Conduct SMS Surveys Using Python

    Overview

    This guide shows how to conduct an SMS survey. Surveys can help businesses with market research. Using SMS for surveys lets organizations process input quickly and efficiently.

    You can conduct SMS surveys either by using our PHLO visual workflow builder or our APIs. Follow the instructions in one of the tabs below.

    To implement SMS Survey use-case, you can create and deploy a PHLO with a few clicks on the PHLO canvas. PHLO also lets you visually construct your entire use-case. With PHLO, you only pay for SMS you send/receive, and building with PHLO is free.

    Outline

    Implementation

    In this section, we will guide you to create a PHLO to implement SMS Notification use-case.

    Prerequisites

    1. Create a Plivo Account(if you don’t have one already): You can sign up with your work email address and complete the phone verification step using your mobile number.
    2. Buy a Plivo number(optional): You must have a SMS-enabled Plivo phone number if you are willing to receive incoming SMS. You can purchase numbers from the Numbers section of your Plivo Console. It is also possible to purchase numbers using the Numbers API.

    Create the PHLO

    With PHLO, you can quickly create a workflow that suits your use case. To use PHLO, make sure to register and log on to Plivo Console.

    Use the following components to create this PHLO:

    • Send SMS

    When you send an API request to the PHLO, it triggers a SMS message to the user using the Send SMS component. This is a simple use case, yet it is one of the most widely used.

    Note: The Callback function provides the user details required to send the SMS message.

    To create this PHLO

    1. On the top navigation bar, click PHLO. The PHLO page will appear and display your existing PHLOs, if any exist. If this is your first PHLO, then the PHLO page will be empty.
    2. Click CREATE NEW PHLO to build a new PHLO.
    3. In the Choose your use-case window, click Build my own. The PHLO canvas will appear with the Start node. Note: The Start node is the starting point of any PHLO. You can choose between the four available trigger states of the Start node; Incoming SMS, Incoming Call, and API Request. For this PHLO, we will use the API Request and the Incoming SMS trigger states.
    4. Click the Start node to open the Configurations tab and then enter the information to retrieve from the HTTP Request payload. For example, this could be a list of numbers to send an SMS message to.
    5. From the list of components on the left-hand side, drag and drop the Send SMS component onto the canvas. This will add a Send SMS node onto the canvas. Connect the Start node with the Send SMS node, using the API Request trigger state.
    6. Rename the node to Send_Survey. Note: You can rename the nodes as per your requirements. We are using specific names to help you relate to the different nodes used in this use case.
    7. Next, configure the Send SMS node to select the From and To numbers from the Start node. Note: The SMS message can be static or dynamic. In this example, we will use a combination of a static message along with some dynamic message.
    8. On the Send_Survey Configurations tab, in the Message field, enter the static message and the variable to include the dynamic text. You can choose a variable by entering two curly brackets in the Speak Text field. Note:
      • Enter two curly brackets to view all available variables.
      • The values for the From and To numbers are picked from the HTTP Request Payload. Make sure to clearly define the variables in the Start node.
    9. Click Validate to save the configurations for the node.
    10. Create a node for Branch and rename it to rename the node to Handle_Reply.
    11. Connect the Handle_Reply node with the Start node using the Incoming SMS trigger state.
    12. Configure the Handle_Reply node and select the Variable to compare as Start.sms.message. Note: Enter two curly braces to view all available variables.
    13. Click the pencil icon and enter the name for the condition as Satisfied.
    14. Under Operations, for string, enter the value as 1.
    15. Similarly, add another condition and name it Not Satisfied.
    16. Enter the value for the operation as 2.
    17. Click Validate to save the configurations for the node.
    18. Create two nodes for Send SMS and connect them to the Handle_Reply node using the Satisfied and Not Satisfied trigger states.
    19. Next, configure the Send SMS node to select the From and To numbers from the Start node. Note: The SMS message can be static or dynamic. In this example, we will use a combination of a static message along with some dynamic message.
    20. Rename the Send SMS Nodes connected to the Satisfied trigger state to Reply_Satisfied.
    21. Rename the Send SMS Nodes connected to the Not Satisfied trigger state to Reply_NotSatisfied.
    22. On the Configurations tab, in the Message field, enter the static message and the variable to include the dynamic text. You can choose a variable by entering two curly brackets in the Speak Text field. Note:
      • Enter two curly brackets to view all available variables.
      • The values for the From and To numbers are picked from the HTTP Request Payload. Make sure to clearly define the variables in the Start node.
    23. Click Validate to save the configurations for the node.
    24. Next, create a node for the HTTP Request component and connect it to the Reply_Satisfied and Reply_NotSatisfied nodes using the Sent and Failed trigger states.
    25. Configure the HTTP Request node with the URL to make the request to. You can choose from either GET, POST, PUT, or DELETE. Note:
      • Make sure to configure the Headers, Auth, Params, and Body tabs as necessary.
      • Make sure to validate the node after completing the configuration.
    26. Rename the node to Handle_Callback.
    27. Click Validate to save the configurations for the node.
    28. After you complete the configurations, click Save. You can trigger your PHLO using the PHLO URL to test it out.

