The purpose of this article is to help you learn: 

  • What Twilio is used for
  • How to create a Twillio account
  • How to set up Twilio for third parties
  • How to link Twilio to BookingKoala
  • How to set up a Twilio auto-responder


What is Twilio?

Twilio is a customer engagement platform that can be used to route automated communications to your providers, staff, and clients. Twilio is integrated with BookingKoala to help you send out automated SMS notifications.

To set up your SMS notification settings you will first need to create a Twilio account if you do not have one already. Click here to get started with a free Twilio account.


Creating your Twilio Account

Once you have created your Twilio account, you will be sent a message to verify your email address. Twilio will send you an email with a link to click.

After clicking the link in the email, you will also need to verify a phone number for your account.

Enter your phone number and click the blue Verify button to send a verification code to your number.

Once you receive the code, enter it into the box and click Submit

Next, you will be brought to a page where you can select which options to customize your account for your needs.  If you are not sure which settings you'd like, you can always go back and modify your preferences later.

Click the blue Get Started with Twilio button to proceed to your account dashboard.


Setting Up Twilio for Third-Party Integration

Now that your account has been created, you will need to set up a few more aspects before you can link your account to BookingKoala.


Get a Phone Number

First, you will need to get a phone number to send your automated SMS messages.  To get a Trial Number for a free Twilio account, click the blue Get a Trial Number button under the "Project Info" section. A "trial number" in Twilio can send messages and make calls to verified numbers, and all messages will include a note that says it is coming from a "Twilio trial account".  

If you are ready to proceed with a paid Twilio subscription (with no restrictions on how to use your number), scroll down to the "Third Party User Guide" and click the blue Get a Number button.

Once clicking either of the Get a Number buttons, a pop-up window will display a phone number. If you'd like, you can select a different number by clicking the link "Search for a different number".

Click the red Choose This Number button to add the number to your account.  

A pop-up will confirm your new phone number has been added. Click "Done" to go back to your dashboard.  


Create an API Key

The next component you will need to link your account to BookingKoala is an API key. To generate a new API key, go to the top menu and click:

Account > API Keys

At the bottom of the page, click the red "Authenticate to make changes button" and enter your password to proceed.  

On the API Keys page, click the blue "Create API key" button.

A new page will open where you can create your new API key.

  1. Friendly name - Enter a name for the key.
  2. Key type - Select "Main" to create an API key that can manage other API keys, account configuration, and sub-accounts.  

Click the blue "Create API Key" button to generate the new key.  Once the key has been generated, you will see a screen with the key's SID and Secret Key. 

Check the box next to "Got it! I have saved my API key SID and secret in a safe place to use in my application", then click "Done" to go back to the API keys page.


Connecting Twilio to BookingKoala

Now that you have created a phone number and API key, you can connect your Twilio account to enable SMS messages. In your Bookingkoala dashboard, go to:

Settings > Notifications > General

 Scroll down to the "SMS Settings" section at bottom of the page.

Then, open your Twilio dashboard and scroll down to the Account Info section.

  1. Account ID - Use the "copy" icon at the far right end of the box to copy and paste your Twilio account ID (or "SID") into the first box in BookingKoala.  Your account ID will always begin with "AC" and then a long string of numbers and letters.  

    You can also find your account ID by going to Account > Manage Account > General Settings in Twilio.

  2. API key - Copy and paste the Auth Token into the box that says "API Key".  
  3. Phone no. - Copy and paste your phone number into the third box. 

    • Make sure your phone number is entered exactly as it is pictured under "My Twilio phone number".  Enter "+" plus your country code followed by the rest of the phone number.
      • For example, "+15672299756" is correct.
      • "15672299756" is incorrect.  
      • "5672299756" is incorrect. 
      • "+1(567)2299756" is incorrect.
      • "+1-567-229-9756"is incorrect.

        You can also find your phone number by going to Phone Numbers > Manage > Active Numbers in the left side menu in your Twilio dashboard.

Once you have entered each piece of information into the boxes, click the blue "Save" button to connect your Twilio account.

You will see a green system notification letting you know that your Twilio app has been enabled successfully! You are now ready to begin sending out SMS notifications from your BookingKoala account.  


Setting up a Twilio Auto-Responder

If you are using Twilio to send out automated text messages to your customers, providers, or even yourself, you may also want to set up an auto-responder just in case someone replies to your text message.

Twilio put together this guide to help you set the responder up.  Click here to visit the guide.

Once you set the auto-responder, a message will automatically be sent back to anyone who replies to a notification.

For example, you can set up an auto-response that says:

We cannot be reached at this number. Please call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email us at XXXX@XXXX.COM – Team BookingKoala.