How to send Service Review Invitations and Product Review Invitations with SMS and API Links



Setting up SMS with Twilio and incorporating Trustpilot API links can enhance your invitation strategy by including links to Trustpilot reviews. With SMS boasting a 90% read rate within three minutes and a 45% response rate, it's an ideal channel for high impact invitation strategies. Follow these steps to seamlessly integrate both Twilio SMS and Trustpilot API links into your application. For more information on getting started with Trustpilot's private API, be sure to refer to our
guide. If you’re interested in service review invitations and product review invitations with WhatsApp please refer to this dedicated guide.

Prerequisites

To start sending create service review and product review API links through SMS, you'll need the following:

Trustpilot business account - create one here

Trustpilot API links - Create a Service Review or Product Review invitation link to include in the body of your SMS messages. Walkthrough here.

Twilio Account - Twilio account (sign up here for a free trial)

API client - optional (we would recommend Postman)

Programming environment - Familiarity with a programming language such as Python, Node.js, or Java is recommended for implementing the integration.

Key considerations: 

Sending SMS messages programmatically enables reaching many people almost simultaneously. With Twilio, you can register your own virtual phone number and send SMS worldwide. Selecting the appropriate phone number type (e.g., short codes, local numbers) impacts costs, message throughput, geographic targeting, and regulatory compliance.It's essential to comply with local regulations and carrier guidelines when using these numbers for SMS communication.To see SMS guidelines per country visit this guide. Your messaging method will vary depending on your use case the below are a select few different types of number that will allow for a robust and scalable one-to-many SMS solution.

Different types of numbers: 

Short Codes:

A 5- or 6-digit number that is easy to remember. It's often used for high-volume messaging and  exclusively assigned to one business. Register for one here. Process may take up to 6-8 weeks

Long Codes:

Local Phone Numbers: Regular, full-length phone numbers with the same format as personal numbers.

VoIP Numbers:

Virtual Phone Numbers: Internet-based numbers that may not be tied to a specific geographic location.

Landline Numbers:

Traditional landline numbers can also be used for sending SMS, though this is less common.

Alphanumeric Sender IDs:

Instead of using a phone number, some services allow businesses to send SMS using an alphanumeric sender ID, which can be a combination of letters and numbers (e.g., "CompanyName").

Toll-free
Mandatory verification process here. The customer will take on the cost of the calls or SMS. Toll-free numbers in the United Kingdom cannot yet be used to send messages.

A2P 10DLC
For sending to North America you’ll need to register your brand and campaign. Supported documentation

To read through phone numbers and their capabilities this documentation should assist you.

Integration Steps: 

Let’s delve into integrating Trustpilot API links into SMS using Twilio. If you’ve not yet created your review invitation links you can follow this guide here.

Step 1: Register a Twilio Account

Setup your Twilio Account - If you haven’t already, sign in to your Twilio account and navigate to the Twilio Console.

Step 2: Buy a Twilio number 

You’ll either need to use a phone number that you currently own or purchase a number from the Twilio console. You can navigate here from the sidebar within the console and select the tab Phone Numbers > Manage > Buy a number or Active Numbers. If you want to use a non-Twilio number, please refer to this article. You’ll have the option of searching for numbers according to area code, what words you might like within the number and the capabilities of the number (like SMS, MMS, and Voice).As mentioned in the prerequisites, you will need a number with SMS capability in order to complete this guide.

Step 3: Obtain Twilio SID and Auth Token

Retrieve your Twilio Account SID and Auth Token from the Twilio Console.  These credentials will authenticate your requests to the Twilio API.

