Communicate easily with your leads with text message marketing.
Are you new to text message marketing? Even if you're less than tech-savvy, you need to be able to communicate with your clients who are more comfortable with technology. According to a recent Gallup poll, texting has become the primary means of communication for consumers under 50. If you're new to text message marketing, you can see that it's vital that you jump into the field, but how do you begin?
Create a Free Account
You want to know that your text message marketing campaign will have a strong return on investment. What better way to experiment than with a low-cost marketing program? Look for a text message marketing program that will allow you to try it out for free.
Look for a Variety of Messaging Options
Multimedia texting can help you connect with your audience in a deeper way. Video campaigns have a strong opt-in rate, and 65% of customers tend to watch at least 3/4 of the way through a video, according to Hubspot. If you'd like to expand into video, audio, and image files, look for a text message marketing service that allows you to send regular text and multimedia messages.
Segment your audience using keywords.
Create and Segment a Contacts Database
You would segment your contacts when pursuing other marketing strategies, and you need to do the same with text message marketing. Seek out a marketing platform that will allow you to accumulate and sort your contacts, so that you can be sure that they are in different groups according to their interests. That way, you can send out targeted text messages.
Make Sure You Can Monitor Your Data
If you choose to use a text message marketing campaign, you need monitor your data as well. This will allow you to gauge how well your campaign works, and you can make changes along the way. Look for a text message marketing platform that lets you assess the effectiveness of your campaign by monitoring data such as open rates.
Add Simple Opt-In Options
You want to make it simple for customers to add themselves to your text message marketing campaign. Use “Click-to-Join” web widgets for your websites or social media and keywords that prospective customers text to a number to add themselves to the list. For example, a tutoring company could advertise the keyword ABCRT to those who are keen to have their children practice their writing, and they could encourage customers to text this keyword to a specific number. When customers do this, they'll be added to a list that's specifically designed for those who are interested in signing their children up for English tutoring. You can use different keywords to coordinate different campaigns, allowing you to segment your audience easily.
Are you considering the possibilities of text marketing? With EZ Texting, you don't need to be afraid to start a text message marketing program. We'll make it simple: sign up for free and see how easy it can be to connect with your audience through text-based marketing.
Marketing can sometimes feel like a solitary pursuit, no matter the size of your business. It can also become focused solely online, as though people only exist on the other side of various screens. Getting involved with your community might help provide a new perspective, shake up your business SMS marketing campaign, and introduce you to new customers.
Establish your authority in your industry.
Most companies belong to industries that have trade associations, conventions, conferences, and other events. While simply attending community or industry events can help you meet more customers, speaking at them makes you even more visible.
Whether your speech lasts five minutes or two hours, it can have a positive impact on the audience. Use it to introduce something your business does to improve the community or the industry, or to describe an innovative process you've developed.
If you're thinking about speaking at an event, rehearse your speech dozens of times before the event. If you can give your speech without note cards or a written document, you'll come across as more professional and approachable.
If the event allows you to use slides or hand out literature, make your business SMS campaign center stage. Let people know how they can receive text messages from your company so you can connect with them after the event.
Pro Tip for Speeches
Start your speech by connecting with your audience. You don't have to tell a joke if it doesn't fit naturally with the subject matter, but you might tell an anecdote to which your audience will relate. If you make that connection, you'll hold their attention throughout your talk.
Volunteer as a Group
Someone in your community could use your help.
Volunteerism can elevate your company in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but it also can help you meet customers. From other volunteers to the organization itself, you make your business more visible to the public.
Ask your entire company to participate. You might all meet one Saturday every month for a couple hours to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, thrift store, or other nonprofit. Use it for team building as well as for connecting with prospective customers.
Always bring your business card with information about your company on it. Include your contact information as well as instructions for receiving SMS alerts from your firm.
Pro Tip for Volunteering
More of your staff might participate in volunteerism if you let them have a say in the cause. Take a survey or poll, for instance, and choose the cause about which most of your staff feels passionate. Alternatively, if you have a small business, consider alternating who chooses the cause every week or month.
