Transactional Text Messages Explained

As a business owner, you need to follow up with customers to send them notices like order confirmations, welcome messages, renewal reminders, and shipping updates.
Email is the main solution that most businesses use for these types of messages. In emails, messages get buried with competing emails, categorized as a promotional email, sent to the bulk folder, or just ignored by the customer. For this reason, SMS has become one of the most highly adopted trends by companies that require transactional communication.

What are Transactional SMS Messages?

A transaction-based text message is an automated text message created with the purpose of moving current or prospective customers down an often action-based journey.

Unlike SMS for marketing or sales, transactional sms messages are the least invasive kind of communication because the next step prompted to your audience is facilitating a path they were already on. 

The point of transaction texts is to support the audience's journey. You are helping the customer get to the next step or providing valuable information they need to know. This may include purchase order updates, confirmations, documentation before a procedure, or general introductory messaging.

Types of Transactional Text Messages

There are various types of transactional texts that you can utilize for your business. Here's a list to give you an idea of how to support your customers via SMS.
  • Order Confirmation Emails
    Remind customers about their purchase and how much was spent. Shipping and Delivery Updates - Keep customers in the loop. There's no need for them to contact your customer support department for shipping updates.
  • 2-factor Authentication
    For access to accounts that require advanced security. This is typically used for financial companies.
  • Temporary Passwords and Resets
    This can be anything from one-time passwords to the option of resetting their password.
  • Update Reservation Details
    Messages that give customers the option to confirm or cancel bookings, reservations, or appointments.
  • Follow-up Messages
    that allow customers to set up appointments or agree to a call-back so that customer support can get in touch with them at the right time.
  • Onboarding
    Educational messages that help with introductory messaging like onboarding for online subscriptions or memberships.

Reasons for Sending Transactional SMS Messages

There are many benefits of using text messaging for transactional communication over email, phone calls, or voice mail drops.
  1. There's no distraction or competition. With email, you have to compete with other messages in the inbox, the spam filter, and promotional tabs in Gmail. Sounds or vibrations are also used to alert people when they receive text messages.
  2. People are responsive to text messages. Over 90 percent of people read a text within three minutes of receiving it. It also has an open rate of anywhere from 45 to 98 percent compared to the 6 to 20 percent that email gets.
  3. There's no need to log in. With email, people have to log in to their email accounts or click on the email app on their smartphone. This may result in emails getting buried or the customer delaying reading the email.
  4. It's personal without being invasive. Phone calls and voice mail can feel invasive for some people. People prefer text because it's direct and personal but non-invasive. It's simply the perfect communication channel.

Best Transactional SMS Examples

To really understand how transactional text messages work, it's best to learn from real-world examples. Here are the best transactional SMS examples to study:
(855) 397-6679

Hello, this is Astoria Dental here to remind you that you have an upcoming appointment on Monday, February 24th at 2 PM.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call us at (718) 333-1111.

Text STOP to end

A dental office sends out a text three days before the scheduled appointment and a day before the scheduled appointment to make sure the patient doesn't forget about it.
(855) 397-6679

Home Decor Insider:

Thanks for joining our special text announcement list. We'll be sending you another message with our special offer.

Text STOP to end

A retail company that set up an SMS list for customers that want announcements on exclusive discounts and promotions needs to send a confirmation to people that have decided to subscribe. The confirmation will also let them know of an upcoming follow-up SMS promotion.
(855) 397-6679

You have placed an order on for the "iPhone 9 replacement screen". The total of your order is $95 with shipping included.

Your order will be shipped out within 1-3 days. You'll receive a follow-up text message of your order's traking number to stay updated on delivery.

Text STOP to end

An eCommerce store follows up with customers over text to let them know that their order went through. It preemptively addresses the shipping issue to cut down on customers calling their support department.
(855) 397-6679

This is Little Italy here letting you know that you've booked a reservation for four at 6:30 PM today, 2/3/2020

Text back Y to confirm the reservation. Text back N to cancel the reservation. Call (718) 555-8888 to change the details of your reservation.

Text STOP to end

A restaurant needs to follow up with customers that have booked a reservation to ensure that it wasn't done accidentally.

Use Textedly as a Transactional SMS Service

If you're interested in using transactional texting, you need a transactional SMS service to create and manage campaigns.

This is where Textedly comes in.

We are an SMS marketing tool that has customers across many markets and industries. We can help you set up and create winning SMS campaigns. Our platform is the easiest way to send 10 or 10,000 transactional bulk SMS blasts. You can get started with sending transactional texts today by signing up for a free 14-day trial of Textedly.