Build and Test Bots for Free with TextIt

We understand that channel costs can be an obstacle for anyone looking to build and test chatbots and messaging applications with SMS and IVR functionality. That’s why we cover your first 1,000 messages with no financial obligation. Given so many options, you should be able to evaluate your bot at no cost. Whether you’re conducting a pilot or testing your application yourself, you can use this guide to send SMS with any channel for free.

SMS Channels

SMS channels deliver messages on behalf of your account. They include aggregators, the TextIt Android application and carriers themselves.

When using the TextIt app, all you need is an Android phone with our app installed and a SIM card. If you have an unlimited texting plan, testing your bot with our app won't cost you anything extra. To add your phone as a channel, navigate to the channel claim page, select ‘Android Phone’, and follow the steps provided. By contrast, aggregators offer virtual numbers which connect to your app and send messages on its behalf. Twilio has a great trial service, and offers virtual numbers in the following countries:

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Brazil

  • Canada

  • Costa Rica

  • Croatia

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Hong Kong

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Ireland

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Lithuania

  • Malaysia

  • Mexico

  • Nexmo

  • Norway

  • Philippines

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Russia

  • Singapore

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • United Kingdom

  • United States

Another option is an international number, which can be used to deliver messages in most countries. You can use this guide to enable international permissions for your Twilio account and try global messaging for free. 

Getting Started with Twilio 

1. When you sign up for a your free Twilio Trial, you’ll be asked to verify your personal phone number. This is an important security step that is mandatory to trying Twilio.

2. Head here to add your first Twilio phone number.

3. A new Twilio number will be generated with its capabilities (Voice, SMS, or MMS) displayed below it.

4. If the number doesn’t have the capabilities you are looking for (some numbers do not have all three capabilities), you can click the 'Search for a different number' link to find a number that better suits your needs by the country or capabilities.

Twilio_Console_-_Phone_Numbers_Getting_Started

5. Be sure to verify any non-Twilio phone number before sending or receiving any SMS messages to/from it.

Development Tips

Use these tips to get the most out of your Twilio trial!

Phone Numbers

  • Twilio allows one number per trial account. To get a different phone number than the one Twilio assigned you automatically, you need to release the current number you have on the numbers page first.

  • Phone numbers in Beta are made available to trial accounts. Check out this article on international numbers and their capabilities to find out which numbers are currently in Beta.

  • If you upgrade your account, your trial number will be carried over and charged monthly according to current Voice or SMS rates.

  • If your phone number is unused in your trial account for more than 30 days, Twilio will remove it. 

SMS

  • You will be able to send SMS from your Twilio SMS-enabled number, but not from your verified personal number. This rule will also apply after the trial.

  • Alphanumeric Sender IDs cannot be used with trial accounts.

  • When you send an SMS from your free trial phone number, it will begin with “Sent from a Twilio Trial account”. This message will be removed once your account has been upgraded.

  • You may be eligible to use Global SMS on your trial account. Find out more here.

Voice

  • Be sure to verify any non-Twilio phone number first by having Twilio place a verification call to it. This is an extra security measure that Twilio removes once you’re calling from an upgraded account.

  • There are a limited number of countries your Twilio account can make calls to. Upgraded accounts have the ability to enable permissions to call almost any country from your Twilio app.

  • Trial Accounts can only use either your account’s Twilio number, or a Verified Caller-ID, as the Caller-ID/From number when making outgoing calls.

  • Calls to and from your free trial phone number will play a short trial message before your TwiML runs.

  • Calls are limited to 10 minutes.

Social Media

Social media channels, which include Facebook MessengerTelegram and Twitter, are free!

Zapier

You can can use our Zapier app to integrate your bot with other services. Once you've clicked the invite link, you can use a trial Zapier account to setup your integrations. 

Questions? Comments? Let us know; we love hearing from you. 

Follow us on Twitter to interact with a chat bot built with TextIt, or create a free account to build your own. You'll be sending messages in minutes! Get in touch anytime with any questions, comments, or suggestions.