- 1 Twilio Reviews and Pricing. Pros and Cons.
- 2 What is Twilio used for?
- 3 Twilio Pricing
- 4 How Does Twilio Make Money?
- 5 The Pros and Cons of Using Twilio
- 5.1 Pros
- 5.2 Cons
Twilio Reviews and Pricing. Pros and Cons.
APIs (application programming interfaces) are the building blocks of modern development and Twilio is one of the widely used communications APIs.
While using one of your countless apps, you may have already used this service without knowing it. Getting a message that your ridesharing app driver has arrived or receiving the two-factor authentication code for an app is part of Twilio’s functionality at play.
Aside from Twilio messaging service and authentication, APIs like Twilio provides customisable communication services like voice calls, video calls, and more. Companies like Hulu, Salesforce, Twitter, and Dell are just some of the big brands using Twilio to facilitate authentication, communicate to customers, and drive sales.
What is Twilio used for?
As mentioned, Twilio is an API for communications. Developers and software teams make use of Twilio APIs to integrate communication functionalities like text, voice, and video messaging to their platform.
APIs are basically programming interfaces so different apps can communicate with one another. Think about an API like a socket. Once you plug in your devices into the socket, the electricity is able to flow from the electric source to power your devices.
In the same way, Twilio has layers of software which developers can use to connect your platform to different communication networks worldwide essentially optimising your communication channels.
Twilio’s capabilities can be used in various ways. In the case of Uber, Twilio not only automates ETA alerts, it also masks the phone numbers of drivers for privacy. SurveyMonkey uses Twilio to deploy phone surveys faster and smarter. Airbnb uses Twilio to automate booking confirmations, while Tyler Technologies uses Twilio to make virtual municipal court visits possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Big companies are not the only ones who can use Twilio to grow their business. With Twilio, you can get creative with the many functionalities to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals.
Customers have described Twilio pricing as either “competitive” or “costly.” How much does Twilio cost? There is no fixed cost to it because Twilio pricing depends on the number of calls and messages you send and receive.
Twilio operates using a pay-as-you-go model so that users don’t get locked into long-term contracts. With their volume discounts, you supposedly save more money the more you use their service. To give you an idea, Twilio SMS pricing starts at $0.0075 for messages sent and received, while Twilio voicemail pricing costs from $0.0085/min for incoming and $0.013/min for outgoing calls.
Twilio has also rolled out additional products, including Twilio authy pricing at $0.09 per authentication and for those interested in AI, Twilio autopilot pricing starts at $0.001 per message, and $0.001 per utterance on Alexa. For other costs, you can check Twilio API pricing, Twilio messaging service pricing, Twilio verify pricing, and Twilio voicemail pricing here.
So, is Twilio expensive?
Twilio pricing can get pretty expensive if your usage piles up. A review from G2 indicated that prices for non-mainstream and large-country numbers can be “prohibitively high” so he uses other tools for those costly countries. In another review, the customer said that Twilio’s costs can be as high as 2-3 times compared to its competitors.
For enterprises looking to reach their customers in multiple channels worldwide, Twilio is an invaluable tool. Twilio enterprise not only helps with customer service, it can also be used for marketing and day-to-day operations. Twilio’s omnichannel features cover over 100 countries with 29 data centres around the world.
Twilio enterprise pricing is at $15,000/month. In addition to the basic capabilities, the enterprise edition provides additional compliance, security, and administration features which you can leverage for your Twilio apps.
If Twilio pricing is a little too steep for your liking, you can check out the following top Twilio alternatives: Vonage’s Nexmo solution, Telnyx, Sinch, Voxbone, and Plivo.
How Does Twilio Make Money?
Twilio, as a company, earns by charging clients a specific rate per call and per message as well as with a monthly rate for Twilio phone numbers.
But how will you make money using Twilio?
Here are some of the ways you can use this API to increase your profits with Twilio success stories to illustrate the strengths of Twilio.
