Marketo SMS Marketing with Telnyx

Three of the most important features when choosing an SMS provider are pricing, global reach, and being able to stay true to your brand. Choosing Telnyx to power your Marketo SMS marketing will provide these 3 features and then some!

SMS is becoming an ever more powerful means of communication with your customers and is a core part of an omnichannel communication strategy. Three of the most important features when choosing an SMS provider are pricing, global reach, and being able to stay true to your brand. Choosing Telnyx to power your Marketo SMS marketing will provide these 3 features and then some!

Telnyx is a next-generation telecommunications provider that makes it very easy for developers to programmatically embed voice, SMS, and wireless solutions into their products. They are the up-and-coming superstar in the CPaas (communications platform as a service) space where Twilio is currently the dominant incumbent (think David versus Goliath).

Full disclosure I am the marketing operations lead at Telnyx so I may be just a smidge biased in my comparison 😛 But you don’t have to take my word for it: the G2 reviews speak for themselves!

Telnyx’s communication APIs open up a number of marketing possibilities when combined with the power of marketing automation platforms such as Marketo, Hubspot, and Active Campaign. All three of these platforms have webhook features, which allow you to make GET or POST requests to APIs (see Marketo API Quick-Start Guide for an introduction to APIs and requests).

This means we can use webhooks to unlock the power of Telnyx for sending SMS notifications or enriching your lead database using number lookup.

Why Use Telnyx for Marketo SMS Marketing?


Telnyx has one of the most competitive SMS prices in the industry, allowing customers to save an average of 70% compared to using Twilio (they even have a Twilio savings calculator so that you can see how much you’d save by switching and a Twexit API to make the change super simple)

It is free to create a Telnyx account and purchasing SMS-capable phone numbers starts at $1 per month per number.

N.B. Using the referral link above to sign up will get you a sweet, sweet $20 in free credit by using the promo code TYRON-W4KX.

Marketo SMS Marketing pricing with Telnyx
Telnyx SMS Pricing
Telnyx Number Pricing
Telnyx Number Pricing

Branded SMS

There are a number of different features with Telnyx programmable SMS that help your messaging stay true to your brand and build familiarity with your customers:

  • Omnichannel SMS enables you to integrate with RCS, VSMS, WhatsApp, and iOS business chat through a single API and create branded SMS with your logo, screen color, and sender name
  • Alphanumeric sender ID allows you to set your company name as the sender ID
  • Shortcode messaging allows you to choose a 5 digit number to represent your brand
  • Sticky sender ensures that customers will receive SMS from the same number every time when you use the number pooling feature (see the “Number Pooling” section below)
Marketo Branded SMS Marketing with Telnyx
Google Verified SMS using the Telnyx omnichannel API

Zapier Integration

Telnyx has an app available in Zapier that allows you to trigger on inbound SMS as well as allowing you to send SMS or MMS from numbers in your Telnyx account. This means that you can easily automate your SMS outreach using all the features and functionality of the Zapier automation tool.

If you want to see this in action I built an Inbound SMS Responder zap that listens out for inbound SMS and will send different SMS responses based on keywords present in the inbound SMS.

Number Pooling

Number pooling allows you to distribute outbound SMS over all the numbers you have associated with a messaging profile, which increases your deliverability since a single number is not responsible for sending high volumes of traffic.

The Geomatch feature will ensure that your customers receive SMS from numbers with the same area code that they live in (provided that these numbers exist in your number pool)

The Sticky Sender feature will ensure that your customers receive SMS from the same number every time helping your build familiarity with your customers.

Other Features

  • International SMS: Instantly provision your numbers to send SMS internationally or send SMS from local numbers in international destinations
  • Opt-out management: Telnyx automatically handles standard opt-out replies so you don’t have to
  • Verify API: Makes it easy for you to set up 2-factor authentication with SMS (or voice)

Handling SMS Rate Limits: What number type is best for you?

The most important constraint on your SMS rate limit is determined by the limit on your account. So while the sections below list the rate limits that the different number types are capable of, the number of SMS you can actually send will be capped by your account.

Starting off, your account will only be able to send SMS at a rate of 1 SMS per 10 seconds but if you get L2 verified then you can increase this to 50 SMS per second. If you require sending at a higher rate then you can talk to the Telnyx sales team to enable this.

Marketo SMS Marketing rate limits with Telnyx
Telnyx SMS rate limits

Long Code Pros and Cons

Unlike Toll-Free numbers, which do not have international capability (true as of writing), longcode numbers can send SMS internationally. However, they do have the lowest rate of 6 SMS per minute out of any of the number types.

If you need to send SMS globally then you can purchase multiple long code numbers and use the number pool feature to distribute the outbound international SMS volume across these numbers.

N.B. You will need to request your long code number traffic type be set to P2P to enable international SMS.

You can also purchase local long code numbers within international destinations for your number pool and use the “Geomatch” feature (see explanation in the “Number Pooling” section above) to send SMS to people in these destinations from local numbers.

Long code SMS is also the cheapest to send an SMS and free to receive as well as being able to send MMS.

Toll-Free Pros and Cons

While Toll-Free numbers might allow you to avoid number pooling by having a higher rate of 1200 SMS per minute, they come at the expense of not being able to send SMS internationally (true as of writing) and it is more expensive to send and receive SMS than long code.

Toll-free numbers also require an application to be submitted specifying things such as how you will opt people in, your use case, and your privacy policy. You can read more in the “Toll Free Messaging” section in this support article.

Short Code Pros and Cons

Short code numbers offer the highest SMS throughput of 60,000 SMS per minute but this throughput comes at a price.

  • Standard short code numbers cost $1000 per month while vanity short codes cost $2000 per month
  • Short code numbers are the most expensive of any number type to send and receive SMS
  • You have to fill out an application form in order to show how you will opt people into SMS notifications and how you will respond to certain keywords such as “HELP” and “STOP”
  • US short codes cannot be used to send SMS internationally

Alphanumeric Sender ID Pros and Cons

The Alphanumeric sender ID feature allows you to send SMS from a messaging profile at a rate of 60,000 SMS per minute and this feature can be used to send SMS internationally. However, customers will not be able to reply to these SMS so you can only use this feature for one-way SMS campaigns.

Marketo SMS Marketing Setup & Examples

Now that you know why you should use Telnyx to power your Marketo SMS Marketing, let’s take a look at how you can start sending SMS with Telnyx, automate replies to inbound SMS, and then use these 2 features for webinar SMS reminders.

  1. Marketo Text Messaging with the Telnyx SMS API
  2. Marketo 2 Way SMS using Telnyx and Zapier
  3. Marketo SMS Integration Example: Webinar Reminders

Tyron Pretorius

Automating with APIs, Python, Zapier, and Google Scripts 

Former engineer turned marketing operations lead who loves to get down and dirty with the Marketo API, Python, Zapier, and Google Scripts.

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