How Promotional SMS is Different From Transactional SMS

How Promotional SMS is Different From Transactional SMS

Many businesses these days use SMS to communicate with their customers. SMS or Short Message Service is the most viable communication channel that allows businesses to communicate with their customers directly in a simple and actionable manner. Some of the key reasons why businesses prefer using SMS as a service channel include:

  • The reliability of SMS messaging
  • Texts are quick 
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Results can be analyzed quickly

In all, SMS as a service is efficient, easy to set up and use, and usually has an immediate impact on responses and sales opportunities. 

Benefits of SMS text messaging for businesses

There are several benefits of using SMS text messaging for your business:

  • Develop better brand loyalty
  • Attract new customers
  • Improve customer retention
  • Facilitate immediate communication
  • Increase overall sales
  • Offers a profitable ROI

Types of SMSs

Text messaging has surpassed the use of direct calling. As per a report by mobile squared, 90% of text messages are opened and read within 3 minutes. Being a marketing tool, SMS has certainly grown in popularity. In recent years, many businesses have started to adapt and optimize SMS for use as a service tool.

SMSs are generally classified as:

  • Transactional SMS 
  • Promotional SMS

Let’s know the difference between promotional and transactional SMS as a service. 

Promotional vs Transactional SMS

Promotional SMS

A Promotional SMS is a short message service that is used for sending marketing and sales messages with an intent to drive new or repeat business. Businesses use promotional SMS services to keep their prospects and customers up-to-date regarding new offers, deals, or discounts. When used with the right message and frequency around key promotional campaigns, businesses can be assured of high engagement and response rates. Promotional messages are delivered only to opt-in and non-DND numbers and are generally sent between 9 am to 9 pm.

As compared to an email message that is usually responded to in 90 minutes, SMS are generally responded to within 90 minutes. For businesses that are running marketing campaigns and require quick customer action, SMS is perhaps the best channel to use. 

Reasons to use promotional SMSs

Here are some of the key reasons why do businesses use promotional SMS as a service:

  • It encourages prompt action: SMS notifications generally show the whole content of the message, allowing customers to view the message at once instead of putting it off to go through it later on. 
  • Increases ROI: To drive significant sales, SMS marketing can bring in the most cost-effective returns as compared to any other platform. 
  • Easy to customize: Businesses can easily customize SMS messages to target different audiences via user-friendly platforms. 

Businesses can run promotional SMS campaigns during discount or cashback days, flash or clearance sales, product giveaways, category promotion days, seasonal shopping periods, loyalty point promotions, etc. 

Transactional SMS

Transactional SMSs are mostly used to share time-sensitive information or updates for a product or service used by the customers. It can also be used for other purposes. In simple words, any message that is not promotional can be described as a transactional SMS. It may include company policy updates, important alerts, and others that can impact its customers’ relationships with the company. 

Transactional SMSs are generally triggered based on particular actions predefined by the customers and configured in their SMS vendor’s dashboard. 

Reasons to use transactional SMSs

Here are some of the key reasons why do businesses use transactional SMS as a service:

  • Steadfast SMS routes: With transactional SMSs, businesses can ensure uninterrupted delivery rates. 
  • Easy monitoring and tracking: By sending transaction messages, businesses can easily monitor and track different metrics like delivered, read, response rates, etc., in real-time. 
  • Can be sent to DND numbers as well: TRAI-mandated DND rules do not apply to transactional messages. 
  • Value for money: Businesses can send several messages at a low cost during the customer journey. 

Businesses can run transactional SMS campaigns for product order or service communication like confirmations, modifications, delays, etc., for factor authentication and KYC (Know Your Customer), for delivery or downtime notifications, for internal business or partner communications. 

When talking about promotional vs transactional SMS, each type of message serves a different purpose. Businesses just need to follow all the key compliance laws regulated by the concerned authority whether they are sending promotional or transactional messages. An understanding of the key differences between promotional and transactional SMSs and the way both functions can help businesses in making informed decisions about the type of message they should be using to get the best possible results. 

Based on the type of reaction you expect from your customers, your business goals, actions you want to encourage your customers to make, and others, you will be able to decide which type of message would serve your purpose. For instance, if you are looking forward to improving your website traffic, customer engagement and retention, or buying rate, you must choose promotional SMSs. On the other hand, if you are planning to build credibility, build up a positive relationship, or want to update your customers about important details, then transactional SMS is perhaps the best option. 


Some businesses usually use both types of SMS strategies, especially e-commerce businesses. It completely depends upon the purpose of the businesses that allows them to choose the best suitable SMS strategy.

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