DLT Content Templates Explained: An Insight into Various Types of Texting

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Aayush Bangali

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March 22, 2024

Content Types of SMS in India

Key Takeaways

  1. It is crucial for businesses in India to get DLT registration to maximize their ROI from SMS campaigns in the most efficient manner
  2. There are 4 types of content templates which can be used by businesses in India
  3. The content templates include transactional SMS, promotional SMS, service implicit and service explicit SMS
  4. DLT registration consists of a series of steps to be followed including principal entity registration, SMS header registration etc.
  5. The best practices for content and sending SMS should be adhered to for avoiding any compliance regulations

As you navigate the realm of digital communication in India, understanding SMS regulations in the country DLT content templates is pivotal for compliant engagement with your customers.  
The mandate by India's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) fortifies your messages against spam and ensures they reach recipients rightfully expecting them.

Recognizing the different types of texts, including promotional and transactional, is crucial as you prepare for DLT registration and seek to maximize your message impact while abiding by TRAI's guidelines.

For use cases like SMS verification, you can get started even without any DLT registration. You can simply signup for free or get in touch with the team if you have any custom needs.  

The Four Content Types of SMS in India

Infographic Showing The Four Content Types of SMS in India by Message Central.

In India, the DLT platform categorizes SMS content into four distinct types, each with specific guidelines to ensure compliance and effective communication:

1. Transactional SMS:

Purpose: To convey critical information triggered by the customer's interaction.

Examples: Order confirmations, OTPs for transactions.

DND Numbers: Allowed.

Time Restrictions: None, can be sent 24x7.

Sender ID: Six characters, alphabetic, reflecting the brand.

You can read head to our article on transactional SMS for a detailed explanation.  

2. Service Implicit SMS:

Purpose: To send informational messages that are not marketing in nature.

Examples: Service notifications not covered by service explicit category.

DND Numbers: Allowed.

Time Restrictions: None.

Sender ID: Six characters, alphabetic.

3. Service Explicit SMS:

Purpose: To offer updates on services to existing customers.

Examples: Messages designed to promote or sell products/services.

Consent: Required.

DND Numbers: Not allowed.

Time Restrictions: None.

Sender ID: Six characters, alphabetic.

4. Promotional SMS:

Purpose: For marketing, offers, and sales engagement.

Examples: Sales promotions and special offers.

Consent: Required.

DND Numbers: Not allowed.

Time Restrictions: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sender ID: Six characters, numeric, starting with a numeral for the business category.

We also have a detailed guide on promotional SMS. You can refer to the same.  

Each type of SMS requires a content template with up to five variable inputs, ensuring messages are consistent with the DLT platform's standards. It's crucial to register all message templates on the DLT platform to avoid penalties and ensure messages reach their intended recipients.

Navigating DLT Registration and Template Approval

Navigating the DLT Registration process is a structured journey that ensures your business complies with TRAI's regulations to prevent spam and protect consumer rights. Here's how you can proceed:

Steps for DLT Registration:

1. Principal Entity Registration:

Begin by registering your business or individual entity to obtain a unique Entity ID.

Submit necessary documents like PAN, GST Number, and proof of business identity.

2. SMS Header Registration:

Register a unique Sender ID, which is alphanumeric and up to 11 characters for transactional messages, or 6 numeric digits for promotional messages.

For transactional SMS, choose a nine-character format with the last six representing your brand.

For promotional SMS, an eight-character format is required, with the last five chosen by the sender.

3. Consent Template Approval:

This step is crucial for promotional messages, requiring a template that details the scope of consent and includes opt-out instructions.

4. Content Template Approval:

Register the actual content of your SMS messages, ensuring they match the approved templates exactly.

The template must be descriptive, related to the brand, and follow character limits for variables.

5. Registration Timeframe and Compliance:

The approval process typically takes 3-7 business days.

Once approved, the header can be used with any telecom provider.

Ensure all templates are registered on the DLT platform to comply with regulations and avoid penalties. You can also refer to our guide on DLT registration in India.  

Documentation and Best Practices

Gather identification documents, proof of address, and business registration documents for the registration process.

Align message content with the template ID, avoid syntax errors, and follow the best practices for each message type.

By meticulously following these steps, you can successfully navigate the DLT Registration and Template Approval process, ensuring your messages are delivered effectively and in compliance with TRAI's guidelines.

Best Practices for DLT Registration and SMS Compliance

When registering for DLT and complying with SMS regulations for your SMS campaigns, it is essential to adhere to a set of best practices to ensure successful communication with your customers and avoid penalties. Here are the do's and don'ts for both consent and content templates:

Consent Templates:


  1. Choose relevant short names that are easily recognizable.
  2. Include the brand or product name to establish a clear connection.
  3. Make the scope of consent clear to the customer.


  1. Avoid using generic, invalid, or irrelevant names that could confuse the recipient.
  2. Refrain from using popular brand names that you do not own, as this could lead to legal issues.

Content Templates:


  1. Use recognizable names that align with your brand.
  2. For general messages, use "TEXT" as a placeholder in your template.
  3. Use variable insertion for values to personalize messages while staying within the template's structure.


  1. Do not use the same content template with multiple headers, as this could lead to miscommunication.
  2. Avoid making header selections that are irrelevant to the content template.
  3. Do not select transactional content types for non-banking enterprises, as different rules apply.

Additionally, be mindful of the following to maintain compliance and avoid message rejection:

  1. Avoid extra spaces or editing in the message body, as this can cause the message to be rejected; once a campaign is activated, the message body is frozen and cannot be changed for Direct API notification campaigns.
  2. Ensure that the correct template ID is selected for India codes and that the DLT template has not been removed from the templates list.
  3. Troubleshoot by checking for an associated Entity ID and verifying that the DLT template is still valid.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your SMS campaigns are compliant with TRAI regulations, thereby reducing spam, enhancing customer trust, and maintaining the credibility of your brand.


Through meticulous adherence to the guidelines laid out for transactional, service implicit, service explicit, and promotional SMS, businesses can optimize communication with consumers, ensuring that messages not only comply with the DLT platform's standards but also serve their intended purpose effectively. It's vital to navigate the DLT Registration process with precision, utilizing the distinct content templates that reflect your brand's message while upholding TRAI's mandate to safeguard consumer interests and enhance message credibility.

Don't let the complexities of compliance hold you back—signup for free and take the first step towards streamlining your SMS outreach in alignment with DLT regulations.


Q1. What is a DLT template?

A DLT template is a pre-approved content format that an enterprise must register with a DLT operator for sending communications. These templates can contain variable sections that must be sanctioned by the service provider before being recorded on the DLT system.

Q2. How does the DLT platform function for SMS?

The DLT platform operates on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), a blockchain-based system, designed to reduce SMS spam. Any entity wishing to send bulk promotional or transactional SMS messages to customers is required to register with a DLT system.

Q3. Can you explain DLT communication?

DLT communication involves using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to maintain a secure and transparent record of sender IDs and message templates. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has adopted this advanced blockchain-based technology to help prevent unsolicited and spam communications.

Q4. What is the expected time frame for DLT template approval?

The approval process for a DLT template typically ranges from 24 to 48 hours. Once approved, the sender will receive a template ID from the DLT platform, such as the Jio DLT platform.

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