Start a Scholarship Fund
Everyone deserves an education.
You can derive three specific benefits from starting a scholarship fund:
- Talent: Help create the next generation of talent that might contribute to your company's success.
- Community: Show that you're willing to help young people get their education, which could earn your company good will and help you meet more customers.
- Visibility: People talk about scholarship funds. Your brand visibility might spike as a result.
Consider creating a scholarship fund that's specific to your business or industry. For instance, if you run a retail clothing store, you might start a scholarship for future fashion designers, buyers, or small business owners.
Pro Tip for Scholarship Funds
Hold a formal ceremony when you award the scholarship each year. It's yet another way to reach out to your community, to celebrate young talent, and to meet more customers.
In business, SMS marketing and other forms of digital marketing have become the norm. However, the benefits of online campaigns don't negate the advantages of getting involved in your community. Sign up for free to take advantage of EZ Texting's SMS marketing services while you reach out to people in the real world.
Marketing outreach revolves around four main elements: promotion, engagement, alerts, and reminders. SMS marketing is no different in this respect than other marketing channels. Therefore, when you develop your strategy for MMS marketing, it is important to keep these four ideas in mind.
Get your team together and build a strong foundation based on these principles.
You might decide that your texting program will focus on one area, while other marketing channels will focus on others. Alternatively, you might decide to use all four in your texting campaign for a more diverse program.
No matter how you use it, it important to bear in mind certain SMS marketing best practices to get the most out of the program. It is likewise important to understand the nuances of each of the four elements so you can expertly use them.
Promotion is the way that you advertise your products and services to potential customers. It is about spreading the word about your company and increasing brand awareness and recognition. It is often the top part of the sales funnel, where you are taking in as many potential people as possible to eventually convert them into a customer.
There are many ways to utilize SMS marketing for promotion, but one of the best ways to use SMS marketing in your promotional efforts is as a call to action.
Any strong piece of marketing or advertising material requires a good call to action. This should be something that motivates the person to act while also being easy to get them to take immediate action.
You lose a significant amount of the power of advertising if it requires a person to have to remember to take the action at a later time. That is where SMS marketing really demonstrates its power.
It is easy to include your MMS marketing program on any existing piece of marketing collateral:
- Radio or TV spots
- Print ads
- Digital properties
- Social media accounts
You simply add a keyword and shortcode. Around 90 percent of people carry their cell phones with them at all times, so they can take action right away, increasing the efficacy of your marketing. Adding some incentive, such as an offer, increases the motivation for people to take the action.
This not only helps to strengthen the efficacy of your marketing materials, thereby increasing your brand awareness and pool of potential customers, but it also helps to increase the number of potential subscribers. Then, you have a pool of interested people to use the second element of a texting campaign: engagement.
Promotion combines well with other elements of marketing. You might use a texting program to send new product alerts, offers and deals, and other messages that promote a certain event, service or products
Promotion: Best Practices
When you use texting as a call to action, there are a few SMS marketing best practices to follow. First, add some terms and conditions when possible that are easy to understand. You want to let people know that they are signing up for a regular marketing program when they text the keyword.
This is easily done with a confirmation email that auto-responds when a person texts in the keyword. In this confirmation email, include some brief terms and conditions and a link to more information. Ask them to reply to confirm their opt-in to the program.
The great thing about texting is that people can take action from anywhere.
An example might be "Text CONFIRM to join our texting program or STOP to opt-out. Click here for terms and conditions [with link]."
Also, when you create a call to action, you want to use the right language to get people to take action. This typically includes strong motivational language. This works no matter where you include a call to action, including on any future texts in your texting program.
It is best to use action verbs along with some adverbs that create a sense of urgency. This should be done in as concise a manner as possible since you only have 160 characters.
A good example of a strong call to action that can be used to get people to join your program is "Text [Keyword] to [shortcode] to join our list and receive exclusive deals and offers. Get 20 percent off for texting today."
