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Receiving SMS Messages with Short Code Keywords

A short code keyword is a unique one-word phrase that identifies a business, product or service. Keywords allow multiple  businesses to run unique campaigns on the same short code. Likewise, a business using a dedicated short code can differentiate communications with multiple keywords. For example, your dentist places a sign in the waiting room that says, “Text SMILE to 55512 to get appointment reminders.” In this example, “SMILE” is the keyword, and “55512” is the short code. By texting SMILE to short code 55512, the patient is opting in to receive appointment reminders. Using the same short code, the dental office may run a separate promotional offer. For example, “Text WHITE to 55512 for $25 off teeth whitening.” In this way, patients choose the interaction they wish to receive from their dentist. Communication with short codes and keywords give businesses great flexibility and responsiveness when engaging their customers, patients, or clients with text messaging. Here are guidelines and rules to consider when using keywords:

Select User Friendly Keywords

Keep it short – A short keyword is easy to remember.

Make it memorable – An easy to remember keyword will generate a better response.

Use a single word – SMS Notify! will match the entire message when checking for incoming keywords. If an incoming keyword is followed by any characters, a match will not be made.

SMS Notify! Incoming Keyword Rules

  • Only 1 instance of keyword per short code
  • Keyword cannot be a system keyword (e.g., STOP, HELP, ect.)
  • Keyword must be at least 3 characters long
  • Keyword cannot be a typical SMS response (e.g., sure, yes, thanks, monday)
  • Keywords are not case sensitive; ‘THIS’ is the same as ‘this’ and ‘ThIs’

Using PostBackURL to Capture Incoming Keywords

Developer’s can set up automated responses to incoming keywords using the SMS Notify! API PostBackURL system. When a keyword is assigned to your short code, CDYNE can also assign a URL or webpage you designate. Set your application to look for the variable SMSResponse=1, which is posted when a message is sent to your short code, or when a response to your outgoing message arrives. PostBackURL data is posted behind the scenes, and is not visible on your webpage. Program your application to capture the PostBackURL variables that are passed to your webpage from SMS Notify! API.

Contact CDYNE for more information about short codes.

Test SMS Notify! API for free.

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SMS PostBackURLs Two Ways

For many SMS Notify! applications, it is important to know when an MT* message is sent, when a response to that text message is received, or when an MO* message is received by your application. In each scenario, SMS Notify! will alert your application when you use the PostBackURL feature. This can be helpful for storing information in a database, or responding with another message. The PostBackURL is a web page you assign where CDYNE will post back the specific information about the MT or MO SMS messages.

MT (Mobile Terminated) PostBack Fields

If you specify a PostBackURL in your SMS outgoing request, the following fields can be programmed to postback when a message is sent:

  • SMSSent – Always set to “1.”
  • MessageID – A unique identifier that matches the initial MessageID from your outgoing SMS.
  • ReferenceID – This is populated if you set a reference id in your outgoing request.
  • FromPhoneNumber – This is the number that sent your outgoing message.
  • ToPhoneNumber – This is the number you sent the SMS to.
  • SentTime – UTC Date when the message was sent.

 

MO (Mobile Originated) PostBack Fields

If you specify a PostBackURL in your SMS outgoing request, or CDYNE assigned you an SMS DID – the following fields can be programmed to postback when a response message is returned, or when an MO message is sent to your DID.

  • SMSResponse – Always set to “1.”
  • MessageID – A unique identifier for this response. This will come as a GUID.
  • MatchedMessageID – A GUID that is populated when the response matches a previous message.
  • ReferenceID – This is populated if the response matches a previous message and you set the ReferenceID field in your outgoing SMS.
  • FromPhoneNumber – This is the number that sent the response.
  • ToPhoneNumber – This is the Local SMS Number that received the message. If you have an assigned DID number from CDYNE, this will be that number. Otherwise it will be a random number from our Phone Number pool.
  • ResponseReceiveDate – UTC Date when the message came in.
  • Message – This is the incoming SMS Text Message body.

 

Shared Numbers or DIDs – How to Assign the PostBackURL

There are currently two flavors of CDYNE SMS messaging: shared and dedicated phone numbers. With shared numbers, your application can send SMS messages, and receive responses to those messages. Shared numbers cannot receive MO (Mobile Originated) or customer initiated/inbound text message to your application. You’ll need a DID for MO messages.

You can order a DID through a CDYNE Account Representative. When they assign the DID to your SMS license key, they can also assign the PostBackURL at that time. Alternatively, you can log into your account online and specify a URL for each dedicated phone number assigned to your license key as shown in the image below:

By doing so, all messages sent to or from the DID will be captured with the PostBackURL.

When using CDYNE’s bank of shared phone numbers, you can assign the PostBackURL in the SimpleSMSSendWithPostback or AdvancedSMSSend methods. When using a DID, if the PostBackURL is already assigned, you do not have to pass it in the SimpleSMSSendWithPostback or AdvancedSMSSend methods. If you do put in a PostBackURL, it will override the system URL.

