Twilio is a cloud-based communication platform that takes a building-blocks approach to providing companies with essential communication channels like video, SIP trunking, voice calls, and SMS messaging.
The software offers a central omnichannel communication hub for companies, allowing for personalized client interactions throughout the entire customer journey. Given that companies with an omnichannel communication strategy have a 91% greater customer retention rate than those that do not, if you haven’t yet made the switch to an omnichannel platform, now is the time.
Twilio’s programmable APIs can be used to develop entirely new apps to improve customer experience, or to embed additional communications features into existing applications.
The below overview of Twilio pricing, plans, and features will help you to determine which of their CPaaS products will work best for you.
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Its products have numerous use cases within a variety of industries such as healthcare, retail, real estate, non-profits, and financial services. Top clients include the American Red Cross, Blue Apron, ING, and ZenDesk.
Twilio’s price model is incredibly flexible, offering volume discounts and allowing users to decide between pay-as-you-go (similar to Five9 pricing) and committed-use pricing. Users can purchase communication features a la carte or choose from bundled services plans.
Their products can be divided up into four main categories:
- Channel APIs
- Super Network
Twilio Flex and Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns are the two products in the Twilio Solutions category.
These products are designed to centralize internal and external communication surrounding email marketing and customer service. According to the Twilio website, these tools have helped companies to get five times more conversions and improve agent efficiency by 40%.
Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns
The average overall email open rate is 16.97% — but with the high levels email of customization SendGrid offers, you can easily get your brand’s opening rate well above that.
SendGrid is a UI-based email marketing tool designed to improve template design, optimize delivery time, and provide engagement analytics. With SendGrid, users get more out of their email marketing campaigns.
Most Popular SendGrid features include:
- Email automation
- Email drag-and-drop templates
- Template optimization
- HTML editing
- Dedicated IP addresses
- A/B testing
- Multi-device testing
- CTR analytics
- Real-time delivery, open, device, and geographic data
- 24/7 customer support
SendGrid Marketing Pricing and Plans
SendGrid Marketing Campaigns have three plans, including one free plan.
Pricing per plan is based on the number of contacts and the number of emails per month. The basic plan allows users to send up to 300,000 emails/month to 100,000 contacts/month. The advanced plan allows users to send over 1 million emails/month to 200,000+ contacts/month.
|Features||Free Plan||Basic Plan||Advanced Plan|
|Pricing||Free||Starting at $15.00/month||Starting at $60.00/month|
|Segmentation and A/B Testing||✓||✓||✓|
|Signup Forms||1 form||5 forms||15 forms|
|Email Testing||3 credits||10 credits||60 credits|
|Responsive Email Templates||✓||✓||✓|
|Engagement Statistics and Link Click Tracking||✓||✓||✓|
Cloud contact centers offer 27% savings when compared to their on-premise counterpart — so it’s no wonder that many companies are switching to the cloud.
Twilio Flex is a fully programmable cloud contact center platform that provides a singular user interface for omnichannel customer communication across all channels.
The Studio feature is a task management editor available through Flex that provides clear employee responsibilities and task status.
Additional Flex features include:
- Live chat messaging
- Agent status
- Social media integration
- Agent profiles
- Current agent capacity reports
- Messaging through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, SMS
- Video conferencing
- Bots and IVRs for contextual data
- CRM platform integration
- Scheduled email reporting
- Custom report builder
Twilio Flex Pricing
Flex pricing allows users to choose between two options: Active user hour pricing and named user pricing.
With active user hour pricing, you are charged only for the time users actively spend on Flex. You are charged $1/active user hour, so your price will depend on the number of users and their length of use.
In named user pricing, you’re charged a flat rate of $150/named user per month. This means that anyone with access to use Flex, no matter their title, the time they spend on it, or traffic spikes, is charged $150 monthly.
Both plans include all the features listed above, the only thing that changes is how you choose to pay.
Channel APIs are a-la-carte communication channels that can be embedded into current applications and tools your team is already using.
For example, the programmable chat API allows you to add live chat to an existing mobile or desktop webpage or application.
These APIs are compatible with numerous coding languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, C#, and more.
Channel APIs are made up of:
- Twilio SMS
- Twilio Voice
- Programmable Chat
- Programmable Video
- Programmable Fax
- Twilio API for WhatsApp
- Twilio SendGrid Email API
Twilio SMS API
Business text messaging has become a must-have communication channel in today’s world, with over 80% of customers saying they want to be able to text with a company.
Programmable Twilio SMS lets users send/receive global text messages.
