Twilio for SMS? Your thoughts wanted

by Amy5
59 replies
Hi

I've done some research on SMS text messaging and I want to offer it as part of my service offerings. If I could afford the $300 monthly for Lime Cellular, then I'd go with that one. So far I've only been bartering my marketing services and I don't have the cash flow.

Based on price, I'm thinking of starting with Twilio (with Chad Wyatt's WordPressVBX plugin). What are your thoughts on Twilio for sms for local businesses?

It looks like it should work fine, but I hate to have a bad first couple of experiences from choosing the wrong solution (Twilio).

Your thoughts and experience are appreciated!!
#sms #thoughts #twilio #wanted
  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I've been looking into txt180.com due to a similar situation. I want lower start up costs.

    If you want a service vs. setting it up yourself they might be worth looking into.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      I use txt180 and they have been great for me! What I would recommend though is doing some research on all of the different options. It is time consuming, but it is very worth it to make sure that the system you go with suits "your" needs. Chad's plug-in may be great for one person but not at all what the next person is looking for.

      Bottom line: Spend the time to make sure it is what you need and you will be more successful in using it.
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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        • Profile picture of the author Amy5
          It seems that there are as many people in favor or long codes and Twilio as there are in favor of short codes. I'm hesitant to use the long codes since I haven't seen any local businesses using them yet - they're all using short code which makes me think it would be an easier sale to sell them something they're more familiar with.

          Looks like txt180 is about $300 annually with small monthly. I wonder how available decent keywords are?

          Thanks for your advice & thoughts on this!
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          • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
            Originally Posted by Amy5 View Post

            It seems that there are as many people in favor or long codes and Twilio as there are in favor of short codes. I'm hesitant to use the long codes since I haven't seen any local businesses using them yet - they're all using short code which makes me think it would be an easier sale to sell them something they're more familiar with.

            Looks like txt180 is about $300 annually with small monthly. I wonder how available decent keywords are?

            Thanks for your advice & thoughts on this!
            They are going to try and get another short code later this year or early next for the resellers.

            Also is texting pizza to 12345 really better than "Text HarrisPizza to 12345"
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            • Profile picture of the author frujid
              Also is texting pizza to 12345 really better than "Text HarrisPizza to 12345"
              No, but texting "pizza" to 5612375899 is a lot different then texting "pizza" to 12345
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              • Profile picture of the author TWalker
                Except even if you could find the short code "12345" the keyword "pizza" would never even be available.

                But "pizza" or any other word would be available at (123) 456-7899 plus the local number has a high trust factor.
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                • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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                  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
                    Originally Posted by lordauric View Post

                    I've been looking into txt180.com due to a similar situation. I want lower start up costs.

                    If you want a service vs. setting it up yourself they might be worth looking into.
                    Chad's plugin is not hard to set up at all. Takes about 4 minutes if you are running anything higher than 56k. Just upload the plugin to Wordpress, create a Twilio account, be done with it!

                    Also, Twilio gives you $30 free credits. Which is equal to 3,000 free texts. Numbers are only $1 a month, as well. So your operating costs with Twilio will be less than $10 a month, including hosting. +1ยข per text after you use your initial 3,000, of course.

                    Originally Posted by frujid View Post

                    No, but texting "pizza" to 5612375899 is a lot different then texting "pizza" to 12345
                    The numbers that you get from Twilio are local so they are trusted.

                    Originally Posted by TWalker View Post

                    Except even if you could find the short code "12345" the keyword "pizza" would never even be available.

                    But "pizza" or any other word would be available at (123) 456-7899 plus the local number has a high trust factor.
                    Agreed.





                    Bottom line, I use Chad's plugin. I'm happy so far. Support is a little bit slow but I have only needed it one time in the past two months. It's cost effective, has some great features (call to subscribe, clients, longcodes) and very easy to use.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Guy Horton
                      I have researched several options for SMS text messaging. Depending on your needs there appears to be many solutions. Most platforms to purchase are in the 500/700 dollar range, have one developed 350/500 range. I found a company the other day that offers what I'm looking for, might work for you also. I have not made a decision as which direction to go, but the following link (not affiliate) looks interesting.

