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Tag: API

What is a SMS Gateway?

Many professionals are excited by the opportunities that effective SMS marketing can bring. It is important to not only weigh your options in terms of content strategy, but to also be aware of the technologies needed to implement your ideas. The technology behind your SMS marketing campaign is a SMS gateway.

 

So, what is an SMS Gateway? 

 

A SMS gateway is the system which allows you to send SMS messages from a computer to a mobile phone. Imagine if you wanted to send a text message about a big event happening in your business to 2,000 people. You wouldn’t type and send 2,000 separate texts or try to send a group message to your contacts. It would appear unprofessional and spammy. Instead, one might use your computer to log into the platform of your preferred SMS gateway provider to send out messages.

How does a SMS gateway work?

SMS Gateway, SMSC, SMS API, True Dialog SMS, preferred SMS Solution

Technical explanation

According to Techopedia, there are two options when implementing SMS messaging applications:

  • You need application connectivity to a wireless carrier’s  short message service center (SMSC). A developer or SMS gateway provider must be familiar with the SMSC protocol and likely wants to enable messaging to phones with different wireless carriers (such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint). This adds a level of complication because each carrier may use a different SMSCs with different protocols. The SMS messaging application needs to have multiprotocol communication. An SMS gateway may be placed between the application and the SMSC, requiring that the application communicate with the SMS gateway instead of the SMSC.
  • Application connectivity to a mobile phone or a modem: A developer must be familiar with ATtention (AT) command implementation when enabling application communication with a phone or modem. By placing an SMS gateway in the middle, the SMS messaging application/platform only needs to communicate with the SMS gateway.

 

Simple Explanation

With the help of a SMS modem your computer can be connected to the wireless carrier networks. When using a SMS modem, your computer is essentially turned into an oversized smart phone – allowing you to contact your consumer database directly to their phones.

 

 

Next Up: How does 3Seventy use the SMS Gateway inside of the portal? 

API, SMS Campaigns

API-First Development

What is API-First?

API first development prioritizes building well-designed, architected and robust APIs before building the applications that consume them or a platform for using them. 

More companies are choosing an API-first approach to development where the design, implementation, and documented happen before the application is launched. This approach treats the API user as the primary user of your application first.

 

Why API-First Development Works

The API-first strategy allows the website and applications to be built on top of the same basic conditions, which means you have greater flexibility. For resellers of a software product who want to white label your technology, the API-first approach makes implementation much smoother.  It helps to focus on the design of the architecture first, rather than on the presentation. And that enforces a complete, responsive, and well-documented API.

“Over the past decade their have been a number of different web development paradigms. As the craft of web development has evolved, so have the ways of designing and structuring software architecture. API-First design is an approach to software development that emphasizes building components of your application as APIs.” – Mashape

Why API-First for an SMS Platform?

Built API Strong

APIs are, in many ways, the building blocks of our digital economy. An SMS API is no different, in this way, from other software systems.  There are many moving parts to SMS management technology. It needs to be easily broken down into its parts so that developers can understand, program, and maintain the system. With this in mind, API-first design is like a formal separation of the front end from the back end. The platform can interact with the backend through a well defined SMS API. By separating data from system logic and logic from presentation, the code architecture is stronger and it reduces problems.

 

Flexibility with Multiple Data Sources

Modern web practices allow us to connect multiple APIs to make a powerful system move fast. And as needs change, so can the platform. If you are switching to a new CRM system, then it is updated by simply updating, adding or removing an API call. Smart customers are demanding for all of web products to have web-based services or RESTful [representational state transfer] APIs in and out of them to address this need.


 

3Seventy’s SMS Platform

Built with an API-first development strategy, 3Seventy’s SMS API and SMS platform use a RESTful API. With more than 47 endpoints in this SMS API, clients and resellers can leverage all of the functions of the platform in collaboration with other platform – integration is easy.


API, developers, Mobile Solutions

USE CASE: SMS for Recruitment and Job Postings

Recruiters and Hiring Managers are sending up-to-the-minute job postings to keep up with the market.

SMS for recruitment has become key. The job market has improved slowly over the past 7 years. A big change over this time period is the technology we use to communicate and how job postings are found. First of all, consider these statistics:

 

64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind. 

