Twilio is a third-party integration for ministries that wish to have their own dedicated phone number for sending SMS messages. Twilio works for sending voice messages from ChurchTrac as well.
Total Setup Time: 20-40 minutes
**Ministries located outside of the United States will need to use Twilio SMS to send voice or text messages to their people.
To send messages through Twilio, you will need to create a Twilio account. If you do not have a Twilio account, use this link to get started.
Proceed by providing Twilio with basic information for your ministry. You will need to verify your email address as well as a phone number to officially create your account.
Once verified, Twilio will prompt you to tell them about yourself so that you can personalize your Twilio experience. You will be using Twilio for SMS, Alert Notifications, with no code at all, and a 3rd party integration. Be sure to indicate your billing country.
On your Twilio dashboard, select the "Get a phone number" button to have a Toll-Free number assigned to you.
In order to send SMS messages with the ChurchTrac Twilio integration, you will need to upgrade your Twilio account to a paid account. Proceed in selecting the "Upgrade" button to add your payment information. This is found in step 4 of initial setup as seen below.
Your account will need to be funded. Twilio has a minimum of $20 for funding your account. We recommend enabling automatic recharge for your account to avoid having to continuously log into Twilio to add funds.
Now that you have a Twilio number, you can link it to your ChurchTrac Account. From your Twilio Dashboard, you will copy and paste both your Account SID and your Auth Token from Twilio to be entered into ChurchTrac.
In ChurchTrac, go to SETTINGS ADMIN SETTINGS VOICE AND SMS SETTINGS to paste your Account SID and Auth Token from Twilio. Once pasted, select "Validate Twilio Credentials". Your SMS number will appear once the credentials have been validated. This should happen almost immediately.
This is the longest part of the setup process because Churches must follow the same texting guidelines as businesses. Per carrier guidelines, all businesses are required to provide proof of how they are collecting their consumer's consent before sending text messages.
On your Twilio Dashboard, Navigate to Phone Numbers > Manage > Active Numbers. You will then select the "Toll Free Verification Required" link.
Fill out the required information. If your church does not have a website you can use your Church Connect URL as your website URL.
Under the "Opt-in workflow image URLs" section, provide the URL to your opt-in form that you created on your existing website or in Church Connect. Under the "Message Content Section", you must include verbage indicating that people can "Reply STOP to opt-out at any time."
Once completed, your number will then show "Toll free verification in progress". Within minutes, you should automatically receive an email from Twilio letting you know that your toll free verification has been started.
After you have started the verification process of your Twilio number, you are ready to send a test SMS message. Proceed in sending a text message to yourself from ChurchTrac Messaging.
For more info, including steps to apply for this credit, read this post.
When sending/receiving messages with the Twilio Messaging Integration, here are a few solutions to common problems:
If your account has insufficient funds, you will NOT be able to send or receive messages through the Twilio Messaging Integration. Navigate to the "Billing" option on the top right of your Twilio Console to resolve this.
In order to Validate your Twilio Account with ChurchTrac, the proper Account SID and Auth Token need to be pasted into your ChurchTrac "Voice and SMS Settings" configuration. Ensure that there are no added dashes, spaces, or additional characters when you paste your Twilio credentials.
By default, ChurchTrac should automatically insert a messaging webhook into your number configuration. To check this in your Twilio Account, navigate to Phone Numbers Manage Active Numbers. Your messaging webhook should be displayed as "https://www.churchtrac.com/twilio_webhook"
If this webhook is not displayed, edit your webhook by selecting your number and updating the webhook settings under MESSAGING as shown below: