What's the best way to parse sms text message reply?

jeff_zucker
jeff_zucker used Ask the Experts™
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I have a list of cell phone numbers and would like to begin sending the users text messages through a web form on my server.

I figure I can send messages out asking if they want to OPT-IN to my texting list by texting back "yes".  What is the best way to receive their opt-in (or out) messages and parse them?  Do I set up an email address just for this purpose and then somehow monitor it?  How do I get a script to run every time an email comes in to figure out what is says?  

I normally code in PHP, so if that's an option, that would be great.  Also, since I don't know what carriers people are using, I will be sending out the message to their number at each of the major carriers.  I figure I can get the carrier from the returned text message, right?  
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Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
"I figure I can get the carrier from the returned text message, right?" - I am not sure about that, but it might work.

You might want to learn about Twilio.  They have a great abstraction layer for this sort of thing.  Google 'em and see what they can do for you.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Jeff, that article addresses the bit about receiving an email in a PIPE script.  I think you will find that is the tip of the iceberg.  Did you look at what Twilio offers?
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Commented:
Linked website contains instructions for parsing incoming email.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Plonk!

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Commented:
Just to clarify, this will go out to hundreds of thousands of users, so a paid service like Twilio, would be cost prohibitive.  This needs to be done for free.

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