Top Ways to Improve Your App’s User Engagement and Security with SMS — Part II

Published November 01, 2016 by Francisco Kattan

Last week I shared Part I of this series and covered four ways to enhance your applications with SMS.  I highlighted the advantages of SMS over other customer engagement channels in terms of reach and engagement. With SMS you can reach up to 6 billion people with read rates of up to 95% and engagement rates of 92%. Not too bad!

Here are four more application ideas that require very little development effort, complete with links to sample code so your team can start experimenting with SMS right away.  

5. Allow users to chat without sharing their phone numbers

Do you want to connect buyers and sellers without compromising privacy or risking revenue leakage? You can keep conversations between users private — and on your platform — by protecting their phone numbers with virtual numbers.

By giving each member of the conversation their own virtual number, assigned by your app, you can create a channel that lets them exchange messages without knowing each other’s mobile numbers. You can even assign them numbers that are local to them, which increases engagement and reduces their communication costs.

Creating a channel for private SMS is easy, as is provisioning local numbers through which buyers and sellers can easily and securely communicate. You can read more and find code samples here.

6. Invite customers to download your app with a direct link

If your customers love your service, they’ll want to share it with others — especially if you make it easy for them to do so. Allow users to share your app with their friends using a link shared via SMS.  The link can direct the recipient to the iOS App Store, Google Play page or your registration page.  You can also improve mobile user acquisition by inviting existing customers to return to the app via SMS.

If you use a customized registration link for each user, you can also reward your users for each sign-up they generate. Here’s sample code for promoting mobile apps with SMS.

7. Create a local SMS presence to increase customer engagement

Whether you’re a large or small company, your prospective customers won’t view you as a local company unless you engage them using a local phone number. That’s especially true if you’re targeting markets outside your home country.

Provisioning local numbers is no longer the chore it used to be. Now it’s easy to automate with numbers available covering virtually every corner of the globe. This allows you to appear as a local organization in all markets you’re targeting, with minimal effort. Here’s sample code showing how easy it is to provision local numbers.

8. Enable SMS or voice engagement via the same local number

Why leave it at SMS? After all, most of us expect that a phone number should work for phone calls too. Now that phone numbers can be provisioned and routed programmatically, you can make your phone numbers do pretty much whatever you need.

What happens if you send a SMS to a customer and they try to call you using that number? It’s up to you. You can route it to your customer contact center if the number matches an existing customer, send it to sales if it seems to be a new prospect, or you can route it to an IVR. Find a complete guide to setting up voice communications here.

Why stop there?

Once you’ve selected the right cloud communications platform, you can integrate SMS, voice, and even chat into more parts of your app and your business. For developers, it’s an easy, scalable way to increase user engagement without significantly impacting product roadmaps and development resources.