What is the difference between transactional SMS and promotional SMS?

What is the difference between transactional SMS and promotional SMS? by Quora

Answer by Rahul Am:

[Disclaimer: I work for 2Factor SMS Gateway Provider thus below answer may involve references to 2Factor’s offerings]


In India, there are primarily two categories of messages ( as approved by TRAI, Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India )

Promotional Messages:

Typically refers to any message sent for promoting / up-selling / advertising your business.

Such messages are not delivered to users, who have registered under TRAI DND list and are delivered only between 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM to respect user’s sms preferences.

Ex. Promotions announcing offers / discounts

  • “Buy today and get 10% off on order value above INR 350/-”

Ex. Promotions introducing business to potential leads

  • "We are the leading bulk sms providers in India. Try our services at http://2Factor.in

Non-Promotional / Transactional Messages:

Typically refers to, messages sent to users as an acknowledgement to the actions performed by them on your app / website.

Such messages are delivered to users, who have registered under TRAI DND list as well and message delivery takes place 24×7 !

Ex. User placed an order on your website → You sending them Order confirmation message

  • User signed up with you → You sending them one time password (OTP) message
  • User requested you to alert them when XYZ event happens → You sending them alert sms on triggering event X


As you just read correctly, Transactional Messages are delivered to DND users as well (& Businesses think it as a great opportunity to deliver promotional content to larger audience). Sometimes they send promotional messages ( intentionally / UN-intentionally ) via Transactional route, without worrying about its consequences.

To cut short the story, TRAI has a penalty matrix for users violating NCPR / DND guidelines, Penalty amounts vary from INR 25,000/- to INR 2,75,000/- followed by legal prosecution for violating TRAI DND guidelines & it also affects the telemarketer license of the messaging service provider.

So How Do Some Businesses Manage To Send Promotional Messages Via Transactional Route ( Safely )?

This case is referred to as “Opt-In” case.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India’s DND policy,

“You should not send promotional messages to users who are registered under national do not disturb registry, except if they have opted for “

Meaning, if your registered user has accepted opt-in clause mentioned on your website / app / offline signup, then you can send them periodic messages via Transactional route ( under their consent received in opt-in )

( however, if user is not registered, I strongly recommend you to choose Promotional delivery route, which automatically ignores those numbers which are registered against DND list )

In case of an opt-in,

  • You are required to maintain user’s registration details as an opt-in proof, which may be asked by operator when a complaint arises from user for receiving promotional message from you.

I strongly recommend you to go thru below article for quick understanding before going ahead with your promotional campaigns

Things To Consider Before Sending Promotional messages


You may contact us at support@2factor.in or visit us at 2Factor.in and we would be happy to assist from compliance point of view

What is the difference between transactional SMS and promotional SMS?