In other words, SMS (aka “short message service” aka text messaging) is now used everywhere.
Among friends and family (as it always has been), between coworkers, with customers and prospects…
There are a million reasons to send texts.
And did you know that there are several other ways to generate SMS, aside from using your phone?
Let’s go over a few of those ways that you can create and send texts.
One way to create and send out text messages is via API.
API stands for “application programming interface” and refers to a “code” of sorts that programmers can use to accomplish tasks. And APIs are widely used - 65% of businesses rely on APIs to help collaborate with their partner programs.
One of the tasks programmers can accomplish via API is to generate text messages.
With API, programmers can plug in certain commands into a programming environment such as Ruby or PHP, to automatically create and send text messages.
This requires access to an SMS API service such as Mobile Text Alerts.
Whatever SMS API service you choose, it will come with some documentation that will detail for you how to use the API to send out texts.
For example, with the Mobile Text Alerts API, you’ll receive a unique API “key.” The API documentation then provides a value of send_message in order to send a message.
All you have to do is take your unique “key” and plug it into your preferred programming environment. You’ll also need to include the send_message value, as well as the content of the message you want to send and the phone number of the recipient.
In doing all of this, you’ll be able to program your SMS automatically, through your programming environment.
There are endless uses for sending out SMS using an API service.
Imagine a few scenarios…
Since API is customizable, the possibilities are almost limitless.
There are a lot of other actions you can do with an SMS API.
Some of those things include…
This can all be programmed on your end, so that you can set things up to act automatically.
All you need on your end is a developer who can plug all of this in.
In addition to being able to create and send text messages via API, you can also generate texts through online web portals offered by SMS platforms (like Mobile Text Alerts).
These services offer an interface from which you can type out and send your messages.
The benefit of using a web portal as opposed to API is that these solutions are “out of the box” and thus don’t require any programming.
All you need to do is log in, add your contacts into the database (or use one of several opt-in methods to get subscribers), and then you’re ready to send a message.
It’s an easy process - and the good news is that most online SMS platforms come with access to both an API and an “out of the box” platform, so you can use whatever method works for you.
One interesting way to generate SMS is by creating a link that initiates a text message when clicked. Or you could call it “click-to-text.”
This is in some ways the opposite of the 2 aforementioned options - With this concept, you can create a link that others will be able to click. And when they click, they’ll send a pre-filled text message to a phone number that you specify.
All that you need to do in order to create this link is to use the following format for a hyperlink:
sms:[phone number]?&body=[content of text message]
You can use a link like that on your website, in email content, or wherever else you want to display this so that your audience can easily click-to-text.
A few notes…
So, as an example, your link may end up looking like the following:
If somebody clicks on this link from their phone or a text-enabled computer, it will open up a new text message that will send the message “Hello, can I get some help?” to the US phone number 402-718-8843.
So a “click-to-text” link is interesting as a way to generate SMS - but what’s the point, really?
What uses could come out of allowing somebody to click a link in order to initiate a text message?
Here are a few examples…
Similar to the “click-to-text” option is creating text messages via QR codes.
According to Business Insider, “The number of US smartphone users scanning a QR code will increase from 83.4 million in 2022 to 99.5 million in 2025.”
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of this tool, it’s helpful to consider taking advantage of that popularity for the good of your business.
With this option, you can set up a QR code connected to a particular phone number, and you can “pre-fill” the QR code with specific message content.
When people scan the QR code on their mobile phone, their phone’s text message app will automatically fill with the designated phone number and message content. Then all they have to do is hit “Send” to send the pre-filled text message.
You can set up QR codes like this for free using a QR code generator.
All you have to do is…
Then you’ll be able to share the QR code whenever and wherever you’d like.
You could use this QR code option in most of the same ways you would use the “click-to-text” option.
A few other examples would be…
You can create your own texts in 5 minutes or less by getting set up with an SMS platform - this will allow you to send texts via both API and a web portal, in addition to a mobile app.
Along the way, you can use “click-to-text” and QR codes to help give your audience easy ways to generate texts that they can send to you as well.
That way, you can keep the lines of communication open on all fronts and stay in touch with people in the place they’re really looking: their phones.
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