10% of Americans own a smartphone, but do not have broadband at home. Compared with smartphone owners who are less reliant on their mobile devices, these smartphone-dependent users are less likely to own some other type of computing device

43% of smartphone owners are looking up job information.  (Source: Pew Research)

sms for recruitment, Pew Internet Research, Smartphone Use 2015, Mobile Infographic, Mobile Research, More than SMS

One of the big advantages of using SMS is timelines – your ability to reach an individual fast and efficiently with the right information. Many human resources professionals and recruiters are leveraging SMS to reach today’s generation of mobile-first candidates.

 

Pain Point

For those recruiters working in the field, it’s important to stay in touch with candidates. And sending real-time information about job openings is key to getting the best candidates, but the average email takes up to 48 hours before someone will read it. And so many young people are living a low-income life style that limits their internet usage.

 

Mobile Tool

Triggered SMS Alerts using an SMS API helps to address these issues. You can integrate whatever systems you use for contact management and tracking with your SMS platform using an SMS API. When you make this integration, you can setup different rules to triggering text messages to be sent. For example, “if a job opening with the title Software Development in this zip code pops up, then send a message to these phone numbers.”

 

Use Case

One company learned that using triggered SMS messages in conjunction with other recruitment activities such as campus job fairs, online job postings, and campus interviews can be very effective when setup with the right parameters (through an SMS API). Using SMS in this kind of situation is a way to start the conversation between a recruiter or employer and the prospective employee or intern.

The right SMS platform allows you to get plenty of information up-front using SMS. 3Seventy calls this 3Seventy – the ability to have a seamless threaded conversation via text message. It is a pretty powerful tool when used to it’s fullest extent.

While SMS recruitment has proven to be effective for many companies and organizations, it’s important to remember that SMS campaigns are best used to create awareness and prequalify quality candidates. SMS campaigns are not meant to replace your traditional channels of communication with prospective candidates, rather it is a way to enhance and improve the overall experience.

 

Ways Recruiters and Hiring Managers Can Leverage SMS Campaigns:

  • Create Awareness using SMS recruitment alerts with job postings
  • Prequalify Candidates using SMS 3Seventy surveys
  • Have direct communication with candidates for scheduling interviews
  • Making the connection with the mobile-first generation easy

 

API, Interview, Marketing Integration, Mobile personalization, true dialog, use case

What is an API? How Does it Apply to My Mobile Strategy?

What’s an API?

An application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Simply put, an API is a set of requirements that govern how one software application can talk to another – allowing information to go back and forth between the systems.

For example: Yelp includes a Google Map in its app to display nearby restaurants. Several websites allow you to log-in using your Facebook or Google account. Using an API makes it possible for applications, such as your CRM system, to share data and take actions in your SMS Gateway without requiring developers to share all of the software’s code.

The API takes this code sharing concept and simply limits the outside program access to a specific set of features – usually it is requests for some specific data. Your API clearly defines how a program will interact with the rest of the software world. It saves time, resources, money, and potential legal issues.

 

SMS API, True Dialog SMS API, What is an API, How does API Work, SMS Platform, Restful API, API Integration, SMS Integration, SMS and CRM

How does it apply to my mobile marketing strategy?

Who cares? You should…  because API’s are a simple and cost effective way to make mobile marketing easier for you.

Companies use the SMS API to integrate their marketing, analytics, CRM, and other business software with the SMS Platform for creating more powerful and customized solutions. When marketers integrate 3Seventy’s Platform with a CRM software such as Zoho to create a unified database. They can send SMS campaigns out to contacts from within the CRM program or log into the 3Seventy platform. Either way, the information will sync with the contacts in the CRM system.

Other companies use the SMS API to automate recurring activities and procedures. For example, a text message alert can be triggered (and sent to the contact) by entering new information into your contact management system.  When the leasing office in an apartment complex enters into his contact management system that a package has arrived for John Smith, the the message is sent to the phone number association with John Smith letting him know he has a package. This can also be done in response to a subscriber action, such as submitting a registration form for an event or completing an online purchase.

 

API, Best Practices, Marketing Integration, MMS, Mobile Campaigns, mobile CRM, Mobile Marketing, operations

SMS Integration…What’s the Point?