    Your complete PHLO will look like this:

    SMS Survey

    Set up Your Python Dev Environment

    You must set up and install Python and Plivo’s Python SDK to send SMS survey. Here’s how.

    Install Python

    Operating SystemInstructions
    macOS & LinuxYou would already have Python installed, you can check this by running the command python --version in the terminal
    WindowsTo install Python on Windows you can follow the instructions from here.

    Install Plivo Python Package

    • Create a project directory, run the following command:

      $ mkdir mypythonapp
      
    • Change the directory to our project directory in the command line:

      $ cd mypythonapp
      
    • Install the SDK using pip

      pip install plivo
      
    • Alternatively, you can download the source code from this repo and run

      python setup.py install
      

    We recommend that you use virtualenv to manage and segregate your Python environments, instead of using sudo with your commands and overwriting dependencies.

    Trigger the PHLO

    Once you have created and setup your Node.js dev envrironment, you can go to your Plivo Consolse and copy the PHLO_ID. You can integrate a PHLO into your application workflow by making an API request to trigger the PHLO with the required payload.

    With Static Payload

    You can choose to either configure the mandatory params required for a PHLO while creating the PHLO itself or, you can pass the params as payload while triggering the PHLO from your app.

    Note: When you configure the params while creating the PHLO, the values(From & To) are hardcoded, and they act as static payload.

    With Static Payload

    Code

    Now, create a file called trigger_phlo.py and paste the below code.

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    import plivo
    
    auth_id = 'Your AUTH ID'
    auth_token = 'Your AUTH Token'
    phlo_id = 'Your PHLO ID' # https://console.plivo.com/phlo/list/
    phlo_client = plivo.phlo.RestClient(auth_id=auth_id, auth_token=auth_token)
    phlo = phlo_client.phlo.get(phlo_id)
    response = phlo.run()
    print str(response)
    

    With Dynamic Payload

    To use dynamic values for the parameters, follow the below steps.

    • Select the Start node - under API request, fill the Payload key as From & To and keep the values empty, then click validate & save.

    With Dynamic Payload

    • Use the liquid templating params while creating the PHLO and pass the values while triggering the PHLO.

    With Dynamic Payload

    Code

    Now, create a file called trigger_phlo.py and paste the below code.

