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An alternative SMS API to Twilio

An alternative SMS API to Twilio

An alternative SMS API to Twilio

Twilio and The SMS Works

Henry Cazalet - Director, The SMS Works

Is Twilio or The SMS Works the right SMS API provider for you?

Twilio have become the dominant global SMS API provider for good reasons.

They’re a relative newcomer to the SMS business, having been founded in 2008 but since then they have risen indecently quickly to become the market leader.

Not only have they produced a robust SMS API at a sensible cost, they also have a great range of other tools that allow companies to unify all their communications under one roof.

They provides APIs for voice, SMS, Video and Whatsapp under their flagship offering, Twilio Flex. It’s a very impressive platform both in its innovation and wide range of applications.

If you’re an enterprise looking to unify all your communication in one programmable contact center platform, then I believe there is no better solution.

Although this type of unified communications under one roof are most definitely the future, most of us aren't quite at that stage yet.

It might be at least another 5 years or more before most companies will have any close to what could be described as ‘unified customer messaging’.

Until that time comes, I think that The SMS Works might be a more sensible provider for SMS, certainly if you’re based here in the UK and sending mainly to UK mobile numbers.

So having given Twilio a great write up, here are the main reasons why we might be a more suitable Twilio SMS alternative.


For most people, lowest pricing is not the main consideration but behind reliability and ease of use, pricing is often the next most important factor.

Twilio are based in San Francisco, so Twilio pricing is in dollars. They charge a flat rate of 4 US cents per text. 


Twilio SMS API pricing
Twilio charge 4 cents per text for outbound and 0.0075 cents for an incoming text.



At today’s exchange rate, that equates to 3.2 pence per text. At The SMS Works, we charge a maximum of 2.9 pence per text, so at our most expensive band, companies save around 10%.

Even more savings are available for companies buying larger blocks of text credits.

The SMS Works logo

The SMS Works SMS API pricing
All non-delivered texts are refunded, so there's no wastage

Pay only for delivered texts

Like almost all SMS API providers, Twilio charge if a message is not delivered, so there can be considerable wastage on all the texts that fail, for whatever reason.

At The SMS Works, customers are only charged if a message is delivered. All failed texts are immediately refunded.

With the average failure rate at around 15%, there can be considerable additional savings.
A failure rate of 15% would mean that the Twilio rate of 3.2 pence per text, equates to a cost per delivered text of 3.7 pence.

The SMS Works rate of 2.9 pence would deliver savings of around 22% on the Twilio standard price.

No currency fluctuation

Most customers want to know exactly what they are being charged per text. As Twilio, charge in US dollars, UK users are always subject to variable pricing as the value of the pound moves against the dollar.

Our UK pricing means customers always know precisely what they are being charged.

Incoming message charges

Great though the Twilio service is, they do charge a modest fee of 1$ per month for reply numbers that allow users to respond to the texts they receive,

It’s a little unclear whether this number is unique to each customer or whether it is shared,
Perhaps a little surprisingly, there is also a cost to receive incoming messages.

The rate is low at just 0.0075 cents per incoming text but is still an additional cost to bear in mind.

We’ve simplified all this, by providing free unique reply numbers to all our customers and there is no cost to receive incoming texts.


Being UK based is a huge benefit when it comes to delivering fast, attentive support. We’re around during the times that you need us and we normally respond to all our support requests within the hour.

I’m sure Twilio support is everything you’d expect it to be but being on the ground in the UK has to be an advantage.

Who to choose?

If you need  a comprehensive messaging solution that incorporates voice, SMS, WhatsApp and video, then Twilio are definitely the right supplier for your project.

If you are looking at just an SMS API implementation, then there are lots of good reasons to look at The SMS works.

So that you can see our SMS API in action, everyone can set up a free account. It comes with 50 free text credits for testing as well as a free unique reply number.

We’re here to help if you need us. Feel free to set up a free account today.

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