Businesses of all sizes use APIs, with a study in CIO recording the average international organization using over 15,500 APIs in their operations. An API lets an organization connect with third-party software and systems like website backends, databases, and cloud-based communication solutions. A messaging API allows your company or client to integrate SMS and MMS messaging into their systems and applications.
The days of landline phone calls and in-person customer interactions are in the past. People demand faster and more efficient communication systems, and a great way for businesses to keep up is by implementing APIs. SMS/MMS APIs are useful for various applications, including automating feedback and appointment reminders, enhancing customer support options, and providing convenient in-app communication between multiple users.
A messaging API can benefit the business, users, and developers. With a cloud-based communication platform, you can gain everything you need to deliver an ideal SMS/MMS solution to your client or company.
What Is a Messaging API?
An application programming interface (API) allows two distinct pieces of software to interact using the API as an intermediary. A programmable SMS/MMS API is a messaging technology that allows a developer to integrate messaging into a company’s systems or software. An API designed for messaging allows a company’s software to use SMS or MMS through a carrier.
You are likely familiar with APIs whether you have used a purchased API to extract information from a platform like Twitter or Google Maps or built an API from scratch for a more specialized purpose. For instance, if you have ever called or messaged a driver through a ride-sharing app, you have likely used a communication API.
How Can Your Enterprise Use a Messaging API?
Your company or client is likely already using APIs for everything from data visualization to customer service and communication. An SMS/MMS API can deliver communication solutions to your business, allowing for automation, sending and receiving messages through apps and websites, and connecting systems like customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to a messaging service.
Finding an API provider that offers the messaging service your company or client requires for its operations is vital. While using a free SMS API or building one from scratch may seem like a solution, purchasing an API from a cloud-based communication provider is often straightforward and provides the functionality your company or client requires with added benefits.
Examples of SMS/MMS APIs in Use
APIs are a common component of business and consumer applications. SMS/MMS APIs are suitable for a variety of purposes, including:
- Delivery and ride-sharing apps: Users can coordinate with delivery and ride-share drivers through the app without revealing either party’s phone number, making it convenient for users to get their delivery or ride.
- Click-to-message button on an app or website: A support website or app for a product or service can integrate a click-to-message button, allowing users to quickly and conveniently contact a representative from their mobile device to resolve issues and provide feedback.
- Dating and social apps: While a user may be reluctant to share their phone number online, a messaging feature in a dating or social app can make communicating between new acquaintances more secure and less stressful. The messaging service maintains anonymity with a phone number masking feature.
- Scheduling and appointment reminders: Businesses in the service sector, such as salons and dental clinics, can improve customer retention by scheduling appointments through SMS and providing automated reminders to ensure fewer missed appointments.
- Customer feedback surveys: Retailers and service businesses can request a short feedback survey from clients using a messaging service after obtaining the customers’ phone numbers and consent.
What Are the Benefits of APIs for SMS/MMS?
Now that you have seen how your company or client probably already uses communication APIs in daily life and business operations, you can determine the advantages of SMS/MMS APIs. Here are some of the benefits an API integration can deliver.
Enhanced Consumer Engagement
Text messages provide fast and exceptional open rates. According to Business News Daily, 9 out of 10 text messages are opened within three minutes of their reception. These open rates can improve customer engagement, allowing your client or business to keep in touch with customers and get a better idea of what consumers want and how they feel about their recent interactions with the business.
Expanded Communication Options
If your client or company already uses phone and email communication, a messaging API can increase their omnichannel support by adding SMS and MMS options. An SMS API can be used alongside a cloud-based SIP, offering expanded options, including voice, chat, fax, and messaging in a unified solution.
Consumers often find messaging a business more convenient than calling or emailing for a fast response. Users can also share photos with MMS messaging for simplified directions and support. For instance, an e-commerce company can send a message with a photo of the prepared package and tracking number to confirm shipment.
Alerts and Notifications
SMS APIs can be used to alert or notify users. Organizations use text messaging as part of an emergency alert system, such as schools alerting parents and guardians when the school must close and providing instructions to proceed. A business can also use notifications to remind consumers of a sale or event.
As mentioned, MMS APIs can be an excellent tool for customer support. Users can message the business with pictures of defects and error codes, and the business can send diagrams and easy-to-digest photo and video instructions using a convenient messaging service.
Appointment Reminders and Automated Scheduling
Service-related businesses, like car shops, salons, and healthcare providers, can improve profitability by reducing no-shows and interruptions in scheduling using appointment reminders with an SMS API. In an NIH study, healthcare providers in segments where no-show rates are typically higher than 15% implemented appointment reminders and noticed a considerable improvement in patient no-shows.
