Did you realize that when it comes to text messages, there are actually two kinds?
SMS, or short message service, involves text-only messages.
MMS, or multimedia messaging service, involves not only text but also photos, videos, and GIFs or images.
Consumers are embracing MMS in droves. Now any text they send can include emojis or GIFs for fun, a map to show their location, or even an audio file. Texters can also send and receive money using MMS.
From a business perspective, MMS takes text message marketing one step further, allowing brands to better engage their audience through different types of media.
Why MMS is Superior for Mobile Marketing
If you’ve seen positive results using just SMS for your text message marketing, you might wonder why you should expand into MMS. Well actually, there are some pretty compelling reasons to do so.
First of all, SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Anything longer than that will be broken off into a subsequent message, which can make for a choppy reading experience for your audience.
MMS, on the other hand, has no limitations for characters, which means if you need 200 characters to talk about your promotion or announcement, it’s all streamlined into a single text.
While 77% of Americans own smartphones, that still leaves a sizeable portion of cell phone users who don’t have smartphones or who don’t subscribe to data plans. The great news is that MMS messages are sent over a cellular network rather than through a data plan, so you can still connect with your subscribers who don’t have data or smartphones.
People sometimes ignore push notifications or don’t open their apps on a regular basis, but they do open texts. In fact, 90% of people open a text within three seconds of receiving it, giving you the opportunity to prove your value almost instantly.
From a consumer perspective, text only can sometimes be unappealing. We read quickly, so if the value of a text from a brand isn’t immediately apparent, the text may be deleted. But a visual element enhances consumers’ understanding of a promotion or offer. With a glance, they can see that their favorite coffee shop is offering them buy one get one free lattes in the afternoon. If they want more information, they can click on the offer to redeem or learn more.
How Brands are Using MMS for Text Message Marketing
We keep seeing more innovative ways that brands are using MMS as part of their overall mobile marketing strategy.
Airlines will send a boarding pass to customers via text so that they can easily open it and scan to check in. There’s no need to download yet another app to get a digital version of their tickets (the trees say thank you for saving them).
Local news stations or city organizations can send emergency alerts about weather, traffic, or news and include a video recap or interactive map to click on to see where the weather is.
Banks use MMS to send alerts when funds are low or unusual transactions occur. They may send a screenshot of the account for the subscriber’s reference.
Retailers can send short videos or audio messages with helpful tips or demonstrations on how to use a product.
Restaurants are using MMS to make ordering food delivery as simple as a text and emoji, saving them the trouble of having to log onto a website to do so. They can also send enticing photos of food along with a coupon to urge people to redeem the offer.
Television shows can give subscribers a sneak peek at upcoming episodes with short video clips sent via MMS.
Grocery stores are using MMS to send weekly sales flyers via text. Clicking a link allows subscribers to see the offers that week.
No matter what industry you’re in, MMS offers you the ability to really get in front of your customers and engage them through mobile.