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    import plivo
    
    auth_id = 'Your AUTH ID'
    auth_token = 'Your AUTH Token'
    phlo_id = 'Your PHLO ID' # https://console.plivo.com/phlo/list/
    payload = {"From" : "+14157778888","To" : "+14157778889"}
    phlo_client = plivo.phlo.RestClient(auth_id=auth_id, auth_token=auth_token)
    phlo = phlo_client.phlo.get(phlo_id)
    response = phlo.run(**payload)
    print str(response)
    

    You can get your Auth_ID and Auth_token from your dashboard AUTHID

    You can find the PHLO_ID on the PHLO Listing page. PHLO Listing

    Test and Validate

    You can save the file and use the below command to run your code.

    $ python trigger_phlo.py
    
    Note: If you are using a Plivo Trial account for this example, you can only send SMS to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. Phone numbers can be verified at the Sandbox Numbers page.

    To implement SMS Survey use-case in the traditional API way, you can refer to the instructions in the below section to begin your implementation.

    Outline

    Outbound-SMS Flow

    Implementation

    In this section, we will guide you in setting up an app using Plivo’s API to implement SMS Survey use-case. First, let’s make sure you meet these prerequisites before we dive into the code.

    Prerequisites

    • Plivo Auth Id and Auth Token: You will find your Plivo Auth Id and Auth Token on the home screen of your Plivo Console. Click here to sign-up for a Plivo account if you haven’t already!

      Find Your Auth Credentials on Plivo Console

    • Plivo Phone Number(Optional): To send messages to the United States and Canada, you must have a Plivo phone number that supports SMS. Numbers can be purchased from the Numbers section of your Plivo Console and use the same as the source number/from number for the outbound SMS. This number will also help you receive incoming SMS as you must have a SMS-enabled Plivo phone number to do the same. Please note that you can also purchase numbers using the Numbers API.

      Buy a New Plivo Number

    Set up Your Python Dev Environment

    You must set up and install Python and Plivo’s Python SDK to implement send SMS use-case. Here’s how.

    Install Python

    Operating SystemInstructions
    macOS & LinuxYou would already have Python installed, you can check this by running the command python --version in the terminal
    WindowsTo install Python on Windows you can follow the instructions from here.

    Install Plivo Python Package

    • Create a project directory, run the following command:

      $ mkdir mypythonapp
      
    • Change the directory to our project directory in the command line:

      $ cd mypythonapp
      
    • Install the SDK using pip

      pip install plivo
      
    • Alternatively, you can download the source code from this repo and run

      python setup.py install
      

    We recommend that you use virtualenv to manage and segregate your Python environments, instead of using sudo with your commands and overwriting dependencies.

    Create the Send SMS App

    Once you have the above prerequisites set, You can follow the below instructions to create an app to send an outbound SMS to deliver your message.

    Now, create a file called send_sms.py and paste the below code.

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    import plivo
    
    client = plivo.RestClient('<auth_id>','<auth_token>')
    response = client.messages.create(
        src='+14151234567',
        dst='+14157654321',
        text='To win a holiday to your dream destination, text ‘MyHolidaydestination’ to 777-444-5555. Winners announced this Friday at the Tennery Shopping Center.',)
    print(response)
    
    Note:
    • Replace the placeholders auth_id & auth_token with your credentials from Plivo Console.
    • We recommend that you store your credentials in the auth_id & auth_token environment variables, so as to avoid the possibility of accidentally committing them to source control. If you do this, you can initialize the client with no arguments and it will automatically fetch them from the environment variables
    • You can use os module(os.environ) to store environment variables and fetch them while initializing the client.
    • Replace the placeholder +14151234567 with the Phone number which you have purchased and +14157654321 with the phone number you will be sending SMS to.
    • Both plivo_source_number and +14157654321 should be in E.164 format
    • For other countries, this can be either a Alpha Sender ID or Numeric Sender ID based on the Sender ID support for the respective countries, to know more you can refer to the Sender ID Usage guide

    Test and Validate

    Once you have created the Send SMS App, save the file and use the below command to run your code.

    $ python send_sms.py
    
    Note: If you are using a Plivo Trial account for this example, you can only send SMS to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. Phone numbers can be verified at the Sandbox Numbers page.