· Reduced developer costs
Instead of developing a communication channel from scratch, you can use Twilio to optimise your networks. This means you can cut costs in development and that is a big money-saving step especially for start-ups.
· Increase sales through automation
Omnichannel communication is the norm. So, to keep customer service responsive and broaden marketing reach, it is important to centralise your network. A clunky, fragmented system is not only complicated, it will also lead to losses. Marks & Spencer recognised this issue and promptly partnered with Twilio to bring their systems squarely into the present.
With changes in tastes and fashion preferences, M&S needed to ramp up their IVR with natural language processing (NLP) capability and a high-quality customer intent analysis to seamlessly route customers and efficiently attend to their needs. By doing so, they were able to derive actionable intent, translating to a $10 million increase in sales.
· CRM integration for lead generation and personalised customer experience
Touching base with existing customers and potential clients can be a time-consuming process and Twilio helps streamline important lead generating tasks like this. This is why it is often paired with CRM platforms like Salesforce.
Before launching their premium streaming service, Hulu Plus, they implemented Twilio to upscale their contact centre solution in preparation for the expected influx of calls. Their developers were able to quickly implement the solution with a short turnaround.
Once in place, premium users could call Hulu’s toll-free support number which Twilio provided and be quickly routed to their CS agent. The pairing with their in-house CRM means the agent can view the customer’s information for a personalised customer experience.
For online shops, questions about delivery status can also clog up customer service lines. Twilio frees up this channel for more important queries by sending notifications about order status straight to their phones.
· Drive sales through SMS Marketing
SMS has remarkably high open rates which can translate into sales. In fact, Dell makes more online sales because of SMS alerts made possible by Twilio. Dell managed to fully implement Twilio SMS just in time for Black Friday – a critical shopping season for the company. They used Twilio for cart abandonment prompts, verification, and customer escalations.
Sometimes, customers will buy a laptop without knowing that the credit card company tagged the purchase as fraudulent. The previous process of resolving payment issues used to be timely and tedious with emails going into the junk mail, etc. With Twilio, issues are instantly sent to the customer through SMS which is read within 2-3 minutes and resolved with the bank thereafter.
The Pros and Cons of Using Twilio
We have compiled Twilio reviews from Trust Radius and Trust Pilot to come up with a comprehensive list of Twilio’s pros and cons.
Twilio has mostly positive reviews on both platforms, Twilio reviews reddit will also confirm this.
- Powerful conversion and automation tool
In general, Twilio SMS is widely praised for its strong conversions and different implementations. Automation is also a big plus, both for text and voice messages.
Evan Laird of Dinely shared that they use Twilio mostly for transactional purposes, such as reminders for reservations, but they are planning to use it for marketing and promotion. Reservation Genie founder Ivan Collins find their notification and automation capability quite handy for customers booking reservations.
Authentication, password verification, scheduling as well as integration with CRM platforms can be invaluable for business growth.
Peter Lange of LittleMouse Productions uses SMS for notifying customers as well as sending messages to himself, sharing that he uses Twilio to alert him whenever scheduled jobs fall through.
It is also the tool he uses to inform his customers whenever specific actions happen in their website that merit immediate notifications. These types of “mission critical” events are better off sent via SMS than email which can go to spam or be buried by other non-essential emails.
Here are other commendable features of Twilio:
· Easy integration
With just a few lines of code, you can implement Twilio’s functionalities along with other apps like Salesforce and Hubspot. A verified Trust Radius user wrote, “Twilio obviously does a great job at sending SMS Messages. The delivery is quick and never fails. The coding for sending them is relatively simple.”
· Robust Twilio API
With a well-documented and secure API, clients praise Twilio for its robust messaging capabilities Users also appreciate the SDK included for all programming languages to allow for global rollout of communication networks.
· Intuitive interface
Twilio is not intimidating even to non-programmers. Users find it very intuitive and modern to use. The dashboard itself is also user-friendly with a snapshot view of important data like recent activity, send and deliverability rates.
