Twilio Alternatives: A Comparison of 4 WhatsApp Business Solution Providers
There are plenty of Twilio alternatives out there for businesses looking to get set up with WhatsApp Business. If you’re looking for a WhatsApp Business solution provider that’s not Twilio, read on for a comparison of Twilio and its biggest competitors.
Choosing a WhatsApp Business solution for your brand is just as important as selecting a business partner.
Because when it comes to business areas as important as communication, interaction, and customer service and their key roles in the successful running of your business, these are not where you should be holding back.
That said, it’s absolutely vital to take the time and effort to do ample research before you decide on a WhatsApp Business provider.
Also, it’s important to mention that once you decide on a WhatsApp Business number, you will not be able to bring this number over to a new WhatsApp API account should you decide to switch to another provider in the future.
Now, if you’re reading this post, it’s probably because you’ve read a lot about Twilio, a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), and want to find out more about the other solutions available on the market.
In that case, you’ve come to the right place.
Every WhatsApp BSP is unique in its own way and even though they can all help to streamline your WhatsApp communication with your customers, every single one of them is unique in its own way.
In this post, we aim to do an honest comparison of Twilio and three of their competitors by providing you with an overview of what they are, what they offer, and their prices so you have a better idea of your options.
Let’s get to it.
How Does Twilio Work?
To start, let’s learn a little more about Twilio.
Like most WhatsApp BSPs, Twilio taps into the WhatsApp Business API to allow its clients access to WhatsApp’s developer tools.
Here’s some basic information about the company.
Based in: California
Companies they work with: ING, Deliveroo, Blue Apron, and more.
Twilio offers more than just access to WhatsApp API. SMS, voice, and even email are some other communication APIs they have available.
Twilio WhatsApp Business Solution Pricing
To understand how Twilio and other WhatsApp (BSPs) price their services, we need to first know about WhatsApp’s own charges.
WhatsApp levies different messaging charges based on the destination country. This doesn’t refer to where your business is located but where your customers are located.
Simply put, WhatsApp’s business messaging charges vary depending on the country code of the message recipients’ registered WhatsApp numbers.
As for Twilio themselves, they offer both a pay-as-you-go system where businesses only pay for what you use as well as discounts for businesses that send large volumes of messages.
Here are some examples of Twilio’s WhatsApp template messaging charges.
- US-registered number: $0.0505 (WhatsApp’s fee) + $0.005 (Twilio’s fee) = $0.0555 (total)
- Singapore-registered number: $0.0085 (WhatsApp’s fee) + $0.005 (Twilio’s message fee) = $0.0135 (total)
- Germany-registered number: $0.0858 (WhatsApp’s fee) + $0.005 (Twilio’s message fee) = $0.0908 (total)
When it comes to session messaging, Twilio charges a flat fee of $0.005 per message.
Now that we have Twilio’s WhatsApp charges clear and sorted, let’s take a look at some Twilio competitors and how they differ from Twilio.
1. Twilio Alternative #1: WATI (Clare.AI)
Based in: Hong Kong
Founded in: 2016
Companies that work with Clare.AI, WATI’s parent company: AXA, Fidelity, Birdie, Cigna, and more.
The first Twilio alternative we’re going to look at is, of course, WATI. (You are on the WATI blog, after all.)
Perhaps the biggest difference between WATI and Twilio is that where Twilio offers solutions across different communications channels including SMS and voice, WATI specializes in WhatsApp solutions.
At WATI, we offer new users a free trial (that they can easily sign up for here) so businesses can get a feel of our services and what we offer.
Signing up with us requires a short, six-step process in which you select a plan (more on this in a bit), fill in some basic business and WhatsApp account information, and carry out payment.
From there, you just have to wait for us to get approval from WhatsApp, which will take less than a week
And if you’re not ready to jump into the deep end with us, reaching out for help is as easy as getting in touch with us via email ([email protected]) and —where else?— WhatsApp, which you can access from our homepage.
In terms of pricing, we offer monthly plans and annual plans, both of which provide a certain amount of free session messages.
We won’t dive too much into details here as we’ve already previously covered this information.
For more, check out our blog post on WATI vs Twilio: A Comparison of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers where we provide an in-depth analysis of pricing, getting a WhatsApp Business number, and mobile apps.
2. Twilio Alternative #2: MessageBird
Based in: Amsterdam
Companies they work with: HelloFresh, Congstar, Zilingo, and more.
Amsterdam-based MessageBird is also an omnichannel communication solution provider. Aside from WhatsApp, they also have solutions catered to SMS, voice, and email.
Signing up for an account with MessageBird requires creating an account using a business email and answering a few questions about your business (how many employees you have, your business’s website, and so on).
As an omnichannel solution provider. MessageBird has plans (including a free one) with different tiers that cover various channels from WeChat and Viber to LINE, Facebook Messenger, and of course, WhatsApp.
In terms of API access, MessageBird’s messaging charges are similar to Twilio’s. We didn’t browse through fees for that many countries, but at least for the same three countries we looked at with Twilio (the US, Singapore, and Germany), MessageBird charges a $0.005 fee per message—the same as Twilio.
Their session messages are also charged at $0.005 each.
3. Twilio Alternative #3: Nexmo (Vonage)
Based in: New Jersey
Companies they work with: Domino’s, DHL, Zipcar, Glassdoor, and more.
Originally Nexmo, the company was acquired by US telecommunications company Vonage in 2016.
Like Twilio and MessageBird, Vonage also offers a host of business communication solutions, including voice.
You can try their communication APIs (which include WhatsApp) for free by signing up for a free account.
With this account, Vonage starts you off with a $2 credit you can use to try them out. With it, you could send a WhatsApp message, for example.
Vonage’s WhatsApp Messaging API prices are slightly higher than that of Twilio’s.
Each session message is charged at around $0.0069 (excluding WhatsApp’s own messaging fees), and they also charge a one-time set-up fee of €1,000 per number, which is approximately $1,193 at the time of writing.
They also levy different monthly fees based on the number of messages you’d like to be able to send at once:
- €400/month (up to 20 outbound messages/second)
- €800/month (up to 40 outbound messages/second)
Which Is the Best Twilio Alternative?
Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question.
What you deem to be the best Twilio alternative will depend on factors such as what stage of expansion your business is at, your business model, and business goals.
We’ve provided you with a brief overview of Twilio’s competitors and what they offer. But to really understand how their services can cater to your business needs and whether they’re a good fit, you’ll have to dig deeper and try them out for yourself.
Our team at WATI is always available to help. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
WATI is proudly owned by Clare.AI, a digital assistant startup offering innovative online tools that employ the latest technology in machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide award-winning customer communication experiences. Clare.AI’s solutions have helped multinational enterprises and a host of Fortune 500 companies such as AXA, Everbright Sun Hung Kai, Fidelity, Birdie, Cigna, and Bupa.