SMS Gateway Providers

Top 10 SMS Gateway API Providers (2021 Edition)

In this article, uncover 10 of our top SMS Gateway Providers for 2021.

As businesses take on the technical landscape of today’s ever-evolving digital world, marketing teams are employing new tools to reach their customers. As a result, they see higher open rates, more conversions, and an increase in ROI. An SMS API enables you to easily integrate text messaging into your existing solution and offer customers a better experience.

Ask yourself, “How do I communicate most with my friends and family?” You most likely use text messages to reach the people closest in your life. Text messages allow you to engage in quick or lengthy conversations, no matter what the scenario is.

With text messages, you can take the time to craft out your messages and give thought to the idea you’re trying to portray to your recipient. Then, to show emotion, people can pop in an emoji to express how a given message makes them feel.

How many people do you know without a mobile phone? It’s undeniable that text messages are evolving the way we communicate with each other, and it makes absolute sense why businesses are seeing tremendous results.

So why not use the same channel that we use every day with our family, friends, and colleagues, but in a business setting? Think of the possibilities that SMS may yield for your business. If your company has 10 or 10,000 customers, the chances are that your users can benefit from fast and reliable messaging on the channel that they use most.

Start sending text messages now

You don’t need an API to send text messages; you can use Cloud Contact and skip all developer-geared API requirements. For example, on CCAI, all you need to do is create an account, upload contacts, and send messages – and best of all, it’s free and doesn’t require a credit card.

Let’s dive into some of the basics before we explore our top SMS API providers. If you wish to jump around, please do so by clicking on any of the links below in the accordion dialog below.

What is an SMS Gateway?

An SMS Gateway is a service that allows you to send and receive messages from a software interface to an SMS-compatible device, such as a mobile phone. The SMS gateway routes the text messages to the telecommunication networks through a Short Message Peer-to-Peer (SMPP) interface. The text messages are typically sent directly or via an aggregator that will then sell the text messages to various networks.

What is an SMS API?

In short, an SMS API (Short Message Service Application Programming Interface) is a type of API that enables you to send text messages from your computer. An SMS API is a software integration interface that allows code to send SMS messages via an SMS Gateway.

An SMS API can perform various tasks related to text messaging, such as automated text notifications, sending unique 2FA codes, and more.

How does a computer communicate with an SMS gateway?

The SMS API interacts with the gateway through a REST API, software application, or web page, where people can upload their contacts and send messages.

SMS Gateway Services for businesses

What kind of businesses use an SMS API?

An SMS API is a great way for businesses of diverse sizes and industries to streamline their customer communication. A few industries include:

  • Debt Collectors
  • Medical Facilities
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Schools
  • Banks
  • Travel Companies
  • Ecommerce
  • Dentists

Why should I use an SMS API?

An SMS API gives developers a quick yet effective way to send SMS messages by connecting to an SMS gateway, such as Twilio or Plivo. There are many advantages to leveraging an SMS API instead of other alternatives that we will uncover below.

Automation
If your business sends the same message regularly, you can use an SMS API to schedule messages at the exact time you want effortlessly. In addition, with an SMS API, you can easily automate responses when a user texts you with a specific keyword, making your workflows more efficient and productive.

Visibility
An API allows you to track your messages with delivery receipts, which shows you exactly what time your message was delivered. This gives you direct insight into the messages that weren’t able to be sent.

Features
An API gives you direct access to other service features that you can integrate into your own system. For example, you can choose how you would like to send and receive messages through email or push notifications.

Quick and reliable
When developers sync up with an SMS API, they benefit from great speed and reliability because the API interacts directly with the SMS gateway. The API will enable you to send thousands of messages in just seconds because of the secure connection with the SMS gateway.

Integrations
An SMS API allows you to integrate SMS across your entire system while providing enhanced insight on a single-view interface.

Top SMS Gateway API Providers

After testing various SMS API providers, we came up with our top 7 choices. Each solution offers different services and features to enhance your SMS experience.

Twilio SMS Gateway API

1. Twilio

Twilio is by far the most well-known SMS provider and offers a suite of other related services and features that enhance your SMS abilities. In addition to SMS, Twilio has other various APIs for voice, email, and video.

Features:

➞ Alpha Sender

➞ Short Code Reroute

➞ Country Code Geomatch

➞ Track Messages

➞ Sticky Sender

➞ And More…

Plivo SMS API Provider for Marketers

2. Plivo

Plivo provides a powerful API that includes connectivity in over 190 countries for the SMS and voice calling APIs.

Features:

➞ Two-Factor Authentication

➞ Alerts and Notifications

➞ SMS Survey

➞ SMS Autoresponder

➞ And More…

MessageBird SMS Provider for texting and marketing

3. Message Bird

Message Bird prides themselves on the flexibility they provide through their APIs, such as SMS, Voice, WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, Instagram, Email, and more. The Message Bird platform is powered by over 240 direct-to-carrier connections.

