Along with the invention of cell phones, text messages redefined the conventional “mobile” communication as we know today.
Text messages successfully replaced letters by allowing people to send compact messages across thousands of miles with the click of a button. Short Messaging Service (SMS) was popular amongst the masses in no time. However, SMS is not the only component of a text message. SMS, along with MMS, made the umbrella of “texting” as we know today.
So, what is MMS?
MMS is the abbreviation for Multimedia Messaging Service. As the name rightly suggests, MMS involves sending text messages to and from a mobile phone using multimedia content. An MMS message is essentially an extension of an SMS message.
MMS uses the same technology as SMS for creating and delivering message though a cellular network. Though it is commonly used for sending pictures, MMS messages can send videos (up to 40 seconds), audio clips, phone contacts and GIFs as well. The maximum limit of characters to be used in an MMS message is 1,600 as opposed to 160 characters for SMS.
The technology of MMS messaging is generally incorporated within a mobile phone along with the SMS technology. It can be utilised as and when it is needed by the users, without the need for an internet connection. You can turn an SMS message into an MMS message simply by adding a multimedia file to the text message.
Also, unlike OTT messaging applications such as WhatsApp and iMessage, there is no need to download or install an external platform for availing the MMS technology. Almost every phone produced in the market today is equipped with already equipped with MMS.
However, in case a cell phone does not support MMS, the media connected to the message will be displayed in the form of a hyperlink. This link can be opened in a web browser to view the media attached to the message.
MMS has become a fairly popular and widely used technology since it was introduced. The fact that it reaches to the remotest places without the use of internet has attracted numerous businesses in using MMS messages for marketing and business communication. It has catered to both the casual informal messaging as well as formal communication.
Now, after answering basic questions such as, “What is MMS?” and “What does MMS do?” it is important to understand how similar MMS is to SMS.
How Similar Is MMS To SMS?
The basic differences between SMS and MMS are pretty well-known. SMS uses texts number and symbols, while MMS uses multimedia. SMS allows not more than 160 characters per message, while MMS allows not more than 1,600. On a standalone basis, an MMS message would cost you more than an SMS message.
However, there are a few similarities between the two messaging technologies as well. Both MMS and SMS fall under the category of text messages. Both the technologies are already incorporated within a cell phone. Both SMS and MMS can be used for sending messages over a cellular network, instead of making use of the internet.
Also, both the technologies are used by businesses for marketing purposes. A marketer usually opts for both SMS and MMS marketing together. A major reason behind this is the fact that it ensures rapid and efficient communication.
Common Myths About MMS
In spite of being widely accepted and utilised across the globe, there are several misconception about the use of MMS. Here are some of the common myths revolving around MMS that everyone should be aware of:
A Data Plan Is Required For MMS
The increasing use of OTT messaging applications has made people believe that an internet connection is required for sending messages with media from their cell phones. This has also resulted in the assumption that one required a data plan for sending and receiving MMS messages.
However, this is not true. You do not require any data plan for using MMS. All you need for sending and receiving MMS messages is a cellular network. MMS can be used for sending multimedia messages, whether the recipient has a smart phone or not. This is also one of the primary reasons why marketers use MMS messages for promoting their businesses.
MMS Is Not Prevalent In Developed Countries
Another common misconception regarding MMS is that the technology is only used in countries that are not highly developed in terms of technology. However, MMS used for personal and professional purposes in all major developed countries of the world.
MMS messages are created and circulated in almost every country across the globe, whether it is India, China or the USA. In fact, majority of private individuals and corporate houses in the USA communicate using MMS.
Majority Of Mobile Phones Do Not Support MMS
There are still a few individuals that believe that MMS is not for every mobile phone. It is assumed that the technology can only be utilised in smart phones. However, the truth is that MMS messages were introduced before there were smart phones in the market.
All kinds of cell phone being produced, whether they are smart phones or not, support MMS technology and can be used for sending and receiving MMS messages. As far as your phone allows you to view images and listen to sound clips, you can utilise the technology of MMS on the same.
MMS Costs More Than SMS In A Text Messaging Plan
Although an MMS message would cost you more than an SMS message on a standalone basis, there is no discrimination between the two in a text messaging plan.
When you opt for a text messaging plan, no matter which plan it is, it would cover both MMS and SMS messages at the same rate. You will never have to pay extra for MMS while availing free SMS benefits. However, you may have to pay more for MMS if you require special benefits going out of the way of your messaging plan.
What Is MMS Marketing?
The popularity and benefits of MMS quickly made it a favourite of marketers. The technology is used by an array of businesses for communicating with their current and potential customers.
As the name suggests, MMS marketing is the activity of businesses using MMS messages to communicate with their customers for promoting their products and services. Here, brands draft and send MMS messages right onto the cell phones of their customers, provided they have their consent to do the same.
MMS marketing involves sending messages for multiple purposes. Businesses can send exclusive offers, discounts, sweepstakes or schemes to the customers for driving sales or rewarding their loyalty.
MMS marketing also allows businesses to send important updates regarding a change in a policy or arrival of a new product that the customer might be interested in. A major advantage that MMS marketing has over SMS marketing is the use of images and videos. Visual aids tend to stay with customers for a longer time, helping brand improve their recall value.
However, MMS marketing can get complicated and tedious if you are dealing with multiple customers and sending multiple MMS messages on a regular basis. This has resulted in businesses incorporating text messaging applications within their organisations to facilitate efficient creation and delivery of MMS messages.
Textible.io, one of the best Salesforce text messaging apps, automated MMS marketing to a great extent. It allows users to utilise their customer database for collecting important details regarding the customers and send messages according to their specific needs and preferences. This does not only save time and efforts put in by the sales representatives, but also allows them to provide personalised services to their customers.
Business Implications Of MMS
Along with MMS marketing, the technology of MMS is prominently used by business houses of all kinds. Here are a few key business implications of MMS:
Building Customer Relations
If used smartly, MMS can be use for establishing and improving relations of businesses with their customers. Brands can use simple multimedia tactics for gaining confidence of their customers. For instance, sending an animation wishing them on their birthdays would convey that you care for your customers.
You can also send images and videos of the latest stock of products you think would suit the interest of specific customers. Such activities help you build better customer relations and create a loyal base.
There have been several instances where iMaps and Google Maps have not been able to locate places exactly. In such situations, businesses can send an image of a custom map showing the exact location of their store through an MMS message.
If a business does not have an online store, they can send previews of their products in the form of product images and videos to their customers through MMS.
A lot of misunderstands and conflicts are resolved by businesses sending images of receipts and other important documents to internal and external parties as a visual proof via MMS.