Phone calls and text messages are a critical part of many sales and marketing workflows. The problem is, the more tools you add to your workflow, the more time and effort you need to invest into managing them. Thankfully with tools like Twilio and Zapier, you can automate a big part of that work.
In this guide to Twilio and Zapier integration, we’ll look at how to automate text and phone calls in your workflow. But first, let’s look at the benefits of using the two tools.
Why Automate Your Text and Phone Calls with Twilio?
Twilio is one of the biggest API platforms for SMS, Voice, and Video communication. One of the main features of the platform is the automation of text messages and voice calls. Twilio allows you to send phone calls or text messages (as well as receive them).
Of course, text and messages are just two of the several communication features that they offer. As Twilio likes to call it, together, they allow you to “create customer engagement at scale”:
That engagement, in turn, allows you to:
- Boost brand loyalty and create stronger customer relationships
Mixing different channels is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and ensure they remember you. Of course, the communication has to be meaningful and make sense. But, if it does, a mix of emails, text messages, and voice can greatly improve brand loyalty. This, in turn, helps you build strong relationships with your audience.
- Offer a new level of personalization
Twilio API allows you to take personalized communication to a whole new level. And it’s not just about personalizing the content. With the right automation setup, you can reach your audience when they expect it the most.
- Improve communication in international markets
With Twilio, you can easily get a phone number in your key international market. That way you can easily route calls or send messages to clients on the other side of the world. This, in turn, makes it easy to call or text them using their local phone numbers.
- Boost communication and customer security
A service like Twilio can be used to verify your customer’s identity, and confirm transactions or changes to their accounts. This, in turn, can greatly increase the security of their data and/or product.
- Lower customer acquisition cost
Lastly, the strategic use of Twilio can significantly lower customer acquisition costs. For example, the right SMS campaign can speed up their decision-making process. This, in turn, reduces the time your customers need to make a purchase.
Similarly, Twilio is of great help in B2B sales, where calls and text messages often play a crucial role.
Of course, to lower the cost even further, your use of Twilio has to be strategic and, ideally, automated. But how do you take advantage of those automated messages and calls?
The key to triggering those Twilio automations is to connect your third-party tools to Twilio using Twilio API or… you’ve got it – Zapier.
Why Integrate Zapier with Twilio?
As a communications API, Twilio offers excellent documentation. The problem is, most people don’t know how to use an API to connect different tools. And, even if they could do that, it simply might not be the best use of their time.
But, that’s where Zapier comes into play. With Zapier, you can use key Twilio functions, including calls and text automation, without having to ever think about APIs.
You don’t even have to write a single line of code (unless your setup is very customized). But that could be said about any application that you connect to Zapier.
This doesn’t just save you time. It also makes it easy to update the entire setup – even by non-technical team members. So, how do you leverage Twilio and Zapier integration? Let’s start with the available Twilio Zapier triggers and actions.
Twilio Zapier Triggers
So, let’s have a quick look at what you can choose to start your Twilio Zap. To get started, choose Twilio as your Zapier trigger application:
Then, you get to choose one of five different triggers – let’s take a quick look at each of them:
- New phone number. This will trigger the Zap whenever you add a new phone number to your Twilio account.
- New call. This is triggered whenever someone finishes their call to your Twilio account number. It’s important to note that it’s the only instant trigger type in the entire setup. This means it’s the only trigger that will fire the moment the call finishes. For all the other ones, you have to wait for Zapier to poll the Twilio API for information.
- New Recording. This trigger will start your Zapier workflow whenever there’s a new recording in your Twilio account.
- New SMS. This will fire off the Zapier workflow whenever your Twilio account receives a new SMS. Interestingly, it’s NOT an instant trigger (keep this in mind when planning your workflow).
- New Transcription. Another pretty straightforward trigger. It fires the Zap whenever there’s a new transcription in your account.
As you can see, the triggers go beyond sending or receiving calls and text messages. You can also smooth the management of recordings, phone numbers, or transcriptions.
However, as mentioned above, keep in mind most of these triggers are not instant. This means that if you’re on any plan below the Professional one, you might have to wait as much as 15 minutes to trigger the Zap.
Now, let’s jump to the available Twilio Zapier actions to see what we can do inside an existing workflow.
Twilio Zapier Actions
Compared to triggers, the number of Twilio Zapier actions looks humble. Still, together with said triggers, they allow you to fully automate calling and texting.
Call Phone. It allows you to call a select phone number. Interestingly, you don’t have to pre-record the message.
Instead, all you have to do is type it and then select a male or female voice that’ll read it. It’s a pretty powerful action that allows you to fully automate voice communication with your clients.
Send SMS. Similar to the above. But, instead of calling a phone number, Zapier will send a text message.
So, now that you know the available Twilio triggers and actions, let’s look at how you can connect it to Zapier
How to Connect Twilio to Zapier
Once you select Twilio inside the Zapier workflow editor, you’ll be prompted to add Account SID and Auth token.
