The 20-year-old text message technology, a simple 160 character yet the most efficient and creative communication method continues to become more popular each year as more and more people are opting for mobile phones. We can’t imagine a world without mobile phones. From ordering products/services to even making payments online, technology has really changed the way how the world operates today.  And in a world where new technological advancements are always taking place, it is interesting to see that SMS marketing has also gotten smarter every year. Let’s see how:

Usually, we all have seen SMS categorising into two:

  • Transactional SMS
  • Promotional SMS

Transactional SMS is used for informative purposes. For instance, to update consumers about their orders, bookings, payment status, and much more.

Promotional SMS is used to push marketing campaign messages; for instance, to notify consumers of a brand’s new products/services, special promotions, discounts, brand updates, among many others.

As the technology evolves, there is another kind of SMS in the market known as the OTP SMS.

OTP (One Time Password) is used to share sensitive information between businesses and their consumers and authenticate user logins and transactions. For example, the bank sends consumers a four or five-digit code on their registered phone number to check the authenticity of the transaction.

Difference between Transactional, Promotional, and OTP messages

First, let’s talk about Transactional SMS and OTP SMS. Overall, there is not much difference between the two as they are both used by businesses to convey informative messages. The main difference is related to the form of technicalities.

A transaction SMS is like “Dear Akash, your order has been shipped, and will reach you within four working days.” On the other hand OTP message is something like “Dear Akash, your OTP code is 9872. This is valid for 5 mins. Don’t share your OTP with anyone”.

Now coming to Promotional messages, as said before, are used to send offers, discounts, new deals, or updates to new and existing consumers. Unlike transactional SMS, promotional SMS can be sent only between 9 am to 9 pm. For instance “Dear Akash, bored on weekends? Don’t worry, we have something for you! Visit our store today and get 30% off on selected products.”

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Let’s see some more difference between Transactional SMS, Promotional SMS, and OTP SMS:

Validation procedure

Transactional SMS and Promotional SMS must be validated to ensure whether the content of the message is right or not. While OTP SMS is not validated before sending as it is used to validate the user. 


Transactional messages and Promotional SMS are informative in nature, and that is why the content should be to the point and user friendly. The content of OTP messages is limited to a set of numeric characters that primarily is one step of 2-factor authentication.

High priority route

OTP SMS is processed under a high priority route compared to Promotional and Transactional SMS as OTPs are extremely time-sensitive, that is why OTP messages expire within a short period of time depending on the brand’s goals.

Minimal response time 

As compared to a Transactional SMS and Promotional SMS, OTP Integration takes lesser time. This is because the validation procedure of a phone number increases the time for the transactional and promotional SMS, whereas an OTP is sent to validate the number, thus reducing the time.

DND numbers

Promotional SMS cannot be sent to DND numbers while transactional messages can be delivered to all recipients, even if they have Do-Not-Disturb (DND) status.

SMS Marketing be it via promotional, transaction, or OTP SMS service is going to go a long way. The brands who opt for it timely will definitely be successful in the long run.

To partner with us, click here! Get more about Promotional bulk sms and Promotional sms pack.

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