Now more than ever, people use their phones to connect with the world around them. They share voice and video files, shop, pay bills, and complete many other tasks that weren’t possible a few years ago. As more people connect with each other using their phones, mobile messaging has become an essential part of marketing. One main reason for this growth is mobile messages get your content in front of people quicker than emails. Instead of sending emails that sit inside inboxes for days or even weeks unopened, more companies are sending SMS and MMS messages that are opened within seconds of being received.
However, the terms SMS and MMS are used interchangeably when they’re actually very different processes.
To help you tell the difference between SMS vs. MMS, we’ve put together an overview of what they are, what makes them different, and how to use them in marketing campaigns.
SMS stands for short message service. Messages are text-based and have a maximum limit of 160 characters.
Every single mobile device — smartphone and otherwise — comes equipped with an SMS feature. As a result, SMS is a widely used form of communication. To send an SMS, all you need is the recipient’s phone number. SMS messages, also called text messages, are sent via cell phone networks and are inexpensive to send since they don’t use much data.
SMS is a convenient marketing tool — it’s used within several industries as a quick way to connect with customers. Marketers send promotional content, while utility companies send service notifications. There are many more ways to incorporate SMS into your marketing efforts. We’ll explore examples of this shortly.
Learn more about SMS marketing: How to Increase Conversions with SMS Marketing
MMS stands for multimedia messaging service. These messages are often referred to as text messages, but unlike SMS, MMS messages consist of media, like images, audio files, GIFs, and video.
Because you send media with MMS, the messages are larger compared to SMS. Messages can be a maximum of 500 KB or 1,600 characters. MMS is also sent through cell phone networks, but because of their size, they use more data than SMS messages. As a result, it’s more expensive to send MMS messages.
Despite the cost, MMS messages are an effective marketing tool. The majority of adults are visual learners, so receiving information via MMS appeals to their visual preferences. Whether recipients receive an appointment reminder or promotional offer, a visual message is engaging because of the various types of media you can send.
The main disadvantage of MMS is that not all cell phones are MMS-enabled. As a result, MMS messages appear as text when they’re sent to phones that can’t accept MMS messages. This drawback limits who can receive MMS messages — even when the sender has a phone number.
People in the UK check their cell phones every 12 minutes during the day. This constant connection with their phones gives you an opportunity to engage with your customers. SMS and MMS are very different applications, and with them, you have lots of options on how to interact with your customers. But how you interact with them depends on the types of campaigns you send.
Here are some ideas of the types of campaigns you can send using SMS and MMS:
Since SMS is text-based, use it to send campaigns that include short, simple messages:
To help you create more custom messages, here are more ideas of SMS marketing messages to send: 16 Essential SMS Marketing Examples [Including Rich Media]
Since you can send media, like videos and GIFs, with MMS messages, your campaigns can be more complex. Examples of MMS campaigns include:
Before you send your SMS and MMS campaigns, there are a few best practices to consider:
Track your campaigns to see how many messages are sent successfully, how many are opened, and how many links are clicked. Based on what the data tells you, make adjustments to your campaigns. For example, if you send MMS campaigns, test whether sending follow-up SMS messages helps you meet your campaign objectives.
At VoiceSage, we’ve created a suite of products that help you send campaigns with ease. One example is our Interactive SMS product. Engagement is important for creating positive customer experiences and retaining customers longer. With Interactive SMS, you can set up a custom workflow that sends a series of texts over time. When new customers sign up or buy something, you can send them a series of texts that include:
Interactive SMS also lets you send one-way bulk notifications. Depending on your business, you can send:
If you prefer sending messages with media included, you can use our rich media messaging (RMM) product. RMM is similar to MMS but without the limitations. For one, you don’t have to send follow-up SMS messages with links. When customers click on a rich media message, the image acts as a link to a new page.
Here’s an overview of how RMM compares to SMS and MMS:
Based on this comparison, RMM goes beyond the capabilities of both SMS and MMS to allow you to offer customers a more integrated experience. With RMM you can:
Plus, it’s easier to send rich media messages with VoiceSage, you don’t need a developer to set up campaigns for you. Simply upload customer details, create your message, and send it.
Learn more about how to use RMM: How to Win-back Lapsed Customers with an Improved Digital Customer Experience
There’s a lot you can do with SMS and MMS. What’s important is you experiment with each option to figure out what types of messages lead to the most engagement.
To find out more about how we can help you incorporate mobile messaging into your marketing campaigns, book a demo today.
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