What is Twilio? – All you need to know

What is Twilio - All you need to know
All you need to know about Twilio

Twilio is a cloud communication platform that enables companies to integrate and operate different communication tools into their applications using API (Application Programming Interface). Twilio lets developers establish features like sending and receiving messages, voice calls, WhatsApp, email and other forms of communication within their software.

Did you know that businesses possessing a strong omnichannel customer engagement approach retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to only 33% for those with weaker or less effective communication strategies?

Find out which are the key functionalities of Twilio, its pricing model, communication channels, and their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your platform. Additionally, we’ll present you Frizbit, an alternative providing a cross-channel marketing platform with hyper-personalised features and functions, with flexible prices and a personalised plan to your business.

What is Twilio?

What is Twiliio? | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Twilio

Founded in 2008, Twilio was created to build scalable and customised communication experiences for businesses. It consists of a cloud communication platform with a set of APIs for developers to integrate various interaction methods for their business.

Some of the features Twilio offers include SMS, voice, video, live-streaming and email, plus other capabilities such as user verification and global connectivity.

What industries does Twilio work with?

Twilio is designed for businesses with scalable needs. Let’s look at which type of industries does Twilio work with:

  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Public Sector
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate
  • Retail

How does Twilio APIs work?

API stands for Application Programming Interface, and on easy terms, it is basically a building component that allows firms to have seamless integrations within their software application.

Twilio offers a wide range of programs and services to build and send messages, voice, and video APIs. Although they have various features, companies might still need a professional that understands how to develop it. For that reason, Twilio also provides a support team that can help you with coding if needed.

Nonetheless, having to build and code all these communication tools can be tiring and hard. Unlike Twilio, Frizbit offers a complete cross-channel marketing automation platform with a user-friendly interface, so forget worrying about technical skills for scheduling, using coding or requiring a development team to conduct your marketing efforts.

Twilio communication channels

Twilio communication channels | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Google Images

Twilio offers several digital communication products and solutions for cloud communication messaging. Let’s see the list.

Messaging – Twilio

With their programmable messaging API, Twilio allows developers to send and receive all kinds of messages through SMS, WhatsApp and MMS.

Video – Twilio

Video API allows you to add video chat functionalities to your website, providing guiding tools on how to build secure, real-time and customised video experiences.

Voice – Twilio

You can build scalable voice experiences to connect with anyone around the World with their Voice API. Twilio also offers a set of features to integrate with such as, call tracking, alerts & notifications, embedded calling, global conference, masked calling and interactive voice response.

Marketing Campaigns – Twilio

At Twilio, ‘marketing campaigns’ is the name for their email marketing tool, you can manage and create campaigns in a few clicks and segment large audiences, while viewing different designs and check performance metrics.

What other functionalities does Twilio have?

What functionalities does Twilio have? | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: LinkedIn

Twilio presents a user verification solution to prevent frauds and scams. This feature provides user authentication throughout the whole customer journey for businesses. As a security mechanism, users are required to verify themselves when logging in, signing up, managing account or marking transactions.

On the other hand, Twilio Connectivity is a solution to connect with any country at the lowest rate with SIP Trunking. This helps to get phone numbers, and provides short codes on how to send texts and images.

Nonetheless, we can see that Twilio mostly offers traditional communication tools, it’s important to engage with users seamlessly by crafting hyper-personalised messages to attract both registered and unregistered customers. Web Push notifications are considered one of the most effective ways of engagement and retention with clients without being invasive. For example Frizbit, in which apart from having email marketing, SMS and WhatsApp messaging as well, they also offer Web Push notifications to enhance interaction with customers.

Twilio pricing

For the previous communication channels mentioned above, Twilio mainly provides a usage-based pricing model for their products, with some exceptions. Let’s take a look at it!

SMS, WhatsApp and Voice – Twilio

Twilio pricing model for SMS, MMS, WhatsApp and Voice

What is Twilio | Source: Twilio

Twilio offers a pay-as-you-go system for messaging, WhatsApp, voice calls and video. They offer a pricing model based on pays per phone numbers, per message or call sent and received and additional fees for each communication tool. Twilio also gives the opportunity for a free trial in all their products.

Email Marketing – Twilio

Twilio subscription plan for Marketing Campaigns (Email Marketing) | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Twilio

On the other hand, for the email marketing campaigns, Twilio jumps to a subscription pricing model based on three plans: free, basic and advanced. 

Is there another Twilio alternative that would be more practical in the long run?

Sure! You can still select a pricing model based on visitors and engage more for less with Frizbit.

Twilio charges messaging starting at $0.0079 to send or receive a message is a good option, but when the scale of usage increases it can get quite expensive. For the same price model, there are better alternatives offering the same product. 