Why should you bother with SMS integration into your other systems?

 

One of the major benefits of text messaging is immediacy. You want to enable your customers to leverage that benefit without modifying the way they interact with your business.

Platform integration plays a key role in enabling your existing applications or systems to be mobile. When you integrate with a reliable and feature-rich SMS gateway like 3Seventy, then delivering communication benefits to your customers is easy. Our free Application Programming Interface (API) tools allow for seamless integration with your proprietary software or website. Enabling your existing system to interact with an SMS gateway for sending and receiving messages can help streamline your marketing processes.

 integrate sms, CRM software, Email software, proprietary software, Point of Sale software, SMS Integration to Existing Systems

Common Systems for SMS Integration

 

Email:  Combining SMS and Email may be the smartest thing you’ve ever done for your customers or clients. Rather than forcing them into only one communication channel with your business, customers can choose how they want to contacted and the types of notifications they want. While a customer may want to read your monthly newsletter via email, he may also want a specific text alert about a product or service update. This will alleviate your database issues by combining the two, as well as increase customer satisfaction.

 

CRM: This is where SMS personalization has the greatest potential. If you have a truly robust Customer Relationship Management system that is filled with contact attributes such as birthdays, contract renewals, preferred products, zip code, or other key identifiers, then you should be leveraging that information in your text message marketing program. Use auto response text message to in response to contact’s actions, or send out behavior-based targeted messages to reach the right audience at just the right time. And, of course, remember to personalize things when it makes sense (with the contact’s first name or other unique identifier).

This integration improves the efficiency of your communication by giving you more information and more options for each SMS you send or receive.

 

Point of Sale: For the mobile marketers working in retail, restaurants, and other brick and mortar businesses, SMS API integration into POS systems makes a world of difference. Using an SMS API to integrate into your POS is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities to make a sale or retain a customer. While text coupons / mobile coupons can be a total blessing for driving foot traffic, they become an annoyance when the customer cannot move smoothly through checkout.  We can all fantasize about having a mobile app for our store, but that isn’t always the smartest investment. SMS is a much more affordable way to keep customers loyal, fulfill their mobile requirements, and get people into your store.

 

SMS API, Restful API, Restful SMS API, True Dialog API, text messaging API

Our integration tools (PHP .Net, Java, Ruby) make it easy for programmers to develop, integrate and deploy SMS solutions with your proprietary software or website, enabling 2-way SMS communications. Learn more about 3Seventy’s SMS API and get support integrating your systems with our SMS Gateway by contacting us.

 

 

API, Marketing Integration, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Retail, true dialog

Deep Linking in Mobile

What is Deep Linking?

Deep linking connects a unique url on a web search to a specific page in a mobile app or mobile website, seamlessly linking users to relevant content.  This solution lets ads see whether consumers already has a specific app on their phones; and when the user clicks the ad, it directs the user to a specific page within the existing app to make a purchase.

For instance, a consumer is searching for a new backpack for back to school shopping on her phone’s browser. The consumer already has the specific department store’s app installed on her phone that she see’s advertised, when she clicks the ad it will bring her to the backpack section within the store’s app or to a specific sale page for that product.
 

deep linking mobile, sms mobile marketing, sms deep linking, mobile deep linking, retail sales links, retail mobile marketing, back to school
source: Trademob

 

How Does Deep Linking Work?

A mobile developer can install a custom url scheme to point the mobile browser towards a specific page when a particular action is taken, such as clicking the link. For mobile advertising, this custom url will likely point towards the correct mobile website landing page for a product or service offering. Things a little more complicated when you link to an app.

“Enabling deeplinking for a mobile application will allow you to invoke deeplinks that open an app and launch specific, defined screens within the app, such as the homepage, product pages, and shopping cart, much as you would on a website.” Read more about mobile deep linking.
 

Why is Deep Linking Is Useful?

Greater engagement takes precedent over database size for the savvy mobile marketers. Companies are attempting to overcome the switch from mobile to desktop for purchases. The best use of deep linking helps to circumnavigate the need for consumers to search again for another product they want or bounce out to their desktop and break the connection with your brand. The primary reason that deep linking has such value is  because it allows advertisers to direct customers to their pages via targeted ads (plus track the success).