Top features include:
- Phone numbers and shortcodes
- Send messages via existing numbers
- MMS messaging for images and attachments
- SMS bots
- Texting usage analytics
- Access control
- Message queuing
- Message scaler
- Geo-match messaging
- Unicode character sets
- Message rerouting
- Carrier route optimization
SMS Pricing and Plans
SMS messages are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. Users are charged per text based on the type of message and the number the message is sent/received from.
|Type of Number Used||Send/Receive Text Messages||Send Picture Messages||Receive Picture Messages|
|Local Number||$.0075 each||$0.0200||$0.0100|
|Toll-Free Number||$.0075 each||X||X|
|Short Code||$.0075 each||$0.0200||$0.0100|
Programmable Voice is a cloud communication-based API to embed PSTN, SIP, or business VoIP calls into a company’s app or website.
Agents can use the Voice tool from any phone number and on any device and can choose from local and toll-free numbers in the United States.
Its TaskRouter feature directs incoming phone calls to the agent who is the most likely to be able to help them, and its Autopilot tool allows for AI-powered customer self-service.
It has numerous additional features designed to improve audio communication, including:
- Advanced call controlling
- Live call monitoring and call whisper
- Text-to-speech and speech recognition
- Call recording
- Call queues
- Agent coaching
- Warm call transfers
- Audio conferences for up to 250 participants
- Contextualized customer experience
- Voice insights
- CRM integration
Programmable Voice Pricing and Plans
Think business telephone communication is a thing of the past?
60% of customers say they’d still prefer to connect with small businesses over the telephone.
Twilio’s virtual telephony pricing structure is the most complex and varies based on whether you choose pay-as-you-go or BYOC pricing for calls. Intelligent Service features are priced separately and charged in addition to standard calling capabilities.
Volume and committed use discounts are also available, but the tables below outline the pricing structure for pay-as-you-go, BYOC, and intelligent service costs only.
|Type of Call||Make Outgoing Calls||Receive Incoming Calls|
BYOC Trunking Pricing
|Type of Call||BYOC Termination||BYOC Origination|
Intelligent Service Features Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
|Conference Calls||$0.0018/participant per minute|
|Call Recording Storage||$0.0005/min per month|
|Answering Machine Detection||$0.0075/call|
|Advanced Voice Insights||$0.0025/min per participant|
This cloud-based API adds chat messaging features to existing websites and mobile applications.
It also includes cross-platform SDKs, which means it’s easy to port an app to another platform or browser.
Additional chat features include:
- One-on-one or group chat
- Rich messaging
- Push notifications
- Data storage
- Message editing/deletion
- Chat transcripts
- Local and device synching
- Offline message delivery
- Integration with Slack and Slack alternatives
- Keyword filtering
Programmable Chat Pricing
Chat also adopts the pay-as-you-go pricing model. Active users cost $0.03/user per month and up, while storage costs $0.25/GB per month. Below is a table outlining user pricing.
|Number of Users||Price|
|25,000 Additional Users||$0.03/active monthly user|
|225,000 Additional Users||$0.024/active monthly user|
|250,000 Additional users||$0.0192/active monthly user|
|500,000 Additional Users||$0.0154/active monthly user|
This API is excellent for those seeking video conferencing capabilities for telemedicine or those looking for alternatives to Zoom for Educators.
It provides video calling/conferencing capabilities to existing apps and sites across any device.
Top features include:
- Screen sharing
- Visual whiteboarding tool
- Meeting recording
- Mouse tracking
- Admin control
- One-on-one peer-to-peer rooms
- Group rooms for up to 50 participants
- HIPAA compliance
Video conferencing pricing is broken up into Group Rooms and Peer-to-Peer Rooms.
The pricing is based on the length of time people spend in a room and the number of participants. Peer-to-Peer Rooms cost $0.0015/participant per minute.
The below table illustrates Group Room pricing, as well as the additional costs of specific features.
|Features||Small Group Rooms Price||Group Rooms Price|
|Up to 4 participants||$0.004/participant per minute||X|
|Up to 50 participants||X||$0.01/participant per minute|
|Rooms Datatrack||$4.00/million messages||$10.00/million messages|
|Rooms Recording and Compositions||$0.01/participant per minute||$0.01/participant per minute|
|Media Storage||$0.05/GB per month||$0.05/GB per month|
This API lets an existing web and mobile application send/receive faxes to a dedicated phone number or SIP URI.
As of this writing, inbound fax capabilities that allow users to send faxes to Twilio numbers are in beta.
A list of all faxes from the past 180 days is stored in the Twilio cloud.
The pay-as-you-go pricing structure provides the first 100 fax pages free and then costs $0.01/page plus the cost of any SIP minutes.
Twilio API for WhatsApp
This API lets users send/receive WhatsApp messages and media on existing websites and apps.
It allows for session and template message delivery and read receipts, branded messaging, and push notifications. Twilio encrypts WhatsApp messages and secures them over HTTPS.