Features:

➞ Verification

➞ Flow Builder

➞ Campaign Builder

➞ Email to SMS

➞ And More…

Sinch SMS Marketing Service

4. Sinch

Sinch is a pioneer in SMS messaging, providing SMS services since 2008. They offer a dynamic range of SMS features, including RCS and MMS to offer an enriched experience.

Features:

➞ 10DLC

➞ Short Codes

➞ Number Lookup

➞ Rich SMS

➞ RCS Messaging

➞ And More…

Vonage SMS API Service

5. Vonage

Vonage is a secure SMS Gateway that provides communication APIs for developers focused on building contact center solutions.

Features:

➞ Private SMS

➞ Customer Notifications

➞ Verify

➞ Reports

➞ Phone Validation

➞ And More…

No code. No Developers. 

Sign up, upload a list, and start sending text messages within just minutes. Get a 14-day free trial with 100 free texts.

BandWidth SMS Solution

6. Bandwidth

Bandwidth is a CPaaS provider and a network operator, which gives you more control and insight over your text messages.

Features:

➞ MMS

➞ Alerts and Notifications

➞ Two-Factor Authentication

➞ SMS Marketing

➞ SMS Surveys

➞ And More…

Telesign SMS API

7. Telesign

Telesign lets you send and receive text messages with their SMS API – over 700 direct-to-carrier routes.

Features:

➞ SMS Messaging

➞ RCS Messages

➞ WhatsApp API

➞ Notifications

➞ Private Messages

➞ And More…

Clickatell SMS Provider

8. Clickatell

Clickatell makes engaging in two-way conversations simple. Clickatell has SMS features for your essential texting needs and focuses its product around 1 on 1 conversations.

Features:

Two Way Chat

Alerts

Notifications

Verification

➞ Learn More…

MSG91 SMS API solution

9. MSG91

MSG91 provides a one-stop-shop API for SMS, Email, and Voice – catering to over 800 networks and 190+ countries.

Features:

Automated Messages

Dedicated Routes

Multi-Language Support

➞ Learn More…

BSG Gateway for SMS

10. BSG

BSG is a multi-channel API platform that enables you to make use of a diverse range of SMS features and integrate them into your existing solution.

Features:

➞ Bulk Messaging

➞ Short Links

➞ One-Type Passwords

➞ SMS Testing

➞ And More…

How do I start using SMS?

You don’t need an SMS API to start texting your customers. Moreso, integrating an API will require help from developers, which, if you don’t have it already, can get pretty expensive depending on what you intend to do.

With CCAI, you don’t need to be a developer to start sending SMS messages to your audience. Sign up for a free account and begin reaching your customers on their mobile phones.

Step 1: Create an Account

1. First, navigate to Cloud Contact and sign up for an account. Here you will have the option to sign in using your email, or sign in using Google, Facebook, or Amazon.

Signing up for an SMS Gateway

2. After you have signed in with your preferred method, you will be asked to read and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Select the box that says, “I confirm that I read and agree to terms and conditions” and click Register.

SMS API Sign up

3. You will be sent an email verification email to verify your account. In the email, click the Confirm Now button.

Email Confirmation

4. After you clicked the button, you will be taken to a page where you will set your password. Set your password and click Create Password

Create password for sms api

5. Next, you will be sent to a page where you will be able to submit your company name, identify which country you wish to send from, and select a phone number. Once you have filled out these details, click Save.

Create SMS Gateway Phone number

5. Next, you will be sent to a page where you will be able to submit your company name, identify which country you wish to send from, and select a phone number. Once you have filled out these details, click Save. Now that your account is set up, you can upload contacts.

Step 2: Upload Contacts

There are two options when uploading contacts on Cloud Contact: Upload a CSV or manually upload contacts.

1. Select Contacts from the left-hand menu then click Create Contact.

Create contacts for texting API

Choose whether you would like to manually upload your contacts or upload a list.

For manual upload:
a. Click Add
b. Enter information
c. Click Save

For CSV upload:
a. Download and check our CSV Template for proper contact upload
b. Click Choose a file and select your list – ensure your list is uploaded in CSV format
c. Click Create

Upload texting api contacts

Now that you have uploaded your contacts, it’s time to get down to business and start sending texts to the contacts that you just uploaded.

Step 3: Send an SMS Campaign

1. Select SMS Campaign in the left-hand menu and click Create Campaign.

Send an SMS with an API

2. Here, you will be able to choose your campaign name, what time you would like the campaign to be sent, and choose between several dynamic tag options. After you have crafted your message to perfection, click Next.

Create a text message campaign

3. Next, you will choose your contacts. You can either upload a list, manually add contacts, or select contacts from your already-uploaded list of contacts. In this example, we will manually upload contacts. After you have uploaded your contacts, you will click Create.

Uploading contacts

4. Before your campaign gets sent out into the world, you will be asked to confirm your campaign. Once you’re sure that your campaign is ready to be seen, click Send Campaign.

Confirm SMS API Campaign

You’ve now sent your first campaign – congratulations!