The second main element of MMS marketing is engagement. Customer engagement has become an essential component of business because more and more customers choose where they buy products based on their experience of that business. They rely more on emotional reasoning rather than logical reasoning (such as price or location).
This makes it even more important to create excellent customer service and find ways to continually engage with customers.
SMS marketing is a great way to engage with customers. In fact, it has a higher engagement rate than email and other forums. There are several types of messages that you might send to garner more customer engagement:
- Information and tips
- Exclusive news
- Customer service messages
- Offers and deals
Each of these avenues of engagement provides something different for customers. Surveys and polls let customers tell you what they think. Contests are always fun and increase the number of people who choose to opt-in since customers love to win new things. Many customers will wish to learn information and tips, especially if it is exclusive news about your company, products or services.
Offering customers service via text improves your service to your customers since it is easy for them to contact you with questions or problems from anywhere at any time.
Some of the most common message types are offers and deals. These get people to come in and shop at your business, but you want to always mix up your offers so that they are not the same basic offer every time. This reduces the impact of your offers since people know they can use them at any time.
Engagement Best Practices
Many companies choose to use several of these forms in order to keep customers excited about their program, rather than deciding to opt out because they tire of the same, boring messages over and over again. The important consideration in terms of engagement messages is that you create content of value for your customers.
There are several ways to determine what your customers might want from your program:
- Perform market research
- Review the demographics
- Directly ask customers through a poll or survey
Many companies find it beneficial to create a persona based on their target audience that is created through looking at shopping behaviors, demographics, and psychosocial characteristics. You might have more than one of these personas. Then, create messages that are attractive to your target audience.
If you have more than one ideal customer persona, divide your subscriber list into groups based on their various characteristics and then send personalized targeted messages. This increases the efficacy and engagement of your program.
Although it is tempting to send out several messages to really take advantage of the benefits of customer engagement. However, people do not appreciate being inundated with text messages, even though they do wish to hear from companies via text. This means you need to find the right frequency of texts for your program to get the peak success rates.
If you text too little, then customers will forget about your program or decide to opt out. Alternatively, if you text too often, then customers will get annoyed and opt out.
Most companies find that texting between two and four times per month is ideal, but you might need to poll your customers and perform some testing to determine the ideal frequency for you.
Timing is also important, especially for offers and deals. You want to provide customers sufficient time to use the deal, but you also want to create some urgency. Because most people open texts within a few minutes of receipt, it is the perfect medium for flash sales and limited time coupons.
Send out texts to let people know about emergency situations.
Another common type of MMS marketing messages is alerts:
- Emergency alerts
- Alerts about events
- Transactional messages
Educational institutions find SMS marketing a great way to alert their students, faculty, and staff of any activities on campus, including any emergencies that might arise. You might also use this to alert your staff to any emergency situations.
Because most people open text messages and have their phones on them, you can feel confident that they have read the message. That is why it is so great to use texting for important information, like emergency alerts.
Many customers prefer using texting for transactional messages. This might be for when they have bought something, it has shipped, it is ready to be picked up, or any other message that you might normally send via email or mail.
When it comes to alerts, there are not too many unique best practices. You want to avoid sending them more often than you need to do, and you want to be careful about the timing. Emergency alerts might be fine to send outside of business hours, but any other messages should be sent during the day at convenient times that are not disruptive to the customer.
Reminders are similar to alerts in that they send specific information to your customers. Their purpose is to simply remind customers about something they already know about. For businesses that sell products or offer services, this might be reminders about sales or events in store. Businesses with many events might also use it to send a last-minute reminder about events to boost attendance.
Medical professionals, service-oriented businesses, and other appointment-based business find that sending appointment reminders via text leads to fewer no-show appointments, reducing the financial loss when that happens.
When you send appointment reminders, you want to find the right time. It should be close enough that people do not forget, otherwise, you have missed the purpose of the reminder. However, you want to provide sufficient time to let the person alert you if they need to change the appointment.
Most people send out reminders about 24 hours ahead of time, but you might choose to send them closer to the time. The same SMS marketing best practices apply to event reminders as well.
