Mapping a Richer Customer Experience Through Multimedia Messaging

May 28, 2019 Sophie Vu

This article originally appeared on TotalRetail on February 18th, 2019.

How hungry would you be for a cheeseburger if I told you it was available right around the corner? How much more enticing would it be if I showed you an irresistible image of that same cheeseburger? Salivating yet? With multimedia messaging service (MMS), I can do just that. MMS is a massive step in the right direction for brands to show their customers exactly what they want to see. Here’s some advice on how retailers can leverage MMS to its full potential.

First, a Disclaimer: Don’t Drop Everything Else

I’m a firm believer in using a range of channels to reach your target audience, so before I dive into all of the benefits MMS has to offer, I’ll remind you not to drop outreach in other channels entirely. As retailers know all too well, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting shoppers into the store. Therefore, use MMS for what it’s designed for, and don’t try to widen its driving lane. Email, SMS, push notifications and other channels serve their distinct purposes and should be wrapped tightly into your mobile engagement strategy as well.

But here’s why I’m excited about MMS: According to Marketo, the channel clocks a 15 percent average clickthrough rate, boosting customer engagement for brands. It also garners 20 percent higher campaign opt-ins than SMS, and subscribers are eight times more likely to share MMS content on social networks.

Furthermore, MMS messages give marketers a blank canvas. While SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, MMS has no character limit and image count per message. Marketers, the world is your oyster with this technology!

Related story: Mobile Personalization: The Secret Sauce of Customer Engagement

MMS’ Key Differentiators

How are these clickthrough rates and opt-in figures attained? Here are some of MMS’ key differentiators that help consumers engage with the brands they love:

  • Offers and promotions: According to our 2018 U.S. Mobile Consumer Report, 61 percent of people subscribe to mobile messaging because they want access to coupons and exclusive offers — take advantage of that! By sending a redeemable 20 percent off coupon to mobile subscribers, for example, brands can boost sales from an eager audience.
  • Product images and video content: With MMS, brands can now share photos of their products to help nudge consumers in the right direction. Think: cheeseburger — anything to help people engage deeper. Furthermore, according to video marketing company WireBuzz, viewers of video content retain 95 percent of the message when they watch it in a video, compared to just 10 percent when they read it in text.

Your MMS Messaging 5-Step Checklist

So how should brands execute in this channel and see their engagement soar? Here’s a five-step checklist to follow for the next time you send off a MMS campaign:

  1. Make your branding consistent. Like marketing through any other channel, stick to images and text that ultimately complement your brand. For instance, if you’re sending a holiday offer through MMS, make sure the visual and textual themes used are consistent throughout the other channels you use. This is particularly important in-store, as consumers can recognize the campaign as soon as they walk in the door.
  2. Choose the right visuals. MMS leverages videos, photos and gifs, so make sure you’re including content that's going to grab consumers’ attention. Play around with different options for each message, then take a look at open and redemption rates to understand which visuals work best.
  3. Keep the message digestible. The unlimited character allowance of MMS is great, but don’t go crazy — keep your messages short and palatable. You want consumers to understand the message quickly so they can act upon it.
  4. Interconnect your channels. You have a fantastic channel at your disposal in mobile wallet: use it! If your MMS offer can get sent directly to the customer’s mobile wallet, it’s more convenient for them to redeem it in-store.
  5. Give a call to action. Subscribers need to know what you expect them to do after reading the text. Do you want them to click to redeem, add an offer to their mobile wallet, visit a store to save, click to sign up for mobile messaging? Give them a clear action to take.

MMS is a valuable channel for retailers to get consumers into their stores. The market is shifting drastically towards richer communication between brands and consumers. Shoppers now expect their favorite stores to be available and adept at communicating through channels they’re most comfortable using. Follow these tips to boost your engagement and drive sales!

About the Author

Sophie Vu

Sophie Vu is the Chief Marketing Officer at Vibes. With more than 18 years’ experience growing and leading innovative tech companies, Sophie has a strong pulse on the current and emerging market landscape.

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