Digital Marketing

What is an SMS API and how does it work?

How an SMS API works

After looking through numerous channels and options, you’ve decided to integrate the Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology into your business. There are several core components you will need to consider, but the most important aspect is the SMS API. What exactly is it and how does it work?

Clickatell offers a robust Application Programming Interface (API) tool to all of its customers. It removes the hassle out of writing unique programs to send and utilize SMS messaging. Thanks to the Clickatell Platform, using third-party SMS API integrations is now a breeze.

What is an SMS API?

An SMS API is a code that allows one platform to talk to another. Think of it as a handshake between two people, a bond is created and information can then be shared. The code takes certain criteria from the system, along with authentication keys, and turns them into a ‘readable’ and usable format for your system and Clickatell.

The SMS API is provided by Clickatell, which has a robust troubleshooting guide for developers. With it, your own Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) program and other systems can pull information from the platform and even send SMS messages.

If you've ever linked your Facebook or Twitter profiles to a website, then you’ve used an API. They run in the background without you ever knowing what’s going on.

By using an SMS API, you will be able to personalize your bulk SMS messages by including a customer’s name, allow for two-way communication, and enable One-Time Pins (OTPs). These customizable options will make your company stand out from the rest of the competition.

Once you are ready to use the SMS API, you’ll have to decide between using HTTP and REST.

What is HTTP?

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) API is suitable for almost any kind of website and is a standard on most systems. If you have an out of the box ecommerce store, a Wordpress blog, or a pre-built CRM, the HTTP API will be right for you. It’s the easiest integration to use and can be utilized in no time.

What is REST?

The Representational State Transfer (REST) SMS API is a little more complex than HTTP but allows for greater flexibility and scalability for any specialized system. It makes use of a RESTful rule set which dictates how your HTTP API is written. If your company uses a boske system or one that caters to hundreds of thousands of customers, then the REST option will likely work best for you. Though this is a bit more complex than HTTP, it is a better option overall.

Each and every mobile phone can send and receive SMS messages. It’s one of, if not the most effective and powerful pieces of communication technology. Regardless of how your business operates, it should use SMS messaging as a marketing or notification tool.

Ready to get started?

If you're ready to start integrating SMS with your systems, have a look at Clickatell Platform – our fully scalable communication tool that enables you to reach your customers anywhere in the world across 1 000+ mobile networks in more than 220 territories. Sign up for a free account today and take advantage of free unlimited test messages in our sandbox environment.

Our SMS Platform plays very well with other applications and we’ve put together a list of third-party software vendors that have already created existing integrations with the Clickatell SMS APIs, including relevant instructions, which you can instantly put to work for your business.


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