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Twilio two-way integration

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Pavel_Plachky
Level 5

Twilio two-way integration

We would like to implement two-way SMS integration with Twilio. On the Launchpoint page https://launchpoint.marketo.com/twilio/twilio-sms-for-marketo I found the following information:

Marketo provides a cloud app which uses the Twilio SMS Gateway to both send and receive SMS from your leads and customers.

Does Marketo really provide such app? If yes, what are your experiences with it?

Many thanks,

Pavel

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Veronica_Holme4
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Twilio two-way integration

Marketo professional services can do this, but there are many other providers as well who have solutions for this too. The Marketo "app" that I've seen is designed primarily for managing SMS subscription info on the person. The trick with two-way SMS I've found is the association between the original program that sent the SMS and the response back from Twilio. My experience is Marketo haven't built that, but a bunch of partners have.

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Josh_Hill13
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Twilio two-way integration

I believe Twilio would be the best people to speak with.

Two way requires a lot of setup and may be expensive.

https://launchpoint.marketo.com/assets/640-twilio/10217-twilio-sms-for-marketo/Twilio-Webhook-Final....

Veronica_Holme4
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Twilio two-way integration

Marketo professional services can do this, but there are many other providers as well who have solutions for this too. The Marketo "app" that I've seen is designed primarily for managing SMS subscription info on the person. The trick with two-way SMS I've found is the association between the original program that sent the SMS and the response back from Twilio. My experience is Marketo haven't built that, but a bunch of partners have.

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Nicholas_Manojl
Level 9

Re: Twilio two-way integration

Just about any sms gateway works the same way in regards to a response. They make a call-back to a URL of your choice with the details of the SMS response.

Are you sending from a 'word' or from a dedicated phone number? If you're sending from a 'word', such as your business name, someone can't reply and a two-way integration isn't possible.

If you're replying to a number, the sms gateway can post the details of the reply, such as the phone number and body to the callback URL.

This callback URL hosts an application which pushes the details over the REST API back into Marketo and can look up the person by phone number to associate the right person. (Do you have records with duplicate phone numbers?)

Your smart campaign is listening for a data value to be updated and can act accordingly.

What value are you really getting here? Do your customers like being told exactly what they can respond with ("YES", "NO", "STOP") to a phone number they don't recognise? I'm not saying these aren't useful ways of interacting with your customers, but what about the times when someone replies to an SMS with something other than one of these predefined words? Are you monitoring your SMS responses?

A lot of people will sell you on the dream of a two way integration, but I'd introduce the simple workflow of linking to a landing page/form with a one-way SMS to achieve a similar outcome as an alternative to the effort involved.

Pavel_Plachky
Level 5

Re: Twilio two-way integration

Thanks Nichoas, for the additional detail. The picture is becoming clear.

FYI, the usecase was to send an SMS to people who registered for in-person event so they can confirm their attendance or to let us know they do not come. Simple answer YES NO Stop would give us a good idea about the actual attendance. But seeing that it would require another partner to implement, it seems not worth it.

Linking to a LP would require too much effort from the recipient. Asking them to fill out a form so that we know they are coming would probably just annoy the few who would do it

Thanks again.

Pavel

Tyron_Pretorius
Level 4

Re: Twilio two-way integration

@Pavel_Plachky your use case of sending confirmation SMS messages to customers and handling responses is something I have built in Marketo and Zapier:

 

  1. https://theworkflowpro.com/marketo-sms-integration/
  2. https://theworkflowpro.com/2-way-sms-marketo/

The first post shows you how to use webhooks to send confirmation and reminder SMS messages to customers when they fill out a form to register for a webinar.

 

The second post shows you how to handle customer responses by:

  • Parsing the inbound SMS for keywords and choosing an appropriate response (which addresses @Nicholas_Manojl 's point "but what about the times when someone replies to an SMS with something other than one of these predefined words" by using a default response to reach out to support if the parser does not find any keywords
  • Sending the SMS response to the customer and optional alerts to your team
  • Sets the person's SMS subscription field in Marketo to TRUE or FALSE if the "STOP" or "START" keywords are present

Also to provide more detail on @Nicholas_Manojl 's comment. What he refers to as a "word" number is an alphanumeric sender id and this can only be used for one-way messaging as he correctly states. If you want 2 way SMS then you will need to use long code, short code, or toll-free numbers with SMS capability. There are different pros and cons to each number type (i.e. international capability, number cost, SMS cost, message per minute rate, 2 way capability), which I summarize in this post: https://theworkflowpro.com/marketo-sms-marketing/

Tyron Pretorius