Getting Started with Alphanumeric Sender ID for Twilio Programmable SMS

Alphanumeric Sender ID allows you to send Twilio Programmable SMS messages using a personalized sender name, in supported countries (see International Support for Alphanumeric Sender ID).

Instead of using an E.164 formatted Twilio Phone number for the "From" value, you can use a custom string like your own business' branding.

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You can also enable an Alphanumeric Sender ID on a Twilio Messaging Service.

Twilio Requirements

Alphanumeric Sender ID is automatically supported on all new upgraded (paid) Twilio accounts. It is not supported for Free Trial accounts.

You can validate that Alphanumeric Sender is enabled on your account by following these steps:

  1. Login to your account at www.twilio.com.
  2. From the left side navigation bar, click Programmable SMS Icon-ProgSMS.png.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Verify that "Alphanumeric Sender ID" is set to Enabled.
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If you continue to experience issues after validating that you are attempting to send messages to a supported country, your account is upgraded, and Alphanumeric Sender ID is enabled, please contact Twilio Support.

Send SMS Messages using an Alphanumeric Sender ID

To send SMS messages using an Alphanumeric Sender ID, use the desired ID for the From parameter in your API requests. For full details, please see our article for Changing the sender ID for sending SMS messages.

You can also enable an Alphanumeric Sender ID on a Twilio Messaging Service. The Alphanumeric Sender ID will be selected automatically when sending to a supported country (unless you have SMS-capable numbers from that country in your Messaging Service pool, in which case Twilio will use those).

Sending Limitations

This feature is only available for upgraded (paid) Twilio accounts sending messages to supported countries. Some supported countries may have additional requirements, including pre-registration for alpha sender IDs, or limiting these messages to be only sent as transactional messages.

For the full list of supported countries, and pre-registration requirements, please see our article on International Support for Alphanumeric Sender ID. Please note that this feature is currently unsupported in the North American mainland countries of Canada, the US, and Mexico.

Alphanumeric Sender ID messages sent to an unsupported country will fail with a 400 error response from Twilio. In this case, we recommend that you fallback to a Twilio international mobile number.

Additionally, messages sent out using an Alphanumeric Sender ID can not be replied to directly.

What characters can I use in my Alphanumeric Sender ID?

Alphanumeric Sender ID supports up to 11 characters from the following categories:

  • Upper-case letters A-Z
  • Lower-case letters a-z
  • Numbers 0-9
  • Spaces

Your ID must include at least one letter; It cannot be comprised of only numbers. Non-ASCII special characters and punctuation are not allowed.

How much does Alphanumeric Sender ID cost?

Some countries have pre-registration or business license requirements that may have an associated cost. Please see our article on International Support for Alphanumeric Sender ID for additional details.

For sending messages from Twilio, there is no price difference for using an Alphanumeric Sender ID vs. a standard Twilio phone number. Please see our Programmable SMS Pricing site for complete pricing information.

Can users respond to my messages that use Alphanumeric Sender ID?

No. Alphanumeric Sender ID is only used for one way communication. Recipients of messages with an Alphanumeric Sender ID will not be able to respond to you directly. Because of this limitation, we recommend only using Alphanumeric Sender IDs for one-way outbound messages. You may also include a contact number, email, or website address in your outgoing messages if you wish to receive responses.

How do users opt out of messages sent with an Alphanumeric Sender ID

Since Alphanumeric Sender ID can only be used for one way messaging, inbound messages sent to your Alphanumeric Sender ID will not be received on your Twilio project.

Customers receiving text messages with your Alphanumeric Sender ID should have opted in to your service and been informed on how to opt out. We recommend that you provide your users with a clear description in your terms in services about how many messages they should expect to receive and how they can opt out. Spoofing of brands or companies with Alphanumeric Sender ID is not allowed.

We also highly recommend offering your users the ability to opt out of receiving SMS messages from your service by:

  • Writing to your support team
  • Calling your support phone line
  • Texting another phone number or shortcode
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