APIs are also suitable for automated rescheduling, allowing clients to text a certain keyword to inform the business if they want to delay their appointment or confirm they will arrive as scheduled. With the client’s response, the business can manage time more effectively by setting another appointment within the client’s original timeframe and rescheduling the client for another date or time.
Authentication and Security
Companies can implement additional security for clients using a messaging API. One-time passwords can be sent to a user’s phone for multi-factor authentication, adding a layer of security for users logging in to see sensitive information or conduct personal transactions. For instance, logging in to an email account, social media profile, or online banking service.
Marketing Feedback and Consumer Surveys
Businesses selling products or services can use an SMS API to send surveys or request feedback from customers who provide their phone numbers and consent to receive messages. Feedback is invaluable for improving customer service and product selection, and the high open rates of SMS help your client or company collect larger amounts of data than phone or email surveys.
How Does a Communication API Benefit the Developer?
While a communication API can benefit the business and consumer, it also makes your job easier as a developer. It provides simple integration and various configuration options to give your client or company exactly what they want in their new messaging features. Here are some advantages of partnering with a cloud-based communication provider for your SMS/MMS API.
Ease of Integration
Messaging APIs are easily integrated into your software and systems. An API can typically integrate in a few lines of code and be ready for use in minutes. It can save you hours of development and provide a seamless messaging solution.
When you use a representational state transfer (REST) API, you can use standard HTTP commands, such as GET and PUT, that are compatible with most programming languages. REST APIs are resource friendly and use common data formats, making it easy to integrate a messaging feature that meets your company’s or client’s expectations.
When you partner with a reputable communication API provider, you get reliable delivery of your messages. A provider with a dependable network offers 24/7 availability and uptime reaching 99.999%. Choosing a communications platform that provides automated failover to another physical network will ensure your clients’ messages reach their destination, even if a physical connection fails.
When your client or company sends messages to consumers from an application or automated system, it is vital to classify the traffic as application-to-person (A2P) to avoid flagging the messages as spam. A2P messages are more regulated but promise reliable delivery in bulk or large volumes.
In contrast, person-to-person (P2P) messages are sent and received between two people. It can be an individual messaging a friend or family member or an employee messaging a customer, but it is on a smaller scale than A2P messages. A reliable communication API will avoid gray routes and aggregators that can classify the company’s A2P traffic as P2P to reduce costs, resulting in poor reliability.
An SMS API from a cloud-based communications provider delivers nearly unlimited scalability. The cloud service provides your company or client full elasticity, allowing it to use high volumes of messages when needed for an event or promotion and reduce back to normal volumes without paying for unused equipment and infrastructure on-site. Your client or business can send and receive numerous messages worldwide, and an administrator can add users and phone numbers from a simple web portal.
Security and Maintenance
An API from a reputable provider is ready to implement into your code with regular updates from a version control system like GitHub to ensure you are using the latest version. Since an API is exposed to the public internet, it can be a major vector for malicious attacks. Using an API provider that secures your client or company’s connections is vital, preventing toll fraud and allowing the organization to block certain destinations.
A reputable API provider will have documentation to simplify integrating and configuring your API. You can use software development kits (SDKs), quick start, examples, and articles with use cases to implement the API in a way that suits your business or client. Look for a platform that offers documentation for your preferred programming language, such as Python, Ruby, and C++.
When you use an API for messaging with a cloud-based communication platform, you can integrate various enterprise-grade features you would expect from a leading carrier or business phone system. The enterprise-grade messaging features include:
- Toll-free and 10-digit long-code (10DLC) options
- Real-time SMS delivery receipts and message detail records (MDRs)
- Proxy messaging or masking
- Multi-factor and passwordless authentication
- Appointment reminders
- Feedback surveys
- Video and photo messaging with MMS
A messaging API from a reputable cloud-based communication platform will allow you to send and receive messages from existing devices using carriers and business phone systems. Look for a platform that allows you to pay with a metered rate to ensure you can test your messaging application or system without a large upfront investment. A metered plan will also help your client or company scale, only paying for what the business uses within a billing period.
Enhance Your Business Communication Capabilities With a Messaging API for Enterprises
An SMS/MMS API can enhance your client or company’s communication capabilities with messaging. With the right cloud-based communication platform and API, you can seamlessly integrate a secure, scalable, and reliable messaging solution into a business application or system. An API for messaging provides various enterprise-grade features, including multi-factor authentication and appointment reminders, to help you develop the ideal feature for your client or company.
Flowroute offers you an easy-to-use, enterprise-grade messaging API with documentation to help you integrate the solution to suit your client or company’s application. Business messaging service is carried on our HyperNetwork™ for guaranteed delivery with automatic physical failover features, toll-fraud detection, and the ability to block destinations for continuous and secure messaging. You also get 24/7 uptime and 99.999% reliability and operability with our SIP and your existing carrier and equipment. Get started with a reliable messaging solution from Flowroute.