* MT (Mobile Terminated) message – an outgoing message sent from your application. It is a text message that terminates on a mobile device.

* MO (Mobile Originated) message – an inbound message sent to your application that is initiated by the customer (rather than a response to an MT message already sent out). It is a text message that originates from a mobile device.

 

For more information about CDYNE SMS Notify! API, please contact an account representative at 1-800-984-3710, inquire by email, or initiate a chat for more details.

Or sign up for a free trial license key to test CDYNE SMS Notify! API.

Developers find CDYNE SMS Notify! API integration details on the CDYNE developer’s wiki.

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Is a DID Required When Using CDYNE SMS Notify! API?

One question we often get asked is, “Is a DID required to use your SMS Notify! API?” The short answer is yes. Every SMS Notify! account comes with one dedicated DID, which is an SMS-enabled phone number that allows you to send text messages. DIDs are useful for low volume, person-to-person text messaging, but more importantly they provide two key benefits:

  1. Build your application with the SMS Notify! API while implementing a dedicated short code
  2. Use DIDs as a backup system to short codes when a carrier is not supported

SMS Notify! uses DIDs and short codes to send and receive text messages from and to your application. Dedicated short codes take time for carrier approval and launch, but companies can still build and test their application with SMS Notify! by using DIDs.

DID Text Messaging Best Practices

  1. DIDs are meant for low volume, person-to-person text messaging. The SMS Notify! API throttles outgoing text messages at a rate of 1 message every two seconds per DID.
  2. CDYNE recommends not sending more than 500 outgoing text messages per DID per day. Sending more than this may put you at risk of the carriers flagging your DID traffic. If your volume per DID is higher than 500 per day, please contact CDYNE to add more DIDs to your account to balance the message load.
  3. Marketing messages are not allowed on DIDs. CDYNE offers short code text messaging for marketing messages. Please contact CDYNE for more short code details.

DIDs for Short Code Backup

CDYNE offers DIDs for low-volume, non-marketing messaging  which makes a nice backup to short codes in the case a carrier is not supported on the short code. This is an optional feature that can be set up during the short code sign up process.

Call 1-800-984-3710 for more information or test today for free.

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SMS-Enable Your Apps for Only 1 Cent per Text Message

CDYNE Announces New Lower SMS API Pricing

In 2011 CDYNE cut the price of all text messaging to 1 cent worldwide. Text messages to the U.S. and Canada are still 1 cent, but CDYNE upgraded its worldwide reach to a more reliable provider. This international SMS upgrade costs a little more, but it offers Unicode support allowing you to send text messages in many languages. Also, DIDs are available in over 20 countries.

The international offering allows you to send text messages to over 200 countries. There is also a separate inbound reach to UK DIDs for users who require inbound messaging. Two-way messaging is available in most countries where DIDs are offered. Here is an SMS international coverage link to an Excel sheet outlining the pricing, outbound reach, inbound reach, available DIDs, and carrier restrictions.

SMS Notify! 2.0 is a 2-way text messaging Web Service that sends and receives text messages through secure SMS gateways. Commonly used messaging features include automated appointment or payment reminders, product delivery status notifications, and subscriber event messaging.

Automated Keyword Management

CDYNE has added automated keyword management features into SMS Notify! 2.0. SMS message recipients who type HELP, STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT keywords will now receive an automated acknowledgement.

When a CDYNE SMS Notify! 2.0 recipient types “HELP” CDYNE will automatically send back a default string with company name, contact information and STOP instructions to end text messages. This allows the recipient to know who is contacting them, and provides them with information on how they can contact the sender. SMS Notify! 2.0 users have the option to customize the HELP return string.

CDYNE SMS Notify! 2.0 automatically manages the STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT keywords. When an SMS recipient sends any of these keywords, CDYNE will send an automated acknowledgement. This will block the recipient’s number from receiving messages from our system in an effort to protect them from unwanted or unsolicited messages.

Free SMS API Test Keys

Sign up today to test CDYNE SMS Notify! 2.0 for free.

For more information about CDYNE SMS APIs, please call 1-800-984-3710, inquire or initiate a chat.

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CDYNE PostBackURL for Phone Notify! and SMS Notify! APIs

PostBackURLs allow Phone Notify! and SMS Notify! API customers to instantly know when an end user responds to a message or notification.  When a notification is sent out, CDYNE servers send a message back to the company’s designated PostBackURL noting the message has been sent.  When an end user responds, the results are also posted to the PostbackURL.

PostbackURL Assignment

A PostBackURL can be assigned to SMS Notify! and/or Phone Notify! request by using the advanced methods.  The advanced method for each service will have a property called StatusPostBackURL which is set with a link to the webpage created to handle a post back.  In addition, for incoming calls and text messages to a dedicated line that are not responses to previous messages, a StatusPostBackURL can be assigned directly to a customer’s DID (Phone number) allowing all end user generated traffic to go directly to the post back page.  This can be set up by contacting an account representative at 1-800-984-3710, sending an email inquiry or initiating a chat.

