to keep in mind when texting students

Students will also be prompted with an automated message from their carrier about how to Opt Out should they use one of these carrier trigger words, "HELP" and "INFO". If students reply with either of these two words, the carrier will intercept the message and prompt them with an automatic response letting them know how to Opt Out.

To avoid students accidentally opting themselves out of messages or having their messages intercepted by the carrier, learn more about what words to avoid when texting.

Opting Students Back In

Students can be opted back into receiving text messages, and the process varies depending on how the student initially opted out.

If the student opted out via automatic opt out

The student can text the word START, YES, or UNSTOP (just the word; any capitalization is accepted) to the virtual number he/she initially opted out of. This opts the student back into receiving text messages within the department and the staff member can begin texting the student once again.

Note: The student will receive the following confirmation message: “You have successfully been re-subscribed to messages from this number. Reply HELP for help. Reply STOP to unsubscribe. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.”

If the student opted out via staff-initiated opt out

A staff member can go into the student’s conversation view and click the toggle next to “OPTED-OUT” to opt the student back in.

Note: If the student opted out via staff-initiated opt out, the student can also be opted back in by a Department Admin via import if the “OptedOut” column value is set to “no”, “false”, "n", or "0".


Mongoose offers a built-in notification process to help you manage opt out status changes. Based on your institution’s opt out notification settings (configured by Department Admin users under " Department Name" > Notifications), the platform can send an email to a specific person or multiple people each time a student’s opt out status changes. 

Note: If your institution manually imports student data into Cadence, please update your information system when opt out changes occur to ensure that accurate information is imported. If your institution utilizes the API connection, notifications can be enabled via webhook so opt out status is automatically updated on the student’s record.

Avoid Carrier Trigger Words

When sending messages to students, there are some words you'll want to avoid prompting students to reply to your text messages with. There are words that carriers have identified as trigger words that can result in students "Opting Out" or being flagged by the carrier.  "These words are  "STOP", "CANCEL", "END", "QUIT", "UNSUBSCRIBE", "HELP" and "INFO". 

"STOP", "CANCEL", "END", "QUIT", "UNSUBSCRIBE" are carrier "Opt Out" words, meaning, students will be opted out of receiving messages automatically if they send any of these words (the word by itself) in a message. So to avoid an accidental opt out, avoid asking students to reply using one of these words. 

"HELP" and "INFO" are words that the carriers will intercept and prompt students with an auto reply letting them know how to opt out of messages. These two words are flagged and looked at by carriers as messages that are questionable. If a student replies with "HELP" or "INFO", you will not see the reply.


What you should say-"Hello <FIRST NAME>, this is Ashley at MU. We saw you started your application but haven't finished. Do you have any questions about your application?"

Avoid messages like this- "Hello <FIRST NAME>, this is Ashley at MU. We saw you started your application but haven't finished. If you need help or have questions, reply HELP"

Additional Notes

  • Cadence stores opt out information on a department-by-department basis.
  • There is not a way to automatically opt a student out across all users and all departments. The easiest way would be to find the student in each department and opt the student out.
  • If your institution imports a student for the first time and does not include the OptedOut column, Cadence will automatically opt the student in.
  • Unless you include the OptedOut column in your imports, the opt-out status of an existing student in Cadence will be preserved and will only change if an automatic or staff-initiated opt-out occurs in the platform.
  • A student who has automatically opted-out cannot be changed back to opted-in via import; that student would need to text one of the accepted trigger words in order to opt back in.
  • Opt-out rates are consistently under 5% across the board. Phone numbers may opt-out for reasons other than not wanting to receive texts (e.g., wrong number, no longer planning to attend/attending the institution, etc.).
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