What is an SMS API and how do they work?

Topic: SMS API

An SMS API allows organizations to start sending texts within minutes from their existing software. Learn more about how they work and best practices.

Application programming interfaces, also known as APIs, allow you to connect your existing software with new solution(s) – without needing to install a whole new platform. In the case of an SMS API, this means you can then send and receive SMS messages from the comfort of your existing, familiar software. 

Wondering how an SMS API works and how you can use them for your business? Keep reading for more.

How does an SMS API work?

This piece of software bridges the gap between telecommunications carrier networks and the internet, which reduces the need to use a platform or a software middleman to influence this capability. To get started, you’ll need to integrate your SMS API into your existing software. 

A reliable SMS API provider will provide detailed documentations for various programming languages to make the integration easier for your in-house developers. An excellent provider will even be available to help you through set up.

SMS API terms you need to know

API keys

An API key is a code that’s used to identify your account and the activity associated with that account. 

API parameters

An API parameter determines the action you want to move forward with. Let’s say you want an SMS message to be sent when a specific activity happens or criteria is met. For this message to be sent, you’ll be using parameters like “token,” message,” and “phone”. 

These parameters would be programmed to forward whatever information is appropriate for the situation.


A webhook is used to create automatic actions when certain scenarios take place or specific criteria are met. 

Esendex uses webhooks to ensure your applications know when certain things happen, such as getting an SMS message. Details about the event are provided, such as the body of the message and what phone number it is coming from. URLs can be set up to receive MMS or SMS messages with your mass texting API.

How to use SMS APIs

An SMS API allows businesses to add SMS messaging functionality to their software. It’s a great way to easily and quickly expand the capabilities of your existing business solutions. 

Here are some top ways an SMS API can be used:

  • Appointment and booking reminders
  • Marketing and sales alerts
  • Customer support 
  • One-time passwords (OPT)/two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Booking or order confirmations
  • Customer feedback and surveys
  • Critical alerts

4 tips to get the most out of your SMS API

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Stay on top of business messaging guidelines

SMS laws and regulations are constantly changing, but it’s important that you keep up with them. The best way to do this (and avoid negative repercussions like fines or carrier filtering) is to partner with an SMS API provider that can help you stay ahead of compliance. 

Use personalization

Some of the biggest advantages of SMS are the ability to connect with customers one-on-one in a channel they also use to communicate with friends and family. So, treat them like a friend and send your customers content that’s tailored to their needs and interests.

Avoid spamming customers

A bulk SMS API allows you to send messages to large groups of recipients at once. Keep in mind that your customers will already be receiving notifications from other businesses – both via text and alternative channels, like email. So, to ensure your SMS subscribers aren’t overwhelmed and stay opted in, always send content that offers value.

Have two-way conversations

While notifications and reminders are useful, they’re not enough to help you build relationships with customers. You need to have two-way conversations, whether that’s allowing customers to respond to customer service messages, SMS surveys, or to receive personalized advice.

Get started with your SMS API journey

Are you ready to implement an SMS API into your business? The right API provider can help you start sending your first SMS message within minutes, and with Esendex our team can have you up and running in no time.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us today.

Author Avatar
Mayzin Han