General SMS Marketing Best Practices
The above discussed certain best practices for each of the central elements of marketing. There are some additional ones that should be used for every single text you send out, no matter the intention behind it.
Make sure to get permission before you start texting customers.
First and foremost, always get permission from your subscribers, especially if you plan to send marketing messages. This ensures that you remain in compliance with texting guidelines and rules.
If you send out several types of messages, such as reminders, transactional messages, and marketing messages, then you will need to have permission to send all three types of messages. You cannot assume that someone who signed up for reminders will also want to receive your marketing messages.
Make it clear to them what the program will provide, and then adhere to this contract. Also, make it easy to opt out. Keep track of all opt ins and opt outs in case you need to review it at some point.
MMS marketing is a unique channel that needs to be utilized as such. Do not simply reproduce the same content to send to your subscribers. Remember that several of them will follow you on social media, regularly read your blog, receive your emails and otherwise engage with you through several channels.
Therefore, they will have no incentive to join your texting campaign if it does not have its own unique enticement. This might be special offers and deals, exclusive information, early access to sales or other motivations for joining.
Ready to get started with your text message marketing campaign? Sign up for free.
Like any smart salesperson, a real estate agent needs to understand the latest tools of the trade in order to expand his or her network of potential customers. One of the latest trends in mobile marketing involves incorporating multimedia messaging services (MMS) into your strategy. The bigger and stronger brother of SMS marketing, multimedia messages enables you to send different types of media through direct text, including brilliant images and videos.
To add flavor to your existing mobile marketing campaign, realtors should incorporate MMS into their strategies. MMS offers many advantages and makes the customer experience that much more engaging. Here are several ways realtors can use MMS in their marketing strategies:
Promote Cross Marketing Efforts With Printed Signs
To give potential homebuyers sneak peeks into the homes they’re interested in purchasing, realtors can put a “text HOUSE16 to 99453 for more information” tag on their printed signs. Whenever prospective buyers text, they will receive MMS messages with interior images of the house and websites containing more info about the listings, all without having to type in long URL addresses or navigate entire websites.
Engage your customers by utilizing the power of prizes. Folks love free stuff, and it gives them an instant incentive to participate in your MMS contest. MMS also adds allure – you can text images of the prize to encourage more people to respond.
Promos and Discounts
Follow the lead of restaurateurs and offer coupons and promos in your strategy. Be sure to provide a call to action and specific date when the offer is valid in your promotion to ensure consumers will take the bait. You can offer food from local eateries, home décor items, gift cards, and more!
You can also steer customers to go to your social media pages and website for more information via a link in the MMS text. This way, you’ll be helping to push traffic to your pages.
Keep Them in the Loop
MMS allows you to expand the length of texts you send out. It’s not limited to 140 characters like traditional SMS texting. This helps you to share more content with your customers. Share home improvements, new listings that just came on the market, pictures of the neighborhood and all of the amenities, upcoming neighborhood events, and much more.
Get Them to Vote
When customers are asked for their opinions, you’re sure to get a lot of responses. Include images of your services or listings that they can vote on to solidify brand awareness. Make up keywords for consumers to respond with, and reward those who voted with appealing prizes.
Mobile marketing for realtors, such as MMS, creates an entirely new avenue through which you can attract potential clients. Use the tips above to get the best benefits of MMS.
Need to generate buzz for your upcoming community theater production? Do so with MMS marketing for community theater. MMS marketing for small businesses is helping many a company gain the attention it wants, thanks to consumers reading text messages almost immediately after receiving them among other benefits. Review a few options for using MMS marketing in community theater promotion efforts and see if they don’t make a considerable difference.
Discounted Show Tickets
Add texting opt-in information to all advertisements—flyers, billboards, print ads, etc.—and stress that anyone who signs up for your text list will receive discounts to shows. Offer discounts to every show of the season if it is within your budget, or select shows only. If promoting the latter, let consumers know they can choose which shows they want discounted tickets for.
