Mobile advertising comes in all shapes and sizes. When most business owners think about taking their business mobile, they’re thinking about a mobile friendly website or banner ads. But the real power of mobile marketing rests in the text message. Text message marketing, or SMS marketing, is the powerhouse when it comes to mobile marketing. It’s inexpensive and extremely effective. For all its virtues however, it is also somewhat limited. It’s limited to text only, and 160 characters at that. That’s where MMS (multimedia messaging service) comes in.
What is MMS
MMS is, simply put, texting but better. Unlike traditional texts, MMS allows the sender to include more than just words. A text could include pictures, videos, music, and other multimedia content. The implications for mobile marketers are huge. While a text can certainly get the job done, the 160 character limit is often frustrating. But the ability to send a video clip or picture makes texting that much more versatile.
According to research, texts have a 98% open rate. The statistic is incredible. That’s a guarantee that 98% of the texts you send out will be seen by your target audience. Research also seems to indicate that texts including multimedia content are even more likely to be opened than a standard text. In 2012, consumers sent 74 billion MMS messages. That number was an increase from 2011 while the number of texts and minutes actually fell. Another interesting statistic is that only 38% of marketers are using SMS or MMS compared to 76% who have a mobile website. In other words, despite its proven track record, text messaging, and MMS messaging in particular, is underutilized. That’s predicted to change quickly however as MMS gains popularity.
Successful MMS campaigns
As MMS grows in popularity, more and more businesses are incorporating it into their mobile marketing strategies and experiencing success. A theater in Chicago used MMS to send consumers who opted in a short video about an upcoming play. In addition to the video clip, the message included a phone number to call for tickets, a “share” button for popular social media websites, and the text automatically entered the recipient into a contest for free tickets to Paris. Starbucks also ran a successful campaign in which their customers participated in a trivia contest via MMS and won prizes.
MMS vs SMS
On the surface, MMS sounds like the clear winner when it comes to text message marketing. It allows businesses to send richer content and engage consumers in a way that a normal text message can’t. However, there are also some inherent weaknesses in MMS. The biggest it limits the target audience. While just about every phone in existence can send and receive texts, not all phones are MMS enabled. In the end, business owners need to evaluate whether MMS makes sense for their mobile marketing strategy.
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