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  • By Charlie Weems
    Create SMS QR Codes with Twilio SMS QR Code Blog Post (1).png
    • Interested in trying out our QR code generator? Click here!

    QR codes have been around for decades. In the 2010s they were the “next big thing” – until they weren’t. But QR codes have made a big comeback during COVID. Adoption has also been helped by built-in support on the iOS and Android camera apps. Gone are the days when you needed to install a QR code app.

    Most of us know QR codes as virtual tickets, or maybe the new way to get a link to a restaurant’s menu. But did you know that you can start an SMS conversation with a QR code? They’re a great way to seamlessly onboard customers into an SMS campaign, WhatsApp conversation, phone call, or email thread.

    If you’re coming to Twilio and want to know how QR codes can be used with communications, this post is for you! You’ll learn …

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  • By Charlie Weems
    How Texas is Using Twilio Flex with Direct Inward Dialing to Distribute Vaccines How Texas is Using Twilio Flex to Distribute Vaccines.png

    Most customers use Flex as a call center. We see all sorts of use-cases, from food-banks, to crisis lines, to disaster response. In late December, a joint team from the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council and the Texas Division of Emergency Management were tasked with assisting COVID-19 vaccine distribution and needed a hybrid of a hotline and phone system.

    After vaccines became available in the United States, state and local agencies across the country needed to act fast to ensure that supply chain partners and medical providers had accurate, up to date information. Texas needed to coordinate information like when shipments would arrive, how to request new shipments, and how to safely store vaccines for use are critical pieces of information to ensure that vaccines are distributed effectively.

    Within one day we deployed a solution that has since handled several thousand calls about vaccine distribution logistics. In this …

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  • By Charlie Weems
    Send COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Reminders with Salesforce Flow and Twilio 1.png

    With countries around the world beginning to approve COVID-19 vaccines for public use, we've seen a lot of interest in implementing vaccine notifications and appointment reminders. This tutorial will show you how to set up Twilio SMS notifications with Salesforce’s Automation Flow Builder so that you can remind people to sign up to get both parts 1 and 2 of the vaccine.

    Let’s look at a user journey that we might want to support as a local public health authority. We’ll have patients sign up via a web-to-lead form to be put into our contact database. We might also receive data from health providers.

    Vaccine solution diagram

    For this tutorial, we’re going to focus on the second half of the workflow above: sending SMS reminders. If you’re interested in sending one-off SMS broadcasts, check out our documentation on using the Twilio for Salesforce Campaign Component.

    Once we’re ready to begin vaccine distribution, we’ll …

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  • By Charlie Weems
    Building a Disaster Response Contact Center with Twilio Flex Copy of Generic Blog Header 4.png

    What would you do if you had 48 hours before a major hurricane makes landfall nearby? You’d probably buy water and food, or maybe even evacuate to another location. Building a contact center might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but communications are more important than ever in a disaster. In the crucial few moments immediately before and after disasters strike, a developer who can rapidly build and deploy a contact center can literally save lives and help ensure people at risk can get the help they need right when they need it.

    While many communities already have disaster plans in place, the scale and frequency of natural disasters has increased to the point where local nonprofits, communities, and even individual volunteers can find themselves in the thick of things needing to scale up a contact center in hours, not days or months.

    In this post, we’ll …

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  • By Charlie Weems
    Deploy Twilio Functions with the Serverless extension for VSCode vscode-header.png

    Twilio Functions are useful for all sorts of things: making an RSS feed from voice calls, sending SMS from a static site, or saving conversation data to MongoDB. With Functions, you can skip setting up a server and cut to writing code.

    Now, we've built an open-source VSCode integration on top of the Serverless API that makes it even easier to deploy Twilio functions from your IDE. The extension is on GitHub so if you’d like to help us expand its functionality we’d be happy to review your pull request.

    Let’s get started with a walk-through of the getting the extension set up. There are three prerequisite steps that we’ll need to complete:

    1. Install the Twilio CLI: npm install twilio-cli -g
    2. Install the Twilio serverless plugin: twilio plugins:install @twilio-labs/plugin-serverless
    3. Make sure that running code the VSCode CLI works from your terminal. If it doesn’t, you …
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  • By Charlie Weems
    Twilio SMS Is Now on the Salesforce AppExchange Twilio for Salesforce AppExchange Launch

    Get it on the AppExchange.

    Ahoy! It’s Charlie, Partnership Engineer for and Product Manager of Twilio for Salesforce. I’m excited to tell you about our latest product launch, but first let’s take a trip back in time.

    Since the first days of back in 2013, we’ve seen organizations use Twilio to integrate SMS into their communication workflows on Salesforce. Even one of our first nonprofit partners - Polaris, who runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline - relies on Twilio and Salesforce to text with people at risk of trafficking to connect them with critical resources and support.

    The prevalence of this need for communication isn’t really a surprise. More than 30,000 nonprofits use Salesforce to manage constituent, donor, and volunteer data. And SMS is one of the most ubiquitous messaging channels around the world. So over the years we’ve seen countless organizations - from community nonprofits …

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  • By Charlie Weems
    4 Ways Twilio’s Product Releases will Advance Nonprofit Tech flex-for-good-signal
    Did you know that offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    In case you missed SIGNAL this year, we put together a recap of Twilio’s launches at our annual conference. Here are the top 4 ways this year’s product launches could shift the nonprofit tech landscape:

    1: Secure Donations Over the Phone

    Thousands of organizations – from your local radio station to the Red Cross – raise funds over the phone. But handling credit card information is still a tricky process: either your phone operators are handling sensitive payment data, or you must refer your donors to a payment portal. With Twilio’s PCI-compliant <Pay> verb, you can now seamlessly and securely accept donations over the phone.

    Here’s how it works: your phone agent initiates a payment flow in which your donor hears a verbal prompt that walks them through entering their credit card …

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