How to set up a Twilio inbox in Front

Twilio is a cloud communications platform for building Voice & Messaging applications on an API built for global scale. Put simply, they provide you with phone numbers to send and receive SMS and calls.

What Twilio doesn't provide is an interface for these phone numbers, only an API. Also, Twilio does not offer a way to sync messages to Front if they are sent via their API. Front's Twilio integration allows you to receive SMS messages in an inbox in Front, and if you send messages through Front's API, the message will appear in Front as well.

Front allows you to send a single SMS message to 250 contacts at a time.


Step 1

Go into your Settings, select Inboxes, and Add a team inbox.

Step 2

Select SMS.

Step 3

Go to the Twilio website, and log in.

Step 4

You should now be looking at your Twilio console dashboard, which is where you will find your Account SID and Auth Token. Copy and paste those into your Front Twilio settings.

Step 5

Now, we need to retrieve a Phone Number. Going back to the Twilio website, select the # on the side bar. Copy and paste the number you'd like to use into the Front Twilio settings. The format of the number should include the country code and the area code, like this: +1 (123) 456-7890.

Step 6

Click Verify Account. We will then automatically validate these credentials with Twilio. If you receive an error, please double check that you have entered everything correctly.

Your past Twilio history should be imported into Front. If you've used another SMS platform, that portion of the history might be importable via API, but feel free to contact us at team@frontapp.com and we'll take a look.


Notes

  • When the Twilio inbox is set up, Front will automatically import 100 of the most recent messages into your archives.
  • Front and Twilio do not sync two-way.
  • Now that you're using Front to manage your SMS, you can still use another service to manage your calls for the same phone number. Remember to keep the messages request URL we set up for you unchanged or you will not be able to receive your incoming SMS in Front.
  • If you ever experience issues sending an SMS message in Front via Twilio, check the Twilio console for the status of the message you sent. For reference, here's a dictionary of errors and warnings you may experience using Twilio.
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  • Thanks for this. Is it possible to use a rule to trigger an SMS auto response? I have successfully added Twilio to my Front account. 

    Reply Like 1
  • Chris Morris Hi! Yes, this is possible. If you have a rule you want us to take a look at, feel free to email us with the name of the rule you have created.

    Reply Like
  • We use Twilio's Messaging Service to handle multiple numbers for each service. Is it possible to add a Front inbox for each service or add multiple Twilio numbers for one Front inbox?

    Reply Like
  • Tea Nguy Yes, you can add multiple Twilio numbers to Front.

    Reply Like 1
  • Cori Morris Follow up question, is there a limit, or what is the max amount of numbers we can add for one inbox? Some of our Twilio Messaging Services have 30+ numbers. Would it be possible to add the messaging service to an inbox instead of adding each number individually? 

    Reply Like
  • Tea Nguy You can add all 30 numbers as channels, and put all 30 in 1 inbox. There is no limit. But, you must add each one. There's no way to add them in bulk.

    Reply Like 1
  • Cori Morris , we are using long codes, which means Twilio will respond to/manage any SMS opt-out requests. Do you know if there is a way to track opt-out requests in Front as they are received by Twilio?  

    Reply Like
  • Chris Morris The opt-in/opt-out is on Twilio's side. Those messages are treated by Twilio and not forwarded to Front so you can't manage them in Front.

    Reply Like
  • Hi is there a way to edit an inbox's twilio connectio?. Especially the authentication and account sid.

    Reply Like
  • Winston Young Not at this time. You will have to remove the channel and re-add it.

    Reply Like
  • How can I set status callback for messages sent by Twilio? They provide such feature in their API.

    Reply Like
  • Dominik Olczyk Front already sets the status callback for all sent messages so that we know they were successfully delivered and can log any failures.

    Reply Like
  • Cori Morris Thanks you for the reply. How can I set custom status callback url? Is it possible? I need to track message status in my project also.

    Reply Like
  • Dominik Olczyk Unfortunately, Twilio does not support multiple callback URL. It is important that the callback URL is Front's otherwise you will not receive your SMS in Front anymore.
    I would recomment you to use Front's webhook & API to be notified of incoming SMS for a specific channel. You can read about it on https://dev.frontapp.com or if you have questions about it, feel free to contact api@frontapp.com .

    Reply Like
  • Hi,

    I was wondering does the SMS API allow one way messages?

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply Like
  • David Armstrong Are you wanting to block inbound messages? If so, Front will just accept whatever Twilio sends over. You could configure a rule to archive/delete inbound messages. Alternatively, it looks like you can configure your Twilio account to reject inbound messages as stated here: https://support.twilio.com/hc/en-us/articles/223181648-Is-there-a-way-to-block-incoming-SMS-on-my-Twilio-phone-number-

    Reply Like
  • We set up a new Twilio number with this guide but the webhook for inbound SMS on Twilio didn't get set. It isn't mentioned in this guide, and if I'm not mistaken it happened automatically when configuring through Front before. Is there any way to get that webhook for an existing channel / inbox so I can add it to the Twilio #?

    Reply Like
  • Jake T We'd be more than happy to provide that for you! Please email support@frontapp.com so that we can send the webhook to you privately.

    Reply Like
  • Evan Ostroski Thanks Evan, sending an e-mail over now.

    Reply Like
  • Hello, I am experiencing a big problem with Twilio integration. I live in France and when I add a french number bought at Twilio, there is no problem and everything seem fine. I can send and receive messages within Front.

    But when I use a US number, Front allows me to send a SMS... but the message received by the phone is not 'from' the 'bought' number, but from a short number (ie : 36105)... And if I reply to this number, I will never see the answer in Front. 

    What is the problem? Is it temporary?

    Thanks for the help.

    Reply Like
  • Jerome Chouraqui Please email us at support@frontapp.com and we'll try to help with your specific case, though it may have to do with how Twilio is handling your messages. It'll be best to continue the discussion via email so we can look at your actual message logs.

    Reply Like
  • Has anybody had any luck in integrating eg zapier to display the name of the sender in the twilio inbox ? we get alot of messages and always have to look for the customers name in our other inboxes . it would be wonderful if there was a way to match number with a name . any ideas ?

    Reply Like
  • info@3xw.nu Hi there, could you write to us at support@frontapp.com with specifics of your channel and example conversation ID so we can see if there are any solutions we can provide? Thanks! :)

    Reply Like
  • Hi - I use Front to send and receive twillio sms notifications. Love it! Works great!

    I am now trying to set up some notifications that include image attachments (MMS I suppose). Can someone provide some guidance on the code to do this. I can manually create these messages in my Front dashboard ... but want to create some automated notifications that include a photo attachment.

    Twillio has good documentaion on how to do directly with them .... but I want to send from Front, so I have the send / receive history.

    Any tips or documentation appreciated.

    Reply Like
  • Hi Daniel  - this should work using canned responses, but I am experiencing some odd behavior when I test it. I've opened an issue to alert our engineering team so that they can look into it. I will post an update once we have an update!

    Reply Like
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