Leveraging Twilio API to validate and clean up mobile numbers in Salesforce CRM

Background

Founded in 1974, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is one of the largest food banks in the nation, providing food to more than a quarter of a million people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties every month.

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley uses Mogli for texting out of Salesforce. Mogli is a texting app built on Twilio that offers one-to-one messaging, surveys, and WhatsApp integration. Twilio is a platform that provides programmable communication tools for making and receiving phone calls, and sending and receiving text messages.

Problem 

When using a texting app, U.S. carriers require message originators (you or your customers) to keep subscriber lists clean by removing deactivated phone numbers from your lists. Recently, Twilio launched the Deactivations API, allowing customers to automate the process of downloading and cleaning deactivated subscribers from their lists. The reason to do this is two fold:

  1. Prevent Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations and ensure the SMS Campaigns are compliant by removing phone numbers that no longer belong to the person who signed up for the service.
  2. Lower the costs by minimizing messages sent to inactive numbers.

Additionally, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley wanted to ensure they have fewer errors when texting clients, by validating that the mobile numbers provided are actual mobile numbers. This required excluding numbers that are landlines, cannot be reached via text or are simply bad numbers. 

In absence of Mogli providing this functionality out of the box, the client reached out to DaizyLogik to design a solution that could be leveraged to accomplish this and would fit with Second Harvest’s business needs.

Full Sweep and Ongoing Maintenance

DaizyLogik worked with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley to craft a solution that would allow a full sweep of the mobile numbers in the Salesforce database paired with a “verify as you go” solution that keeps the data clean as new records are created, or information is obtained about Deactivated numbers.

For an initial validation of all existing mobile numbers in the Salesforce database, DaizyLogik implemented an off-platform Python script that ran an export of all mobile numbers in the database through the Twilio verification API. This ensured a fast verification process, free of Salesforce governor limits on a high volume of data. Additionally, DaziyLogik developed Apex and Flow automation to validate numbers in real-time as they are added to the system. To make sure nothing slips through, an additional nightly job looks for mobile numbers that have not been verified and makes sure they get validated at off peak hours.

In addition, by leveraging Apex, DaizyLogik assembled a solution to download the Deactivated number logs from Twilio, process them and update records accordingly in Salesforce.

Conclusion

The solution that DaizyLogik designed and implemented allowed Second Harvest of Silicon Valley to meet their goals in terms of data hygiene, maintain TCPA compliance and save money by having confidence that they are texting verified mobile numbers that are less likely to result in an error.

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