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About MMS: Everything You Need to Know

About MMS: Everything You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), how it differs from SMS, and its potential uses.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) hit our phones 20 years ago, and brands were quick to recognize its power as a sales and marketing channel. 

But we’ve come a long way since the days of simple MMS coupon campaigns. 

Don’t get us wrong, that straightforward marketing activity still delivers healthy ROI. But there’s so much more that MMS can do. 

Here we highlight everything you need to know about MMS and how it can benefit your business. 

What is MMS messaging?

Multimedia Messaging Service is one of two standard forms of mobile messaging (SMS is the other). And while both MMS and SMS involve the sending and receiving of a message via a mobile phone, the former is distinctly different than the latter. 

In addition to sending a text, an MMS message can also include sounds, images, and videos. It’s also possible to send an MMS message from a smartphone to a standard email address. The different formats that can be embedded into an MMS message include: 

  • text (formatted with various fonts and colors) 
  • audio (MP3 and MIDI) 
  • images (JPEG and GIF) 
  • video (MPEG) 

About MMS vs SMS

Since MMS and SMS are the two primary means of mobile messaging, many within sales, marketing, and customer service are interested to learn more about how they compare

As previously mentioned, the biggest difference between the two mobile messaging technologies involves their unique capabilities. Where SMS is reserved for sending 160-character “text” messages, MMS can send much longer “multimedia” messages. 

In a world that is dominated by social media and visual content, MMS obviously has some distinct advantages. MMS has clever features that make it an appealing option for business marketing needs: 

Branded Messaging

SMS has always been a text-only experience. But with MMS you can send a message that arrives complete with your brand logo. It helps you get noticed – and gives your users a safe, verified messaging experience. The best part? There are no technical requirements on your side. 

Expiry dates for time-sensitive messages 

SMS messages will sit in your customers’ inboxes indefinitely. That could work for some campaigns, but when it comes to time-sensitive alerts or limited offers, you need greater control. 

MMS gives you that control, with the option of adding an expiry date to your message. This self-destruct feature adds a sense of urgency to your offers and ensures messages don’t outlive their relevance. 

Subject lines

One subtle but effective feature of MMS is the ability to add a subject line. It’s something every email user is familiar with, so you might not even realize you’ve experienced it as an MMS recipient. Subject lines are ideal for framing your communications and guiding the user’s eye, especially in long-form or multimedia messages.  

Weblinks and previews

Sending web links via text message is a widespread practice. SMS can kick-start a journey and direct consumers online where they can buy a product or redeem an offer. 

With the multimedia elements of MMS, you can make web links more clickable. Accompanying images and video thumbnails are much more appealing than a plain text URL. 

Since MMS is a much more advanced technology, it also comes with a higher price tag. You’re paying a premium for being able to include multimedia elements. For many businesses, this premium is well worth it. 

8 Ways your business can use MMS

Consider whether MMS has a place in your mobile engagement strategy. When 51% of customers say they are more likely to make a purchase if they receive a text message that includes images and media, it might be time to have a look at MMS. 

Here are a few specific ways companies are leveraging MMS as a customer communication channel: 

1. Simplifying customer support

In the tech industry, MMS is being used to aid customer support. Utility companies, cable and broadband providers, and other businesses can have complicated customer care that is often costly to their business. 

When a customer has an issue, it’s incredibly difficult for them to explain the issue over the phone or SMS. It can also be difficult to relay a clear solution to the customer. However, MMS messaging opens an entirely new set of possibilities. The customer can now take a picture of the issue, send it, and receive situation-specific solutions. 

But it’s not just tech companies that are using MMS. Insurance companies are also finding it helpful when dealing with claims. Say a policyholder was involved in a minor car accident, or they came home one day to find their basement flooded. They can immediately capture evidence of the damage by taking a quick picture on their phone and texting it to their provider.  

2. Coupons and promotions

Retailers have long used mobile messaging to deliver coupons – achieving impressive results along the way. In 2021, 67 million Americans redeemed coupons over mobile phones. This makes MMS ideal for sharing promotions with customers.  

Brands have been getting innovative with their use cases in recent years, doing more with MMS than just sending coupons. Retailers can use MMS to share scannable QR codes and marketing materials. Rich messaging features like carousels, videos, and app-like buttons also add to the experience. While SMS can also be used, MMS allows for traditional graphics, logos, and visuals. It’s an incredibly efficient approach to increasing marketing exposure. 

3. Product registration

If you sell a product with a warranty or offer post-purchase support, you will want to get customers engaged straight away. The trouble is product registration can be a boring, manual process and sometimes requires a phone call. 

Instead, invite buyers to register their product by sending you a picture of the bar code through MMS. No hassle, no typos, just a convenient way to show interest in some after-sale engagement.

4. Subscription sign-up

Subscription services are meant to be easy and convenient. So, it’s important that the sign-up process is a breeze too. MMS makes subscription sign-up simple, and there’s no chance of a typo or missing data breaking the process.  

For example, eyeglass wearers can take a picture of their prescription and text it to a retailer. That process triggers a subscription service to deliver prescription glasses or contact lenses every month. It’s simple yet effective and lowers the risk of miscommunication.  

5. Temporary credit card

Here’s a clever twist on the traditional MMS coupon use case. 

Imagine one of your loyal customers is shopping but they’ve forgotten to bring their store credit card. They’ll miss out on collecting their card benefits and it could even make them postpone a purchase. 

Some retailers have given shoppers a number to text if they forgot their store credit card. A quick text interaction will verify their details within the retailers CRM. The customer can then receive a temporary QR code. 

At the checkout, this QR code acts as the shopper’s personal (temporary) credit card, allowing them to purchase the product and collect the benefits without the actual card. Pretty smart. 

6. Personal shopping

Another fun use case is a multimedia personal shopping experience you can offer to VIP and loyal customers. 

Kick-start the interaction with automated messaging and send photos of the clothing over MMS. A sales assistant can help them pick options and test different combinations – so the shopper can see the results even if they can’t be in the store themselves. 

It’s a premium service for loyal customers when they need help putting together an outfit (remotely). 

7. Proof of delivery

Home delivery has become an expected convenience. 

As common as it is, it’s natural that customers worry about their goods getting to them in one piece and to the correct location. 

That’s why many delivery services send MMS messages to customers with a picture of their package delivered safely to their front door or designated safe place. 

It’s a simple solution that gives the customer peace of mind and builds trust towards your business. 

8. Highly personal communication

Today’s consumer expects personalization from their favorite brands. For smaller businesses without bottomless marketing budgets, this can be an issue. It costs a lot of money to personalize everything. Thankfully, MMS can level the playing field

Using MMS, you can send out occasional messages to individual customers. Creating custom thank you notes to send to customers after a purchase is a great way to start personalizing communication. It fosters meaningful interaction, and your customer will remember it. 

Getting started with MMS

MMS is something you don’t want to leave out of your mobile engagement strategy. It combines the immediacy of SMS with the added power of immersive audio, video, and visual capabilities. The result is an extremely powerful and modern medium of communication that’s seen as more attractive and engaging on the receiving end.

At Infobip, some of the largest organizations in the world use our enterprise-grade network to reach and engage their biggest customers. When you work with us, you immediately gain access to our messaging platform, active monitoring, and a proven and trusted support team that’s available 24/7.

For additional information on any of our mobile messaging solutions – please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would love to put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable team members who can better explain how MMS would fit in with your current communications strategy.

Learn more about MMS

This post was last modified on May 18, 2022 and originally published on March 3, 2016.

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