With just a few drags and a few drops, you can build an application to receive phone calls with Studio, Twilio's low-code/no-code application builder.
This no-code Quickstart will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from setting up your Twilio account to receiving and responding to calls.
In this Quickstart, you will learn how to:
- Sign up for Twilio
- Create your first Studio Flow
- Get your first voice-enabled Twilio phone number
- Receive an inbound phone call and automatically respond to the caller with a Text-to-Speech message
By the end of this Quickstart, you’ll have a solid foundation for building with Twilio Studio.
Already have a Twilio account? Go ahead and skip this section.
Navigate to the sign up page to sign up for a free Twilio trial account.
- When you sign up, you'll be asked to verify your personal phone number. This helps Twilio verify your identity and also allows you to send test messages to your phone from your Twilio account while in trial mode.
- Once you verify your number, you'll be asked a series of questions to customize your experience.
- Once you finish onboarding, you'll arrive at your project dashboard in the Twilio Console. This is where you'll be able to access Twilio Studio, find a Twilio phone number, and more.
The first step to using Studio is to create a Flow. A Flow is a visual representation of your application, just like a flowchart you might draw when planning how your application works. The difference is this Flow is actually functional!
To create a Flow:
- Navigate to the Studio Flows section in the Console.
- Click Create new Flow. If you’ve already created a Flow before, click the + icon underneath the Flows heading to create a new Flow.
- Give your new Flow a name, then click Next.
- After you've named your Flow, you'll see a list of possible templates you can use. For the purposes of this Quickstart, select Start from scratch, then click Next.
Now for an express tour of the Studio interface and its components! After you’ve created a new Flow, you’ll see the Flow’s Canvas. The Canvas is the space where you build your applications when using Studio. On the Canvas, you’ll see the Trigger Widget. The Trigger Widget tells Studio when to start or “trigger” your Flow and every new Canvas includes one. On the right side of the Canvas, you’ll see the Widget Library where you can find all the available Widgets. Widgets are the building blocks of a Studio Flow and perform the functions that make up your application.
Now that you’re familiar with the Studio interface and have a new Flow ready to go, it’s time to start using Widgets to build your application! You’ll create a system that automatically responds to an incoming call.
To respond to an incoming call, you’ll need the Say/Play Widget. The Say/Play Widget allows you to play a recorded message, dictate text to a user, or play DTMF tones on a call. Use this Widget to say or play information to the user before any subsequent action. From the Widget Library on the right, click and drag the Say/Play Widget onto the Canvas.
In order for Studio to know when to respond, you need to tell it when to trigger your Flow. Since you want Studio to trigger this Flow when it receives a phone call, you’ll click the red dot underneath Incoming Call on the Trigger Widget and drag it to the Say/Play Widget to connect them. Now when Studio receives a phone call, the Flow will trigger and execute whatever is connected to the Incoming Call transition—in this case, the Say/Play Widget.
Next, you’ll configure the Say/Play Widget. With the Widget selected, the Widget Library will transform into the Inspector Panel where you can adjust the Widget’s settings. Enter a name in the Widget Name field. The name can be whatever you like; however, please note the name must begin with a letter and cannot contain spaces. Use an underscore (_) to separate words instead.
The Say or Play Message or Digits field specifies the three ways you can respond to callers: generate text-to-speech audio from your typed message (Say), play a prerecorded message from an audio file (Play), or have the system read digits (Digits). For this Quickstart, choose “Say a message" from the dropdown options.
Enter the message you’d like callers to hear in the Text to say field and select a language from the Language dropdown. Then select a Message voice from the dropdown and specify the Number of loops you want to play.
Your Flow should now look like this:
Your Flow is ready! Press Publish to publish your Flow. You’ll need to publish your Flow any time you make changes for those changes to go live.
You will need a Twilio phone number — a phone number purchased through Twilio — to send messages or make phone calls using Twilio.
To buy a phone number:
- Navigate to the Phone Numbers page in your console.
- Click Buy a Number to purchase your first Twilio number.
- On the "Buy a Number" page you'll see a list of all available numbers as well as their capabilities (Voice, SMS, MMS, and Fax). You can customize the country and area code, as well as select any of the capabilities you'd like this number to have.
- When you find the number that meets your needs, click Buy to review the number.
- Click Buy [phone number] to complete the transaction.
Many countries require identity documentation for Phone Number compliance. Requests to buy phone numbers with these regulations will be required to select or add the required documentation after clicking Buy in the Console. To see which countries and phone number types are affected by these requirements, please see our Phone Number Regulations site.
So far, you’ve created a Flow and bought a phone number. Now you just need to tell your phone number to use your Flow when it receives a call.
To do that, navigate to the Active Numbers section of the Console and click on the number you’d like to use.
After clicking on the number, you'll see its configuration menu where you can connect the number to your Studio Flow. Scroll down to the Voice & Fax section and under Configure With, select the dropdown option “Webhook, TwiML Bin, Function, Studio Flow, Proxy Service.” Under A Call Comes In, select the dropdown option “Studio Flow,” then select the Flow you created from the adjacent Select a Flow dropdown.
Your configuration is complete! Press Save to save your changes.
Now with everything all set up, it’s time to test!
Place a call from your mobile phone to your Twilio number and, when the call connects, hear your message!
Now that you know the basics of receiving and responding to calls with Twilio Studio, check out these resources to build more cool stuff:
- Get Started with Twilio Studio
- Build an IVR with Twilio Studio
- Forward Calls with Twilio Studio
- Route Inbound Sales Leads with Twilio Studio
We can't wait to see what you build!