Twilio advises that Starter Brands are a good fit for customers who send fewer than 3,000 SMS segments and MMS messages per day (total) to users in the US.
However, if you send close to 3,000 messages per day to the U.S. via long code numbers, you might be wondering which option is right for you.
T-Mobile's daily limit for Starter is 1,000 per day
Twilio’s recommended threshold of 3,000 SMS segments and MMS per day is based on T-Mobile's hard limit of 1,000 outbound SMS segments and MMS per day for Starter Campaigns, and the assumption that T-Mobile users will be roughly one-third of your US message recipients.
Please note that T-Mobile acquired the Sprint network, so any limits imposed by T-Mobile also include Sprint users.
This means that if you exceed 1,000 SMS segments and MMS toward T-Mobile (including Sprint) in a single day when sending from a Starter Campaign, you will begin seeing message failure toward T-Mobile until the start of the next day (in US Pacific time).
If you often send close to 3,000 SMS segments and MMS to the US in a given day, you may wish to register for a Standard Brand to avoid hitting T-Mobile's daily limit.
In addition, if your message recipients are in a younger demographic (for example, if you are a lifestyle clothing brand that sells mostly to people aged 18-25), you may also have a higher percentage of T-Mobile (and Sprint) subscribers in your user base. You can check the proportion of different US carriers to whom you've sent messages using Messaging Insights.
Consider potential growth of your messaging usage
Another factor to consider is whether you expect your messaging usage to stay steady, or if it might grow in the future. A small business that serves a specific community may see very consistent messaging usage over time, and would have time to anticipate and react to growth as it happens. On the other hand, if your business is built for rapid growth and could spread to a bigger audience very quickly, you may want to get ahead of capacity concerns by registering a Standard Brand.
Take note of the other Starter limitations
In addition to messaging capacity in terms of daily usage, it’s important to remember that Starter registration also limits you to 5 long code numbers and a total throughput of 2.25 MPS for messages to the US. If you are sending fewer than 3000 SMS segments and MMS per day, but might need more than 5 numbers or a higher burst throughput, you may want to consider Standard registration. Please see our Standard vs. Starter comparison for details.