Step 4: Write a Script to Send SMS with API Links

Once you have a SMS enabled number and your Trustpilot API invitation links continue on to Twilio for their Programmable Messaging Quickstart in the language of your choice. To send a templated message, include the full body of the message in the API call.
Here is an example using Node.js and Express.js web framework:

// Download the helper library from https://www.twilio.com/docs/node/install 
// Find your Account SID and Auth Token at twilio.com/console
// and set the environment variables. See http://twil.io/secure 

const accountSid = process.env.TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID;
const authToken = process.env.TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN;
const client = require('twilio')(accountSid, authToken); client.messages
.create({
//Your SMS number
from: '+YOUR_NUMBER',
//Replace with your Trustpilot link
body: `Thank you for contacting support today. Please leave us a review on Trustpilot. https://www.trustpilot.com/evaluate-link/97879118c292e421ea05908f3d3d6f7d`,
//Replace with your user
to: '+YOUR_CUSTOMER_NUMBER'
})
.then(message => console.log(message.sid));

Replace the placeholder values with your actual Twilio credentials and the recipient's phone number.


Step 5: Execute and Test

Run your script to send a SMS message containing the API link. Verify that the message is delivered successfully to the recipient.


Step 6: Launch Your SMS Business Presence

Once testing is successful, launch your integration with confidence. Start engaging with customers through SMS to improve your Trustpilot invitation strategy.

Optional: Setting up Alphanumeric Sender ID
Alphanumeric Sender IDs offer the ability to send SMS with a customised sender name rather than a phone number. While this boosts brand recognition, it does restrict recipient response capabilities.
It's important to note that Alphanumeric Sender IDs may not be available in all countries, and in certain supported regions, pre-registration might be necessary. To check if this feature is accessible in your country and if any pre-registration is required, visit the International Support for Alphanumeric Sender ID page. Presently, this feature is not available in the United States and Canada but is operational in most European countries.

Create a Messaging Service

To commence sending SMS using an Alphanumeric Sender ID, you'll need to set up a Messaging Service in your Twilio account. Navigate to Messaging > Services > Create Messaging Service in the Twilio console.

In Step 1, enter a friendly name for your service such as “Trustpilot Review Notifier''. Keep the remaining fields at their default settings. Click “Create Messaging Service” to proceed.

Next, Add the sender type as an Alpha Sender and input the desired sender name for your messages in the "Alpha Sender ID" field. Click “Add Alpha Sender” to save it, and the “Step 3: Set up integration” button to continue on to continue with the setup process.

Unless you intend to message in North America, you can leave the configuration settings in steps 3 and 4 at their defaults. However, if you plan to message in North America, you'll need to provide compliance information in Step 4 to proceed.

Upon completion, you'll have the option to test your Messaging Service to test it through the console, or you can instead "View my new Messaging Service" to proceed.


Retrieve your Messaging Service SID and Account Sid and Auth Token, which you'll need to integrate into a script of your choice.

Here is an example using Python

import os
from twilio.rest import Client

messaging_service_sid = os.environ['MESSAGING_SERVICE_SID']
account_sid = os.environ['TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID']
auth_token = os.environ['TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN']

client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)
message = client.messages.create(
 from_=messaging_service_sid,
  body='Thank you for contacting TPdemo today. Let us know about your experience by leaving us a review on Trustpilot: https://uk.trustpilot.com/evaluate-link/231e479233c062b7fc70a11bed5571b1'

# Replace with user number
  to='+XXXXXXXXXXXXX'
)

print(message.sid)



In conclusion, using SMS to collect Trustpilot reviews offers a user-friendly and versatile approach, leveraging the popularity and features of the messaging platform to enhance the overall customer review experience. If you liked this community blog be sure to check out our other ones on the community home page.


References:
Low code SMS solution
MMS functionality 

Message scheduling and delivery according to recipients time zones

Link shortening with the brand name in the URL

Link tracking (ability to append tracking parameter to URLs)
API message resource
Guidelines
What is A2P10DLC
API Product Review: Generated Link Experience - Standard Flow
API Product Review: Non-Standard Collection Flow - Product Review Positioned First (Before Service Review)

The WhatsApp Business Platform with Twilio: Best Practices and FAQs
Message Template Approvals & Statuses
SMS Forwarding
Review country-specific SMS guidelines (required)

Learn about international phone number capabilities (recommended)

Learn about an alphanumeric Sender ID (recommended) 

Set your Geo Permissions (required)

Identify the required regulatory documentation for the countries on your list(required)

Submit your regulatory bundles (required)

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