How to integrate SMS-services into your application? By Zoranin Tutorials - February 26, 2022 Comments: 0 Views: 375 Every year it becomes more and more difficult to establish contact with users/customers and pay attention to your product. However, SMS messages as a communication channel are still a cheap and easy way to notify users. Integration with SMS services is used for marketing campaigns, distribution of special offers, codes and news, appointment or meeting reminders, order status information, feedback collection, etc.The service used for such tasks is called an SMS gateway. This solution is perfect for both private companies (online stores, delivery services, clinics) and government institutions (health care system, election commission, educational institutions).SMS messages can be an effective engagement tool for you, and integration with an SMS gateway will help you convey information to your customers in a quick and concise manner.How it worksSMS Gateway is a service that allows you to send and receive text messages from a website or mobile application over a mobile network.The messaging process includes 4 functional blocks : messaging application (your company), SMS gateway, network operators and recipients (your customers).A more detailed description of the process : The integration of the SMS gateway is implemented through an API, with which developers can easily integrate the functions of the gateway into their own system. The gateway connects your web/mobile application to the server and mobile networks (namely SMSC - Short Message Service Center) via an HTTP or SMPP interface through which your clients receive SMS messages.Using SMS Gateway gives you the following benefits :- process automation;- acceleration of processes, increase of efficiency, safety;- planning and organizing the process of sending messages;- tracking messages and reporting on results.What criteria determine the choice of an SMS gateway?Available functionsThe functionality of the service is one of the main criteria, and you should look for the most suitable set of functions for your business. It all depends on your expectations and goals, but we advise you to consider those SMS gateways that offer phone number verification, message personalization, solutions for various stages of customer interaction, integration with third-party channels and tools.Speed and reliabilityThe effectiveness of SMS campaigns largely depends on the timing and reliability of the service. Research, negotiations with local network operators and the integration process will take some time, so it is better to choose a service with established processes and ongoing support.The system should send messages when you need them, so be sure to check with your ISPs for service uptime (should be as close to 100% as possible), outages, and reliability reports.LocationThe choice of SMS gateway also depends heavily on the location of your customers. Choose one that can connect to mobile networks in the countries where customers are present for the best deliverability. The cost also depends on the location of your business.Compliance with requirements and standards Be sure to consider this factor, which includes transparency of processes, legitimacy, and a clear user agreement. Since SMS gateways access your data, it is important to check how they store and process it, whether they use special security protocols and data encryption.DocumentationThis criterion is very important for the development team. If you want your team to be satisfied, not to encounter unexpected service and integration problems, be sure to choose an SMS gateway with clear and detailed documentation. You should also find out what programming languages the service supports and how quickly the integration process goes.PriceFor startups and small businesses, this criterion is very important. Therefore, the choice of service and tariff depends on how important SMS campaigns are for your business and how much you are willing to spend on them, as well as on the mailing countries and the complexity of the service.My experience: Twilio, SmsAssistant, SmsApi, Smsp.byTwilioSolutions: Programmable Messaging API (for notifications and reminders) and Conversations API (two-way SMS), operators worldwide, 30+ countries, different types of messages (reminders, marketing campaigns, helpdesk), phone number verificationCost: Varying rates starting at $0.0075 per message (depending on country) with pay-as-you-go, high-volume discounts, or flat-rate usageAdditional solutions: expanding interaction channels using MMS, WhatsApp, chat bots, etc. using a single API; general messaging through integrations with many services and channelsSmsAssistentSolutions: SMS messages to any country, phone number verification, Email2SMS, integration with CRM, CMS, customized solutions and development of own productsCost: various rates from $0.1 per message with discounts for large message volumesAdditional solutions: mobile application, integration with Vibersms APISolutions: work with operators around the world, open API and free libraries, special solutions (small business, eCommerce, government agencies), phone number verification, two-way SMS, various types of messages (working with leads, bulk SMS, help desk) , integration with many services (Magento, Gmail, WordPress, CRM, etc.)Cost: Varying rates from $0.064 per message (depending on country) with pay-as-you-go, high volume discountsAdditional Solutions: Message Templates, Mobile App, WhatsApp IntegrationConclusionWhile there are a large number of technologies, tools, and channels that help businesses interact with customers, not all of them are effective for everyone. SMS messages are still a great way to notify and communicate with customers. They integrate and work beautifully with other tools and channels you use and create more touchpoints.