Can Salesforce send Text Messages?

Scott Luikart |
 Salesforce |
 May 12, 2021

With this blog post, we’ll discuss 3 ways to send text messages with Salesforce. Prior to sending text messages with Salesforce, we encourage you to examine whether or not you have consent from a customer to text them. If you have consent, we will be reviewing to send text messages with salesforce using Salesforce, built on Salesforce applications, or applications that integrate with Salesforce.

Send Text Messages with Salesforce

Before we dive into whether or not Salesforce can send text messages we should spend some time talking about whether or not your company is eligible to use Salesforce to text your customers. Please always refer to https://www.ftc.gov or your legal counsel for advice on what could be a liability to your business. According to the FTC website at the time of writing this blog, there are some basic requirements that must be met in order to text a consumer. If you are a commercial business in most cases you must get written consent from your customer that they can be reached by text message. Non-profit organizations and some entities do not have these same rules, for now, let’s focus on the commercial business application.

Text Message Consent

Please ensure that there is a way to unsubscribe from the text messages and revoke consent if it was previously given. Make sure that each message is at least a sentence long and make it clear who sent the message.

Reference (https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/avoiding_spam_-_unwanted_email_and_text_messages.pdf)
Please note that there’s a fine line from the FTC for not properly following TCPA regulations. Just because you have been given a customer’s phone number does not mean that you can communicate with them using that method without consent.

Sending Text Messages with Salesforce – 3 Ways

If your business process and use case allow you to text message customers with consent there are a few options.

1. Salesforce Digital Engagement

Salesforce offers a product called Digital Engagement, it’s part of the Service Cloud product list. The model Salesforce has supports both automated text messages and 1-to-1 messages started by a support agent. The automated message could be when an order is on its way with a tracking number and when it has been delivered. This would be 2 messages. Note that these are typically not channels that the customer would reply to and have a conversation with you. Conversations, where an agent or customer initiates communication and keeps it going, are considered conversations. These are typically short exchanges to resolve a short-term issue. When the agent closes the session that counts as one conversation. The benefit is you can have as many messages as you want in 1 conversation, in a 24-hour period. The considerations here are how that might impact your planning for the number of conversations per month if agents close conversations earlier than the client needs or your customer behavior extend the conversation into more than 1 day. If a client speaks with you over a 3 day period that could be considered 3 conversations. This all affects the billing cost of the solution. This math is hard for me to project because customer behavior is always hard to predict.

2. Salesforce Partner: MercurySMS by Aprika

MercurySMS offers a lot of the same features as other text messaging solutions on the market that integrate with Salesforce with one notable exception, it’s built on the Salesforce Platform. What this means for you as a customer is that your admins and developers that are familiar with the Salesforce Platform will have an easier time taking this up and working with it than applications that leverage the Salesforce Platform but were not built on it. MercurySMS supports outbound, inbound, bulk messaging, and opt-out management. With this tool, you can automate your text messages using the power of Workflow Rules. This is a pay-per-text message tool so if there are peak times or seasonality to your business it is pretty easy to support those on this platform. Additionally, you can use this for internal or external use. Maybe there’s an issue with your office building and you need to tell all your users to stay home as COVID-19 hit you could text all the users in your system to plan to work from home, etc. Planning and forecasting use for this tool is pretty simple because the tool is per user per month and per text message sent or received.

3. Salesforce Partner: Zappier integration with app like Twilio

Integrations can be built for tools like Twilio. Please note that Twilio has an installed package for Salesforce and can operate similar to MercurySMS as they have per user per month pricing for such a tool. Some companies will decide to build their own experience leveraging API’s to send text messages leveraging the Salesforce platform. This requires a developer to build and manage. Adding a developer, or a company like Roycon to your team, to do this work doesn’t reduce your cost or dependency. As you find more customer journeys to use the SMS channel you may need to add development work depending on the requirements. In contrast to the installed packages, there is no User Interface to send individual messages – having to create screens to send customers messages, see responses, and manage the total experience can be very costly. The great thing here is you are only paying per text message and doesn’t increase as you add more staff it just increases as you send more text messages. This is a very easy cost to forecast as you increase customers and journeys.

If you still have some questions or would like to discuss whether or not you can send text messages with Salesforce, feel free to reach out to us. You can learn more about us, we’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Thanks for stopping by the Roycon Salesforce blog, be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading and as always, happy building!

Scott Luikart

Scott Luikart

Lead Technical Architect

Scott, Lead Technical Architect, is passionate about solving problems using the Salesforce platform. Scott created #MGPdoesTrailhead to teach LGBT Homeless youth Salesforce and is a current Salesforce MVP, Lightning Champion and Golden Hoddie recipient. Scott’s focus at Roycon is to help the teams build awesome, secure, and scalable solutions.

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