Technology & Roadmap

A Simple Guide to SMS API Integration

  • April 22, 2022
  • 3 mins read

Enterprises today send millions of SMSes of several types — promotional, transactional, reminders etc. — every single day. They need an easy, efficient and effective way to do this. Enter SMS API. 

An SMS API is a simple and reliable way to instantly send messages to a large group of people. Through an SMS API, you can send messages programmatically, i.e. trigger messages with code. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how it works.

Benefits of SMS API

At the very basic level, SMS APIs allow you to send SMS messages using code. You can trigger messages to your customers on autopilot based on predetermined conditions. This makes your operations consistent, predictable and sustainable. But that’s not all.

  • Easy SMS API integration with other systems

SMS API seamlessly integrates with your enterprise applications like CRM, ERP, sales management tools etc. This makes sending and receiving messages hassle-free as you can manage everything from a single interface. 

  • Better efficiency with automation

SMS API integration allows you to automate a wide variety of processes. You can set up workflows for various use cases and automate SMS campaigns for each. For instance, if you need to send multiple SMSes for customer onboarding at regular intervals, you can automate the entire workflow and let it run.

  •  Higher visibility and tracking

With SMS API integration, you can track the delivery and engagement status of every one of your messages. You can identify undelivered messages and find alternative channels like email to connect with those customers.

  • Greater flexibility with more features

SMS API gives you direct access to all the features in a single place. You can send bulk messages, schedule campaigns, automate workflows, track performance and more. 

  •  Fast, reliable, and safe delivery

A good SMS API will allow you to send both static and dynamic messages. Built-in redundancies ensure that your SMS gets delivered on time, every time. Cloud-based solutions ensure dynamic scale, so your SMS campaigns can grow as your business does. With advanced security features, API integration can also provide an additional layer of safety and privacy for your customers.

  • Advanced analytics and reporting

A strong API integration will also offer advanced analytics capabilities. You can measure delivery, engagement and performance of each campaign from the online dashboard. With clear campaign planning, you can also measure the return on investment on each campaign. For instance, if you have sent an SMS for a free product trial, you can measure how many availed of that offer and how many bought the product thereon, connecting SMS campaigns directly to your company bottom line.

When to use SMS API integration

Businesses today use SMS APIs for all their messaging needs. They use it to send:

  • One-time passwords (OTPs)
  • Emergency SMS alerts (weather warnings, municipal warnings, etc.)
  • Automatic updates (status of an order, reminders for appointments, upcoming events, etc.)
  • Automated payment reminders (electricity bill, wifi recharge, etc.)
  • Sales and promotion messages 
  • Announcements and information updates 
  • Notification messages 
  • Customer service SMSes

How to send an SMS via SMS API?

SMS API is an HTTP-based REST API that enables you to send SMSes using code from your existing software platform, mobile app, third-party application, website, or CRM. 

Firstly, integrate the SMS API into your existing application or software. Then send an HTTP POST request which will allow you to automatically send SMS notifications to your customers based on some fixed parameters.

How to fetch SMS details via SMS API?

To get more details on the SMS like their status, direction, etc., you need to make an HTTP GET request. 

After the SMS reaches any one of the terminal states which are ‘sent’, ‘failed’, or ‘failed-dnd’, you can receive the SMS status by passing an additional parameter, ‘StatusCallback’ along with the other parameters. 

Take a look at how this works here.

SMS API for Static and Dynamic Content

Static and dynamic Bulk SMS APIs are the two commonly used APIs for messaging.

Static content: This is when the API enables you to send the same message to a large group of people. These messages can easily be stored and don’t change in content when delivered to the user. Promotional messages, new product updates, sales reminders, etc fall under this category. 

Dynamic content: This is when the API enables you to send custom messages to each user. It lets you personalise your SMSes and the content changes based on factors specific to the user like their time zone, location, etc. Delivery tracking and updates, current bank balance, bill payments, etc. fall under this category.

To send static or dynamic content via SMS, you will make an HTTP POST request, however, based on the kind of SMS you’re sending, the POST parameters will change. 

To Sum It Up

Having an SMS API in place will give you the advantage of automation, flexibility, and efficiency in your communications. Exotel’s bulk SMS API promises workflow automation, detailed documentation, real-time reporting and industry leading delivery rates. 

Manisha Mishra

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