 

Mobile Marketing “Opt-In” Option

Interestingly enough, SMS marketing by its very nature is an an opt-in marketing service. So concerns about marketing tactics such as the intrusiveness of deep linking (as perceived by some) is completely avoided. Users must opt in to your SMS program, so they not only expect targeted content from you but see something of value from your company. When a consumer wants to receive marketing collateral, then you have completed the same possible process as you could with the deep linking but without the extra coding work by a developer and without an “invasive” technology.

Mobile technology presents so many great opportunities for the marketing of your company. If you carefully approach each mobile tool and consider the best uses first, then there’s an enormous opportunity to meet your consumers needs and desires while also protecting consumer trust.

 

 

 

API, developers, Marketing Integration, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Solutions, Retail, SMS Marketing

True Dialog Portal Release Notes for 5.19.15

Version 2.0

In this 3Seventy Portal Release: MMS, Long Codes, Bug fixes, Code Clean-up, Stability Enhancements, Future Action System

 

Major Changes

  • Channel Service is now deployable to different cloud instances.
  • MMS now supported
    Basic sending of MMS is now supported. You can upload an image and set the returned ID on content and in a push campaign event.
  • Push Campaign Changes
    • Gateway campaigns can now take an Image ID for pushing an MMS message with.
    • Specify a list of contact lists to push messages to. All contacts appearing in the lists will be sent the message. Any contacts that appear more than once across the lists will only receive the message once.
    • Specify a list of contact lists to for excluding contacts. Any contacts appearing in these lists will NOT receive the message; this is applied after the pull of all of the other contact sources.
    • Specify a channel name in the “Channels” field (instead of an arbitrary ID value):
      § Pushing to a short code, you need only specify the short code: “33898”, “370370US”, or “370370CA”
      § Pushing to a long code (or group of long codes): “+15125550100”, “+12145550101”, “LONGCODE”
    • The special word “LONGCODE” will push to all available long codes you have, this same effect can be accomplished via our old APIs by specifying the channel ID for the LONGCODE channel.
      (Note: acquiring a new long code requires a call to the new APIs)
      § Pushing to email: “EMAIL”
      § Pushing to null (for testing, does not actually send messages): “NULL”
  • Get a status of an event via a call to GET /account/{accountId}/event/{eventId}/status
    • For push campaigns, you can see the total number of contacts found and the total number that is being sent to. This updates approximately every 30 seconds until the event is complete.
    • This endpoint also works for contact imports, but does not currently have a running total as the push campaign does. (future release)
  • Long codes are now supported:
    • Search for new long codes via a call to GET /account/{accountId}/search-tn/
    • Order long codes via POST /account/{accountId}/request-tn/
      § Orders do not complete immediately and take a few seconds.
      You may get the status of the order via a GET call to the same endpoint.

 

Minor Changes

  • The NULL channel type has been changed to be identical as an SMS channel for all portions of the system except for at the ChannelService level.
    This will ultimately lead to us reducing code complexity in some areas and eliminating some bugs in the future.
  • The non-breaking space character was incorrectly breaking messages into separate messages.
    This was due to the fact that the system would see the character and switch to Unicode instead of GSM 38.08. This has been corrected, and nonbreaking spaces are now translated into a regular space when sending messages.
  • More aggressive retry logic in import-contacts, and several additional changes to improve its stability.
  • Improvements to the keyword response times for better servicing inbound text requests.
  • Various other bits of code clean up
    • Bits of unused code removed
    • Corrected some spelling mistakes in various comments and copy locations.
    • Removal of Unity in some additional places

 

Stay Tuned for Future Plans…

 

 Go to the API Documentation

SMS, Text messaging API, True Dialog API, mobile messaging, Mobile development

 

 

 

 

 

API, Company Success, MMS, new feature, Release

More Efficient Work Environment with Mobile

Making Your Operations More Efficient Work with Mobile

The mini computer in your pocket (smartphone) can help your employees to work faster and be productive while on-the-go.  This is a leap in our technical capabilities from 5 or 10 years ago, but how can you leverage this development for the operations of your company?