VIP Party Access
Run contests through your MMS marketing campaign that result in VIP access to post-show parties. People never tire of backstage passes, so make it easy for them with a campaign that grants access to the first 10 or 20 subscribers who respond to the message. Note that the backstage pass includes free food and drinks, as people never get sick of those things, either!
Keep your subscriber list updated about your company’s latest shows via SMS. Inform them of show dates and times, any featured performers appearing in the production, and anything else that is relevant.
Alert subscribers to upcoming contests via MMS, and send images of the prizes. Run any type of contest you like, such as a costume contest where participants send in photos dressed as their favorite characters from the show season. Prizes can include vouchers for free drinks and snacks at show concession stands, the aforementioned discounted show tickets, and more.
Get your subscribers excited about an upcoming production by sending links to video clips of dress rehearsals. Show your subscribers why they must attend the show by including snippets of songs if applicable and the best scenes from the production. Think of the videos as your very own trailers that pique viewer interest and encourage them to learn more.
Send texts with links to donation web pages. Go a step further by announcing that your company will recognize those who donated the most at your next show or community event. Reward them with special show packages that include ticket discounts and other perks for the duration of the season.
Fundraisers and Parties
Make performances at fundraising events and similar parties work better for you by handing out flyers at the end of the song/scene that feature texting opt-in information. If you have a booth at the fundraising event, include a code or old-fashioned sign-up sheet that encourages attendees to subscribe to your text alerts and subsequently learn about exclusive offers.
Take full advantage of MMS marketing for community theater to increase show season awareness, audience numbers, and ticket sales. Text messaging is an inexpensive yet highly effective way to improve business.
MMS marketing campaigns are a fantastic way to get your marketing message heard above the noise of other direct marketing channels. They have all the benefits of plain text group messaging - an extended reach, immediate delivery, high open rates, quick responses, etc. - and, with the addition of image, audio and video files, MMS marketing campaigns can have a much greater impact on your customers.
If you are already using a group messaging platform to engage with your customers via plain text, setting up MMS marketing campaigns is easy. Simply change the type of message you would like to send from “SMS Message” to “MMS Message”, upload your image, audio or video file, compose a message to accompany the file (if you’d like), and click send. Within minutes your customers will be receiving and reading your MMS message wherever they are, whatever they are doing.
Unlike plain text group messaging, MMS marketing campaigns allow you to write up to 1,600 characters of text. This gives you the opportunity to expand on the message you want to communicate and avoids the scenario in which the 160 character limit of plain text restricts the impact of your message. Image, audio and video files can be up to 500Kb in size - sufficient for a thirty-second audio or video file.
Six Creative MMS Marketing Campaigns
Wondering how to make the best possible use of MMS marketing campaigns. Get any inspiration you need by reviewing six of the most creative MMS marketing campaigns from the last few years. Learn how the following brands set themselves apart from their competition via MMS marketing and see if you come up with a few outstanding ideas of your own.
The makeup company launched a mobile marketing campaign that resulted in a database of more than 5,000 subscribers within the first 24 hours. Julep enticed opt-ins by creating a highly appealing text offer that provided customers with 50 percent off of their next nail polish purchases. The ‘Julep Mobile Insider Club’ was promoted by sending emails to the existing subscriber database and posting about the campaign on social media outlets. One promotion about their new Kai nail polish color resulted in a 34.23 percent click-through rate and a 17.44 percent purchase conversion rate.
This famous luxury car brand encouraged consumers to invest in expensive winter tires by creating a campaign that reminded them how such tires are essential for safety, as winter tires offer much better tread on snowy, icy roads. BMW sent personalized MMS messages to its subscriber list that focused on what those individuals’ vehicles needed specifically, resulting in a 30 percent conversion rate from 1,200 messages.
American Eagle Outfitters
Clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters’ creative MMS marketing campaign is all about announcing upcoming sales, including holiday sales and flash sales for clearance items. Promo codes are frequently included with messages, and are tracked at Point of Sale and linked to the mobile-friendly website.
