Whats the largest list I can run on Twilio long codes?

9 replies
I created a text system for an organizations department, and then the organization decided they would be interested in text notifications of shut downs or informational texts.

The list of 1200 is in place, but I am starting to wonder how much responsibility a mission critical text like a shut down due to bad weather would be so I emailed Twilio and I got a response that bulk messaging is best handled by short codes as carriers spam filter bulk messages. She didn't outright say I must use a short code and even said long codes is good place to start.

Twilio short codes are 3-$4000 per 3 months, so no can do, this organization turned that down before they came to me.

What kind of options do I have?
Do carrier not filter short codes?
I'm not sure the list is 1200 it could be 900 but it is large.

Do you have any suggestions?
#codes #largest #list #long #run #twilio
  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I have a client that has 750 list and the sales guy sends out blasts through his cell phone. They have been a client for about one year.

    I have not experienced any problems in getting his texts delivered to the entire list. I always get them and I would be the first to know if there was any delivery problems because all of the employees are on the list too. I have been told by Twilio that they are delivered one per second, but I have a feeling they are a little faster than that.

    You might try just breaking the list into a couple of separate lists to be on the safe side.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6113084].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TWalker
    Excellent, that was exactly what I was thinking. Long codes are inexpensive enough to use as many as necessary.

    If anyone else has experience with this or anything to add, please respond.

    My only other concern is using an existing list. I will have to discuss with the organization whether they have explicit permission so we don't get reported for spam. I'm pretty sure with this organization that they do have permissions to contact the list.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6113166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Originally Posted by TWalker View Post

    I created a text system for an organizations department, and then the organization decided they would be interested in text notifications of shut downs or informational texts.

    The list of 1200 is in place, but I am starting to wonder how much responsibility a mission critical text like a shut down due to bad weather would be so I emailed Twilio and I got a response that bulk messaging is best handled by short codes as carriers spam filter bulk messages. She didn't outright say I must use a short code and even said long codes is good place to start.

    Twilio short codes are 3-$4000 per 3 months, so no can do, this organization turned that down before they came to me.

    What kind of options do I have?
    Do carrier not filter short codes?
    I'm not sure the list is 1200 it could be 900 but it is large.

    Do you have any suggestions?
    I honestly wouldnt use a Longcode set up for a critical function like that.

    Shortcodes have highest delivery priority because the Aggregators are paying a fee to the Carriers for access to their Networks, which is why Support made reference to a shortcode.

    Since Aggregator's contracts with each Carrier specify that all messages have to be opt in, there is more wiggle room...Longcode services like Twilio have no such agreement in place so they receive more scrutiny when sending to large lists.
    Signature
    (916) 520-HYPE (4973)
    Local & Mobile Marketing Solutions
    $0 Setup & $99/mnth Private Label Reseller Accts
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6117043].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Lee M
      TWalker,

      This is DIRECT from Twilio:

      Sending Messages:

      "Each of your Twilio SMS-enabled phone numbers can send SMS messages at a rate of at most one message per second. You can make requests to Twilio as fast as you like, and Twilio will queue the messages, releasing them at a rate of one message per second. This rate does not vary based on the country in which your number is located.

      Receiving Messages:

      "There is no rate limit on how many messages your phone number can receive. Replies are subject to the one message per second limit, and will be queued."

      SIDE NOTE: If I'm not mistaken Short codes can send up 40 messages per second (2400 per minute).


      Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

      Shortcodes have highest delivery priority because the Aggregators are paying a fee to the Carriers for access to their Networks, which is why Support made reference to a shortcode.

      Longcode services like Twilio have no such agreement in place so they receive more scrutiny when sending to large lists.
      I believe this statement needs verified. If I'm not mistaken (will check on this to be certain) ... Twilio is in fact using an Aggregator.
      Signature
      Working from Home since 1991
      (Well before anyone knew it could be done!)

      “Observe your competitors, for they first find your faults.”
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6118871].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author HypeText
        Originally Posted by Lee M View Post

        TWalker,

        This is DIRECT from Twilio:

        Sending Messages:

        "Each of your Twilio SMS-enabled phone numbers can send SMS messages at a rate of at most one message per second. You can make requests to Twilio as fast as you like, and Twilio will queue the messages, releasing them at a rate of one message per second. This rate does not vary based on the country in which your number is located.