WhatsApp API Pricing
Template WhatsApp messages cost $0.0135 per message, and session messages cost $0.005 each. The volume pricing for template messaging is outlined in the below table.
|Messages per Month||Cost|
|Additional 750,000 Messages||$0.0083/message|
|Additional 2 Million Messages||$0.0080/message|
|Additional 3 Million Messages||$0.0073/message|
|Additional 4 Million Messages||$0.0065/message|
|Additional 10 Million+ Messages||$0.0058/message|
Twilio SendGrid Email API
SendGrid is a robust API that enables email communication and optimization.
It helps users create marketing emails that will have the highest possible impact and makes the email automation process easier.
It also provides engagement analytics on email campaigns, so users can know the CTR, open rate, share rate, and more. This makes it easy to improve future campaigns.
Additional top features include:
- Template building
- Content testing
- Reputation monitoring
- Dedicated IP addresses
- Email engagement analytics
- Searchable email activity
- Two-factor authentication
SendGrid Email API Pricing
There are four available email API plans, including one free plan. The price will increase depending on the number of monthly emails you need to send, with options all the way up to over $1.5 million monthly emails.
|Price||Free||$14.95/month and up||$89.95/month and up||Unlisted|
|Emails per month||40,000||Up to 100,000||700,000+||1.5 million+|
|Mail Transfer Agent||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Email Address Validation||X||X||✓||✓|
|Dedicated IP Address||X||X||✓||✓|
|Searchable Email Activity||3 days maximum||3 days maximum||7 days maximum||7 days maximum|
|Subuser Comparison Statistics||X||X||✓||✓|
|Technical Support||Ticket support||Ticket and chat support||Ticket, phone, chat support||Priority support|
Twilio Services secure and improve popular communication channels by providing capabilities like AI messaging, identity verification, and omnichannel communication management.
Service products include:
- Twilio Conversations
Authy is used to authenticate user logins and transactions to improve security across a variety of devices, platforms, and carriers.
Top features include:
- SMS/voice/email one-time passcode
- Pre-built Authy app for Android and iOS
- Authenticator iOS/Android SDK
- Push authentication
- Authentication synching
- API and Google Authenticator soft tokens
- Short codes
- Built-in translations for 200+ regions
Authy Pricing and Plans
Authy has three payment plans made up of a free option, a pay-as-you-go model, and an enterprise pricing system.
|Features||Starter Plan||Pay-As-You-Go||Enterprise Plan|
|Price||Free||Cost per Authentication||Volume pricing on request|
|Authentications/month||Less than 100||Pay per authentication, unlimited||10,000+|
|OTP via voice/SMS||X||$.09/authentication||✓|
|Soft and Oath Token||✓||$.09/authentication||✓|
Lookup is designed to help guard against fraudulent activity and increase conversions by improving message deliverability.
It offers caller ID and persona type when someone calls in. It also provides a database of information on a caller’s phone carrier, allowing agents to select the best possible message medium.
With Lookup, agents can access:
- Phone line type
- Carrier type
- Format and origin
- Caller name
- Caller type
The pay-as-you-go scalable pricing structure varies according to what you want to look up. Format and origin lookup is free. Carrier lookup is $0.005/request. The caller lookup is $0.01/request.
Autopilot provides AI-powered bots to communicate with customers on websites and apps.
These bots can make product recommendations, book appointments, and answer common questions, freeing up agents for more pressing issues. Users can easily build AI and IVR bots thanks to the NLY database and customizable bot actions.
Data from past call transcripts or chat logs provide insight into training bots, while future customer interactions provide additional data to improve bot functionality. Conversations can be transferred to a live agent when escalation is triggered.
Autopilot even provides omnichannel IVR bots, including bots compatible with CRM systems and social media platforms. Available communications channels include chat messaging, SMS messaging, voice messaging, and Alexa/Google Assistant.
Autopilot pricing is based on the communication channel and uses a pay-as-you-go model.
|Channel||Voice||Chat Messaging||SMS Text||Alexa/Google Assistant|
Conversations allow businesses to manage and develop omnichannel communication capabilities in a central location.
This means that customers can contact support service on the device of their choice, and pick up right where they left off in a conversation when switching devices.
Top features include:
- SMS, Chat, MMS, WhatsApp channel communication
- Intelligent bots
- Media omnichannel support (send videos, photos, GIFS, etc.)
- Automated segmentation
- Elastic programmable chat
- Add/remove chats
- Conversation history storage
- Opt-out management
Twilio Conversations Pricing
Pay-as-you-go and volume discounts are available with Conversations.
Pay-as-you-go costs $.03/user per month and $0.25/GB per month for storage. The below pricing table shows volume discounts.
|Number of Active Users||Price per User|
Verify helps to stop fraudulent activity by providing phone verification when someone creates an account on an app or website.