SMS price comparison table between Twilio and Frizbit | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Frizbit

This table shows an example price per 100 SMS sent for different countries. We can observe that:

  • Frizbit pricing is much lower per 100 SMS sent
  • Frizbit operates in all Spanish-speaking countries, which Twilio doesn’t seem to offer for SMS
  • Frizbit works in the company’s local currency, Twilio seems to work only with dollars

Meanwhile, WhatsApp pricing starts at $0.005 per session message. Which is calculated based on Meta’s conversation-based pricing fee, the same model used at Frizbit, therefore the prices don’t have any difference at all.

WhatsApp prices comparison table between Twilio and Frizbit | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Frizbit

Lastly, Twilio offers a subscription model for email marketing, whereas Frizbit opts for a pay-as-you-go approach, which may prove more beneficial in the long run. Let’s explore it.

Email Marketing prices comparison table between Twilio and Frizbit | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Frizbit

The table shows how both platforms, Twilio and Frizbit, offer the same price at the start of 100.000 emails sent per month. But in the long term, Frizbit provides a much more economical option for the same features they offer. Additionally, Frizbit has automated and hyper-personalised email features always integrated. While these attributes can only be found on the Advanced Plan for Twilio.

Twilio Pros and Cons

Twilio AdvantagesTwilio Disadvantages
Pay-as-you-go pricing modelComplex interface
Good security features with authenticationDocumentation and prices are not always clear
Scalable and suitable to all business sizesConfiguring the set-up and functionalities might get confusing
24/7 Customer Service Pricing can be concerning while the scale of usage goes on
Good analytics and reporting featuresRequire an IT team to implement solutions, with coding knowledge
Integration with third parties

Twilio integration challenges

What are Twilio integration challenges? | Frizbit

What is Twilio | Source: Google Images

There are several challenges you might face when integrating with Twilio, and can impact the development and process. 

Authentication and Security

The most frequent problem found when integrating with Twilio is the authentication and authorisation. Since this platform employs a HTTP Basic authentication for their API requests, developers need to set up a Twilio account and acquire an SID permission together with an Auth Token to be able to verify these requests, and avoid security vulnerabilities.

Error handling and reliability

When your technical team is working with the Twilio API, failed requests will be shown as coding errors, your developers will need to figure out and handle where the errors are. This might be frustrating since their instructions and explanations sometimes are hard to understand. However, there are some error handling apps that will help you with failure mechanisms.

API versioning complexity

Twilio API is frequently updating and changing, make sure to keep up with these new releases to ensure your functionalities are compatible. Be sure to have the latest API version to avoid errors and feature malfunctions.

Frizbit – an alternative to Twilio

Frizbit is a cross-channel marketing automation and product recommendation platform that helps your business to attract and retain customers. Engage with the right users at the right time through Web Push notifications, email marketing, and SMS and WhatsApp campaigns.

Optimise your buying process and enhance interaction with both registered and unregistered customers while tailoring hyper-personalised messages and alerts powered by AI to them.

Also, Frizbit has an easy and intuitive interface!

Save time and reduce costs to launch your campaigns! This platform is designed for marketers in mind to use without the need of a development team. You can measure the performance of each campaign and track user behaviour through analytics tools, integrate with third parties and add features such as A/B Testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Twilio and why is it used?

Twilio is a cloud communications platform that allows developers to integrate voice, messaging, video, and email functionalities into their applications using APIs. It enables businesses to build scalable and reliable communication solutions for customer engagement, support, and authentication.

Is Twilio Free?

Twilio provides a free trial account, designed to give users an initial understanding of the capabilities of Twilio Messaging technology.  Once you exceed the trial limits or start using paid features, your account automatically switches to a pay-as-you-go plan.

Is Twilio a texting app?

Twilio itself is not a texting app. Instead, it provides the infrastructure and APIs for developers to build texting capabilities into their own applications. Businesses use Twilio to enable SMS functionality within their software, such as for customer notifications, alerts, or two-factor authentication. So while Twilio facilitates texting, it’s not a texting app like WhatsApp or iMessage.

What is Twilio Flex?

It’s the most popular solution that the platform has. With its cloud-based contact centre platform, you can create an omnichannel service to your customers, with the support of email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more. Flex provides a single UI to manage and customise all channels, the platform can also be integrated with other apps and systems.

How to delete my Twilio account?

First access your account section in general settings page in Console → after authenticating your account, click close at the bottom of the screen → Go to the upgraded account and select “DELETE ALL ACCOUNT DATA AND SETTINGS”, and then click continue to close permanently your account.

Who owns Twilio?

Twilio is a publicly traded company, owned by its shareholders. The major shareholders encompass institutional investors such as The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and Fidelity, alongside individual investors who trade Twilio shares on stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), identified by the ticker symbol “TWLO.” Nonetheless, precise ownership percentages may fluctuate due to alterations in shareholding over time.

Monica Sun


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