As a business, you are always looking for the best and most effective ways to reach your customers and build lasting relationships with them. It is easier to achieve when you reach them through the channels where they are most attentive, and one of the options is to send SMS messages from Salesforce.
With a 99% open rate, it makes sense to connect with your customers through a text messaging channel that they are familiar with and use on a daily basis. Your Salesforce org contains a large amount of data that your business has captured and organized over time, so you should leverage it to create dynamic and personalized text messaging interactions with your customers.
To achieve this, your business needs to set up a Salesforce SMS integration first.
Top 3 Ways to Send SMS from Salesforce
There are a number of key methods of connecting Salesforce to an SMS text messaging tool, with varying costs and functionality for each. Depending on your immediate budget, long-term budget, feature requirements, and the timeline in which you need your SMS text messaging solution within Salesforce, you may want to consider any of the following options.
Salesforce SMS Messaging
Salesforce has its own native SMS text messaging solution included, though the features are quite limited and the setup process can seem complicated.
You can select the ideal type of number for your business between a short code or one of the many long code options depending on your use case. You must use an existing US or Canadian number to send your messages, or alternatively, request a new number from Salesforce directly.
Ensure your messages are kept to approximately 160 characters in length (also, consider that most non-English characters will often contain more data and limit this character limit further, as it is based roughly on the 140-byte maximum message size limitation). Larger messages will be segmented into messages up to 133 bytes in length and into a maximum of 6 segmented messages.
Each new number that you connect to your Salesforce org will need a new Messaging Channel created. The steps to create a new Messaging Channel within your org are as follows:
- Open the Messaging Settings menu from within Setup.
- Under the Channels section, click the New Channel button to open up the setup wizard.
- Follow the prompts (Click Start, then SMS, and download the Letter of Authorization document that you can use to enable your existing number for texting within Salesforce).
- You will need to submit the signed Letter of Authorization to Salesforce through a new Case in Salesforce Help. Salesforce will email you when this process is complete.
Don't forget to check out: Open Facebook Messenger and Send Message using Lightning Component Salesforce | Salesforce Tutorials
Custom Solution through API
If your business is looking for a bit more in the way of functionality and flexibility, you may want to consider creating an application that will send SMS text messages from Salesforce through a messaging service provider. To connect your Salesforce org to the messaging service provider, you will need to use the Salesforce API to build an integration.
Ultimately, this option allows for the most flexibility when it comes to the functionality you are looking to achieve as a business. Given that you are building your SMS text messaging solution from the ground up, you are able to use your Salesforce data to do anything you need it to do: dynamic text using Merge Fields, criteria-based bulk messaging, etc.
Creating your own SMS text messaging application through Salesforce will also mean your subscription costs are lower, as you really are only paying for the messages you send, in addition to your Salesforce Org costs (which you would be paying anyway).
Text messaging services are extremely cheap, depending on the functionality you are using on their side (i.e., they may charge more for dedicated phone numbers, two-way messaging, or advanced features like trackable links and mobile landing pages).
However, because you are building your own solution from scratch, you will have a much higher cost of implementation. You will also need to cover the ongoing expenses for maintenance, improvements, and support.
Your business needs to consider their budget for the build and implementation of your solution when comparing these options, as the API route might become the most time-consuming and expensive option in the end.
AppExchange Solutions for Sending SMS Messages from Salesforce
Last but not least, you can utilize existing Salesforce messaging apps available on AppExchange. These apps were built specifically for this use case based on the needs of other businesses looking to integrate SMS and WhatsApp messaging into Salesforce.
ValueText - SMS App for Salesforce, Converse View
2. LINK Mobility
Best Practices to Consider When Sending SMS from Salesforce
Having the ability to reach your customers through SMS text messaging is something that your business should be very considerate about. Your customers will likely receive a notification on their phone when you send them a message, which can be frustrating and invasive if you do it too often, or if your message is not relevant or valuable to them.
Value Your Customers' Personal Time
Use SMS In Addition To Other Communication Channels
Send Consistent, Valuable Messages
Don't Forget Your Call to Action
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