                      SMS Marketing for Business
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                    • Profile picture of the author carsonben
                      Is there any way I can contact you? I'm hoping I can ask you some questions about Chad's plugin. I've already purchased.

                      Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Has anyone ever split tested long code vs short code?

    Myself I would be less likely to opt into a deal service that used a "phone number". Make me feel like it can't be trusted.

    But are my feelings true for all customers?
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    • Profile picture of the author steve solo
      Originally Posted by lordauric View Post

      Has anyone ever split tested long code vs short code?

      Myself I would be less likely to opt into a deal service that used a "phone number". Make me feel like it can't be trusted.

      But are my feelings true for all customers?

      been using long codes for the longest,..to me, what you have to offer the subscribers matter the most, so if you are offering some good stuff, people will opt in, either long or short codes..and I also use a software which costs $45 one time,..and send my own sms messages,..just my 0.2 cents,..
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    • Profile picture of the author Guy Horton
      Originally Posted by lordauric View Post

      Has anyone ever split tested long code vs short code?

      Myself I would be less likely to opt into a deal service that used a "phone number". Make me feel like it can't be trusted.

      But are my feelings true for all customers?
      I did a walk-in survey with 70 local mom & pop business owners who had some knowledge of SMS marketing.
      The survey revealed 52 preferred short codes over local numbers (long code). Main reason for this choice
      was they had read or saw an advertisement for a service. The remaining 18 said they might use long code.
      I explained the pros & cons of both. Most of the people I spoke with were looking for a service too send their
      message, they did not want or have time to learn a marketing system.
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      • Profile picture of the author Neodism
        Originally Posted by DEaFeYe View Post

        Well, the truth of the matter is, that if it uses a full length number it is definitely low budget. If you feel you can't trust low budget solutions that's a personal thing. There are a lot of different things people assume when there isn't money behind a product, and it's going to vary
        You're average non-marketer customer won't know that it's low budget because of the long code.

        Originally Posted by steve solo View Post

        been using long codes for the longest,..to me, what you have to offer the subscribers matter the most, so if you are offering some good stuff, people will opt in, either long or short codes..and I also use a software which costs $45 one time,..and send my own sms messages,..just my 0.2 cents,..
        I love long-codes. What software are you using?
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        • Profile picture of the author steve solo
          Originally Posted by Larches View Post

          You're average non-marketer customer won't know that it's low budget because of the long code.



          I love long-codes. What software are you using?
          been using a very basic software for a few years now, nothing fancy here, but it does the job,..only issue is that if some one opts out of my list then i will have to manually remove it off my list,..thats the only issue with it but other than that works great,..didnt want to mention the name as i am an affiliate and dont want to get banned from warrior,..lol..this is perfect for starters who dont want to spend that big $$$ for a white label software just yet...hope this helps..info on the SIG below,...

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author susanMC
            Originally Posted by steve solo View Post

            been using a very basic software for a few years now, nothing fancy here, but it does the job,..only issue is that if some one opts out of my list then i will have to manually remove it off my list,..thats the only issue with it but other than that works great,..didnt want to mention the name as i am an affiliate and dont want to get banned from warrior,..lol..this is perfect for starters who dont want to spend that big $$$ for a white label software just yet...hope this helps..info on the SIG below,...

            Steve
            PM sent Steve,...
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            • Profile picture of the author Neodism
              Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

              I have liked Twilio since I started using it last spring. Then it was 2 cents a text, now only 1 cent. I had a client send out a text blast a couple days ago to his list of 550 or so mobile numbers, only cost me $5.50, but I charge them $149 per month.

              With OpenVBX, everything is so customizeable too. This client sends out blasts from his cell phone, and it goes to the entire list. He is really good at jamming alot of info into his 160 characters. I REALLY like the fact that people can either text to subscribe or call the local number to subscribe. This makes it much more explainable and easy for people who are not used to texting out.
              Would you mind emailing me (email in sig) and giving me more information on the system you use?

