Integrating SMS with Salesforce

Text is coming back in a big way and why wouldn’t it be? An email inbox is a crowded place with every last person you’ve given your email to, vying for attention. SMSes are better suited to concise, high-speed interactions that are increasingly being recognized as a high-impact medium amidst deteriorating attention spans and crowded out emails.

It could be used for limited offers, fast engagements, surveys, segmentation, and host of modern keyword-based profiling as well as service announcements. It’s simply great for getting in front of your customers faster.

What makes texting work.

Then, nearly half of us prefer to open emails only later on a desktop, either because we just do, or partly because emails look really bad on handheld devices. Emails are also understood to be a core-work paradigm that can often require you to have work-data on-hand (often stored on PCs) to reply readily.
In contrast, SMS interactions tend to be single device experiences that don’t reference or need to access data on your PC.

A 98% Open-Rate & 96% on-person SMS device ownership, has carved out low-SPAM, prime real-estate for text messages over mobile Home Screens & Notification Bars.

There’s no way that you couldn’t once, have wondered about all the possibilities of texting. There’s so much more to SMS then just broadcasting.

But even though SMS wins over emails in every way imaginable, their texting interfaces hadn’t been all that intuitive and didn’t provide all the features upfront – but SMS aggregator apps have changed that. Here’s look at how you’d go about integrating text-capabilities for your own business.

Two ways you can integrate texting capabilities with Salesforce

Connecting or integrating an application to enable enterprise texting through custom integration.

1) Connect to an exposed third-party API from an SMS aggregator

One way to connect to your clients across the spectrum of the service providers they use is to connect to an exposed API & authorization provided by an SMS aggregator that further sends your message to appropriate wireless carriers so you don’t need to deal with individual carriers yourself.

Bring your DIY spirit

Since most SMS aggregators don’t come with a software layer that lets businesses strategize and conduct Marketing Ops, you might find yourself looking for the right connectors to perform a custom integration and exchange messages. They’re great if you’re not looking for much apart from just barebones send- receive capabilities. Just be prepared to take your system to a developer for the odd maintenance trip ever so often. Or if you’re savvy enough, you could do it yourself. Getting a solution just right for your business is always worth the initial effort.

2) Get an app-subscription for texting app on AppExchange

A surefire way of getting any capability onto the Salesforce platform is to pick up and install off-the-shelf native apps from AppExchange. A lot of them install easily and go live in 30 minutes or so. You’d also never have to think about compatibility or upgrades as those usually get taken care of by the ISV provider that builds maintenance into the cost.

“…try text-based communications for your business if you’re looking to diversify from email marketing to something with higher response and accessibility across demographics.”

Trim development effort & avoid a lock-in

Other advantages of an approach like this are access to prebuilt capabilities built into the software that the ISV providers roll into the software. Having capabilities built by an established third- party further deflects maintenance and customization effort for any intended messaging processes. Set up for a messaging sequence is then reduced to GUI. Some must-have feature sets for Salesforce-based SMS software often include codeless, text-based campaigns, SMS link- tracking, bulk texting, conversation & live-chat windows, WhatsApp texting, email-to-text interactions, interactive surveys, and response-triggered Salesforce actions.

Salesforce-texting In Pictures

For size, here’s an example of one such texting app among several others. It’s called 360 SMS App. You’ll see that texting apps on AppExchange now let you and the non-tech users:

  • Filter & Send bulk messages to ‘WhatsApp-for-Business’ from campaigns, and even reports
  • Easily configure & modify surveys for progressive profiling
  • View past engagement & tracking history for links to things like attachments, forms, and webpages.
  • Manage subscriptions to stay off SPAM-lists
  • Make in-line edits to records while you chat
  • and Automate detection for reserved keyword responses to trigger actions, like adding respondents to a campaign

Luckily, texting apps up on Appexchange as well as custom- integrated solutions & connectors have come a long way, and you’ll be spoilt for choice, function, scale, and pricing. Either way, there’s no reason you shouldn’t already try text- based communications for your business if you’re looking to diversify from email marketing to something with higher response and accessibility across demographics.

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