You will most likely be familiar with the terms SMS and MMS, whether you are in mobile marketing or not.
Even though instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have taken over the messaging, SMS and MMS still exist, if not so vigorously.
At one point, all of us would have received an SMS or MMS notification. But do you know what these terms mean?
Mobile marketing has proved its value in digital marketing. More and more brands are employing mobile marketing to reach out to their target audience. Mobile marketing is being essentially used to establish long-term associations with consumers. SMS and MMS are one of the common and oldest mobile marketing tactics. If you are into mobile marketing, you must understand how integral they are in building sales and marketing strategies.
What is SMS?
SMS stands for Short Message Service. It is the basic text message you receive on your smartphone’s inbuilt messenger app.
SMS enables users to send short messages (approximately 60 characters each) to receivers via phone number. While one text message is 160 characters long, you can send long texts at one go, which are basically split into multiple segments of 160 characters each. Usually, a carrier charge is applied for every text message of 160 characters you sent.
The first SMS/MMS services date back to the 1990s, and it was the only marketing tool available back then. SMS is still the most popular type of mobile marketing because of its affordability, speed, scalability, and good ROI.
Text messages or SMS transmit through a network of cellular towers, controllers, location registers, servers and a web of base stations and more servers before they finally reach the recipient’s phone. Due to this reason, a failed SMS is most likely to happen during bad weather conditions and jammed servers.
What is MMS?
MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. It allows you to share multimedia, such as images, videos, documents, audio files, etc. to different devices. You use the same messenger technology that you use for SMS to send and receive an MMS.
While you may have sent multimedia messages to Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, sending MMS is quite different because, in here, the media is transmitted via your mobile service provider.
Just as when you make calls and send/receive texts a carrier charge is applied by your mobile service provider, an MMS functions in a similar fashion. MMS does not work over WiFi. It requires a cellular data connection between the sender and receiver.
MMS essentially is used to deliver push notifications, in-app messaging and other one-way communications.
MMS does not have a standard limit, like SMS. However, it totally depends upon the device you and the recipient are using. That being said, all carriers can smoothly handle 300 KB size of multimedia.
SMS and MMS Usage
SMS is a common and popular way of texting in the USA, as all mobile service providers offer unlimited texting plans. However, since most users possess iPhone, iMessage follows suit and holds the second position.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging application in the rest of the world. It gained precedence in the year 2013 after unlimited texting plans over the WiFi became a norm. In countries like India, China, and Brazil, where mobile operators offer only limited texting plans, WhatsApp unlimited person-to-person texting is a boon.
An average American adult uses a mobile device for 3 hours every day. It has led many B2B businesses to use SMS as one of the effective channels for product and brand marketing, and reach new customers.
Apparently, 90% of all text messages are read within 3 seconds of their arrival. Hospitals and other health care providers still use SMS to send alerts and reminders. Not only them but also eCommerce platforms and logistics, food delivery partners, and routine customer service providers use SMS to send information and notify customers about appointments, dues, bill payments, etc.
Difference between MMS and SMS
Although they have emerged from the same technology and they are often interchangeable, they do differ from each other vastly.
We have listed below the key difference between the two:
Length: SMS stands for short messaging, so the maximum length permissible is 160 characters per text.
The length increases 10X times in MMS. You can write up to 1600 characters in a single MMS message.
Message Delivery: Since SMS predates the internet, they are transmitted via cellular towers and still functions the way it was originally built. The process is highly complex and involves many stations and servers.
MMS uses the Transmission Communication Protocol/Internet Protocol or TCP/IP to receive and send multimedia messages. This means you need cellular internet or data to encode and decode MMS content.
Messaging Charges: The carrier charges are cheap, or perhaps nil in the case of SMS, while the carrier charge is 10X times more in the case of MMS. However, most mobile service providers deduct a monthly rental and make the entire process unlimited.
If you ask us which is better for marketing, MMS or SMS, we would say it is a mix of both that will help you create a perfect marketing communication strategy. It will not only be effective but also co-efficient to combine both the services to deliver optimum information to consumers.
For instance, for a prompted response, a simple SMS will be perfect, while for customer engagement, an interactive video player via MMS shall be apter.
However, your budget, your consumer niche, and your product and services should be the ultimate deciding factor on whether to include MMS or SMS or both in your marketing strategy.
Please contact us to know how NeuroTags technology helps brands strengthen marketing strategy.