              Originally Posted by steve solo View Post

              been using a very basic software for a few years now, nothing fancy here, but it does the job,..only issue is that if some one opts out of my list then i will have to manually remove it off my list,..thats the only issue with it but other than that works great,..didnt want to mention the name as i am an affiliate and dont want to get banned from warrior,..lol..this is perfect for starters who dont want to spend that big $$$ for a white label software just yet...hope this helps..info on the SIG below,...

              Steve
              Thanks!
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          • Profile picture of the author Neodism
            Originally Posted by steve solo View Post

            been using a very basic software for a few years now, nothing fancy here, but it does the job,..only issue is that if some one opts out of my list then i will have to manually remove it off my list,..thats the only issue with it but other than that works great,..didnt want to mention the name as i am an affiliate and dont want to get banned from warrior,..lol..this is perfect for starters who dont want to spend that big $$$ for a white label software just yet...hope this helps..info on the SIG below,...

            Steve
            The PDF that it sent me was not readable. It was half way off the page so I could only read half of each line. I really want to know more though!
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            • Profile picture of the author steve solo
              Originally Posted by Larches View Post

              The PDF that it sent me was not readable. It was half way off the page so I could only read half of each line. I really want to know more though!
              hmm,..thanks for the info,..I will check and get back to you,..you may go to the sms software section and check the detail if you like,..its real cheap and it works,..its free to register,..you should have a link to registration emailed,..

              Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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                • Profile picture of the author Neodism
                  Originally Posted by DEaFeYe View Post

                  So, not to rain on Chad's parade,

                  but if I built out a platform that allowed you to plug in your own Twilio account do you think there'd be a market for it?
                  If I could pay Twilio price and have no worry of failed messages like is said to be with Chad's, I'd buy ten! Lol.
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                  • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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                    • Profile picture of the author goldie22
                      I found this one that offers unlimited text messages for $48 a month Mobile Autoresponder - #1 Web to Text and Short Code SMS Autoresponder (not an affiliate link) I have signed up for a trial with them and it's very easy to use,but messages are limited to only 130 characters (not sure if that includes optout ). As for delivery I haven't really used it yet, so I can't say.

                      I've also recently installed openvbx so I can see how that works. Twillio pricing is great for long codes. However if you want short codes they are super expensive..starting at something like $3000 to lease them for 3 months!
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                      • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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                        • Profile picture of the author goldie22
                          Wow, I didn't know that! Still too much for my budget right now.

                          Thanks for letting me know! I'm still in the learning phase for all this SMS stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author Padou
    i love twillo don't sleep
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  • Profile picture of the author limecellular
    Unfortunately, long codes are developing a rather nasty reputation as spammers in the US use them frequently. Short codes are more legitimate because of the rigorous approval process and are more easily recognized and branded. I've heard a situation from one of the major carriers (I won't name names) where they received a complaint from one customer regarding a long code, and from then on their network banned the number from sending or receiving from anyone with their service.

    Look for legislation regarding this in the coming months, with lobbying action from major telecomm companies. Especially if your baby is a long code.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMguy123
      Originally Posted by limecellular View Post

      Unfortunately, long codes are developing a rather nasty reputation as spammers in the US use them frequently. Short codes are more legitimate because of the rigorous approval process and are more easily recognized and branded. I've heard a situation from one of the major carriers (I won't name names) where they received a complaint from one customer regarding a long code, and from then on their network banned the number from sending or receiving from anyone with their service.

      Look for legislation regarding this in the coming months, with lobbying action from major telecomm companies. Especially if your baby is a long code.
      Please don't throw hearsay around. Please give some links or source info. You are obviously biased given your sig so a little proof would help your argument. thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author Amy5
        Has anyone here switched there sms text code - (this would happen if you changed providers or went from longcode to shortcode).

        What would the impact be on the business if I were to change their code at some point? Is there any negative consequence?

        I ask because I'd like to start out with an affordable solution and maybe upgrade when I have the income/revenue.

