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Tell me about your SMS (texting) pricing.

7352 views   |   Last updated on Jan 18, 2023    texting pricing

 

Pricing details for our SMS packages can be found on our pricing page. All prices are in USD.

  • You can try it, no strings attached and no obligation to purchase.
  • We can port US phone numbers in and out of our system for free. Porting for other countries may or may not be possible, contact us if needed.
  • SMS packages do NOT expire and any leftover balance simply rolls forward from year to year. 
  • Texting services will keep working even if your balance goes negative.  We will catch up on the billing at next renewal.  You can monitor your SMS package usage in the admin dashboard's subscription management page (administrator login required).

How does SMS package pricing work?

SMS packages are a lump sum balance in US Dollars.  The balance is drawn down as follows:

1) One-time fee

There is no fee to set-up and configure your texting number.

For customers that text with guests located in the US, there is a one-time regulatory registration fee of $19. In some cases, this one-time fee might be higher if the industry's DCA rejects a campaign from approval; each subsequent campaign vetting event costs an additional $15.  We do not yet know if these extra vetting events will be common.  US customers can avoid this one-time regulatory registration fee by opting for a toll-free number.

2) Monthly regulatory and phone fees

Each local phone number is $2 per month.

Each toll-free phone number is $3 per month.

For US customers only: There is a monthly regulatory fee of between $2 and $10, the amount of which is determined by your texting volume.  Most of our customers in the $2/month category. US customers who opt for a toll-free number do not have to pay the monthly regulatory fee.

3) Usage

Each text message sent or received uses $0.03 (three cents). 

If your texting number is set to forward "regular" voice phone calls to another number (like your organization's main phone number), then forwarded calls are treated like text messages.  The duration of a forwarded call is measured in minutes, with each minute counting as a text message.  In practice, forwarded voice calls are usually not a significant portion of SMS package expenses.

What?  I don't understand.

No worries!  Here is a simple example...

Let's say you purchased a $75 package, have one local texting number, and you are a library with a low texting volume based in the United States.  

  • In one year, your monthly regulatory fees will use $24 of your $75 package, because $2 * 12 months = $24. 
  • In one year, your monthly phone number fees will use $24 of your $75 package, because $2 * 12 months = $24. 
  • After one year, nothing expires and the balance simply marches forward. So even if you never send or receive any messages, a $75 package will get completely used up in 19 months, because 19 months at $4/month is $76.

Let's say you have purchased a $75 package (same conditions as above) and you want to add a SECOND texting number.  

  • The monthly regulatory fee remains the same because this is a per campaign (a campaign usually maps one-to-one with an organization) fee and not a per phone number fee. 
  • The second number will begin to draw ANOTHER $2/month from the balance.  So now with two numbers, you're pulling $4/month in total monthly phone fees. 
  • You'll need to get larger texting packages moving forward, since $6/month (2 phones + regulatory fee) will add up to $72 in just phone number costs over a year.

Got it. Now what about messages?  

Each inbound or outbound SMS is $0.03.  This is a *per message* expense, not a *per conversation* expense.  For example, take the following conversation:

Texting guest: Is this the best library in the world?
Librarian:  Yes. Yes it is.
Texting guest: I knew it!  thanks.

This single conversation contains THREE text messages and will draw $0.09 from your SMS package balance.

So how many text messages do I get with a package?

Let's assume you are a low-volume US customer and have purchased the $75 SMS package. Remember that regulatory fees are $2/month, or $24/year. Each phone number is $2/month, or $24/year.  So in a one-year timeline, that leaves $27 of the original $75 available for text messages.  And $27 allows for 900 text messages at $0.03/each.  Here is the math:

 $75 SMS package

- $24 (regulatory fees @ $2/month for 12 months)
- $24 (phone number @ $2/month for 12 months)
- $27 (900 messages * $0.03/each = $27)
----------------------------------------
 $0 (SMS package is completely used up.)

 

But you said it doesn't expire after a year.

That's right, SMS packages do not expire after a year.  If you use 200 text messages in a year, that costs $6 (200 messages * $0.03 = $6.00).  Given that regulatory fees will use $24 during the year and one phone number will use $24 during the year, you'll wind up with $21 remaining balance to carry over into the next year.  Here is how that math looks:

 $75 SMS package
- $24 (regulatory fees @ $2/month for 12 months)
- $24 (phone number @ $2/month for 12 months)
- $ 6 (200 messages @ $0.03)
---------------------------------------------
 $21 SMS package remains and will carry forward.

 

Can I track and add to my SMS balance?

Yes!  In the admin dashboard, check the subscription management page.  Its menu item in the left navigation bar looks like a dollar sign.  Only administrators can view this page.

You can add additional SMS packages at any time to increase your balance. We'll always catch your balance up at the annual renewal time as well.

 

What if my balance runs out?

Texting services keep working if the balance becomes negative.  We will catch up at the next renewal.  If by chance you have a negative texting balance and want to cancel your subscription, the texting number is released and you will need to pay a final invoice to cover the negative SMS balance. 

 

Is there a different way to handle texting?

Yes. We are able to integrate external Twilio accounts, and in that case, you will pay all associated fees to Twilio, and you will manage all regulatory requirements through Twilio as well.  This makes financial sense if your texting service is high-volume, such as one used for automated notices and/or curbside services. 

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