Smarter Text Messaging with Twilio Messaging Services

Send SMS messages at scale by setting up Twilio Messaging Services. As you build out your text messaging strategy, you may use different types of sender numbers. With Messaging Services, you can bundle your phone numbers together with similar configurations for your SMS delivery.

Each Messaging Service supports a sender pool with up to 400 phone numbers, including local and international long codes, toll-free numbers, short codes, and Alphanumeric Sender IDs. Depending on your content and where you’re sending your texts, only some of these phone number types may be available to use, but the Messaging Service will pick the best option to deliver your message.

Once you've set up Messaging Services, you can simply select your desired Messaging Services as the default sender in your OneSignal account or choose this option when creating a new SMS to optimize your send strategy.

The Benefits of Using Messaging Services

Messaging Services offers additional message sending intelligence and content features, including:

  • Intelligent Routing - Messaging Services will determine the optimal phone number or Alphanumeric Sender ID to use for that message.
  • Country Code Geomatch - If you have multiple phone numbers from different countries, this feature will automatically send your message from the phone number of the country that matches your recipient’s phone number. If there is no match, sending will default to a US phone number.
  • Short Code Reroute - If you have a short code in your sender pool, this feature will automatically prioritize delivery using the short code.

You can also customize additional features in your Twilio account, including:

  • Sticky Sender - This feature ensures that your recipients will receive text messages from the same phone number to create a more consistent messaging experience.
  • Area Code Geomatch - For US and Canada phone numbers, this feature will automatically send your message from the phone number with the same local area code as your recipient’s phone number.
  • Fallback to Long Code - This feature will automatically re-deliver your message when sending from a short code is not successful.
  • Smart Encoding - This feature automatically replaces certain Unicode characters with similar GSM-encoded characters so that your message character limit will not decrease from 160 to 70 characters.
  • MMS Converter - This feature converts MMS to a shortened URL link when the carrier does not support MMS. The converted link will remain active for 365 days.
  • Sender ID Pre-registration Alert - Use this feature to get notified when you send messages to countries that require pre-registered Sender IDs.

How to Set Up Messaging Services

Create your Messaging Service in your Twilio account and add your phone numbers to your sender pool. Then, easily set the Messaging Service as your default sender number in your OneSignal account or choose it when composing a new SMS.

For customers who have registered their long codes under new A2P 10DLC regulations, you will need to link your registered phone numbers to a Messaging Service. However, you do not have to use Messaging Services to send your messages.

While OneSignal automatically handles message and account limits to make sure your SMS delivery aligns with Twilio’s rate limitations, this feature is not yet available for Messaging Services. Please contact Support if you would like to increase your throughput rate for Messaging Services.

Support for Alphanumeric Sender IDs

OneSignal now also supports Alphanumeric Sender IDs through Messaging Services, so your SMS will display from a personalized sender ID.

Why Use Alphanumeric Sender IDs?

Send your messages from a branded identifier rather than displaying your phone number to help with your branding. This provides an easy way for your customers to recognize you rather than receiving a message from an unknown number. You can set your company name as your sender ID to reinforce brand recognition, or you can use another descriptor. For example, a retailer sending sale alerts could use the sender ID FLASHSALE.

Using a sender ID can also help improve messaging effectiveness. Your audience will be more likely to engage when they know who is sending the message and that the message is legitimate.

How to Set Up an Alphanumeric Sender ID

Enable and create your sender ID in your Twilio account. Note that Alphanumeric Sender IDs are not supported in the United States but are popular in other countries.

Depending on your recipient country, you may need to pre-register your sender ID, which also requires a pre-registration fee in a few select countries. There is no additional charge for using a sender ID when you already have an SMS-enabled phone number.

More Ways to Improve Your SMS Strategy

Looking for other ways to optimize your SMS strategy? Check out the article below to learn how to use SMS as a fallback messaging option for users who have unsubscribed from push notifications.

Read: Using SMS as a Fallback for Push