In the world of text message marketing, there is now a growing debate on whether to use SMS vs. MMS for marketing purposes. Although both present unique advantages and can work well together, many still want to know which one is better: SMS or MMS?
Here at Gleantap, we have experience working with both standard short messaging services and multimedia messaging services. What we have discovered is that the question of SMS vs. MMS marketing is irrelevant. Instead, marketers should be using both services to get the most out of their business text messaging campaigns.
In this article, we are going to look at a few different situations that mobile marketers may encounter that require either an SMS message or MMS. We will then walk you through which service you should use for each situation so that you are better prepared to run your next campaign.
But before we get into the situations to make the choice, let us see what should influence the decision to choose either of the two. When choosing between MMS and SMS marketing, you should consider the following things:
- Your budget: It should be given a serious thought as SMS marketing is usually cheaper. So if you are a bit tight on the budget, SMS could be the best option.
- Are your messages information based or promotional: Promotional messages work with SMS or MMS, while informational messages are best suited to SMS. Does your marketing campaign involve selling visually appealing products or does the simple text can help deliver your message to the customers.
- The length of the messages: Depending on your campaign communication, you should choose between the two. Know that the length of the message that you are sending is more restricted when it comes to SMS messaging.
Now let’s look at the best situations in regards to each of SMS and MMS marketing:
SMS vs. MMS Marketing: 3 Best Situation To Use MMS Over SMS
When you have a lot to say
The first scenario that we will look at is when you want to reach your customers with a tailored, branded message quickly, but you have a lot to say. This could be for many different reasons, including explaining a process or giving a run-down of a recent product alteration.
While SMS marketing only allows for 160 characters, MMS can go up to 500 including images and videos. Although we recommend keeping text blasts short, sometimes 160 characters aren’t enough to say everything you want to.
In this situation, the winner of SMS vs. MMS is MMS marketing.
When you want to grab your audience’s attention
Sometimes marketers are unable to get the attention of their audience in the way that they hope with email marketing or other traditional means. In this case, they often turn to mass text marketing, which boasts a 98% open rate, almost guaranteeing customers will see what they are saying.
In these scenarios, we must again measure SMS vs. MMS. Although SMS can get to the point of the message faster than MMS, MMS can grab the attention of the user with either an image or video. This extra bit of flash might be exactly what your customers are looking for.
For this match-up of SMS vs. MMS, both options will work, but MMS marketing is the best for capturing the attention of your audience. MMS also allows you to write a subject line for your message, so make sure that you craft an enticing subject to increase that click-through rate!
When highlighting a product or service
There is another situation that mobile marketers find themselves coming across when running text messaging campaigns is that of trying to highlight a product or service. This can be incredibly effective in getting your audience excited about a recent addition to your offerings or simply letting them know about a service you provide they may not already know about.
This sort of message is all about engaging the customer and really wow-ing them with your product. Although you can go either way here, MMS messages provide the ability to entice your audience visually. Not that you can’t create visually appealing SMS messages, but you can take things to the next level by attaching an image or video displaying the product or service.
In this battle between SMS vs. MMS, we recommend MMS marketing for its versatility.
4 Best Situation To Use SMS Over MMS
When you want a customer to take action
Part of the reason why SMS and MMS have become so popular in recent years is the immediacy of the platforms. Since most consumers today keep their phones within an arm’s reach at almost all times, mobile marketing professionals can deliver messages to their audience faster than ever.
Sometimes this immediacy means that you can send a message to customers just before you want them to complete an action. Although a good SMS marketing best practice is to always include a call-to-action, we are specifically talking about a call-to-action with a short time scale.
In this scenario, the winner of SMS vs. MMS is SMS marketing. Keep your message short, build value, and get to the point. Your customers expect SMS to be efficient, so make sure that it is.
When you are running support
Another customer retention strategy that we recommend when running an SMS or MMS marketing campaign is to run support through texting. The speed and efficiency of texting for this purpose helps to keep your customers engaged and show that you care about any issues they are facing.
Since the key aspect of running support through text messages is the quickness of response and the ability to get to the heart of the issue, SMS marketing is a better choice here. When most support can be done through simple text-only messages, adding images and videos would only aid in distracting the customer, not helping them.
When you are collecting feedback
Along with support, collecting customer feedback is another recent marketing revelation in the world of mass text messaging. Analyzing user engagement metrics has become increasingly more valuable for brands, so finding efficient means of collecting data is vital. And yet, the question again arises: do you use SMS or MMS for this task?
While some brands have seen success with using SMS shortcodes, they don’t work as well for an in-depth feedback survey. On the other hand, sending an MMS with a long survey attached doesn’t fit well with the speed and efficiency of the platform. This can make it difficult to decide between SMS vs. MMS for this situation.
We recommend using SMS marketing for short surveys and MMS for an in-depth follow-up should your audience be receptive to the first messages. So, in short, use SMS first and if it works, then move on to MMS.
When you are sending reminders
The final case we will look at when deciding when to use SMS vs. MMS marketing is a common text messaging technique: sending reminders. These automated messages can be life-savers for customers prone to forget their scheduled activities.
Although these are primarily done with SMS, there are times when MMS is applicable. For instance, if you need customers to fill out a form before they show up to their appointment, you could send it to them directly with a reminder. Not only does this cut down on time spent at the time of the meeting, but customers will know what information they need available.
However, as a general rule when sending reminders, SMS marketing is the better choice. It’s short, to the point, and most reminders should not be longer than 160 characters anyway.
Conclusion: SMS vs. MMS Marketing
We hope that this exploration of SMS vs. MMS has been insightful for you and that it has better prepared you for your next SMS or MMS campaign. Like any mobile marketing tool, the trick is not only knowing how to use it but when to do so as well.
From SMS and MMS, deciding which option is right for you is a function of your marketing goals. You may want a more visually appealing campaign. If that’s the case, then MMS marketing is going to be the right choice. This is also particularly beneficial if you are promoting a product that has a visual appeal.
In contrast, your marketing campaign requires you to provide users with clear, concise information. If that’s the case, then SMS marketing is the way ahead. This is great if your campaign doesn’t require images, video or gifs to get your message across.
Always remember, the goal of any marketing campaign is to improve on the ROIs and the same applies for SMS and MMS marketing as well. And that’s the underlying principle of Gleantap, wanna try it?
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera