Finding the right MMS application to connect with your customers can involve a little “reading between the lines”. Some MMS service providers use language to promote their services that few outside the industry understand, while others set unrealistic expectations about what their service can achieve.
Here at EZ Texting, we provide a simple explanation of what an MMS application is, how it works, and how it can be used. We don´t promise our MMS application will transform your small family business into an global enterprise, but - if that is what you want - we will certainly give you the tools to get you started.
If your business is already an enterprise, you will appreciate how important it is to stay ahead of the game. With EZ Texting´s versatile MMS application, you can track in real time where your new customers are coming from and which marketing campaigns are most effective.
What is a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)?
A multimedia messaging service is basically a text messaging service that allows you to send pictures, video or audio content. The main difference between sending pictures to your family and connecting with a database of customers by MMS is that MMS messages to customers are sent simultaneously in bulk. In order to send MMS messages simultaneously in bulk, businesses use an MMS application. This involves a simple process that anyone who knows how to use a computer will be able to manage.
What is an MMS Application?
An MMS application is simply an online program that users log into as they would a PayPal or Hotmail account. Once logged in, users are offered a choice of actions to perform, from sending a new MMS message, to managing their contact list, to reviewing the success of their last mobile marketing campaigns. The application’s Home Page is typically also where notifications appear for any new inbound messages.
Because it is a web-based program, the MMS application can be used from any device with an Internet connection. This means that users can send new MMS messages, manage their contact lists, review the success of their last marketing campaign or reply to new messages while out of the office - for example from home, while travelling to a business meeting, and even on vacation.
How to Send an MMS Message to Customers
Sending an MMS message to your customers is as easy as logging into the texting application, selecting the group(s) to which you want to send your message, specifying the MMS message type, and uploading the content (image, video, or audio file up to 500 KB) that you’d like to send. Once you have uploaded your file, you can send your message immediately, or schedule it to be sent at some time in the future. The whole process takes just a few minutes.
Building a Customer Database
MMS messaging is a permission-based activity. This means you have to obtain your customers’ permission to send messages to their phones. The easiest way to obtain permission is through the use of a keyword – a short memorable word that you invite your customers to text to a dedicated number. When your customers text the keyword, they are opted-in to receive future MMS messages.
How you invite your customers to text the keyword is up to you and will largely depend upon the nature of your business. Retailers typically offer a discount on a purchase, while realtors may invite potential house hunters to text a keyword in order to receive more information about a property. Faith-based organizations may request that congregations text a keyword during a sermon or at the end of a service.
Sorting Customers into Groups
When a customer texts your keyword, they are automatically added to your database stored within the MMS application. The next time you log into the application, you will see their details and which keyword they texted. While your database is in its infancy, it is pretty easy to select individual customers if you do not want to send an MMS message to everyone; but, as your database grows, this gets harder.
Depending how well you know your customers, you can manually sort them into groups according to their specific interests. This helps with database management and cuts down on your marketing costs if, for example, you know that half your database is vegetarian and you have a special offer on a meat product. Alternatively, you can sort them by the keyword they used to join your customer database.
What Else Can an MMS Application Do?
An MMS application is a command center for your mobile marketing campaigns. It enables you to manage your account, your database, and your keywords. You can view delivery rates, open rates and spikes in engagement, and use that information to fine-tune future marketing campaigns or create campaign-specific sign-up widgets to place on your website or share on social media.
You can use the scheduling function to prepare recurring or drip-fed campaigns, create sub-keywords to run polls and surveys, or develop an exclusive VIP loyalty program for customers who shop with you or use your services. While the various features of an MMS application may initially appear overwhelming, the potential benefits of MMS marketing make it worth your while to try it out.
The Potential Benefits of MMS Marketing
In order to illustrate just how good MMS marketing could be for your business or organization, it is worthwhile discussing the proven benefits of SMS (traditional text) marketing. These are typically reported as high open rates (>90%), high engagement rates (6-8 times higher than email marketing) and high coupon redemption rates (out-of-store coupons up to 50%, in-store coupons up to 80%).
The reason for the high open rates can be attributed to SMS marketing also being a permission-based activity. When people opt-in to receive your SMS messages, it is because they want to hear what your business or organization has to say. The high engagement rates follow on from the high open rate, and the high coupon redemption rates are due to customers having their mobile devices with them as they walk into your premises. So, how can these figures be bettered by MMS marketing?
In addition to being able to send pictures to your customer database, you can also take advantage of a 1,600-character limit for MMS messages (SMS messaging has a 160-character limit). This enables you to write more about your special event or promotion, send pictures and text/video together, or use the extra capacity to send messages in non-standard Unicode characters - a feature that could give you a competitive advantage if you have a diverse clientele.
This extra capacity often produces better responses than even SMS marketing. MMS marketing messages containing links to websites have a 15% higher click-through-rate than SMS marketing messages, and they are likely to be shared across social media platforms up to eight times more often. This results in your customers´ social contacts reading about your special offers and promotions as well as helping you obtain a higher return on your marketing spend.
Try MMS Messaging from EZ Texting
There are great benefits to MMS marketing, and EZ Texting makes it as easy as possible for your business or organization to give MMS marketing a try. Not only do we offer a very simple MMS application that you’ll be able to master in minutes, we also offer a “Pay & Go” pricing option that includes a free demo keyword and that you can try without committing to a monthly contract.
To find out more about MMS messaging from EZ Texting, or for further details about how to use our MMS application, do not hesitate to contact us. Our industry-leading Client Success Management team will be happy to answer any questions you have, without resorting to technical jargon or setting unrealistic expectations about what our MMS application can achieve for your business.