National Wholesale Liquidators
National Wholesale Liquidators offered consumers who opted in to their mobile marketing campaign $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. The campaign was advertised through online, in-store, and print advertising channels, resulting in a database of 50,000 mobile phone numbers. It was subsequently found that customers who opted in to the campaign spent 80 percent more than those who were not part of said campaign.
Pizza Hut aims to help answer the age-old question, “What are we having for dinner?” The fast food chain sends mobile messages to customers with rumbling stomachs that feature promotions and coupons to encourage pizza as the answer to the dinner query. The campaign increased foot traffic as well as online order numbers.
Ace Hardware continually strives to increase customer engagement in a variety of mobile-tastic ways. For example, it offers coupons through its microsite, and uses barcodes and promo codes to increase trackable offer numbers. It also allows customers to save their offers for later use via SMS, email, or Passbook. Continually providing a variety of excellent offers in combination with in-store signs that promote opting-in has resulted in the numbers the hardware store desires.
Find Out More about MMS Messaging from EZ Texting
If you have any questions about MMS messaging, or would like to know more about the benefits of MMS marketing campaigns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of Client Success Managers has more than a decade of experience assisting businesses in creating innovative MMS marketing campaigns and, with our help, you can be sure to create the maximum impact from MMS messaging.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is less than two years old, but it’s not equipped to send emojis without first converting them into picture messages - costing unwitting senders hundreds on their phone bills. Older handsets - including the Galaxy S, S2 and S3 - are also thought to be affected.
Picture messages are also known as MMS messages, and can cost up to three times more than an SMS. Once upon a time, the high cost was somewhat justified, as MMS was the only way for people to exchange rich content between phones. Now, with a slew of apps designed to send and receive rich data (often, as with WhatsApp, for free) the MMS is anachronistic.
A recent article in the Daily Record reported the case of a woman from Airdrie, Scotland, who ran up a £1,200 bill in just four months after sending emoticons that automatically converted to emojis which, in turn, were sent as MMS messages.
Similar reports have appeared on internet forums, with many claiming their iPhones are affected by the problem. HTC phones are also affected, but they at least send a warning message to users that the SMS they think they’re about to send is in fact an MMS.
UK mobile phone network provider O2 have been quick to point the finger at manufacturers, saying the issue is ‘down to the handset and not as a result of the O2 network or the settings used for the O2 service.’
O2 also said that some apps - including Facebook - that integrate a contact list from the handset may result in MMS charges as well. People are advised to disable integration between such apps and their contact list.
There’s still no complete picture regarding which handsets are affected, but Samsung told moneysavingexpert.com that every device launched since April 2014 has a default setting classifying emojis as SMS and not MMS. For the Galaxy S4 and earlier devices, emojis will continue to be converted from SMS into MMS. Apple has declined to comment on the susceptibility of their handsets to the problem.
The problem is one of transparancy. Are operators doing enough to inform their customers how their pricing structures work? That remains to be seen. According to Ofcom, the UK’s communications watchdog, 4% of people said they had received a high bill caused by unexpected charges for emojis, but it’s likely to have affected significantly more. Like the SMS-MMS conversion itself, not everyone will have noticed. Take a careful look at your next bill to see if you’re being charged for a service you didn’t know you were using. If it was not made clear to you when you sent the message that it was converting it to an MMS, it’s well worth complaining.
MMS marketing has been around for a few years, but when it comes to launching a new product or promotion, most business still limit themselves to SMS messaging;however, with the right MMS marketing tactics, the medium can bring in a lot of business. Mobile coupons and other offers are usually plain text affairs, and the popularity of shortcodes and keywords has caused many businesses to lose sight of the bigger picture.
This is somewhat surprising given the wide availability of MMS, which allows brands to entice customers with images as well as words. If you’re interested in harnessing the power of rich media to give your mobile marketing campaign a shot in the arm, consider the following applications of MMS:
MMS Marketing Tactics You Should Consider
Show & Tell
The visual element that’s so important to advertising has taken a backseat in text message marketing. Sure, you can (and should) include a link to your website, but in the hyper-competitive world of modern marketing, the fewer steps the consumer needs to take, the better. The food industry is probably the most obvious beneficiary of image-based advertising; MMS allows you to send the 2-for-1 pizza promo deal and a tasty picture of the pie. Visual stimulus will get mouths watering far more than mere words.
