Skip to main content

Boost Engagement with Transactional SMS

Unlock the potential of transactional SMS to drive engagement and customer retention. Discover best practices and tips for crafting effective messages.

Don't you love how easy it is to take advantage of a sale on your favorite products when the offer is sent directly to your phone? Isn't it great to get a discount code in a text message? Even a reminder that a bill is coming due soon at least saves you late fees.

For years, we've been receiving photos and social media updates from our friends on our phones. We all have enough good experiences with SMS that it comes as no surprise that TechJury says that SMS messages have a 98 percent open rate. When you get a text message, there's close to a 100 percent chance that you will read it before a day has passed. And now we get messages from our favorite brands by SMS, too.

Whether it is a notice that your request has been received or your purchase is en route to you or your package has been delivered, or it's a product announcement or just a thank-you for your order, you have engaged with a business—and a brand—through SMS marketing.

An SMS campaign can boost your customer engagement, too. Every digital marketer should be interested in transactional SMS because it is a highly effective and efficient way to communicate with customers and prospects.

So, why is SMS marketing so effective?

  1. Reduce costs. SMS stands out as a particularly attractive communication channel, particularly when compared to traditional marketing channels such as print or broadcast advertising.
  2. Boost your open rates. SMS messages have a much higher open rate compared to automated emails or other communication channels. What this means for marketers is that they can be confident that their messages will be seen and read by their intended audience.
  3. Make sure your messages are timely. Transactional messages provide timely and relevant information to customers. This helps to increase engagement and drive conversions. For example, an e-commerce business can send text messages to customers with order confirmation and delivery updates. They help to reduce customer anxiety and build trust.
  4. Create opportunities for automation. Transactional messages can be automated, Digital marketers can save time and resources by sending messages automatically based on specific triggers or events. This increases efficiency and reduces costs.
  5. Create opportunities for personalization. Text messages can be personalized based on customer data to improve engagement and drive conversions. For example, a travel company can send personalized text messages to customers with flight updates and recommendations based on their travel history.
  6. Help you stay compliant with state, federal, and international regulations. Transactional SMS messages are subject to strict regulations and guidelines. This means that marketers can be confident that they are sending messages in compliance with relevant laws and regulations/
  7. Saves you time. You can add a sixth benefit of SMS messaging as part of your multiple marketing channels, if you choose the right platform. Mailchimp is simpler than Postscript and far less intrusive than calling your customers on the phone.

Transactional messages offer a powerful way for digital marketers to communicate with customers and prospects in a timely and relevant way.

By leveraging the high open rates, automation, personalization, and compliance features of transactional SMS, marketers can improve engagement, drive conversions, and build stronger relationships with their audience.

What is transactional SMS?

Transactional SMS is a type of text message you send to your customers or users with important information or updates related to their transactions or interactions with a business or organization. These messages are typically automated. They are triggered by specific actions or events, such as purchase confirmation, password reset, or appointment reminders.

Typically, transactional text messages go to individuals who have already opted-in to receive messages from a business or organization. Transactional messages are considered to be non-promotional in nature. They are intended to provide timely and relevant information to the recipient, often in real-time, and can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

We all get transactional messages all the time. Every time you get order confirmations or delivery confirmations on your phone, you are getting a transactional SMS message. Appointment reminders, password reset notifications, account balance alerts, and updates to flight and train schedules all come under this definition.

Boosting engagement with transactional SMS is a great way for you and your organization to improve your overall customer experience and build stronger relationships with your customers.

Providing timely and relevant information through text messages increases customer satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of missed appointments, abandoned shopping carts, and other negative experiences.

Transactional SMS messages can also help businesses to streamline their operations and reduce costs associated with manual customer outreach.

Automating transactional communications frees up staff time and resources so you and your staff can focus on other tasks and improve your overall efficiency along with all the other things you do in your multichannel campaigns.

An important distinction between transactional and promotional SMS

Transactional SMS and Promotional SMS are two types of SMS marketing campaigns that differ in their purpose and legal regulations.

