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2-way SMS in the Philippines

Blasting out SMS messages is a great way to spread the word about your products, services, and promotions. After all—SMS boasts an impressive open rate far above email. There is one catch: a blast is a one-way street. That’s where 2-way numbers come in.

Why you need 2-way SMS

The trends are clear: The people you communicate with—your customers, beneficiaries, and employees—don’t want to be talked to, or marketed to. They want to talk with you. They want you to hear their voice.

That’s what 2-way SMS does: it allows them to take their phones and engage in a conversation with you, your business, and your organization. And that’s a great opportunity!

Engaged customers are loyal customers. The moment you have a conversation, you feel connected, and that’s marketing gold in today’s fast-paced world. A customer is unhappy? Opportunity or danger: with everyone constantly communicating, they give feedback either to you—if you’re willing to listen—or to all of their friends and family.

Have you rolled out a new service and want to get feedback? A quick SMS Survey will give you all the right answers. For that, too, you need 2-way SMS. (Read more about how to conduct an effective SMS Survey.)

How it works

First, we get you a virtual phone number. It’s similar to a Skype number: there is no SIM card, and no phone, but it’s still a real phone number.

With this phone number, you can receive real SMS from any phone in the Philippines, from any network (Globe, SMART, Sun, TnT, they’re all supported!). You can take out your iPhone with a Globe SIM card, text to that number, and your text will instantly show up in our web app.

When we receive an SMS you can use automatic responders to reply, if you want. (Try this below for free!) You could forward every incoming SMS to your CMS. Or you just read the SMS in our web app—and then reply right away from the comfort of your browser.

That’s the other magic that 2-way virtual numbers can do: send texts to any phone in the Philippines. Tens of thousands of SMS, with the click of a button.

How to get virtual numbers for 2-way SMS

How can you get such a number? So easy—sign up for an account and then reach out to our friendly customer support. We’ll get you set up with ease.

Chat with us!

The best thing about our PH numbers is: They are toll-free.

Yes, that means it’s free for people to reply. (No load will be deducted from their phones.) And that increases the likelihood that someone replies: everyone gives feedback more happily or replies to surveys when it’s free to do so.


All you need to know about virtual numbers in the Philippines

  • The number is 8 digits long.

  • It can send/receive SMS to/from all networks (Smart, Globe, Sun, TnT, TM)

  • It is reverse-billed; It’s free for people to text the number (no load / phone credit will be deducted from their phones), but you will pay the cost of each SMS the number receives.

  • The number starts with 22585-xxx (e.g., 22585123).
  • It’ll take up to 48 hours to order the virtual number for you and have it ready in your account.
  • While it’s free for people to send an SMS to your number (i.e., no load will be deducted from their phone), Smart users (incl. Sun and Talk ‘n Text) need to have a minimum of 1 peso in load to be able to text the number. Globe users can text the number without having any load.


engageSPARK has 2 types of toll-free numbers in the Philippines

  • Dedicated number – This toll-free number would be yours and yours only; every SMS sent to the toll-free number would come into your account. No other organizations will use this toll-free number. The costs are as follows:
    • $50 setup fee for the number

    • $150 monthly fee for the number

    • $0.02 per SMS you send from the number

    • $0.02 per SMS the number receives

  • Shared number – This toll-free number is shared by multiple organizations and can be used effectively both for surveys and lead generation. But, there are some limitations. The shared toll-free number is time-window-based:

When you send an SMS to a contact, it opens a 24-hour window with the contact, where every SMS that the contact sends to the number during that 24-hour window comes to your account. If another engageSPARK customer tries to send an SMS to the same person using the shared number while your 24-hour window is open, then their SMS will fail. Similarly, if you try to send an SMS to a person who is in the middle of a 24-hour session with another engageSPARK client, then your SMS will fail.

Overlap of contacts between organizations is quite rare, so you should expect SMS to succeed without issue; you are unlikely to notice anything out of the ordinary with your shared number.

Note: Every SMS you send restarts the 24-hour window, so if you send an SMS, the contact replies after 1 hour, and then you send another SMS, the 24-hour window will start again. This is good for running SMS surveys.

The shared number comes with a keyword that you can advertise for lead generation, so if someone texts your keyword to the number, you will receive the SMS, regardless of whether you have started a 24-hour window with the contact.

The costs are as follows:

  • $25 setup fee for the number

  • $25 monthly fee for the number (comes with 1 keyword; $20 per additional keyword)

  • $0.02 per SMS you send from the number

  • $0.02 per SMS the number receives


We offer bulk discounts on the per SMS rates.

Have questions or need a little extra help?