Full Disclosure: I'm the Founder and CEO of txtsignal.com
First: Start with Established, Legit Providers
You should absolutely start with the US Common Short Code Top Providers
list. If the provider you're looking is not on this list, you really need to pause. SMS/text messaging is, now, a very regulated industry and the penalties for non-compliance are no joke. You will get what you pay for.
Second: What are you Trying To Do.
Identifyexactly what you're trying to do, so you can pick the best providers.
A) SMS Marketing & Outbound Messaging: Twilio is not a good solution for this, per se. Whereas, several others (specifically EZTexting
, and yes my product txtsignal
) are built for these purposes and each have around for 10 years or more experience helping all types of organizations with SMS
B) Transactional: If you need to send a receipt that is generated out of your app/system/etc, then Twilio can be a great solution. Theirproduct line is extensive and they have a greatAPI.
Third: Determine Volume level and type.
You would need to determine the volume levels you need. (Sort of correlates to my second point).
B) If you need to send a minimal amount, you can plug Twilio in and use a long-code. Note: Twilio throttles the long-code outbounds to 1 message per second, so it doesn't suit anything with volume. And then there is the new regs.*
A) Outbound: If the majority of messages will be generated (from start) as outbound, you'll need short-code based service.
B) Transactional/Conversational: If you need transactional or conversational, you can use a long-code service like Twilio.
* Last spring/summer, regulations were put in place regarding how long-coded SMS numbers can be used. Without getting into details, the regulations address using long-code for outbound/volumes.