        Receiving Messages:

        "There is no rate limit on how many messages your phone number can receive. Replies are subject to the one message per second limit, and will be queued."

        SIDE NOTE: If I'm not mistaken Short codes can send up 40 messages per second (2400 per minute).




        I believe this statement needs verified. If I'm not mistaken (will check on this to be certain) ... Twilio is in fact using an Aggregator.
        Lee, it has to do with what they refer to as a "Longcode", which is really nothing more than a virtual Cellphone Number that spoofs the carriers into thinking the message is coming from another Cellphone.

        Twilio can assist Marketers/Advertisers in obtaining a shortcode however I dont believe that Twilio is the Tier 1 aggregator as their Fees for shortcodes are extremely high.
        Signature
        (916) 520-HYPE (4973)
        Local & Mobile Marketing Solutions
        $0 Setup & $99/mnth Private Label Reseller Accts
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6120060].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TWalker
    I did receive an follow up email today from Twilio support about a question I asked. I asked what maximum size list they would recommend, and I asked what the send rate for voice is because voice broadcasting might work better for this clients scenario.

    I received this response:

    There does not appear to be a set lower limit on the number of recipients that constitutes "bulk" SMS. The carriers are likely to rely on algorithms to identify potential SMS spammers, but also rely on complaints from SMS recipients.

    The idea to use voice broadcast to send notifications is a good one, and that would be a viable alternative to SMS for your use case. Please take all necessary precautions to ensure that only users who are interested in receiving your broadcast messages are receiving phone calls, as Twilio's Acceptable Use Policy forbids using our platform for unsolicited communications (twilio.com/legal/aup).

    Hope this helps you to decide how to implement your app, please let us know if you have any other questions.
    So I see no problem with using this platform. I have a feeling short codes are monitored for potential SPAM as well. I know of no short code platform that does voice broadcasting (besides Twilio). It may exist but I can only imagine the cost.

    So thats another point for Twilios versatility.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6122158].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Lee M
      TWalker,

      Here is more information I received DIRECT from Twilio:

      The details of Twilio's long-code SMS delivery system depend on the specific carrier and route.

      Both long-codes and short-codes use true SMS over the phone networks. No form of e-mail or internet data transfer is involved.

      The differences in SMS sending speed between long-codes and short-codes have been put in place by Twilio. The goal of the 1 message per second limitation on long-codes is to protect our customers from sending SMS at a rate so rapid that they become targeted for blocking by carriers. Since short codes are designed for large volume SMS, short code customers can send SMS at a higher rate without being blocked by carriers.
      Signature
      Working from Home since 1991
      (Well before anyone knew it could be done!)

      “Observe your competitors, for they first find your faults.”
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6124972].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TWalker
    Thanks for the replies.

    It looks to me for this case Twilio is the best solution.

    1. We can do voice broadcast, which includes landlines and leaving voicemails for critcal information.
    2. The "1 second rule" is no problem on a list this size. It would only become a problem if it took more than say 1-2 hours which is a list of 3600 up to 7200.

    My understanding is that voice broadcast is not subject to the same time limits.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6126183].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
      Originally Posted by smcguinness View Post

      My recommendation would be to not use "long codes" for mission critical messaging. The reason for this is that their is no guarantee that the message will go through. It is, for all intensive purposes like sending an email.

      Short code providers have essentially an agreement with the mobile phone carriers that their SMS messages will have a certain priority and they will also give some basic stats on how the message went through; delivered, in queue, rejected, etc.

      While twilio is probably the most familiar to the developer community regarding creating sms and voice applications, there are other providers which offer APIs to their platforms as well.

      I just so happen to work for one, Call-Em-All, and we do offer an API to use our voice and SMS (short code) platform.
      Just FYI Twilio also provides you with the same basic statistics... we have been using Twilio now for almost 2 years and have yet to experience any issues with delivering messages...
      Signature
      Sorry, I am too busy helping people to think of a cool signature!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6407861].message }}

Trending Topics