Since Twilio’s implementation is fairly easy, it requires less programming. This means less development costs. In addition, Twilio offers flexible plans to accommodate a wide range of clients, from small businesses and start-ups to big corporations. You can just pay for what you need. For SMS Marketing, the price starts at $0.0075 per message sent or received.
Start-ups can easily change plans to accommodate more load as business grows.
The Twilio API has a pay-as-you-go pricing model (for when you actually want to invite users to your app), but also offers a free developer testing environment. The developer model allows you to get a Twilio phone number for making a phone call and sending text or multimedia messages to one phone number.
· Detailed data collection and reporting
You can get a lot of insight from Twilio because of its detailed log for all activities. You will not have to spend for a custom UX.
· Great customer service
In addition to a detailed documentation, you will also benefit from their responsive customer service. Instead of leaving you to the mercy of a bot, you will get personalised help with any technical issues.
· Customisable numbers
You are given a lot of options when it comes to choosing your number, based on country and area codes. You can also use multiple local numbers for areas where you expect to receive a lot of messages.
Twilio gives clients the chance to communicate with customers on different channels, including email and social media.
· Expansive capabilities
You can use Twilio for authentication, debugging, scheduling, call tracking—it goes on. As the tech evolves, expect more innovations to rollout and implement for your business needs. You can also pair it with other APIs to expand your services. For instance, you can pair Twilio with YahooWeatherAPI to send out weather forecasts or integrate it with Eventbrite API for notifying event participants.
There were mixed reviews about Twilio’s dashboard which some find messy and others have experienced lags and errors. They also find the documentation confusing at times. Although, the biggest con for users is that they find Twilio expensive.
Andrew Doar of Common Living shared: “If text messaging is not a critical part of your operations, Twilio is not necessary. If you send fewer than 500 messages per month, you should probably stick with your messaging service through a mobile provider.”
Ben Gelsey of Insigniac echoes the same sentiment. He wrote that having a big list of clients and customers requiring only occasional text messages is perfect for Twilio. Twilio’s number pooling makes this particular scenario easy and practical. On the other hand, if you need to send SMS more frequently to a big database of users, the service is too expensive and the rapidly ballooning costs will be untenable for most businesses.
Even though Twilio offers flexible plans, some users find this API is expensive especially when it comes to SMS prices. Some note that it is 2-3 times higher than Twilio competitors for many destinations. The pricing only goes down with the higher bundles or plans. 2 or 3 times the price of the competition for many destinations. One user shared that he contacted Twilio to verify pricing, however he was told that unless he could commit to sending Twilio bulk SMS per month, they could not adjust Twilio bulk SMS pricing.
· Limited MMS support
While Twilio excels in SMS, users find the MMS feature lacking. For instance, one feedback mentions “Easier multi-media sending for images, videos, or files needed” and “better support.”
· Auto-responders can be more intuitive
Several users noted the difficulty and unnecessary steps in setting up response sequences. One of the feedbacks recounted how they wanted to set up different numbers per notification, but the system caused an error. Their users ended up receiving messages about the same action coming from different numbers which just seems counterproductive and confusing for customers.
· Requires a basic understanding of programming
Although Twilio is setup so that little to no programming is needed to implement it, users with zero knowledge will still struggle with some of its functionalities.
There is a learning curve to Twilio tutorial and as one user wrote, their API is only easy once you already understand it. Before that point, however, you can have a hard time with it. As an example, he says, an average person may not understand that there is a message queue and that “something can be removed from the queue before it sends…”
· No option to organise numbers
When it comes to storing numbers, users find it too messy. According to one review, Twilio does not allow you to organize numbers in groups. So, if you are dealing with thousands of numbers meant to be used for different actions in your application, they are all mixed together in one single folder.
In just a short span of time, Twilio has become a top tool for communication, lead generation and customer retention. The quick implementation, flexible plans, omnichannel capability, and scalability are just some of the best features this API can offer.
This definitely proves to be an essential mobile marketing tool to growing businesses who not only want to answer faster and better to customer concerns, but also be proactive in their marketing efforts.