Understanding Mobile Marketing: What is SMS & MMS Message Marketing?

To fully understand the benefits of what a robust multimedia messaging campaign can do for your marketing program (and it can do a lot – from acquisition to engagement to loyalty and even advocacy) it’s important to first grasp the differences between what SMS and MMS marketing is and what they aren’t.

What is SMS?

(Short message service): up to 160 characters of plain text sent by either peer to peer from mobile phones or sent from a mobile messaging service provider. Users can either pay their cellular carrier a subscription rate for an amount of messages per month or per message.

Any SMS message that requires the recipient to click links requires data usage by end users, which could increase their cost for use.

What is MMS?

(Multimedia messaging service): mobile messages which contain rich media content such as video, images, slideshows, audio, and up to several thousands of text characters within the message. MMS messages are sent peer-to-peer from mobile phones, from a mobile messaging service provider or even from a website to a mobile phone.
MMS messaging including multimedia do not require extra data usage by end users as the content is delivered within the message itself.

SMS and MMS messages are the same cost to the end user and not differentiated by the carrier.

MMS or SMS? Which is right for your mobile marketing program?

Given the incredible usage numbers for mobile devices (admit it, you can’t live without yours) mobile messaging is a good fit for any industry. From entertainment to healthcare, companies are using SMS or MMS to send product information, coupons, news alerts, movie trailers, or tune-in reminders.

So why is everyone talking about MMS?  Because the content and delivery methods behind MMS are resulting in conversions and click throughs of up to 300% higher than regular SMS messages.

How is that possible? Below are two examples of how retailers Steve Madden and Payless Shoe Source use mobile messaging to engage their customers and prospects.

Each season, Steve Madden launches a new line of shoes. Like every retailer, they hope to create raise awareness of their new shoes, drive purchase (repeat and new) and encourage their brand fans to share news about their new lines across the fan’s social networks. By choosing mobile messaging, they open a communication channel via mobile right on the one device consumers access all day, every day, their phone.

To launch their new line, Steve Madden can use a MMS to send a sneak peek, first look at their new fall line.  To drive sales, they can include links directly to the purchase page.  Lastly, to encourage social media activity, MMS messages can include links to join their Facebook page.

Now, an SMS Promotion: Below is the mobile outreach from Payless Shoe Source welcoming the user to the mobile alerts program, but there’s no instant offer, it makes the customer wait several days.

While this message provides valuable information in an easy to read format, it does nothing to engage or excite the recipient.  There are no images to drive consumer interest, no options to purchase and no options for the end user to share this out to their networks.  This is the epitomy of a one-way message.

As you can see, the real difference between SMS and MMS is content. MMS messaging provides all the tools necessary to feature one or many products, drive direct purchase and increase the social visibility of each message.

Looking at both options, which best represents your company and your brand?  Broken, abbreviated text and limited interactivity or robust, rich multimedia and interactive links?

To learn more about Mogreet’s MMS mobile marketing program text MMS to 21534 (standard msg&data rates may apply) or email us.


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About Mogreet
With all of the clutter and confusion about mobile marketing and MMS message marketing on the internet, this blog is to help you with news and tips in mobile marketing. About Mogreet We help brands & agencies communicate via mobile messaging - in vibrant video, images, & audio MMS. Text MMS to 21534 for a live MMS demo. Msg&Data rates may apply.

3 Responses to Understanding Mobile Marketing: What is SMS & MMS Message Marketing?

  1. Ed says:

    I think one important fact you leave out is that in both instances, the mobile campaigns are opt in only. Which is important if you want to avoid FCC fines for unsolicited SMS/MMS marketing.

    Mobile is an important part of an integrated campaign. To effectively build your mobile database and be able to create and send these types offers, you must get consumer opt in.

    Research demonstrates that effective use of email and direct mail to build your database will help ensure a successful campaign.

  2. Mogreet says:

    Great point, Ed! It’s incredibly important for companies to build databases with voluntarily text-in or web opt-in not only to abide by industry regulations but also to respect the consumers’ privacy.

    Although this post was mainly to differentiate the two types of message marketing: SMS/MMS, you’ve inspired us to dedicate a future post covering the basics of mobile industry regulations and best practices! Here’s a past post we wrote about a similar topic of unsolicited text messages and how to stop them: http://blog.mogreet.com/2011/11/09/mms-unwanted-marketing-text-messages/

    Thanks for reading our blog and we love your feedback! Keep it comin 🙂

  3. SMS service is a communication medium that enables 2 mobile subscribers to send short text messages between their mobile devices. The messages are of 160 characters and it is also known as “text messaging” or “texting.” All mobile operator networks support SMS messages. The mass usage of SMS has created a market for SMS being used for marketing and advertising campaigns. Marketers need to be aware that there are 2 different forms of mobile marketing that is recommended by the MMA (Mobile Marketing

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