Sending “Just in Time” Messages Using our SMS API

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add sms functions to your systems

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about using SMS messaging to contact your list after some sort of trigger – they made a purchase, had a birthday, or some other event or date. I’m going to build on that concept a little bit more in this post and share how you can really offer just-in-time SMS messages by integrating with your existing systems.

We’ve designed the fastsms service to be easily integrated into other systems because we know that’s when it really becomes a powerful tool for communicating with your list. By using the SMS API you can send text messages automatically at the same time, or instead of, emails or making calls manually. Direct integration of the API also means you can send texts for specific triggers that you might not have done before, but make perfect sense when you can send a text message.

Here are a couple of examples, though the possibilities are only limited by your business needs.

Password Recovery

A customer or client forgets their password to their account on your website. Most websites offer the ability to send an email to reset the password. The trouble is sometimes those emails never get received, they end up in the spam folder, or don’t arrive for many hours. I know I often wait four hours or more for a password reset email. By then it’s either too late to do what I needed to do in my account, or I’ve moved on to something else. The process is also open to security risks as you never know if the person resetting the account is really the person who owns the account.

Wouldn’t it be great to have the systems be able to send a text message to the user with a link or a code to type in to immediately reset their password? I’ve used these types of password recovery features and I personally prefer them. It’s quick and secure.  The added bonus is that now the user can finish what they were doing right away. Maybe it was just updating account information. But maybe it was placing an order and you just saved a sale that might otherwise have been lost.

Keeping Some Informed

SMS messaging is particularly useful in multiple stage processes or services. For example, a recruiting company that uses software to accept requests from both job seekers and businesses. A job seeker submits a CV online, then the system can send them a text automatically saying it’s been received. When someone in the system reviews the CV and the status changes from accepted to reviewed, another message can be sent letting them know their CV is moving through the process. Of course a recruiter or assistant can send text notifications manually, but automatic messaging using the SMS API saves time for everyone and ensures consistency in the process.

Another multiple stage example is the car buying process. The idea is the same that the system alerts the buyer at each stage and finally lets them know when to come pick up their new car.

Easy Integration

Our SMS API supports several protocols that make integration with any application easy. The most popular way developers connect with us is HTTP via POST and GET method. Simply make the requests with the proper variables and you’ll be sending messages quickly.

If your application needs to send many text messages at once, or gather a history of messaging activity, then you can use  FTP/SCP, XML or SMTP.

I covered a case study using our SMS API in a recent blog post. You can read it to see how our service was used in a proof of concept emergency response project here. If you want to know more, our API documentation is always free and we give you 10 free credits to test it with our free account. Try it out today! Visit our Developer Zone to access APT documentation, SDKs and sample code.

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