 

A company that specializes in improving their clients’ operations has a project that requires them to identify and match mobile devices using their software and text messaging. The result of this project is common end-user inventory (aka – who has what mobile phone, where, and does he or she still work for your company?).  More Efficient with Mobile , Mobile device management

Through the use of a text messaging platform and integrated web forms, this client can easily attack this project head-on. Any devices currently part of their inventory will be identified by sending a text or email with dynamic messaging (personalization) to the end user.  Both the text and the email will include unique links that pre-populate the web forms based on contact information entered into the company’s platform.

 

What are other ways that you can make your company work more efficiently using mobile tools?

 

API, developers, operations, use case

Will Mobile Payments Boom With Apple Pay?

 

A Brief History of Mobile Payments

In 1997, Coca Cola launched a project with a small number of vending machines in Helsinki that allowed customers to pay for their drink via text message. Later that year, Merita Bank used text messaging for bank account transactions. That was 10 years before the iPhone was introduced in 2007, when the world of how we communicate began to seriously change. During those 10 years a lot of revolutionary things happened – the introduction of NFC (Near Field Communication), PayPal Mobile, and buying everyday items like movie tickets and pizza from our mobile phones.

In more recent years, we’ve seen the launch of dedicated mobile payment systems. Google Wallet, Passbook, Squared Payments, and many other solutions have popped up.  In 2013, mobile payments at POS tripled from the previous year (Federal Reserve, 2014) 17% of all smartphone users reported using mobile payments during the 12 month period, with the heaviest usage among Millennials.

Growth with mobile payments as been slow for various reasons, but the most frequently reported reason is security. People are largely concerned with their information being stolen, which is totally understandable. So how does Apple address this issue?

How Apple Pay Works

It uses a form of short-range wireless communications (NFC) for the payment transactions.  When you put your iPhone 6 near an NFC-enabled POS system then scan of your thumbprint, the transaction is completed. This transaction is using an encryption to keep your personal and banking information safe, so that it cannot be hacked through the wireless exchange. Using NFC, two devices that are near each other can have a fast exchange of information that is secure.

What is really interesting about this is that Samsung and a few other smartphone producers have introduced similar systems in the past. However, these other mobile payments did not catch on.

mobile payments, mcommcerce, mobile commerce, text to pay, text payments

The Apple Effect

Even though a larger percentage of the smartphone market in the US is owned by Android devices, Apple has this magical effect on consumers. Apple Pay is technically not a technology revolution, but the world audience is reacting as if it is a brand new concept. This company forces competitors to innovate and evolve their business models in order to grow.

 

Will Apple Pay be a game changer for Mobile Payments? I think so.

API, mobile commerce, nfc

RESTful APIs Preferred for Mobile

Mobile developers prefer RESTful APIs: is that a problem for enterprises?*

 

“Mobile app developers are not going to start developing for SOAP web services. Enterprises are not going to rush to replace massive earlier investments in SOAP even with the advent of mobile apps. Neither side is switching.”

That’s the conundrum presented in a recent white paper published by the gang at SOA Software, which proposes that there is a happy middle ground in which these two worlds can be brought together.

Much of the enterprise infrastructure that has proliferated over the past decade has been built on SOAP-based web services, which were designed to support enterprise-scale messaging, integration, resiliency, extensibility and security. As mobile interfaces become an even bigger part of the enterprise, there’s an urgent need to span the gap between SOAP-based enterprise services and REST.

Many proponents say REST-JSON is the only way to go with mobile app-based services, “because it is smaller and less bloated than SOAP-XML.” John Sprunger, writing in a post late last year, agrees that REST-JSON is faster and more effective for mobile app deployments, but for enterprises, the best approach is a big “it depends.”

Resful API,
Courtesy of ESRI

However, there is a way both worlds can co-exist — ensuring that enterprises still benefit from the maturity of SOAP-based web services environments, while taking advantage of the flexibility of REST-based interfaces for a new generation of mobile clients. “The secret is to let everything be. Let SOAP be the application integration powerhouse in the enterprise. Let REST be the dominant mode of interaction in the mobile app world.”

Connect mobile apps with enterprise back end systems is to transform the existing SOAP web service into a RESTful API. This way, the SOAP service can stay in place, doing what it does, but the mobile app can easily access the data and procedures it needs.

*This article was originally published by ZDNet. Read the original article here

API, Marketing Integration

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