Everything You Need to Know About MMS in the US

In 2016, virtually every adult consumer is at least familiar with mobile messaging. And while a lot of the discussion surrounding mobile messaging and business happens in regards to SMS, MMS presents an equally powerful opportunity. If you haven’t honed in on this option yet, you may be missing out.

What is MMS?

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MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service and is one of two standard forms of mobile messaging (SMS is the other). And while both MMS and SMS involve the sending and receiving of a message via a mobile phone, the former is distinctly different than the latter.

In addition to sending a text, an MMS message can also include sounds, images, and videos. It’s also possible to send an MMS message from a smartphone to a standard email address. The different formats that can be embedded into an MMS message include text (formatted with various fonts and colors), audio (MP3 and MIDI), images (JPEG and GIF), and video (MPEG).

The first MMS capable phones were introduced around 2002 in conjunction with the first GSM network. The Sony Ericsson T68i is widely believed to be the first MMS capable cell phone, while many more hit North American markets beginning in 2004 and 2005.

MMS messaging got off to a slow start, but has quickly scaled over the past few years. By the end of this year, research suggests the number of MMS messages (worldwide) will reach an estimated 276.8 billion.

In other words, businesses need to pay attention to MMS. The growth in this area of mobile communications is staggering, and you want to ensure you’re staying up to date and relevant.

Comparing MMS with SMS

Since MMS and SMS are the two primary means of mobile messaging, many within sales, marketing, and customer service are interested to learn more about how they compare and contrast.

As previously mentioned, the biggest difference between the two mobile messaging technologies involves the unique capabilities. Whereas SMS is reserved for sending 160 character “text” messages, MMS can send much longer “multimedia” messages.

In a world that’s dominated by social media and visuals, MMS obviously has some distinct advantages. If a picture is worth a thousand words – while a text message is only worth 160 characters – you can conclude that sending videos and images is exponentially more valuable than simply sending a couple lines of text.

But you can’t simply look at the technology when comparing the two. You also have to consider the cost. Since MMS is a much more advanced technology, it also comes with a higher price tag. You’re essentially paying a premium for being able to include multimedia elements. For many businesses, this premium is well worth it.

3 Potential Uses of MMS for Your Biz

You’ll have to determine for your own business whether or not MMS has a place in your mobile engagement strategy moving forward. In a world where the number of text messages and minutes of talk are declining and MMS messages are simultaneously rising, it’s smart to at least consider how this medium can be used. Here are a few specific ways companies are leveraging MMS:

  1. Customer Support

In highly technical industries, MMS is being used to aid customer support. As Meredith Flynn-Ripley, CEO of HeyWire Business, told OpenMarket, “Contact centers are playing catch-up to their customers’ preferred channel of mobile, which brings flexibility and responsiveness unlike voice calling and emails.”

Take, for example, a company that sells computer hardware. When a customer has an issue, it’s incredibly difficult for them to explain the issue over the phone and have the customer service representative fully understand what’s happening and relay the appropriate solution. However, MMS messaging opens up an entirely new set of possibilities. The customer can now take a picture of the issue, send it, and receive situation-specific solutions.

But it’s not just tech companies that are using MMS. Insurance companies are also finding it helpful when dealing with claims. A driver can now send pictures of an accident directly to their agent to speed up the claims process after a car wreck. It’s little things like this that are changing the way customer support is approached.

  1. Marketing Materials

Since MMS traditionally enjoys such an impressive open rate – somewhere between 95-99 percent by most accounts – it makes sense that businesses would use MMS messages to send out marketing materials. While SMS can also be used, MMS allows for traditional graphics, logos, and visuals. It’s an incredibly efficient approach to increasing marketing exposure.

  1. Highly Personal Communication

Today’s consumer has been conditioned to expect personalization. For smaller businesses without bottomless marketing budgets, this can be an issue. It costs a lot of money to personalize everything. Well, MMS can level the playing field.

Using MMS, you can send out occasional messages to individual customers. How cool would it be for one of your customers to receive a personalized video clip from the CEO wishing them a happy birthday? Or what if your sales department sent out visual thank you notes to new customers? These are things a customer doesn’t forget the next time they make a purchase.

Contact OpenMarket Today

MMS is something you don’t want to leave out of your mobile engagement strategy. It combines the immediacy of SMS with the added power of immersive audio, video, and visual capabilities. The result is an extremely powerful and modern medium of communication that’s seen as more attractive and engaging on the receiving end.

At OpenMarket, some of the largest organizations in the world use our enterprise-grade network to reach and engage their biggest customers. When you work with us, you immediately gain access to our messaging platform, active monitoring, and a proven and trusted support team that’s available 24/7/365.

For additional information onrunning US MMS campaigns – or any of our other mobile messaging solutions – please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would love to put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable team members who can better explain how MMS would fit in with your current communications strategy.