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18 May 2020

SMS Integrations 101: How to get started

Now that we’ve covered the basics of SMS integrations, as well as the most common kinds of text messaging integrations you can use in your business and automate your work, it’s time to look at how you can get started using them yourself. Whether you want to manage your inbox load or get started on some SMS marketing, there are endless opportunities for you to gain from using integrations.

Hold up! We first need to learn the different ways you can start connecting to our SMS gateway first. 

Here are two of the easiest ways for you to start introducing integrations into your working life.

  1. Third-party connector integration platforms like Zapier
  2. Direct integrations

There are downsides, and upsides to both, so let’s take you through it.

Connecting with Zapier integrations

Zapier, or connector integration platforms, fill in the gap when multiple businesses haven’t built direct integrations to connect each other yet. As an online automation tool, they allow you to construct a workflow called a zap between two or more applications that you couldn’t connect before. 

 

Zapier Connector Integrations with SMS

Why you’d use Zapier integrations

Not only has Zapier made introducing automations and integration flows into your business easier than ever, they have over +2500 applications you can connect right now. And, still counting!

Overall, there are many business benefits to adding Zaps to your business including:

  • Speeding up your business tasks
  • Ensuring data consistency
  • Sharing visibility of task completions or key events with your team

By taking out the expensive costs and difficult coding that comes with creating your own integrations, Zapier have simplified the process so that anyone can use it. Invest in understanding how to create a Zap and you’ll start seeing how zaps can make your work life easier AND better.

RELATED: Read about how quickly one of our customers, a local anaesthetist, set it up to reduce administrative inefficiencies in their business.

When to consider other options

If there’s a direct integration available to you, we suggest considering that instead of connecting through Zapier. We’ll discuss the benefits of direct integrations in more detail below, however where you can connect to one provider (MessageMedia > your application) instead of two (MessageMedia > Zapier > your application), this can be more advantageous. Direct integrations  can help you streamline your processes, reduce apps you’re using and simplify the steps it takes to create a flow.

How to get started

  1. If you haven’t already, create an account with MessageMedia or your SMS service provider of choice. MessageMedia accounts are free to set-up and you get 25 free credits to play with when you join. If you aren’t going with MessageMedia, make sure to check beforehand that your SMS provider connects to Zapier or another connector integration platform.
  2. Now, create an account with Zapier. Accounts are free to create, just make sure you match your credentials.
  3. Once you’re in Zapier, go to Connected Accounts.
  4. Click connect new account, and look for MessageMedia.
  5. Click to add, and input your information to connect your accounts.

For more in-depth instructions, use our support guide and make sure to watch the Zapier video above, or read their fantastic guide on how to create a zap.

Connecting with direct integrations

The second way to start connecting your applications to each other is through direct integrations. A direct integration means two applications are tied directly, often because they have a product team or developer who takes their time to build a special bridge between the two applications. This is particularly useful for any organisation who wants to seamlessly connect their messaging solution to a widely used front-end system such as Hubspot or Shopify for ease of use, functionality and save time. 

For example, using MessageMedia’s REST API we can connect directly to other software allowing users to send SMS within that application.

Why you’d use a direct integration

As we discussed above, if a direct integration exists to connect your two chosen applications, you should use it. Let’s say if your chosen platform or application has a direct application to MessageMedia, you should use it over a connector integration platform like Zapier.

There are many business benefits when using a direct integration. Besides streamlining your processes, who doesn’t want more simplified billing between yourself and one provider instead of two or three or more? And there’s even easier usability, with many direct integrations allowing you to stay within your platform of choice as we’ll see in our Shopify > MessageMedia example below.

When to consider other options

Direct integrations may be limited for those seeking highly customisable workflows that allow you to do multiple, complex tasks the exact way you want.

In that case, it may be better to create it yourself through our REST API gateway.

How to get started

With direct integrations, look up or go to the relevant part of the platform that serves direct integrations. It is often called Integrations, or Integrations and Webhooks. It should give you a list of direct integrations, as well as what you need to do in order to connect the two applications.

  1. Let’s take Shopify as an example. You’re a shop owner, and this is your shop interface.

Add MessageMedia SMS direct integration to Shopify

  1. Go to the Apps button on the right. This will take you to another page where you can see all the current apps you are also using or have downloaded in conjunction with Shopify.

MessageMedia SMS integration Shopify go to apps button on right

  1. If you want the MessageMedia app, but don’t have it, you would click ‘Visit the Shopify App Store’ button on the top right.

Visit Shopify app store

  1. Once in the store, use the search bar to find MessageMedia. Two options should come up offering two different actions: Reconvert or Marketing automation. Choose whichever you desire, and simple as that – you’re connected!

Use search bar to find MessageMedia Shopify app integration

Final thoughts and further reading

Is it time you started using integrations? They can be greatly beneficial to your team and even your own workflows. No matter how efficient, or productive an individual can be – integrations are here to simplify our increasingly complex technological worlds. You’d be surprised what you can gain when you start using automations and integrations today.

Visit our marketplace and start connecting SMS to your business apps today.

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