Users can be verified via SMS texts, voice, or email via carrier-approved template authentication messages. It works across multiple regions and has automatic translation capabilities in 29 languages.
Verify provides volume discounts, which are unlisted on the website. Verify is a scalable pay-as-you-go service, charging $0.05 per successful verification, plus any standard channel fees.
The Super Network products are designed to provide enterprise-grade infrastructure to increase connectivity and communication.
Super Network services include:
- Twilio telephone numbers
- SMS/MMS shortcodes
- Elastic SIP Trunking
Twilio Elastic SIP Trunking
Twilio’s cloud-based Elastic SIP trunking console and API provide instant global connectivity and flexible pricing.
Twilio’s own Super Network connects you with Tier 1 VoIP providers in more than 100 countries within a single platform.
- Built-in recording of calls
- SMS/MMS numbers
- Alert triggers
- SIP insights
- Secure Trunks
- Emergency Calling
- Private connections
- Toll fraud protection
Elastic SIP Trunking Pricing
Elastic SIP Trunking offers three pricing models: pay-as-you-go, calls per second and committed use discounts. Committed use discounts are not listed on the Twilio website, and CPS pricing varies depending on the specific region.
The below table shows the pay-as-you-go pricing model only. Each local number prefix costs $1.00/month, while each toll-free number prefix costs $2.00/month.
|Number Used and Features||Termination of Call||Origination of Call|
|Unlimited Call Concurrency||✓||✓|
|Emergency Calling||$1.00/month per number||$1.00/month per number|
Virtual numbers from Twilio are available as local, national, mobile, and toll-free lines in more than 100 countries.
Clean phone numbers ensure that your company or agent will only get calls meant for them, not for those who had the number previously. White routes improve call and SMS deliverability through rigorous network testing.
In addition to creating new numbers, Twilio also allows for the use of existing numbers. Number porting, SIP forwarding, and hosted SMS make transferring easy.
Phone Number Pricing
Twilio offers several different number pricing options, including volume discounts and pay-as-you-go.
There are also separate pricing structures for recording voice calls, recording storage, conference minutes, and committed use discounts.
The below tables show the most common phone number pricing structures, phone number pricing and local minute volume pricing.
Phone Number Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
|Type of Number||0-1000 Numbers Cost||1000+ Numbers Cost|
|Clean Local Number||$1.00/month||$.050/month|
Local Voice Volume Pricing
|Minutes Per Month||Inbound Calls||Outbound Calls||Toll-Free Inbound Calls|
|Additional 9 million||$0.0075/minute||$0.0125/minute||$0.0210/minute|
|Additional 40 million||$0.0044/minute||$0.0100/minute||$0.0150/minute|
|Additional 50 million||$0.0035/minute||$0.0098/minute||$0.0100/minute|
Shortcodes make sending mass text and MMS messages simple.
- Lease or migrate shortcode
- Global coverage
- Over 100 messages delivered every second
- Automatic character and picture transcoding
Short Code Pricing
Shortcode pricing is made up of a one-time setup fee, service charges, and per-message charges.
The setup fee is $650 and the MMS enablement fee is $500. The below tables further outline the pricing structure.
Short Code Usage per Messages
|Message Type||Inbound Cost||Outbound Cost|
Annual Short Code Recurring Service Charges
|Short Code Type||Annual Cost|
|Random Phone Number||$11,000|
|Customer Self-Leased Number||$5,500|
Twilio is easily one of the most robust and customizable CPaaS platforms on the market today.
Based on the flexible pricing structure and the choice to purchase individual communication APIs or more complete packages, Twilio is a highly competitive software.
Though it provides high uptime services for companies of all sizes, it especially serves large corporations with daily high-volume customer interactions across multiple communication channels.
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Frequently asked questions
Because of the nature of Twilio APIs, the free trial offers a complimentary credit balance for users to test out potential APIS/tools. A free trial phone number and a free trial project are included.
As long as you register your Voice API to receive incoming calls, you’ll be able to get notifications of/receive calls even if it’s not running or if it’s currently a background app. To ensure you keep receiving calls, remember to register your device token whenever it changes.
As with Twilio automated emails, Twilio SMS messages may also be marked as spam and filtered out with carrier filtering. To attempt to avoid this, sign up for SMS shortcodes, always send opt-in messages, and identify your company as the sender of the message.
Call statuses include:
As of this writing, 501c3 nonprofits will receive a 25% discount on select Twilio APIs, including Twilio SendGrid. Additionally, Twilio offers an Accelerate program, which offers a discount to startups and a dedicated mentor.
As of this writing, Twilio is unable to support read receipts within WhatsApp, but it is able to offer read receipts and message delivery updates in the SMS platform.
Note that Twilio users will also not be able to tell if a WhatsApp message has been forwarded, nor can they message WhatsApp groups within Twilio.