Multimedia Messaging Service, or MMS, allows brands to enjoy many of the same advantages available from SMS, along with a few unique perks. Although this marketing method has been available for some time, it has recently gained momentum among brands all across the country. Several brands have even come up with some innovative ways to use MMS that can serve as an inspiration to other marketers.
MMS has grown rapidly in the United States, and it covers a larger consumer base every year. In 2011, consumers in the U.S. sent and received approximately 207 billion MMS messages. Experts predict that this number will increase to 3875 billion in 2016. As many as 98 percent of consumers with cell phones are capable of receiving MMS messages.
Just like SMS messages, MMS content is delivered directly to a customer's messaging inbox. As a result, they are much more likely to be opened and read by the consumer than messages delivered using other methods. In fact, studies have shown that customers read 97 percent of the MMS messages they receive. 87 percent of these messages are even opened within the first hour of receipt.
MMS messaging also offers several advantages over SMS messaging. These advantages include:
- No character limitation. - Unlike SMS messages, which are limited to only 160 characters, MMS messages can contain an unlimited number of characters.
- Better branding opportunities. - Because MMS messages can include a variety of media along with text, they offer better branding opportunities than SMS messages.
- More visually compelling. - The addition of pictures and videos to MMS messages make them more visually appealing to consumers. MMS messages are more likely to grab consumers' attention, engage them and inspire them to share content with friends and family members.
- Targeted, personalized messages. - MMS provides marketers with a tool they can use to send personalized content to consumers based on their behavior and preferences. This customized content leads to higher levels of engagement and interaction.
MMS Success Stories
Several big brands have already enjoyed the success that comes with innovative MMS marketing campaigns. Here are some of the creative ways large brands have used MMS to increase profitability.
1. Starbucks - Summer Deal Alerts
In its most recent summer promotion, coffee giant Starbucks put both SMS and MMS to work to bring customers into the store. The company began by inviting consumers to participate in a trivia contest via SMS. Customers who participated were entered into a prize drawing, and they were also added to a list for summer deal alerts. The company then sent an MMS message to customers that included information and media related to Starbuck's Happy Hour Specials.
2. BMW - Targeted MMS
Using MMS and information about individual consumers, BMW was able to target each consumer's individual needs with its winter MMS campaign. As winter approached, BMW sent an MMS message to consumers to encourage them to purchase snow tires for their vehicles. Each message included information specific to the consumer's own vehicle, as well as a link to the appropriate page on BMW's website. This campaign cost approximately $60,000, produced a 30 percent conversion rate and generated $45 million in revenue.
3. Pretty Little Liars - Engaging Fans with MMS
The popular television show "Pretty Little Liars" offers another example of how MMS messaging can be used creatively. During 2013, the show encouraged viewers to provide their mobile phone numbers online in order to receive exclusive MMS messages from "A," one of the main characters on the show. The campaign resulted in the capture of more than 100,000 mobile phone numbers in a single season.
4. Avenue - Generating Impressive ROI
Plus-size clothing retailer Avenue used MMS messaging to engage consumers and encourage purchases. During the campaign, the retailer sent consumers promotional content and coupons via MMS every week. This campaign resulted in a staggering ROI of 6,600% for the brand. Avenue also reports that consumers opened its MMS messages more than 95 percent of the time.