SMS - Get started

This page explains the basic usage of Telesign SMS and directs you to instructions for sending your first request.


What is Telesign SMS?

Telesign SMS allows you to send personalized messages through SMS directly from websites or mobile applications. Telesign SMS allows you to:

  • Send a personalized SMS alert to a user's phone number.
  • Send a timely reminder to a user's phone number.
  • Send a personalized notification to a user's phone number.

General requirements

  • Resource:
  • Authentication: Basic (easiest to implement) or Digest
  • Encoding: Accepts only UTF-8 unicode characters as inputs.
  • Accepts: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
  • Required Headers: Content-Type - application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Basic usage

  1. Send a request to the SMS resource of the Engage API that includes:
    • The message text
    • The recipient phone number
    • A Telesign abbreviation for the message type.
  2. Save the reference ID included in the HTTP response, if the request was successful.
  3. Send this reference ID in a request to the Transaction Status resource of the Engage API to see the delivery status of your message.

Try it

  • For everyone: For instructions on how to send your first SMS without code, see SMS - Try it without code.
  • For developers: For instructions on how to send your first SMS with code, choose one of our SMS tutorials in your preferred programming language.


Authorization: Basic 12345678-9ABC-DEF0-1234-56789ABCDEF0:Uak4fcLTTH/Tv8c/Q6QMwl5t4ck=
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8
phone_number=15551212&message=Your message here.&message_type=MKT
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
   "reference_id": "0123456789ABCDEF0123456789ABCDEF",
   "status": {
      "code": 290,
      "updated_on": "2017-31-03T14:51:28.709526Z",
      "description": "Message in progress"


For SMS compliance best practices, please refer to the articles in the Compliance section in our Support Center.

Whatโ€™s Next

This section offers some suggestions for next steps to take.