AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog

Introducing the Amazon Pinpoint Voice Channel

Today, Amazon Pinpoint added a new voice channel. This new channel enables you to deliver voice messages to your customers over the phone. When you use the voice channel, you provide a text script, and, optionally, instructions for converting that text to speech. Amazon Pinpoint converts your script into lifelike speech and then calls your customers over the phone to deliver your message. Pinpoint Voice is a great way to deliver transactional messages such as one-time passwords, appointment reminders, order confirmations, and more.

Phone calls offer several advantages over other channels; they’re highly reliable and very extensible, and just about everybody has a phone number. The addition of voice messages to Pinpoint’s existing email, SMS, and push notification channels provides you with even more flexibility in delivering the right message on the right channel for your customers.

For example, to send a One-Time Password (OTP) to your customer over the phone, you first provide the Amazon Pinpoint SMS and Voice API with a set of instructions, including the content of the message and the destination phone number. The content can be plain text or can be formatted using Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML). You can use SSML to personalize your messages by adding pauses, changing the pronunciation, emphasizing key words, and much more. The following is an example of a request that you can make to the API:

      "Text":"<speak> Your one-time password is 1 <break time='0.5s'/> 4 <break time='0.5s'/> 5 <break time='0.5s'/> 7 </speak>",

Amazon Pinpoint takes your message and uses Amazon Polly to convert it into lifelike speech in one of the dozens of languages and voices available. Amazon Pinpoint then calls the destination number and delivers the message.

As the call progresses, Amazon Pinpoint provides call metrics in real time to Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose and Amazon CloudWatch Logs. These metrics tell you when a call has been initiated, when it’s ringing, when it’s been answered, when it’s completed, and whether or not the recipient answered. You can use this information to measure the effectiveness of your messages and to optimize your future voice engagements.

In addition to delivering one-to-one transactional messages, you can also use voice messages as a backup channel when you aren’t able to deliver messages through email, SMS, or push notifications. For example, it’s not unusual for customers to provide you with phone numbers that aren’t able to receive text messages, such as land-line or VoIP numbers. You can use the Phone Number Validate feature of Amazon Pinpoint to determine the type of phone number provided. When you detect that a phone number can’t receive text messages, you can send voice messages instead. By using Amazon Pinpoint Voice, you can reach a segment of customers who you wouldn’t be able to reach by sending text messages.

To send voice messages using Amazon Pinpoint, you need to have at least one dedicated phone number. You can lease local phone numbers in a variety of countries directly from the Amazon Pinpoint console. In certain countries and regions, you can also use these dedicated phone numbers to send SMS messages to your customers. See Supported Countries and Regions for more information about leasing phone numbers.

To learn more, see the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide and the Amazon Pinpoint SMS and Voice API Reference.