Do it yourself #03 – SMS Gateway [VIDEO GUIDE]

22 October, 2020
Reading time: 4 min 03 sec

Welcome to the next part of the SMSAPI Do It Yourself Guide. In this episode we will explain you how easy it is to send messages from SMS gateway in the SMSAPI Customer Portal.

Your first SMS campaign

To send a single or bulk SMS campaign, select the SMS gateway or use a shortcut in the dashboard. Choose one of the options: 

Please remember that if you want to send SMS messages to the groups, you have to create it in advance. You will learn more about creating and importing contact databases and adding groups of recipients in the 4th episode of SMSAPI Do it yourself. 

Composing a text message

Firstly, select the sender name from the drop-down list from which the message will be sent – the sender’s alphanumeric name or phone number you registered earlier. Remember that due to the limitations of GSM operators, the alphanumeric sender name is not available in every country and in case it is available, it can have a maximum of 11 characters, and it is impossible to reply to such a message. 

Send text messages from the SMS gateway
SMS gateway in the SMSAPI Customer Portal is the most basic method of sending text messages to clients

Secondly, enter one or multiple numbers to which the SMS should be sent. Separate individual recipients with a comma. Remember to add a country prefix to each number. 

By default, one SMS can contain 160 characters, but if the limit is exceeded, the message will be sent in multiple parts. On the vast majority of mobile devices, this message will display as one part excluding old phones. Each part is counted as one SMS message.

Number of messages and characters left counters in the SMS gateway
Number of messages and characters left are displayed below the content field

Special symbols, just like emoticons or diacritical signs, are counted as more than one character – so it’s important to remember this when preparing a campaign. Check the number of SMS parts when creating a body of the message.

In addition to regular text, you can add emoticons and shorten links using the cut.li shortening service. Short URLs are used not only to save valuable characters in messages but also to add files and direct recipients to websites. They are also used to analyse the effectiveness of SMS campaigns. You will learn more about short links in the 9th episode of the guide.  

You can also add an opt-out link to each message. This is an individual link, thanks to which the recipient will be automatically unsubscribed from your contact group or newsletter in the SMSAPI Customer Portal. You will learn more about opt-out links in the 4th episode.

Additional sending options of the SMS gateway

Additional SMS sending options

On the right side of the message creation field, there are extra options. If you click “Replace special chars” and your message contains Unicode UTF-8 characters they will be replaced with standard ones. 

Selecting the Flash option means that when the recipient gets the message, it will appear on the phone screen immediately without saving in the inbox. However, it’s important to remember that Flash messages do not support special characters

Prioritizing your messages

Selecting the “Send fast” option will give a priority over all other campaigns in the SMSAPI queue. Please remember that this option also increases the cost by 1.5 times.

In the options section, you can also schedule your campaign up to three months ahead. If you often use similar message content, you can define ready-made templates. Okay, your message is ready, and we can send it. The recipient will get it within a few seconds. 

Next step: Contact Database