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  • By David Lowes
    Using Autopilot in your Modern and Conversational IVR Autopilot_2.jpg

    This is a continuation from our first blog post

    Welcome back!

    I hope you had a nice break. You got a lot done in our previous post. Now it’s time to hook our IVR up to Autopilot so we can begin having conversations with our customers.

    If we can remember back to our Studio flow, we’re building this IVR for Signal Hardware, a store located in the cloud that sells the very best tools. However because our Hardware Store is located so far away, delivery is sometimes slow or delayed (and nobody likes latency). So we’re going to train our IVR to handle these types of customer calls. We’re also going to program it to find other items in stock and if available, buy the product over the phone, in our IVR.

    So there’s 4 things we’re configuring our IVR to do today:

    autopilot_tasks

    We’re going to assume that …

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  • By David Lowes
    Building Blocks for a Modern and Conversational IVR modern_ivr.png

    Many IVRs expect too much from customers - they lack customizability and require your customers to patiently learn how to use the IVR. What if you could replace this with a natural conversational IVR? What if you could add security and personalized customer data and deploy this using multiple channels?

    Well, you can! In this two-part blog post, we’re going to use Twilio APIs as “building blocks” to build an IVR for our pseudo-business, Signal Hardware. Here is the stack:

    IVR_stack.png

    Layer 1 - Studio and Autopilot

    In the first Layer of our IVR we’re using Twilio Studio and Autopilot to give us structure, flexibility and control of our workflow.

    Studio is a virtual application builder. It allows you to rapidly create communication flows using pre-built widgets. Autopilot is our Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning platform. Where Studio creates our structure inside of a UI, Autopilot allows us to have …

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  • By David Lowes
    Are you truly understanding your advertising metrics? Set up call tracking on Twilio Understanding_the_performance_of_your_advertising_is_important.png

    In the US, calls from paid advertising continue to grow at a rate of ~18% year over year. In 2019, we expect to see 162 billion calls from search, social and display ads and there’s no indication that things will slow down. With so many calls originating from digital ads, it’s critical that marketers understand the performance of their advertising so they can focus their efforts on the channels and ads that are working, and re-strategize on the ones that are not.

    calls from ads.png

    It can be complex, but we make it easy

    Setting up your first call tracking application for your ads can be daunting, there are lots of things to consider:

    How many phone numbers do I need if I’m running X different ads on X different platforms with X different ad campaigns?
    How do I attribute call leads? From the ad platform or from the campaigns I’m running? What …
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  • By David Lowes
    Local Numbers and International SMS Twilio SMS Best Practices Part 3: Local Numbers and International SMS

    International SMS is tricky. Global telecommunications regulations vary from country to country and are always changing. Twilio follows regulations diligently so we can protect our customers from getting penalized. At the same time, we want to make things easy. This blog will guide you through the best practices and nuances of using different types of phone numbers in different countries. It will also cover sender IDs, another way to send your SMS messages!

    Number Types

    Number types are different in each Country. Here in the United States we have:

    Long code

    A standard 10 digit phone number. There are two different types of long code numbers:

    • Local number
    • Toll-Free number

    In other countries, you might see “long code” equivalent numbers, such as

    • Mobile numbers
    • National numbers
    • Multi-Function numbers

    These number types may have different meanings in each country where they exist. Also, they are not always 10 digits long.

    Short …

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  • By David Lowes
    Using Twilio’s Messaging Service & Copilot Features Programmable SMS - Using Twilio’s Messaging Service & Co-pilot Features

    In 2010, Twilio customers started sending their first SMS message. Today, these same customers are sending many thousands of messages per day. But jumping from sending one message to 100,000 is not easy. It requires understanding how many phone numbers you need to use to deliver these messages, what types of numbers to use for best results and programming logic that will handle number allocation and other use-case specific features to ensure performance.

    That’s a lot of code.... Or is it?

    What is a Messaging Service? What is Copilot?

    Twilio’s Messaging Service handles everything mentioned above, without you needing to write any programming logic. Copilot are the features you take advantage of in your messaging service. So to break it down -

    A Messaging Service is a messaging application, usually specific to a use-case or campaign that is powered by a group of phone numbers that you select based on …

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  • By David Lowes
    Programmable SMS - API Basics and Best Practices Twilio SMS Best Practices Series Part 1.png

    Messaging can be complicated. The SMS ecosystem is comprised of mobile network operators (MNOs) and other application-to-person (A2P) network providers that sometimes route your message to its intended recipient, often over many hops. Delivery is not guaranteed, these players are known to have aggressive firewalls, spam algorithms and are protective of the traffic they send through their networks. On top of that, the backbone of SMS relies on old SS7 telephony signaling protocols for message transportation, developed back in 1975.

    .... Sounds daunting already.

    It’s not. Twilio’s Messaging API and underlying Super Network make it simple. Considering SMS is still the most ubiquitous, widely used messaging application in the world, it pays to get this right.

    Sending Messages (one-way SMS)

    Sending messages with Twilio is easy. Our SMS API allows you to send messages in your chosen programming language (check out our Helper Libraries). Here are the key concepts …

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