How to Use Twilio for Marketing

Using Twilio, you can build marketing campaigns that are infinitely flexible and instantly responsive, allowing you to create the ideal customer experience for your users.

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How to Use Twilio for Marketing

Most business face the challenge of cutting through the noise to attract, convert, and retain customers. Using the wrong tools or tactics to reach users can cost you time, money, and customer trust. While Twilio is well-known with developers, this session at SIGNAL (our annual developer and customer conference) demonstrates the many ways customers use Twilio to bring innovation to marketing.

As a Product Marketing Manager and Sales Engineer at Twilio, the favorite part of our jobs is seeing the cool ways that companies of all sizes and across many verticals are building with Twilio. We’ve had the opportunity to help customers utilize Twilio APIs for a wide range of marketing use cases at scale. And we’re excited to show you how to build marketing campaigns that are infinitely flexible and instantly responsive, allowing you to create the ideal customer experience for your users.


Right Message, Right Time

As marketers, we’re always striving to target the right person with the right message at the right time. One company that demonstrates how to do that well is Cleanly, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning app that delivers clean clothes at the tap of a button.


When Ankita received this personalized text message from Cleanly on a Saturday morning after a recent business trip, the timing of their offer was just right. She was able to go to brunch instead of doing laundry, and Cleanly earned her business back.

But no two customers are alike, and the campaign wouldn’t be as effective if Cleanly sent the same message to all customers at the same time. As a marketer, it’s up to you to spot your customers’ differences and tailor offers to them, which can be tricky at scale. Twilio takes the hard work (and the guesswork) out of tailoring messages to customers using flexible, software-powered tools so you can drive interest easily.

Standing Out in the Crowd

According to the American Marketing Association, today’s consumers are exposed to over 10,000 brand messages a day. They touch their smartphones more than 2,600 times a day. So, how do you make your message stand out? With Twilio APIs, you can build voice, video, and messaging into your applications with all of the ingredients you need to create effective marketing campaigns. Here are some of the tools we demonstrate in this talk:

Twilio Phone Numbers – Twilio's virtual phone numbers give you instant access to local, national, mobile, and toll-free phone numbers in over 100 countries for your voice call and messaging applications. Use these for lead generation, sending blast campaigns, lead tracking, and more.

Channels – Reach your customers on the channels they prefer—whether that’s SMS, Facebook Messenger, RCS Business Messaging, LINE, WhatsApp, or even Fax—using one API with instant omnichannel capabilities. We’re always adding new channels as they become popular, so you can find the best channel for your message.

Twilio Studio – Studio is a powerful visual application builder that helps you build and edit your marketing campaigns on the fly, no developer required. With ready-made communication workflows for any channel, you can use Studio to craft everything from order notifications to phone trees, testing your campaigns along the way to see what works.

Whether you’re looking to improve your click-through rate (CTR), accelerate your monthly active users, or build entire marketing solutions for multiple companies (like Scorpion and Centerfield do), it’s all possible with Twilio APIs.

Hip-Hop Developer

Ryan Leslie provides a perfect example of how innovators are using Twilio APIs to build brilliant marketing campaigns. Leslie is a hip-hop musician, producer, entrepreneur, and most importantly, he's also a developer. As his social media following swelled beyond one million across all channels, Leslie felt increasingly disconnected from his fans. His solution? He started giving them his phone number. Not just any phone number—Leslie gives out his Twilio phone number.

Ryan Leslie

When fans text Leslie on his Twilio number, they receive an instant message back asking them to fill a form with their contact details. Of the 35,000 people who texted Leslie in the past year, 33,000 responded to his request for contact details. Armed with this information, Leslie sends targeted messages to fans who haven’t bought his album yet or fans in cities where he has an upcoming show.

Of the 33,000 fans who added their contact information into Leslie’s Twilio system, more than 50% bought his latest album, and every single one received an automated ‘thank you’. Today, Leslie has 60,000 contacts in what he calls his “SuperPhone”—a Twilio-powered marketing engine he built with a simple API.

Leslie’s use case demonstrates how even if you can't force the funnel, you can definitely engineer it.

Do it Yourself

In our demo at SIGNAL, we discuss and show you how to: - Create a text marketing campaign using Studio and a Twilio phone number. - Choose the right type of number for your use case. - Send multimedia messages. - Track clicks on the links in your messages. - Measure conversion rates and response rates so you can understand and improve your engagement metrics. - Use Marketplace Add-Ons to augment your customer profiles with intelligent data using tools like White Pages Pro. - Replicate your campaign on another channel, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp with a few clicks in Twilio Studio.

Twilio provides the tools you need to build a diversified customer engagement strategy on multiple channels with one API. In this way, you can avoid having all of your social capital on one channel that could become obsolete in today’s rapidly changing market, essentially future-proofing your campaigns.

And So Much More

Although our goal as marketers is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, how to do that isn’t always obvious. It often takes time to iterate, measure the effectiveness of our campaigns, and then to continue to experiment and constantly improve. Real-world marketing campaigns aren’t static. As a marketer, you need to be agile to be effective. Twilio provides the tools today’s companies need to support intelligent marketing campaigns.

Please check out our SIGNAL session and get in touch to let us know about your use case. We can’t wait to see what you build!