How Does an SMS API Work? A 2023 Update

how does sms api work

In this article, we’ll provide an update on a common question in SMS Marketing: how does an SMS API work? We’ll go straight to the answers and avoid any introductions on what an SMS API is or any other introductory information. If you want to learn the basics on SMS APIs; why should you get one, or if you want to know what industries use them the most, you can read the following articles:

How Does an SMS API Work? – The Basics

An SMS API works by sending and receiving SMS messages between two systems. In order to do that, it’s necessary to have an SMS integration with an existing system. With the API integrated, the system can send and receive text messages; plus some other functionalities like:

  • Track responses
  • Track delivered messages
  • Enable two-way texting conversations
  • Send bulk text messages
  • Enable two-factor authentication    

Those functionalities will vary depending on the service you acquire. For example, Trumpia’s API includes all the features listed above and many others that have proven to be very useful to SMS API users:

  • End User Tools: a cloud service that includes powerful tools like Automated Workflows and Smart Targeting. This can save a lot of time for the programmers integrating our SMS API.
  • MMS: the ability of sending images, photos, animated GIFs, or videos.
  • Compliance consultation: our experts provide advice on current SMS regulations and laws; so you stay out of trouble. CTIA, TCPA, and CAN-SPAM included.
  • Premium Support: enterprise-grade support via phone, email, or ticket; with an average response time of less than 9 minutes.
  • A solid, reliable platform: Trumpia SMS API is backed by multiple network connections; dual data centers, active servers, and mirrored storage. 
  • Custom integration: if you don’t have a coder or the knowledge to do it, Trumpia’s custom development team can integrate our API with your system (for a fee).

If you want to learn more details on Trumpia SMS API integration service, download this PDF for free!

how does sms api work.

Additional Details on How SMS APIs Work

How SMS APIs Work on the Inside

SMS APIs use a URL to send and receive short messages. The platform you apply the SMS API to sends data to a URL containing a subscriber’s phone number, the SMS message to be sent, and the sender ID that the message is coming from. Then, that data is sent from the API through different networks to the phone provider to deliver the text message to the subscriber’s phone. 

‘Code’ in SMS APIs

‘Codes’ are a set of instructions that computers follow to send and receive text messages. They’re programmed to receive messages in specific formats, based on parameters you can pre-define. When you integrate an SMS API to your system, you can create your own codes to interpret a message and send custom responses. 

Texts Formats

You can send and receive text messages through an SMS API in different formats; including plain text, HTML, and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). It can also send and receive texts in different languages and alphabets; which is a great benefit if your platform needs to engage people overseas. 


An HTTP API is a standard for most systems, as it fits almost any site: a WordPress blog, an out-of-the-box eCommerce store, or a CRM. HTTP is usually the easiest, fastest integration to use. We offer HTTP documentation for our SMS API; which you can access here.


REST stands for Representational State Transfer. It’s a set of rules for coders to organize the writing of server application code. That way, platforms integrating SMS API can exchange data in an easier way and work more efficiently. REST offers a wider range of possibilities compared to HTTP; but at the same time, it can be more complicated.

Check out our REST documentation here.

Bulk Messaging in SMS API

A platform integrated to an SMS API sends a request to it only when a message is delivered to subscribers. Then, the SMS API receives that message through a bulk gateway and the message is translated into a protocol that mobile carriers can understand and transmit. These carriers can provide an update or return an error code in response to a bulk SMS request to inform about delivery status. 

Are You Ready to Implement SMS API in Your System?

For pricing inquiries or any other questions you may have about Trumpia SMS API, contact us online. Our SMS API has been successfully implemented by many companies that need texting on a massive level. You can read our case studies and see for yourself how our powerful platform can work for your business.

You can also call or text call or text 1-888-707-3030 for more information.