Positext is a free SMS service that sends a free 7-day motivational text message plan to help anyone to mentally recover from a job loss.

Positext

Portrait of the maker

Andrew Tsao

Maker

Maker

Iteration, patience, and perseverance is key, this can't be emphasized enough!

When I was trying to make Zapier handle all the automated back-end functions (automatic onboarding & off-boarding, scheduling texts to send at 11:00 am every morning) I used a complex multi-step that was well beyond my comfort zone. It took lots of repeated testing, digging online for answers to finally get it to work.

Don't give up easily! The no-code space is growing and that is to your advantage. There's a high chance that there are people who've encountered the same problem and your problem is perhaps one google search, tweet/ or DM away from being resolved.

Mid level
44
hours to build

How to create a text messaging app without writing code

What is it:

Positext is a free SMS service that sends a free 7-day motivational text message plan to help anyone to mentally recover from a job loss.

Insights from the Maker, Andrew: "Iteration, patience, and perseverance is key, this can't be emphasized enough!

When I was trying to make Zapier handle all the automated back-end functions (automatic onboarding & off-boarding, scheduling texts to send at 11:00 am every morning) I used a complex multi-step that was well beyond my comfort zone. It took lots of repeated testing, digging online for answers to finally get it to work.

Don't give up easily! The no-code space is growing and that is to your advantage. There's a high chance that there are people who've encountered the same problem and your problem is perhaps one google search, tweet/ or DM away from being resolved."

What I learned:

1. How does sending a text message with Twilio actually work? Don't you need to be a developer to do this? It's much easier than I thought it was when I sent my first automated text message. The reason for this is because Zapier does much of the heavy lifting. Here is an analogy of how they work together. Twilio is the acts like the mailman. It handles the part with actually sending a letter/message. Zapier acts like the address information on the letter. As a sender of the letter, you don't have to worry about all the complex routing and logistics of your mail actually getting to its destination. The reason is because Zapier is extremely user friendly to set this up. Just like writing an address coordinates on the outside of a letter.

2. However, discovering this in Zapier isn't unless you know about the "Built-In Apps" inside Zapier. Most folks don't think of Zapier this way. They strictly think about 3rd party apps connecting to other 3rd party apps. (I'm about to give you some cheat codes the next time you use Zapier.) Zapier has some functions like "Schedule by Zapier", "Paths by Zapier" and "Delay by Zapier" are what I used in Save for Dream Vacay no-code app built with Twilio and Zapier. Use these and you can create custom paths based on your user's needs. This layer of business logic are very easy to implement. It does take some time to test and get a feel for how you want it to work.

3. Texting ain't cheap. Hooking up Twilio requires that you put down a minimum amount of money to get going. If I recall correctly I put down $20 to buy a bucket of messages. Each text message is pretty cheap (don't quote me but I think $0.015 per message. The challenge I found when using text message was keeping the message as short as possible but also trying to deliver an impactful message.

I would recommend to use this for transactional purposes or if you have a customer base that absolutely needs the fast response time of text message. There is no greater conversion of responses and open rate than text message compared to other mediums. It's hard to find the best use cases for them. And it's hard to obtain user's that are willing to submit their phone number.

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