Integrate SMS functionality in your application quick and easily

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What is an SMS API?

We can explain the general concept of an API as a common language between two different systems so that they can exchange data.

When we talk about an SMS API specifically, it's the language between your system and a text messaging service. The SMS API is a way into an SMS gateway, making it possible to send text messages.

The difference between using an SMS API compared to sending SMS from your own mobile phone is that you can send messages from almost any device. You can sit at your computer, use your server, or send SMS from your smart device - all without having to involve a mobile phone.

Why should I use an SMS API?

With an SMS API, it's quick and easy to integrate SMS functionality in your application without the need to understand all technical parts of the protocols, carrier connections, contracts, and laws crucial to sending text messages.

You also get complete control over your messages when you can decide when and from where the messages should be sent. This gives you great flexibility and freedom to customize your services to your specific needs and target audience.

Here are some examples of what you can do with an SMS API:

  • Automations: You can automate large SMS broadcasts that would take you an infinite amount of time if you did it manually from your phone.

  • Verifications: You can offer your customers two-factor authentication (2FA) by sending unique one-time codes via SMS.

  • Confirmations and reminders : You can send reminders and confirmations to your customers for appointments, whether you are a doctor, restaurant owner or hairdresser.

  • Monitoring and alarms : You can receive alarm or monitoring messages from devices and systems. This can include information about system errors or other issues that need to be resolved immediately.

  • Maintenance: You can receive maintenance-related requests from your customers. This can include reporting problems with a product or service, scheduling service, and much more.

How does an SMS API work?

An SMS API serves as an intermediary between your application and an SMS gateway provider. By using an SMS API, your application can send SMS and receive SMS without having its own connection to the mobile network.

To use an SMS API, you first need to integrate the API into your application. This means adding code that allows your application to send and receive SMS through the API.

Once you have integrated the SMS API into your application, you can send SMS by sending a request to the API, which then forwards the SMS to an SMS gateway provider. The SMS gateway provider takes care of delivering the SMS to the recipient.

To receive SMS, you use a webhook in your application that listens for incoming SMS and processes them.

How do I send SMS with an API?

With these simple steps you'll be up and running in no time and ready to send text messages:

  1. Create a 46elks account.

  2. Get your API credentials.

  3. Copy the code snippet below and change <api_username> and <api_password> to your API keys. Also change +46700000000 to your own phone number.

  4. Paste the code into your terminal and press enter. You should now have received a text message on your phone 👏🏾.

You don't have cURL installed? – No worries. We have code examples in multiple programming languages. Here are guides for C#, node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.

How do I receive SMS with an SMS API?

Receiving SMS with 46elks is just as easy as sending an SMS. Below is an example using PHP:

  • The following code snippet listens to incoming calls (incoming SMS). Place the code on your server, for example, under /sms.

  • Get a virtual number that people can send SMS to.

  • Configure the SMS URL(webhook) for your virtual number by setting it to

Done! When someone sends an SMS to your virtual number, your script can do whatever you want with the received message, and the sender will then receive an SMS back with the text "Thank you for your message!".

More information on how to receive SMS is available in the documentation.

Do you need help?

Get in touch with our support. We'll help you get started and answer your questions 😊.