Introducing Twilio SMS on Toll-Free Numbers

June 12, 2014
Written by
Devang Sachdev
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own


Toll-free numbers have gotten a bad rap when it comes to customer experience. No customer wants to navigate complicated IVRs, stay on hold for ages, or repeat the same information over and over. Today, we are introducing SMS enabled toll-free numbers to streamline customer support and give your customers a new way to reach out.

Unlock Toll-free Numbers To Text

Toll-free SMS helps businesses simplify and scale interactions with mobile users.

Now your customers can get real-time support on the go, easily and efficiently via SMS. Instead of being glued to a computer, or downloading an app just to chat with a support agent, your customers can get the right information from anywhere with SMS.

Starting today, all new and existing Twilio toll-free numbers are equipped with messaging and voice capabilities. You can add SMS capability to your own toll-free number, without moving your voice service to Twilio, by hosting* it on the Twilio platform, or port it in to use both Twilio SMS and Voice. SMS is also available on US and Canadian toll-free numbers. Get started here.

Here are a few things you can do with SMS enabled toll-free numbers:

Offer Automated and Live Agent Support: Customers can use toll-free numbers to receive automated text responses or connect with an agent for live conversation without having to wait on hold.

Build Virtual Hold: Customers can simply text in “Hey there, I need some help” to be put in a virtual hold queue and receive a call once their agent is ready.

Create Seamless Voice-Text Transfer: If the customer has a few more questions for an agent and needs to switch to a voice call, you can switch from text to voice easily using the same phone number.

Brand Each Interaction: You can use the same toll-free phone number for all your business related messages (e.g. receipts, confirmations, notifications) to grow your brand, and give customers a dependable phone number they’re familiar with.

Reduce Call Center Volume: Save money by reducing the time customers spend on phone calls significantly by letting your customers choose the communication medium they prefer.

Provisioning a toll-free number is easy with the Twilio API. Head over to to get up and running.

Twilio toll-free numbers can send and receive SMS at three times the speed of local 10-digit numbers, sending three messages per second. In addition to speed, Twilio gives you the confidence your messages will be delivered, and the data to back it up. We recently launched Message Delivery Information to give you deep insight into delivery status of each message you send.

Toll-free numbers can be leased for $2/month at $0.0075 per message. Just like any US 10-digit phone number, standard text messaging rates apply for users sending messages to and from a toll-free number.

Read Ralf Schiffert’s blog on how you can build your own toll-free SMS powered agent chat.

To try out  SMS on Twilio toll-free numbers, visit
*Hosting toll-free numbers for SMS is currently in beta. Sign up here to get access.