Text to Win
Use your existing subscriber base to introduce loyal customers to new products with MMS. To generate interaction, run a competition with the product shown as the prize.
Text to Reserve
Again, mobile marketing tactics that use SMS messaging can be modified for MMS. If you run a restaurant, send picture messages of the latest meal specials and offer a time-limited promo deal to respondents.
Text to Vote
Running a poll or survey can be more effective with MMS than with standard text messaging. Encourage subscribers to vote on which appetizer they would prefer, along with a picture of each dish. Set up keywords to represent each appetizer (WINGS/SOUP-DU-JOUR/etc) and allow respondents to vote on the nicest looking dish, or the dish they’d prefer to see on your menu. Not only will you encourage engagement by the vote, you’ll have created targeted lists of customers based on food preference.
Text to Connect
Stay in touch with subscribers with the right MMS campaign and you’ll see interaction increase. As long as you offer something of value, the underlying impetus behind your campaign can simply be to remain connected with your customer base. Keep such messages to a minimum. A ‘text to connect’ picture message should only be used if you don’t have any current promos, you haven’t reached out to your contacts for a while and you can create a special offer to be included in the message.
A fair few myths surround Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and these MMS marketing myths are preventing many businesses from getting involved with this exciting communication medium. Unfortunately, despite the billions of messages sent and received by consumers every month, MMS is still misunderstood.
Let’s check out the most common MMS marketing myths:
Myth #1: MMS Is More Costly Than Regular Text Messaging
Today’s consumers know their SMS texts are usually covered by their plans, but are frequently concerned MMS messages are not. If you have a text messaging plan (which you probably do, c’mon now), you’re charged the same amount for text and multimedia messages. Most major U.S. wireless carriers bundled the two together some years ago, meaning brands, media companies, and advertisers may deliver 30-second videos to customers for the same price as regular text messages.
Myth #2: A Smartphone is Required to Receive MMS Messages
One of the biggest and best advantages of MMS is you don’t need a smartphone to enjoy multimedia content sent to your mobile device. There’s over 2,700 unique mobile devices in today’s market with the support needed for MMS, and many of them are not “smart.”
Myth #3: Most Phones Don’t Support MMS Video
The aforementioned 2,700 mobile devices capable of receiving MMS messages? They’re also more than able to handle MMS video content.
Myth #4: MMS Requires a Data Plan
Just because your service plan doesn’t include an internet or data plan doesn’t mean you can’t send or receive MMS messages. All your device needs is MMS functionality, which it can easily feature minus so-fancy apps and data service. Additionally, it’s entirely possible for mobile marketers to craft and send detailed mobile marketing campaign messages to non-smartphone users via MMS. Nice, right?
Myth #5: Only Those Crazy Kids Do the Text Message Thing
Hardly. Pretty much everyone, from tweens to teens to young adults to older adults utilize text messaging. It might originally have been considered a “kid thing,” but that’s sooo not the case anymore. All age groups text, which explains the photo of your kids that your parents sent you while on a grandparent-grandkid excursion.
Myth #6: MMS Is Popular in Europe and Asia, But Not the United States
Not true. MMS has been on the same usage level as SMS for years, and is currently eclipsing it. There were 10 billion MMS messages sent in the first half of 2009 in the U.S.--yes, 2009.
Consumer fascination with MMS presents a variety of exciting opportunities for media companies, as mobile messaging is a billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down. MMS provides the chance to reach consumers anywhere, anytime--in other words, it’s one heck of a marketing asset.
Is MMS the next big thing in mobile marketing? Is it destined to always play second fiddle to text messaging? And how can businesses use MMS to develop a more creative, effective mobile marketing strategy?
