What is the difference between Push SMS and Pull SMS?

Push SMS

An SMS that is sent (pushed) into the inbox of the customer without her/him opting for it is a Push SMS. It has content like offers, alerts, or announcements for any new launch of the product. These SMS are sent via the Promotional route.

Promotional SMS are Push SMS and cannot be sent on numbers with DND (do not disturb) activated. These SMS could only be sent between 9 AM and 9 PM.

Push SMS is the SMS that you tend to push into the inbox of your customer. In a case where you send Push SMS on DND numbers, they can complain about this to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), and you are subjected to consequences if found guilty.


Let’s see this as an example-

The launch SMS that a business sends to the people (including those who have not subscribed to the services) via a promotional route is a Push SMS.


Pull SMS

An SMS that is sent upon users’ subscription (pulled by the customer) is a Pull SMS. It generally has updates, information, and alerts that the user asks for. A Pull SMS is sent via the Transactional route and can be sent on DND numbers, round the clock 24*7.

These are the SMS that the user tends to pull into the inbox of your customer. In the case of DND numbers where you send Pull SMS on DND numbers, the SMS is sent to them and unlike Push SMS the users do not complain to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) as they subscribe to the service themselves.


Let’s see this as an example-

The after-sales delivery updates and service reminders that the business sends to their customers who have bought their product and hence subscribed for the services via transactional route is a pull SMS.


Push vs Pull SMS

The direction of SMS:

  • Push SMS: SMS is directed from the business to the customer’s inbox by the business
  • Pull SMS: SMS is directed into the customer’s inbox by customers

SMS Route:

  • Push SMS: SMS are sent via Promotional route
  • Pull SMS: SMS are sent via Transactional route


For DND Numbers:

  • Push SMS: Cannot send SMS to DND numbers, if sent then might face consequences upon customer’s complaint to TRAI
  • Pull SMS: Can send SMS to DND numbers


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