Regulations for transactional SMS

Transactional SMS are messages that are sent to customers with the purpose of providing them with information related to a transaction they have initiated.

Examples of transactional SMS include confirmation messages, OTP (One-Time Password) messages, and account balance updates. These messages are usually sent in response to a customer action or request, and are generally not promotional in nature.

Transactional messages are allowed to be sent 24/7. They can be sent to both DND (Do-Not-Disturb) and non-DND registered users. They are also allowed to be sent without the prior consent of the customer, as they are considered necessary for the customer to complete a transaction.

Regulations for Promotional SMS:

Promotional SMS, on the other hand, are messages that are sent with the purpose of promoting a product or service to customers. These text messages are sent to a large group of customers. They usually contain information about discounts, sales, or new products/services. Promotional SMS can only be sent to customers who have given prior consent to receive such messages, and cannot be sent to DND-registered users.

Promotional text messages are subject to certain regulations. These include restrictions on the time of day they can be sent, and the content of the message. For example, promotional SMS cannot be sent before 9:00 AM or after 9:00 PM, and must include an opt-out option for customers who no longer wish to receive such messages.

Tips for creating effective transactional text messages

Are you wondering what are the characteristics of the best SMS marketing campaigns? Here are some tips for optimizing your efforts to use SMS as part of your multichannel marketing strategy.


Personalization is key to creating an effective transactional SMS message. Use the recipient's name and other relevant information to make the message feel personalized and relevant. You'll improve engagement and build trust with your audience.

Timing and frequency

The timing and frequency of transactional text messages have a major impact on engagement. Send messages at a time when your customers are most likely to be receptive to them. Avoid sending too many messages too frequently. Consider the customer's time zone, preferences, and the type of message you are sending to optimize timing and frequency.


Include clear call-to-actions (CTAs) in your transactional SMS messages. Make it clear what you want the recipient to do next, and make it easy for them to take that action. Use action-oriented language that they will find easy to understand and follow.


Keep your messages short and to the point. Avoid using complex language. Don't include too much information in a single message. Make sure that every message is clear and easy to understand at a glance.


Use your branding consistently throughout your transactional text messages. This will help you build brand recognition. It will reinforce your messaging. Include your company name, logo, and other branding elements to help customers associate the message with your business.


Follow up with customers after they have taken a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service. This can help build customer loyalty and drive repeat business. Consider sending a thank-you message or offering a discount on future purchases to incentivize repeat business.

Test and optimize

Test different variations of your promotional SMS messages to see what works best. Use A/B testing to compare different messages and optimize for engagement over time. Pay attention to metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement and optimize your messages accordingly.

Integrating transactional SMS messages into your existing marketing strategy can help you improve customer engagement, increase efficiency, and drive conversions.

By leveraging the personalization, timing, call-to-actions, conciseness, branding, follow-up, and testing tips outlined above, you can create effective transactional SMS messages that resonate with your audience and support your business goals.

Integrate transactional SMS with existing strategies

By now, you have started seeing the ways that SMS can help you promote your products and engage with your customers. SMS message marketing can help you ramp up your marketing campaigns as you reach your customers directly. SMS marketing on a trusted platform guarantees that you will reach your audience with messages that are both personalized and efficient.

Mailchimp offers a suite of tools and services that can help you integrate promotional SMS messages into your overall marketing strategy.

In addition to email marketing, Mailchimp offers SMS marketing automation, which allows you to create and automate personalized SMS messages based on triggers and customer data. With Mailchimp's A/B testing and reporting features, you can test and optimize your transactional SMS messages to improve engagement and drive conversions.

Mailchimp also offers powerful CRM tools that can help you manage your customer data and track customer interactions across different channels, including email and SMS. By integrating promotional messages with your existing customer data and marketing automation tools, you can create a seamless and effective customer experience that drives results.

Integrating transactional SMS messages with your existing marketing strategy can help you reach customers where they are and deliver timely and relevant information that supports your business goals. With Mailchimp's suite of tools and services, you can leverage the power of transactional SMS messages and take your marketing to the next level.

Share This Article