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Using Your Own SMS Provider

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About Using Your Own SMS Provider

With SMS distributions, you can send surveys or survey links directly to your respondents’ phones through text. Many customers elect to use Qualtrics’ preconfigured setup, but if your company has a preexisting relationship with an SMS provider, you can use that to send SMS distributions in Qualtrics instead.

Attention: If you are using your own SMS provider, information on message costs will not be tracked in Qualtrics. All messages will be reflected with zero cost in the Qualtrics user interface. To get an accurate cost of your messages, please consult with your provider (e.g., Twilio).
Qtip: Regardless of the provider you use, the steps to send SMS distributions are the same. Once you’re finished with your provider setup, see the SMS Distributions support page.
Qtip: If you haven’t finished configuring your SMS provider, SMS traffic may continue to be processed by the Qualtrics supported SMS system.

Required Admin Setup in Qualtrics

Qtip: You must be a Brand Administrator to complete the steps outlined on this section.
  1. SMS distributions are an add-on feature not included in the standard Qualtrics license. Make sure your license has SMS. You can confirm this with your Customer Success Representative.
  2. Contact your Customer Success Representative and ask them to send you the plugin for your chosen SMS provider. The providers we currently support include:
    • Twilio
  3. Log into your Qualtrics account.
  4. Use the navigation menu to go to Admin.
    using the navigation menu to go to admin, and then navigating to extensions
  5. Click Extensions.
  6. Find the extension for your chosen SMS provider.
  7. Click the name of the extension.
  8. Click Add an account.
  9. Fill out all the fields required to connect your account to Qualtrics. See a guide for Twilio fields.
  10. Follow these steps and select Give access to all users.
    Qtip: You must give access to all users in the steps described here. If you’d like to restrict access for certain users in your license, try editing user or group permissions. The permission “Use SMS Distributions” controls who can distribute through SMS.
Qtip: You can only have one active Twilio connection with Qualtrics at a time. If you add multiple Twilio connections in Qualtrics, Qualtrics will choose the first one in the list to connect to.
Qtip: If you want to change any of the details of a connection (including the sender number or ID), you will need to create a new connection and delete the old one.


This section describes steps to take to connect your Twilio Account to Qualtrics.

Qtip: We recommend using a Twilio SubAccount, if possible.

Steps in Qualtrics

Have a Brand Administrator complete the Required Steps in Qualtrics.

These are the fields your Brand Administrator will need to fill out to connect a Twilio account.

Picture of fields in Qualtrics

  • Name: Enter any name that will help you later identify what this connection is / what it’s for.
  • Account SID: Twilio Account SID used for API access. You can find this on the dashboard after logging into Twilio.
  • Auth Token: Twilio Auth Token used for API access. You can find this on the dashboard after logging into Twilio.
  • Phone Number, Sender ID or Twilio Messaging Service ID: The number or ID that will be used as the ‘FROM’ number when sending an SMS message. This may be one of the following:
    • A specific number, e.g., +135312345678. This must be a number purchased in your Twilio account. Always include a plus sign ( + ) and the country code at the beginning of the number.
      Qtip: You can also use short codes. See Twilio’s documentation for more details.
    • An Alphanumeric senderId, e.g., Qualtrics. Please note this must be set up in Twilio to be supported. Please see Twilio’s documentation.
    • A Twilio Messaging Service ID. Please see Twilio’s documentation on Messaging Services. Messaging Service Ids start with MG and are found under the Properties section of the Messaging Service tab after logging into Twilio.
      Properties tab in Twilio

      Qtip: The Twilio Messaging Service ID gives you the most control over regional numbers and smart routing.
Qtip: Don’t forget to give the correct users on your license access to the Twilio extension. Follow the steps on Determining Who Can Use an Extension Account.

Steps in Twilio

You will need to set up webhooks for your numbers or messaging services. Please see additional information on webhooks from Twilio here.

Qtip: Qualtrics will set the status callback URL on each request of a message. If you wish to enable 2-way SMS (Interactive SMS), you must set up a message callback URL so Qualtrics will receive and process responses to an invite.
Warning: If you are using an alphanumeric sender id, opt out words will only opt the respondent out of your Twilio number distributions, not the Qualtrics contact list / directory. Please note that many countries have strict laws around allowing respondents to opt out of distributions. If you are using an alphanumeric sender id, it is therefore important that you include some sort of opt-out link inside the survey itself; please note that the piped text opt out link will not work inside a survey.

Configuring Webhooks

The URL for your webhook takes the following form. Note that several parameters must be edited with information from your Qualtrics license / brand.


The method should be HTTP/POST.

Configuring Webhooks for Numbers

To configure the webhook in Twilio for a number:

Showing the Twilio page described in the steps below

  1. Select Manager Numbers.
  2. Got to the Active Numbers section.
  3. Select the number you wish to configure.
  4. Under the Messaging header, choose to configure with Webhooks.
  5. Set the message to Webhook, set the URL to the following, with the < > and everything inside replaced with you organization’s parameters:
  6. Ensure it is marked as a HTTP/POST method.
  7. You can also specify the backup URL (what to do if “Primary handler fails”) to be the same URL and method.

Configuring Webhooks for a Messaging Service

If you have configured your numbers to use a Messaging Service, you’ll add webhooks differently than you would for a single number.

In the Twilio Console:

Twilio page described in the steps below

  1. Select Programmable Messages.
  2. Select the Messaging Service you wish to configure or create a new one. Please see the Twilio Support documentation for more details.
  3. When you have selected your Messaging Service, select the Integration section.
  4. You must configure the Incoming messages to include the URL above with your organization parameters.
  5. Ensure it is marked as a HTTP/POST method.
  6. You can also specify the backup URL to be the same URL and method.