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Text and win campaign

any ideas?



10:16 am on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sorry if I have posted this in the wrong section but i really dont know where to start on this one.

I have a client who wants to run a text and win competition - how it would work is like this:

user buys a bottle of wine, on the label is a promotional code and a number to text it to. The user texts and then is told whether they have won or not via text.

I have not come across anything like this before - i have built competition websites but never done anything with SMS. What would be good also is if this can be done, would there be anyway to run a website at the same time so that users can enter the codes through the website also. This I pressume would mean having all the codes in a database that both the SMS and the website could access.

I program in LAMP environment, If there was any software that needed to be added i would be able to get hosting where it could be added.

Any help / pointers greatly appreciated.



3:21 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Essentially, there should be at least two ways to achive this:

1. Professional. Contact the corresponding mobile operator who would offer you some sort of API to receive SMS messages and be able to respond to them. For example, they could re-send SMS directed to your mobile number to some e-mail you then can process, or trigger some sort of URL you could control.

2. Old hacker's way -- connect a mobile phone to your server (an older phone could possibly be connected via COM port, or you might need to connect via USB and possible look for some sort of Linux drivers for that). Then use serial interface to read and send SMS. That communication should be pretty standard (as far as I can remember there is some sort of extended modem commands for mobile phones).

Of course, the (2) is less scalable, and be sure you have enough credit to respond with SMS.


9:36 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Morgenhund,
I think i am going to go down the route of getting the mobile operator to receive the SMS's and respond to them. After contacting a few there are APIs that you can use to integrate into your website as you said. This seems like the most logical route to take.

I like the sound of your old hackers way, unfortunately I am not a hacker (or old!) or have the technical knowhow to do it.

Thanks for the advise



10:52 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

depending on where you are you may actually be required by law to also allow participation in the draw without the person purchasing a bottle of wine ( via snail mail on plain paper or website or phone ) ..and encouragement to purchase alcohol by competitions can also be a legal minefield in many juristictions ..age restrictions for entrants etc etc ..requirements to refund phone cost by those who ask in writing for it ..etc etc ..talk to a lawyer ..or get your client to give you written proof that they have a lawyers OK on these matters ..

else if it all goes TU ..you may also carry the can ..

rule 1 ..CYA :)

consumer protection, trading standards or whatever the equivalent govt dept where you are may also have to sign off on any draws ..with or without the alcohol elements ..

rule 2 ..CYA ..;)


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