Mobile marketing has proven more viable than its email predecessor, as consumers become more detached from their email and clients like Gmail implement new sorting features. Today, mobile devices are in almost every hand and most already have the ability to read SMS and MMS messages—yet, one question remains: which one is better?
Short Message Service (SMS) works similarly to a regular text message in that it can be sent peer-to-peer or from a mobile service provider, and appears to the user in simple text. There’s a limit, however, of 160 characters and all click links require the use of data by the end user. The upside is that these messages are fast, reliable and less expensive than their multimedia counterpart.
Multimedia Message Service (MMS) allows the use of images, animated .GIF, or short video and audio clips. Thousands of characters can be fit in a single MMS message, which provides better branding opportunities and higher high consumer engagement—boasting a 15% average click-through-rate and increased campaign opt-ins by 20% over SMS.
Both of these mobile marketing tactics increase ROI by creating a direct line of communication to the consumer, building brand awareness and loyalty literally from the palm of the user’s hand. But as Zach Zimmerman of ePrize, the mobile marketing team behind Starbucks’ promo success, pointes out, “MMS is a tactic, not a strategy.”
While the seeming advantage of MMS is presented in beautiful images, video and sound, the use of this service can be a financial money-pit if paired with the wrong message, brand, product or campaign—a number of things that have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
One huge drawback to the allure of MMS is its inability to collect important space and tracking data, which is easily available through mobile web landing pages, assessable through a click link in basic SMS messages. Moreover, MMS is not enabled on all mobile devices—yet.
Upgrades and increased sophistication of these mobile marketing tactics are already underway. Developing platforms will allow brands to reach any phone, anywhere, anytime, from the iPhone5S to the Lumia. These media marketing companies are pushing the mobile frontier, and with clients like Ikea, Kellogg, Bloomingdales, Starbucks and major TV networks buying what these companies are throwing down, it’s only a matter of time before answering the SMS vs. MMS question will need to be answered once and for all.
Are you using mobile SMS lists to grow your business? If not, you're missing out on one of the most effective marketing channels there is.
An increasing number of businesses have already latched on to the marketing power of social media, and some have started to augment it with mobile SMS marketing. But the cleverest trick in the mobile text marketing book is linking your channels to their mutual advantage. The web has unlimited reach, and text contact lists provide targeted opportunities to engage with customers. While mobile SMS lists can help you finesse your online strategy, social media can point more people towards opting in to your text list.
The first step towards achieving perfect campaign synergy is growing your mobile SMS lists. There are lots of ways to do this. It’s important to use a variety of web and mobile marketing strategies, so mix and match our ten top tactics and watch your mobile SMS lists grow:
1) Freebies work. Always have, always will. There’s no better way to announce yourself as a heavyweight brand than to offer a free unit, available to anyone who opts into your SMS contact list.
2) Landing pages should be visually arresting, with a sharp, uncluttered layout. Keep the text concise and the graphics simple. People are more likely to keep browsing if your website is easy on the eye.
3) With any free offer, emphasize the incentive. People are more likely to opt in if they understand the benefits clearly.
4) Get your keywords in front of the public in imaginative ways. Make bumper stickers, build educational websites relating to your product – anything that you can piggyback the vital information on.
5) Liberally pepper your locale with QR codes. Done right, they’re a fantastic way to pique attention.
6) Use print and online media in complementary ways. Take out a stark advert in the local paper that simply has your web address or, even better, your top ranking keyword.
7) Use social media to distribute web forms that will let them know about your business. Make sure they can opt-in to your mobile SMS lists directly from the form.
8) Voting contests or trivia quizzes are consistently popular, so use them as part of your social media campaign. An engaging game is much more likely to be shared than an advert, and creates a relationship with the customer that will translate into opting in.
9) Referral bonuses are a compelling way for mobile text marketing campaigns to reach more people. Offer virtual coupons to the person sharing and the person receiving, and incentivize a specified number of referrals with a special offer.
10) Find out what your customers preferences are. Let them talk to you through surveys and social media. Ask for profiles, and communication preferences - even if someone doesn’t want to be featured on mobile SMS lists, they might let you add them to your email list.