        I haven't seen long code used anywhere locally, so I'm nervous about how well people will respond to it. Just don't want to mess-up right out of the gate if I can avoid it.

        I truly appreciate your thoughts on this!!!
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        • Profile picture of the author steve solo
          Originally Posted by Amy5 View Post

          Has anyone here switched there sms text code - (this would happen if you changed providers or went from longcode to shortcode).

          What would the impact be on the business if I were to change their code at some point? Is there any negative consequence?

          I ask because I'd like to start out with an affordable solution and maybe upgrade when I have the income/revenue.

          I haven't seen long code used anywhere locally, so I'm nervous about how well people will respond to it. Just don't want to mess-up right out of the gate if I can avoid it.

          I truly appreciate your thoughts on this!!!
          been using long codes for a couple of years,..at the end of the day it all depends on what you are promoting,...if you got good stuff then ppl will opt in, whether you use long or short codes,..its all a hype about short codes to sell an expensive service,..01 cent,..lol
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  • Profile picture of the author steve solo
    its not being in a low budget at all,..most people dont know that they have options,..I send unlimited amount of sms messages a day,..and i dont use short codes,..and I dont have any issues with short codes either, i think they are wonderful but more cheaper options are out there.....
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I have liked Twilio since I started using it last spring. Then it was 2 cents a text, now only 1 cent. I had a client send out a text blast a couple days ago to his list of 550 or so mobile numbers, only cost me $5.50, but I charge them $149 per month.

    With OpenVBX, everything is so customizeable too. This client sends out blasts from his cell phone, and it goes to the entire list. He is really good at jamming alot of info into his 160 characters. I REALLY like the fact that people can either text to subscribe or call the local number to subscribe. This makes it much more explainable and easy for people who are not used to texting out.
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    • Profile picture of the author azurews
      I am in the middle of analyzing different mobile services myself. One of my issues is if they offer MMS as well as SMS. Text180 said they plan to incorporate it in about a year.

      One other plan I was looking at was yeez dot com. They offer long codes and short codes as well (short codes are like an extra 8 bucks).

      I want to be able to start off small and then scale it up with being able to white label it so if customers need to log in to send out a last minute text then I don't have to worry about them seeing my provider or being forced to be available 24/7. And I just want to make sure I go with a provider that is going to be around years from now.

      So I have my handy dandy spread sheet out now and am evaluating pros and cons before I make the plunge.
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  • Profile picture of the author HawaiianSon
    I purchased Chad's plugin for my sms business and was really hoping it would work. The features and .01 message cost are great! However, after testing the twilio system for 3 week, I went back to a short code service.

    I had numerous problems with messages not being received about 30% of the time, and very s-l-o-w support response times. Going back and forth between Twilio, Verizon, AT&T and Chad's support was extremely frustrating. I was glad that I had these problems prior to going live. I could not imaging having 40 clients using my sms services and not being able to reach support or resolving issues for 3 weeks! I know Chad is only a programmer and does not have a lot of staff on hand for support issues, so I don't blame Chad. His plugin is great, just not ready for prime time, imo.

    Also, make sure you research using SMS or SMPP protocol vs SMTP protocol for text messaging. Twilio uses SMTP and carriers are not required to guarantee delivery of those messages! SMTP protocol is the same way email is sent, so you may be subject to spam regulations! Do your own research... ...just sayin'

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    • Profile picture of the author Amy5
      @azurews MMS is for sending photos/ videos yes? I didn't realize not all providers had that option. Looks like I need to do more research.

      How common is it for a business to send MMS photo/video?
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Originally Posted by Amy5 View Post

        @azurews MMS is for sending photos/ videos yes? I didn't realize not all providers had that option. Looks like I need to do more research.

