When you consider just how much higher text message marketing statistics are compared to other communications channels, it's no wonder that most marketers have already started sending both Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) texts.
Did you know that 90% of people read texts within three minutes of receipt? And, with open rates almost five times higher than email (98% for text compared to 20% for email) and considering that 91% of Americans keep a mobile device in reach at all times, you can see why MMS applications are so powerful.
But finding the right MMS application to connect with your customers can be challenging. 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.
In this article, we'll answer all of your MMS application questions like what they do, their benefits, how they work, and how to find the right one for your organization.
What is an MMS Application?
An MMS application functions much like an email marketing service. 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.
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 manage their text marketing campaigns from home, while traveling to a business meeting, and even on vacation.
What is an MMS Service Provider?An MMS service provider is a text messaging service that allows you to send pictures, video or audio content to a lot of contacts at once. The main difference between sending pictures to your family and connecting with a database of customers by MMS is that MMS messages are sent simultaneously in bulk. In order to send MMS messages simultaneously, businesses use an MMS application.
The Benefits of MMS Marketing
One of the reasons MMS marketing is so powerful is that it is a permission-based activity. (You have to have specific permission to send people marketing texts.) Because your prospects and customers have given you permission to contact them and because text messages are virtually guaranteed to be read, conversions on text offers are extremely high. Combine a great offer with an attractive image or video and you're sure to make a big impact.
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 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.
How to Send an MMS Message to CustomersOne of the reasons marketers love MMS marketing is that it is quick and easy. Sending an MMS message to your customers is as simple 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
The easiest way to grow your contact list is through the use of a Keyword – a short, memorable word that you invite your customers to text to a short code number. When your customers text the keyword, they are opted-in to receive future MMS messages.
For instance, a restaurant might advertise an offer such as:
Text 'PIZZA' to 313131 to get a free pepperoni pizza with the purchase of a subway sandwich!
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 congregants 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 on 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 forms 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 them out.
How to Find the Right MMS Application for Your Business
As you begin searching for an MMS application, don't just compare features and prices (though those components are important). Think through some of the more intangible parts of the decision.
Look for an MMS application that is easy to use. The interface should be clean and intuitive. You probably won't be the only one using the platform, so make sure it will be easy to cross-train your team.
Also, consider customer service. No matter how good the software, at some point you'll need some assistance accomplishing your goals. Look through reviews, case studies, and testimonials for the service and keep an eye out for comments about customer service. Make sure you find a provider with friendly, prompt, and knowledgeable support staff.