Using a PostBackURL with Phone Notify!

PostBackURLs can be very useful with the Phone Notify! API. It prevents the need to use the GetQueueIDStatus or GetMultipleQueueIDStatus methods. When using these methods, the customer’s server calls the methods multiple times as the customer would not know when the call has finished. With a PostBackURL in place, this allows the customer to have a webpage that will accept a POST from the Phone Notify! API when a call is placed, the call status has changed, the call is finished, or when a call is received (if using an Incoming DID).

When sending notifications, the PostBackURL can be set by using either the ~StatusChangePostURL()~ script command at the beginning of the call script (especially when using NotifyPhoneBasic), or the StatusChangePostURL parameter in the NotifyPhoneAdvanced operation. When using an Incoming DID with the Phone Notify! API, a CDYNE account representative can assign a PostBackURL to that Incoming DID assigned to the customer’s account.

All available operations for the Phone Notify! API can be found here: http://ws.cdyne.com/NotifyWS/PhoneNotify.asmx, and advanced scripting commands can be found here: http://wiki.cdyne.com/index.php/Phone_Notify!_TextToSay_Advanced_Commands

Using a PostBackURL with SMS Notify!

With SMS Notify! There are several advantages to setting a StatusPostBackURL.  When a user responds to a message, CDYNE will immediately notify the SMS Notify! API customer via a post to the StatusPostBackURL. This eliminates the need for the customer to constantly query CDYNE servers for responses.

SMS Notify! API customers will receive a sent post with a PostBackUrl set in the request. The sent Post simply states the status of the SMS message at that time, and whether or not there were any minor errors in the request.  When this request is properly formatted, then the SMS message will be queued in the CDYNE system awaiting processing by the carrier.

If the recipient responds after the message has been sent, CDYNE will post the response post as well. The response post contains the recipient’s message and can be handled however your business model demands (i.e. storing the information in a database, or responding with another message).

The StatusPostBackURL can also be used with a dedicated line. A CDYNE representative can assign a customer’s designated StatusPostBackURL to their DID. Then, any incoming traffic to that number will result in a post to the designated StatusPostBackURL.  This is the preferred way to accommodate business models that want to make use of mobile originated messages.

There are two methods in SMS Notify! that makes use of a StatusPostBackUrl: http://sms2.cdyne.com/sms.svc/help/operations/AdvancedSMSsendhttp://sms2.cdyne.com/sms.svc/help/operations/SimpleSMSsendWithPostback.

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Text Messaging with Shared and Dedicated Long Numbers Using CDYNE SMS Notify! API

CDYNE SMS Notify! API is a versatile Web Service that allows businesses to send 2-way text messages worldwide through an SMS gateway using shared and/or dedicated long numbers. A long number (i.e. 757-544-9510) is a 10-digit phone number, and is an alternative method to short codes for sending outbound and receiving inbound SMS text messages. Customers using CDYNE SMS Notify! API can connect to a bank of shared long numbers, order dedicated long numbers (DIDs), or use a combination of both to support their business needs. Here is a quick overview of each option:

Shared Long Numbers

By using the SimpleSMS or AdvancedSMS request, users can pass their license key, phone number, and text message to CDYNE SMS Notify! API which will send the message(s) through a bank of randomly generated long numbers.  Text messages sent out this way will come from different phone numbers.

Dedicated Long Numbers

A significant feature of SMS Notify! API is the option for customers to purchase exclusively assigned long numbers, or DIDs. They allow inbound messaging for companies requiring Mobile Originated (MO) messages from customers or subscribers.

Customers may request a randomly generated DID, or specify the area code of the phone number.  Customers may purchase a single DID to be assigned to the license key or multiple DIDs to be assigned to a single license key.  Once the DID is issued, CDYNE assigns it to the customer’s license key which may be used to send text messages from the dedicated number(s).

Combining Shared and Dedicated Long Numbers

In some cases, businesses may need to use a combination of both methods to send and receive text messages. To do this, users can use two separate SMS Notify! API license keys. It’s simple to generate an additional SMS Notify! API license key. And the best part is that it is free. Let’s use an example to illustrate.

Customer ABC creates license key xxx11yyy-1234-1a2b-3ca4-xxxe77e91yyy and assigns the key alias “Shared.” The customer can add a secondary key and assign with the alias, “DID 4723.” Customer ABC contacts CDYNE to order a DID. CDYNE staff place the order and assign the DID to license key “DID 4723.” With those steps complete, Customer ABC can program the license key called “Shared” to send out text messages on the bank of shared long numbers, as well as program the license key “DID 4723” to send and/or receive text messages from the dedicated phone number.

Test SMS Notify! API for free by requesting a trial license key by calling 1-800-984-3710, inquire or initiate a chat.

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