TextMesh Quickstart Guide
Create Twilio, Google Cloud, and Zapier Accounts
Create serverless Google Cloud Function and paste in the code provided below
Customize responses based on keyword texted to your Twilio phone number
Try It Out!
Just text “troll”(no quotes) to 857-214-4669
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Lead Magnets – Send users links to files based on keywords contained in their texts. Lead Magnets sent via SMS will have much higher conversion rates compared to those sent via email
Offline Email Collection – Get potential customers emails in the real world by capturing emails via SMS text messages
Discount Codes– Give out discount codes in return for an email subscribe
Data Enrichment – Using Zapier’s data enrichment option, additional information can be grabbed based on an email address
Twilio Account – Twilio is a service that will allow you to receive and respond to SMS messages
Google Cloud Account – We will host our code in a “serverless” Google Cloud Function to remove the complexity of managing a web server
Zapier Account – Zapier is a service that provides integrations with over 1400 apps. By using a Zapier webhook you can send an email received via SMS to your email provider, CMS, or nearly any other tool you use
Repl.it – Needed to send a sample request to our Zapier webhook, no account signup needed
Working with TextMesh
There are a few concepts to understand to help make working with TextMesh easier for you. The first is a basic understanding of Python strings and dictionaries.
The above code shows a Python variable named keyword_dict. By adjusting this variable you can customize the keywords TextMesh will respond to as well as customize the responses.
The first thing to note are the keys of the dictionary, ‘example’. ‘example2’, and ‘test’. Those are the keywords that your Twilio number will respond to if texted. If anything else is initially texted to your number it will automatically respond saying that the keyword id invalid. These keywords should have any spaces, quotes, or hyphens in between the letters and must be wrapped in a pair of quote marks to tell Python that they are strings. To make things easier for non-technical users, avoid using apostrophes in your responses, instead of typing here’s, just say here is. Using the apostrophe would cause a syntax error in your code.
After the keywords you will note the ‘:’, a colon. After the colon there must be another string, which is known as the ‘value’ of that key. If the user sends a valid email address to TextMesh after sending in the keyword, the value is what your response will be.
After the value, you must put a comma if you want to put another keyword after the previous key-value pair.
Discount Code – Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner who wants to increase repeat customers. One way to do this would be to get people on your email newsletter so you can email them to let them know your daily or weekly specials.
With TextMesh you could set out a flyer on tables offering a 10% discount off today’s meal if they text their email address, your keyword_dict variable would look something like this:
The customer would text 10OFF to your Twilio number, send their email address, and then receive the discount code via text. You could so set up an email autoresponder to give them the discount code via email as well once they are added to your subscriber list via Zapier.
Website Optin – So many websites are now trying to get to people to fill out email forms that conversion rates are dropping. This is a concept known as “Banner Blindness”, which comes from the early days of the internet where gradually people began to ignore banner advertisements, leading to a steep drop in clicks.
By replacing traditional email optin forms with TextMesh you can boost your conversion rate via the novelty effect. It also simplifies delivering lead magnets, because you don’t have to setup yet another autoresponder to deliver the content after signup
Data Enrichment– By using a Multi-Step Zap with a paid Zapier plan you can use the data enrichment zap to collect more data on an email address before sending it to your CMS or email marketing provider.
Have any other ideas for use cases? Earn a backlink in the resources section by creating a tutorial describing how you’re using TextMesh creatively
Twilio Trial Account- If you don’t provide billing info to Twilio to upgrade your account, your texts will have “sent from your twilio trial account” appended before your responses to users. Not a big deal but you probably want to upgrade your account to look more professional.