        How common is it for a business to send MMS photo/video?
        I don't know how often a company would use it, but I have a great deal of customers using my system and I don't us MMS at all. Quite frankly I have never lost a deal because I don't offer it and I don't think I even will offer it when txt180 starts offering it. I like the idea of my customers sending a company logo or something along with the message but that is adding an extra wrinkle into the fold that takes more time and probably money. I'm sure that wouldn't be a big deal for a smaller operation but I'm assuming everyone is like me in wanting to eventually step away from my day job, and to do that you need quite a few customers and constant support to prevent current customers from leaving.
        Just my 2, goodluck.
        b

        PS not all companies allow for video, some will just allow photos or sound clips and it will depend on the users phone whether or not they can see or hear any of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      Originally Posted by HawaiianSon View Post

      I purchased Chad's plugin for my sms business and was really hoping it would work. The features and .01 message cost are great! However, after testing the twilio system for 3 week, I went back to a short code service.

      I had numerous problems with messages not being received about 30% of the time, and very s-l-o-w support response times. Going back and forth between Twilio, Verizon, AT&T and Chad's support was extremely frustrating. I was glad that I had these problems prior to going live. I could not imaging having 40 clients using my sms services and not being able to reach support or resolving issues for 3 weeks! I know Chad is only a programmer and does not have a lot of staff on hand for support issues, so I don't blame Chad. His plugin is great, just not ready for prime time, imo.

      Also, make sure you research using SMS or SMPP protocol vs SMTP protocol for text messaging. Twilio uses SMTP and carriers are not required to guarantee delivery of those messages! SMTP protocol is the same way email is sent, so you may be subject to spam regulations! Do your own research... ...just sayin'

      Cheers!
      So you're saying using Twilio, and not Chad's plugin, is why some text messages are not being received about 30% of the time?

      Using OpenVBX, Chad's plugin or any other Twilio system would still cause that? I had never heard of this issue before.

      Anyone else experienced the same thing?
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  • Profile picture of the author HawaiianSon
    Chad's plugin uses the Twilio platform to send text messages. The OpenVBX is also a Twilio based system. They both use long codes and there are pros and cons with using long code protocol for text messages. Do your research before making the leap!

    Cheers!
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    • Profile picture of the author ramohr
      Wheres a good place to start my research on finding the best platform?

      Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      Originally Posted by HawaiianSon View Post

      Chad's plugin uses the Twilio platform to send text messages. The OpenVBX is also a Twilio based system. They both use long codes and there are pros and cons with using long code protocol for text messages. Do your research before making the leap!

      Cheers!
      No no no. What I quoted you for was not about "long codes vs short codes".

      You implied that either Twilio and/or Chad's plugin caused 30% of your messages to be wasted! And that Twilio uses SMTP and not true SMS!

      Those are serious issues! I have the fist version of Chad's plugin but have been only using OpenVBX. But I do plan on using Chad's latest version, and obviously, the base of my SMS system is Twilio.

      If what you say is true it's HUGE news for a good chunk of us on this forum! And we should thank you for it as it could potentially save our business. If it's not, man, it's pure slander.
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  • Profile picture of the author HawaiianSon
    I am just sharing my experience with long codes. I tried it and it did not work for my needs and I went to a short code option. Others have had great success using it and more power to them. Do your own research and make your own choices.

    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
    Search is based on data, and I'd say real world results posted my members of this forum count as research for me!

    You say that 30% of your messages did not reach their destination. You can't just state that and then say "do your own research" as I had never come across someone else stating that. One thing I wondered is if you think it was using Twilio per se, of if it was Chad's plugin, that caused so many messages to miss their target.
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  • Profile picture of the author HawaiianSon
    30% was my actual result and I was using Chad's plugin and Twilio / long code service. Working with support from Twilio, Chad, Verizon and AT&T, for 3 weeks, I came to the conclusion that I did. Verizon and AT&T will not guarantee delivery of any messages using long code protocol, that is from the tech support of both AT&T and Verizon. Draw your own conclusions if you want...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Hackett
    Jeesh! After all this reading - and just starting out making mobile sites for clients, I don't know if I even want to get into offering SMS right now. I've been looking into it, but what seemed so simple at first has become a really complex issue.

