Short Message Service (SMS) is one more way to build a stronger relationship with customers, whether you’re sending password alerts, order notifications, or marketing communications. When you can commission a phone number and send a quick SMS (text) in milliseconds, the possibilities are endless. This article will guide you through the process of getting started with Twilio’s quick SMS app so that you can send your first text right away.
How the Twilio Programmable SMS Messaging API works
Twilio’s SMS Messaging API bridges the gap between your web application and mobile devices:
- When someone sends an SMS to your Twilio phone number, Twilio makes an HTTP request to your web server, containing the message itself and information on who sent it.
- When you receive the message in your web application, you can then create a response through your web application.
Plus, Twilio allows you the ability to send a unique message to one or more mobile users.
Quick SMS: How to get started
Sign up for Twilio
Sign up for a free Twilio trial here. No credit card is required, and there are no contracts to sign. Our pay-as-you-go pricing for SMS with bulk message discounts makes it easy to reap value from your alerts, notifications, and marketing messages. First, you’ll have to use your personal phone number during sign-up to verify your identity, which allows you to send a test SMS to your phone from your Twilio account. Then, you’ll need to answer a series of customization questions before you end up at the Twilio Console’s project dashboard. Here, you can access your account string identifier (SID), authentication token, and Twilio phone number.
Get a Twilio-powered phone number
You can either use the free sandbox number you receive with your Twilio trial or pay for a dedicated number if you don’t want your messages to say “Sent from your Twilio trial account.” To access the free number to test your applications, click on “Get a Trial Number” under the “Manage” drop-down menu. This same number can become your dedicated line if you so choose.
To provision a number, click on “Phone Numbers” under the “Super Network,” which lets you choose a number by area code, keyword, or capability (whether it’s SMS, MMS, or Voice). Click “Buy” to complete your purchase. During setup, you may have to provide your phone number in “E.164 format,” which is the “+” symbol, followed by the country code and 10-digit number (area code first).
Use programmable messaging quickstarts
If you have basic coding experience, our Programmable Messaging Quickstarts guide will help you get up and running quickly. Once you’ve signed up and snagged your phone number, you’ll need to select a developing environment—either C# with .NET Framework, C# with .NET Core, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, or Ruby. Next, we’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to enter your original text and send it out to customers.
Send SMS in under 5 minutes with Quick Deploy
If you’ve no experience with code, but you want to delve into SMS right away, you’re in luck! Twilio Quick Deploy is easy to use, even if you don’t have a background in programming. We’ve written code for common use cases that you just release in 1 click!
Once you’ve created your account and phone number, visit the Twilio Console homepage and look for the text that asks, “Hi there, want to get an app running with no code?” Click on “See App Samples” to be directed to step-by-step CodeExchange instructions.
You may first try clicking on the “SMS Auto-Response” app sample. In Step 1, you should see your project name and your trial phone number in Step 2. By clicking “Deploy My Application” on the sample code page, you should be able to text “Hello, World!” from your Twilio trial number.
See what Twilio can do with CodeExchange customization
Twilio uses a tool called Functions to deploy the application. From the left navigation menu, you can migrate from “Functions” to “Services” and click into the “Hello-Messaging” service tab to update the message to whatever you’d like. Click “Save” and “Deploy All” from the bottom left to customize your autoresponse whenever you text a number. CodeExchange offers a wide range of SMS messages you could send. To send a message from a Twilio phone number, you’ll need to choose a language, get an API key, and set up the code sample locally.
Consider short codes
If you’re looking to send and receive SMS and MMS at high volumes globally, consider short codes, as sending more than 100 messages a day from a long code could get your messages labeled as spam. Short codes are carrier preapproved to bypass filters—perfect for sending high-volume or time-sensitive alerts, notifications, two-factor authentication, and marketing messages. Twilio APIs offer a simplified scaling process, high deliverability rates, and 99.95% uptime.
Get started with Twilio’s Quick SMS APIs today
Twilio’s Programmable SMS Messaging API is a flexible, enterprise-grade building block that allows you to send a single text message or millions. Our robust document library and developer resources can help you every step of the way. Sign up and get started with your first SMS in minutes.
Quick SMS is just the start of what Twilio APIs can do. If it’s been a pleasure to send quick SMS through Twilio in trial mode, but you’re looking for advanced capabilities, simply visit the billing page in the Console and enter your PayPal or credit card details to get the most from your Twilio account. You can opt to purchase prepaid credits individually or set up it to automatically charge your account when your balance falls below a certain threshold.
When you’re ready to scale even further, you can expand to MMS and WhatsApp messaging, multiparty and multichannel messaging with Twilio Conversations, and Programmable Voice, Video, and Email APIs with the Twilio Customer Engagement Platform. The possibilities are endless!