Since we launched Live sms at the beginning of the year, we’ve received several enquiries about integrating Live sms with third-party applications, and more specifically around when an SMS API (application programming interface) will be available.

An SMS API is an integration that enables you to send and receive SMS from an application of your choice. Popular CRM, marketing and client management platforms such as Mailchimp, Marketo or Campaign Monitor are often used with an API setup to send SMS directly from within the platform.

So what’s a webhook?

Webhooks are essentially a simple type of API, where automated calls are made to a server and those calls are triggered when a specific event happens. In a nutshell, they enable you to automatically send or receive an SMS from another platform without having to log in to Live sms.

Many Australian businesses are increasingly using webhooks to improve internal processes and improve their customers’ experience. A good example is any business using SMS for appointment setting and reminders, such as a hairdresser.

Using a webhook, it’s possible to integrate Live sms directly with their salon’s cloud-based appointment scheduling solution, so they can send and receive SMS directly from their platform without the need to send individual messages from within Live sms.

If this sounds complicated and you don’t consider yourself overly technical, the good news is that you don’t need to know the intricate workings of APIs to get started.

The key is to understand how your business can take advantage of the new Live sms webhooks and get more out of your existing business applications.

Below are some examples of how your business could take advantage of Live sms webhooks.

Send notifications and updates

One way to maintain trust, engagement and long-term loyalty with your brand is to ensure you’re communicative and transparent throughout the entire customer journey.

Once you’ve integrated with Live sms you’ll be able to automatically deliver purchase confirmations and updates around the despatch and expected delivery of products. Similarly, you could keep customers updated about the progress of customer service requests, or even notify them of changing stock levels of favourited items through a triggered SMS once purchased items have been dispatched.

Appointments and reminders

If you’re a barber, hairdresser, dentist, or any other business in the health and beauty sector, then there’s probably nothing more frustrating than a no-show. Integrating Live sms with your customer/member management system can help your customers or patients manage their time better. Send appointment confirmations direct to their phone as well as automated reminders before the scheduled appointment time.

Bill payment reminders and follow ups

You might send out ad hoc invoices or your customers could be subject to a regular billing cycle. With SMS open rates as high as 98%, you could reduce the amount of missed payments (and improve cashflow) by allowing your invoicing software to trigger payment reminders and any overdue notifications and suggested next steps.

SMS marketing

Email marketing and SMS work very well together. While email can deliver more detailed content compared to SMS, SMS has a much higher click through rate of 19% compared to 3.2% for email. So, you could get a better return on your efforts if you accompany all your EDMs with a complementary SMS.

Also, you could boost sales by sending product recommendations via SMS based on recently purchased or viewed items.

Surveys and feedback

Once a customer has completed a transaction or interaction with your business, sending a short SMS survey asking them to rate their experience or provide feedback could reveal some useful insights. For example, a delivery notification or past appointment could trigger an SMS at a set time after the delivery or appointment.