    I have Open VBX installed on my site, but am just trying to wrap my head around learning it. (don't know why the whole thing intimidates me lol) I was looking into Chad's plugin too, but now I'm not so sure.

    If the FCC is going to come down on more regulation with long codes, then it is certainly something to keep in mind. I need to just get my feet wet with mobile sites right now - not so sure about SMS.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      Originally Posted by Michael Hackett View Post

      Jeesh! After all this reading - and just starting out making mobile sites for clients, I don't know if I even want to get into offering SMS right now. I've been looking into it, but what seemed so simple at first has become a really complex issue.

      I have Open VBX installed on my site, but am just trying to wrap my head around learning it. (don't know why the whole thing intimidates me lol) I was looking into Chad's plugin too, but now I'm not so sure.

      If the FCC is going to come down on more regulation with long codes, then it is certainly something to keep in mind. I need to just get my feet wet with mobile sites right now - not so sure about SMS.
      I thought I had it figured out too I currently use OpenVBX, so Twilio, for the US. For Canada, I'll probably go with Yeez. But always there seems to come things to make one doubt. Bah, I'd rather build and lose half of it later, than not build at all!

      As for the FCC, IMO it will be as it is with spam: as long as you comply with only sending text to SUBSCRIBERS, that they can opt out with "STOP" at will, that you clearly identify yourself as the sender, what would matter to them what system you used?
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      • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
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        • Profile picture of the author bhemesath
          Disclosure: I'm a 6+ year veteran of the short code + SMS space (catchwind dot com). I stumbled upon this forum and felt the need to provide some clarity.

          Short codes are $500/mo purchased in 3 month increments. You can request a vanity code which doubles the price. These are purchased from usshortcodes dot com, but your provider can help you. The app process is a bitch.

          A short code will need to be registered with all the carriers you want to use - a true aggregator can do this for you. I've worked with OpenMarket for years and they do a great job. Other aggregators: IPX Ericsson, Syniverse, and mBlox. At this time, Twilio is not a short code aggregator, but acts like one.

          MMS is not offered by all SMS companies. MoGreet was one of the original MMS providers that I am aware of. In my opinion MMS is still very clunky. Another opinion: smart phones and data plans will kill MMS. No one emails 10MB videos, they email the link to YouTube.

          Twilio does not use SMTP (as stated earlier). I am led to believe they connect to mBlox. They have an impressive API, but someone is losing money at $.01/msg on short codes. They did not have the volumes at the start of offering service to get to $.01/msg, so they have hedged their bets that they'll make it there. It is possible their aggregator shares some risk.

          This is a very competitive industry. If you are going to resell service please be prepared to add value in some fashion. I am seeing consolidation in the market and this will continue as prices have been driven down and margins are getting smaller. Added value (and volume) wins.

          I don't keep up on forums very well, but I'm happy to share what I can if anyone has questions. I'm not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but again just wanted to provide some clarity.

          Cheers!
          Brian
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          • Profile picture of the author DEaFeYe
            Banned
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            • Profile picture of the author bhemesath
              @DEaFeYe
              I'm not anti-Twilio and not here to argue. Just here to share what I know. In fact, we have a Twilio account and will be integrating long codes for certain use cases.

              To clarify the pricing you mentioned:
              - Twilio short code pricing is $.01/MT and $.005/MO (Short Codes for SMS Marketing and Bulk Text Messaging | Twilio)
              - OpenMarket isn't $.02/MT. For clients who are just getting started, they have a sliding volume scale with minimums, which is how every other aggregator has been doing it for as long as I've been around.

              Twilio is "disrupting" this industry with their pricing. I love it and hate it. Time will tell if their strategy works.

              As for the API's sucking or not, OpenMarket's API wasn't that hard to figure out. Also, OpenMarket has a number of API-based services that Twilio doesn't have yet (number lookup, payment auth, etc). Regardless, Twilio may be better. But ask yourself, once you are done integrating, does it really matter if the API was awesome? It shouldn't; integrate and hope they don't change things so you can spend time building & selling your services.
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              • Profile picture of the author Amy5
                I wonder if it makes sense to be able to offer both long code and short code to a local business.

