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Courier Vs. Twilio: Building a Notifications Dream Team

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The leading cloud communications API company goes head-to-head with the most complete notifications API system—who will win?

Well, it's less a battle and more a partnership. Courier and Twilio work together to send messages and notifications at scale. However, each has its strengths and purposes that the other complements and supports.

Twilio is built to send texts, emails, chats, voice calls, and push notifications at scale. Whether you need to send a single notification or a million, Twilio has the global communications infrastructure to make it happen. However, it's not intuitive or easy to use—especially if you're not a developer with a little TwiML (the Twilio Markup Language) experience.

Courier helps businesses design and deliver notifications across email, SMS, chat, and push with a single API. It's easy for companies to set up cross-channel workflows and simple for users to control their messaging preferences. Courier also has the flexibility to use various providers for different messaging channels, letting a business choose, say: Mailgun for email, Twilio for SMS, Airship for push, and WhatsApp for chat.

Below, we break down the core differences between Courier and Twilio. By the end of this article, you'll know which is the better solution for your business's use case—or you might just find the correct answer to be a combination of both.

Courier Vs. Twilio: Channels

Courier supports notifications across email, SMS, chat, and push. Twilio does the same, but it also supports voice calls. However, when you choose Twilio alone, you're limited to their platform for all your messaging. When you select Courier, you can use Twilio and 20+ other providers.

While using a single provider for all your communications might seem convenient, it can limit your flexibility. If the user interface (UI) isn't user-friendly or the workflow builder lacks the customization you need, you could be pigeon-holed.

Thanks to Courier's API, you don't need to rely on a single provider for your notification needs—you can use as many as you want. Use Mailgun for your marketing emails, SendGrid for transactional emails, Twilio for SMS, and Firebase for push notifications.

You have the flexibility to use the providers you prefer without the complexity of having to manage your communications across multiple platforms. Courier's API lets you design and deploy notifications across channels from the same location.

Courier Vs. Twilio: Automation

Courier empowers developers and product teams alike to build trigger-based workflows that send the right message to the right person at the exact right time.

When a new user buys your product, you'll want to help them have a positive first impression. Instead of dumping a how-to guide in their email inbox, you could slowly drip onboarding messages on their preferred channel.

For example, you might send them a push notification that shows them how to get started with your product. If they open the notification, you might send another push in a few days to help them with the next step or learn a product tip or two. If they don't open the initial notification, you might follow up with a text message to ensure they have the support they need.

Twilio users can build powerful workflows to automate their messages by leveraging Segment. Segment is the leading customer data platform, enabling businesses to collect more insights about their customers and provide more personalized experiences. Courier also recently announced an easy-to-connect integration with Segment.

On the downside, while Twilio has the tools and infrastructure to send automated messages at scale, it can be a little bit more complicated to set up. If you don't have a developer with a bit of know-how, getting started can be a nightmare. Fortunately, Twilio has the documentation anyone needs to get up and running—but it'll take time to sift through and understand all the resources.

Courier Vs. Twilio: Deliverability

Regardless of what kind of message you're sending, you want to ensure it reaches your recipient. Twilio and Courier both have excellent reputations for delivering messages at scale, but Courier makes analyzing your real-time insights a bit easier.

With Courier, you get a centralized dashboard that shows an overview of all your notifications. You can see the status, type of notification, recipient, and provider for every message, allowing you to quickly drill down and troubleshoot problems when they arise.

Want to know why a message went undelivered? You'll quickly be able to spot trends, such as errors with @hotmail email addresses or failures from similar providers.

Twilio's Messaging Insights is a real-time messaging reports dashboard that shows delivery, errors, and engagement. You can do a lot with these reports, but the interface and amount of filters can be a bit overwhelming. While you can use the dashboard to find answers to just about any deliverability question, it's far from quick and easy.

Courier Vs. Twilio: Ease of Use

Courier is the better tool when it comes to ease of use. Whether you're building messaging templates, orchestrating workflows, or setting robust routing rules, Courier feels familiar and straightforward to navigate. You'll find easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors and simple copy/paste API calls with Courier.

Twilio has come a long way recently with its non-developer tools. Now, businesses can get started with limited use cases on the platform without hiring a developer to get everything up and running. Twilio Studio is Twilio's drag-and-drop visual workflow builder, and it allows communication teams to develop and iterate applications quickly. However, the interface and logic can be challenging to understand without sifting through pages of documentation. It's a refreshing addition to the Twilio lineup, but it still lags behind Courier's workflow builder when it comes to ease of use.

Use Courier and Twilio Together

Like we said before, it's less of a competition between Courier and Twilio and more of a collaboration. Twilio customers can use Courier to better design and implement workflows, and they can also use the platform to integrate multiple messaging providers under a single API.

You may want to use Twilio for voice communications, SparkPost for email, and MessageBird for SMS—with Courier, you can deploy notifications to channels your users prefer with our 20+ integrations.

Twilio might be able to send messages at scale, but that doesn't mean its platform is built for everyone. Developers have no problem navigating the software and documentation, but marketers and product teams will likely need to supplement with a healthy dose of Ibuprofen after trying to design notification workflows.

That's where Courier comes in. Use Courier and Twilio together to orchestrate better workflows and provide a top-notch user experience—for your builders and end-users alike.

Try it for yourself. Sign up for a free-forever Courier plan and see how easy it is to build a complete, unified notifications system. The free plan allows you to:

  • Send up to 10,000 messages per month
  • Add unlimited team members
  • Access unlimited templates
  • Use email, SMS, push, and chat channels
  • Unlock unlimited custom brands

It takes just minutes to get up and running. Get started for free.

Get started sending notifications with Courier in minutes, not days!

We have SDKs in Ruby, Go, Python, Javascript, Node.js, and React.

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Send up to 10,000 notifications every month, for free.

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