According to TRAI regulations, SMSes sent by commercial entities are classified into Promotional and Transactional SMSes (official notification by TRAI)

SMSes sent through Exotel API will be transactional if there exists a transactional template that it matches with. All SMSs that don't match with a transactional template are sent as promotional SMS.


There are three steps to sending out transactional SMSs:


  • While getting a new ExoPhone number, choose a 6 alphabet Sender ID that we will send all your transactional SMSes with. All transactional SMSes will be sent using this Sender ID. Choose something that your customers can identify your business with. (Eg. "EXOTEL"). Read more about SMS SenderID.
  • Add specific templates of transactional SMSes for approval on the SMS Settings page in your Exotel portal. We will filter all SMSs based on these templates. If the SMS body (that you send) matches any of these templates, it will be sent as a transactional SMS else, it will be sent as a promotional SMS. 
  • See some examples of transactional & promotional SMS. Then, Request a template.



Few Use cases of transactional SMSs:


  • Welcome SMS-User signing up for an online account to opt for any particular service.
  • Shipping Updates- Status updates shared with the customers about the order deliveries.
  • Appointment Confirmations- To share instant updates on booking details and confirmation.
  • One-Time Passwords (OTPs)- Sending out to OTPs for data security while verifying account sign-ins,           payments, and more.


Key Benefits:


  • Transactional SMSs have a high open rate and a huge customer base of any business prefers receiving this.
  • These can be sent via a 6-character alpha header and no numeric header is needed which is the case for promotional SMSs.
  • Transactional SMSs don't have any restrictions such as they couldn't be sent to DND numbers.