                Sounds like a short code might be good some things such as a bulk text, many people are familiar with short code so that might be a plus,...
                Long codes might be good for a business who is specific about the keyword they want, maybe the need a cheaper option, and maybe they like the 2 way communication

                What do you all think? Is it wise to maybe lead with short code, - but have the long code option if they prefer it?

                I may have missed other pro's & cons
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                • Profile picture of the author bhemesath
                  @Amy5 I think you have the right idea, but short codes can just as easily facilitate 2-way communication. There have been some very interesting comments about acceptance of long and short codes.

                  To me, a short code is necessary if you are going to do bulk sending. You need a good throttle rate. Long codes can be good for more one-off texting - think reminder services or number validation. They'd be great for the initial opt-in, but carriers frown upon importing numbers to a short code from another source.

                  In terms of the keywords, call the short code provider to see if a keyword is available. Most businesses don't want generic keywords, they want their name, which is usually available. More important than the availability of keywords is how many clients are packed onto that shared short code. If you see a shared short code provider with a single short code and a ton of clients, be careful. If one of those clients violates content rules, the whole thing can get shut down. Ask Clickatell about that.
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    • Profile picture of the author jacknorman
      I do not think they connect to the mBlox. They have an awesome API, but someone will lose money of $ .01/msg short codes.
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  • Profile picture of the author ASUService
    We have developed a system based on Twilio's API that has been doing well. I have seen absolute no message failures.

    My take on long vs. short codes is each have their place in the industry. If you can afford the cost of a short code by all means go for it. A big part of my mindset when I was starting the dev on our system was to offer a cost effective option for small businesses to enter mobile marketing. But is it the end all? Depends on the specific customer.

    Each customer will have different needs and resources. I feel many will be more than willing to go with a long code when you consider startup cost is minimal and you get unlimited keywords.

    I can't argue with the point that long codes have not received the exposure that short codes have, but does that make it a bad option .... imho, no it doesn't. How many small businesses will want to gamble $1000+ to test the waters.

    With Twilio and the assorted options most small businesses can give mobile marketing a try for a few hundred at the most. We plan on charging around $100 for setup and $15 to $50 per month. When you add to the mix that you have unlimited keywords using Twilio I think it gets very obvious what many small business will be willing, and able, to go forward with.

    Of course some will outgrow our system or will be those "must have the latest and greatest" types. We have positioned ourselves to refer those prospects over to a bigger service. Is that service better ... no, just more features we never plan over developing. On the other side of the coin, there will be many who will be able to ride with our system for a long time. It just boils down to what the specific need is.

    IMHO there are many features being offered that are just silly. MMS is in it's infancy. Not in the technology but in the capability. Many cellphones or account levels do not have MMS capability and you have no way of knowing which subscribers can or can't receive those messages. IMHO, it's much better to just send a link to a webpage.

    I also feel that too much push of the higher end capabilities will be a quick ruin of sms marketing. People are going to get tired of opening a text and waiting for the info to download. Limiting to basic alerts some with links is going to help the longevity and minimize government intervention. But we all know that's not going to happen. Too many advertisers care very little when they're doing it but will whine like little puppies when it's regulated or shut down. Just look at email marketing ... the hurdles to maintain deliverability have gotten to the point a little guy can't keep up. How long before it happens to mobile marketing.

    I hope this gives a bit more food for thought.
    Signature

    Best Regards,
    Mike Allton
    ASU Service, Inc.
    The LAST SMS Platform You'll Ever Need! Easy Money!

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  • Profile picture of the author CPAmum
    Whoo!!! This thread is certainly jam-packed with information. Thanks to all, but what I'd like to know is: Are there companies to which we marketers can easily outsource our text messaging service offerings?

    This assumes that we marketers in question know just enough about the technology to get in big trouble so we'd like to pass on the techie stuff but still offer the service.

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author bhemesath
      @CPAmum Yes, search for white label sms platforms. Another thing to look for is providers that are agency-friendly. I agree, this is a great thread...

