The Difference Between Promotional and Transactional Bulk SMS: Why Businesses are Registering 2 Sender IDs in Kenya?

What is Bulk SMS?

Today, the application-to-person SMS messaging services have evolved to include bulk SMS messaging alongside single messages (such as one-time passwords and delivery notifications), interactive messaging (such as group messaging services), and incoming number services (such as mobile marketing campaigns, voting, or information lines).

Bulk SMS messaging is a defining characteristic of business and organizational communications that allows them to use one or more solutions to interact with their audience. Specifically, they can send and receive messages on a mobile phone application, through a software programmer, via the web interface of their website, or by integrating an SMS API with their site. These bulk SMS sender interfaces with the service provider’s SMS

What is the difference between transactional and promotional bulk SMS?

What is the difference between transactional and promotional bulk SMS?


An SMS is a convenient and efficient way to send promotional information to customers. This can be sent to recipients based on the SMS feature available on their mobile devices. The generic SMS services provider brings down the volume of transactions required to achieve ROI.

Through SMS service, businesses can reach out to their target audience easily in different parts of the country without investing any extra money in advertisement. Promotional bulk SMS service is generally used for businesses to promote their services and products. To build their brands, marketing teams may market the products/services in a unique way and also generate awareness around their products.

Transactional SMS is an efficient way to keep in touch with customers about order and reservation alerts, information messages, and more. Promotional SMS is a marketing tool that can be used to send promotional offers and sales messages only to customers who opt-in, or if they are not on the Do Not Disturb list.

Why do businesses register for two sender IDs?

Due to this registration procedure, customers don’t find it compulsory for receiving promotional SMS messages and they also don’t get the spam SMS if they register for the promotional sender ID. Under this practice, businesses do not have to send promotional SMS only to customers but also send the same messages to those customers who aren’t registered for a promotional sender ID.


Therefore, it can also reduce the number of spam SMS sent to the consumer. In the marketing industry, the most effective way of targeting the market is through promotional advertising. Promotional messages are sent only to your prospect/consumer to meet the requirement of his need or interest.

How does a business decide which type of SMS to use?

Businesses must take into consideration when and where they want to send SMS messages. While transactional messages are sent only to customers who have opted in for them, promotional messages can be sent to anyone. A business should assess the need for each type of message based on the potential customer’s preferences and habits.

For example, if you know that many customers have opted in for promotions, then sending promotional SMS may be a good idea. On the other hand, if you know that the majority of your customers are unaware of how to respond to SMS, then sending transactional SMS may be a better way to go. Which device should your business use for promoting your business? Generally, marketing efforts should focus on smartphones, and on an Android device at the minimum.

What are the best practices in sending SMS messages to customers?

  1. Use of the same marketing and sales team to send out promotional SMS, and transactional SMS. 2. Transactional SMS should be avoided if the recipient does not have a pre-existing relationship with the company. 3. Marketers and the sales team should generate digital IDs for all of the recipients. This will enable them to track the recipients’ activities to better understand their consumption pattern and service needs. Who should send business SMS?


In my view, the only way to describe the differences between bulk SMS marketing and commercial SMS is in the context of what you want to accomplish, what you want to achieve, what you are willing to pay for the service, what you are comfortable with when it comes to ROI and what you are not.

Bulk SMS can help you close business deals, promote your services, update your website or store and help you manage your customer profile. However, you have to first define and understand the value you are trying to create and what you are willing to pay for it.