The problem is, if you click the link provided and go to the Twilio account settings page, you’ll only find your Account SID:
To get the Auth Token, you can go to your main console panel window. As you can see, you can find both your account SID and Auth token there:
Alternatively, you can go to the API keys page instead:
This page is useful if you need to do some testing first, as that’s where you can find Twilio test credentials.
Those are especially useful if you’re building custom API connections and want to verify your setup:
Once you copy those credentials to your Zapier account – it’s time to start setting up your Zaps. But before we look at sample workflow ideas, let’s look at how to use Twilio and Zapier to send an automated SMS.
How to Send an Automated Text Message with Twilio and Zapier
For this setup, we’re going to use Google Sheets as a trigger. Basically, we’ll pull a phone number from a Google Sheets worksheet and use it as a destination for our SMS. First, we need to set up the trigger.
Go to Zapier and select New Spreadsheet Row as a Zap trigger. Then, select the Spreadsheet and Worksheet and hit Continue to test the trigger.
In the next step, select Twilio. Then, select Send SMS from the drop-down events list:
Now, it’s time to start configuring the Twilio step. First, we want to select the “from” number. If you haven’t added it to your Twilio account yet, here’s a quick guide on how to do that.
Once that’s done, you should be able to pick it from the drop-down list:
Next, you can set your Alphanumeric Sender ID. Please note that not all countries support Alphanumeric Sender IDs. What’s more, many of those that do require you to pre-register:
In the next step, it’s time to add the phone number that we pulled from the Google worksheet. In our case, the country code and phone number are separate – but that’s not a problem as Zapier can pass both values together.
Note that if your phone number is in a format that requires editing, you may need to add a Zapier Formatter Text to your workflow.
Once you configure the recipient, it’s time to edit the message. Note that you can either input the message manually or take it from another step in the workflow.
You can also choose to add a media URL and choose if you want to send large messages. Note that large messages will be priced as multiple messages.
Lastly, it’s time to test the trigger. As you can see, we. For privacy & security reasons, I blurred some of the data containing my Twilio account details or phone number:
And that’s it. Automating a phone call is very similar to sending a text – so I decided to skip it in this guide.
Instead, let’s take a quick look at three workflow ideas where Twilio automation can help your business.
Three Quick Twilio Zapier Workflows Ideas
There are endless possibilities for using Zapier and Twilio to automate your phone and text communication. Here are five workflows that take advantage of different Twilio Triggers and actions.
1. Archive Call Transcripts in Google Sheets
First, let’s look at a quick automation to manage your transcripts. In the easiest example, you can use Zapier to automatically archive information about each transcript in a Google Sheet.
You can then create a task and assign it to the right person who’s supposed to review the transcript.
This could be someone on your sales team or client success team (for getting testimonials).
Of course, you can also assign those transcripts straight to your leads inside your CRM tool. You can also ping the team member who’s got a new task on Slack to let them know there’s a transcript waiting.
2. Send Meeting Confirmation for Meeting Requests
The next workflow idea involves using tools such as Calendly or CalendarHero. For example, you can send a text message whenever someone requests a new meeting.
Doing this allows you to respond and confirm the meeting even faster (it’s easier to ignore a confirmation email than it is to ignore a text message.
You can then create a task in Trello or another project management tool to remind you about the meeting.
Of course, there are many alternative automations you can build with text and calendar tools. Sample ideas include:
- Sending a Twilio SMS confirmation when you accept the meeting request.
- Sending text reminders before the event (for example, a day, an hour, and 15 minutes before the meeting).
- Sending text alerts whenever you make changes to the meeting. This is a critical automation that allows you to inform your guests wherever you reschedule the meeting. The faster you let them know about the change, the less inconvenient the entire change will be.
As you can see, with Zapier and Twilio, the sky’s the limit. What matters is that you use the automation with a specific goal – be it improving your productivity or customer experience.
3. Add Received Text Messages to Airtable Records
The third Zap allows you to archive received text messages and assign you directly to the person that sent them. This is useful especially if you’re qualifying your audience through text messages.
To do that, you can use the following setup:
- Set the Zap trigger to New SMS in Twilio
- Add an action to find a record in Airtable (use the sender’s phone number to perform the search)
- Update the record with the answer to a text message.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of possible changes to the workflow.
For example, if a text message qualifies them as a sales lead, you can send that fact to your sales team’s slack. Note that in the above example, we’re not using a filter.
But, if you only want to use certain responses to trigger the Slack step, you could use Filter (or Paths).
Get the Most out of Zapier & Twilio Integration
There’s plenty more you could do with Zapier and Twilio. Depending on the other tools in your workflow, the possibilities are literally endless. With Twilio, you can empower your sales and marketing workflows with some of the most powerful communication channels.
If you’d like to discuss the possibilities or need help setting things up (including Twilio API work) – don’t hesitate to reach out.
Schedule a quick Zapier discovery consultation and let’s discuss your automation needs.
Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at Clickleo.com
I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.
You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page