      @ASUService I like where you are going with this, but you will find competitors with short code offerings starting at that same price point you mentioned (for the end customer). Your margins may be better b/c you don't have the short code overhead, but you will be competing on price all the same. I agree 100% on MMS comments, the technology is still finding a good fit.
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      • Profile picture of the author ASUService
        Thanks much ... mind sharing a link to a shortcode provider in that mentioned price range. Guess I missed those in my research OR I gave up after only finding those that were $1500 and up.

        Originally Posted by bhemesath View Post

        @ASUService I like where you are going with this, but you will find competitors with short code offerings starting at that same price point you mentioned (for the end customer). Your margins may be better b/c you don't have the short code overhead, but you will be competing on price all the same. I agree 100% on MMS comments, the technology is still finding a good fit.
        Signature

        Best Regards,
        Mike Allton
        ASU Service, Inc.
        The LAST SMS Platform You'll Ever Need! Easy Money!

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  • Profile picture of the author CPAmum
    Thanks! Additionally, I wouldn't mind it if people dropped names. Shameless self-promotion is OK by me on this, at least!
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  • Profile picture of the author bhemesath
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  • Profile picture of the author seomagic
    I use txt180 and they have been great for me. I am having good experience with their support too, Very quick and good service
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    • Profile picture of the author CPAmum
      Forgot to add, bhemesath and DEaFeYe, would you mind sending me a PM with details on the startup package you offer and recommend to marketers (something to grow with)?

      You could also post it here, but I don't want you to get banned!!!

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author CPAmum
    This is great! Thanks so much to all of you!
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  • Profile picture of the author MegMurph
    I am currently an employee of Twilio. Twilio does not send long or short code messages via SMTP, meaning we don't send anything via SMTP. We take care to make sure our customers don't accidentally choose a route that could be unsuccessful.

    As for failure rate, our focus as a company is to deliver communications. The 30% failure rate is completely unacceptable, as well as untrue and you can monitor Twilio status at Twilio Service Status. Twilio also provides a log so you can see success status of delivery.

    @HawaiianSon Were you able to solve your issues with your product? If our customer support team hasn't yet resolved your issue I encourage you to re-start the conversation by emailing help@twilio.com
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  • Profile picture of the author blue-ego
    One thing is certain - this thread makes you think Does any of you know by any chance a good white label sms reseller program to work in canada? I was looking at Open VBX by Twilio but this one does not have capability for my clients to manage their own campaigns, I was also looking at Avidmobile, Trumpia (which seems overly complicated on the end-user side), some other ie. Yeezy.com, Tropo.com, Textmarks, TXT180 eighter don't offer service in canada or don't have a white label reseller program. I only need basic functionality for my clients to be able to set up a campaign on a chosen keyword and manage those campaigns, view number of subscribers and receive leads and of course for me to be able to manage those clients. After reading this thread I just want to stress that I position myself as a reseller not the only user of the service. I appreciate all suggestions.
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  • Profile picture of the author lanew
    I use Twilio API for last 7 months and not once have I had problem. Once set up correctly, I put it own backend of some clients' sites and they love it! Best of all, they run their own campaigns while still paying me to "consult" and update and code back end. I highly suggest Twilio. Granted, you're always going to have your short code vs long code arguments with other marketers, but for most part business owners just want it to work and get their codes. I found that when I first started, and used Twilio for demo and then try to sell the business on moving to short code (I was a white label reseller), 99.9% of the time, they said they were happy with using long codes because of availability.

    My two cents.

    Be well,

    Lane
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  • Profile picture of the author lanew
    @blue-ego. I've tried many and I was very happy with AvidMobile. They are reasonable and VERY responsive to their resellers.


    I've moved on, but not because of their service, but because I mainly use Twilio for existing clients, and I have a friend that owns a SMS marketing company that I send clients to now.

    Be well,

    Lane
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  • Profile picture of the author steve1976
    Been using Chad's plugin with Twillio for over a year. Works great and you can't beat Twilio's cost.
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