One of the common questions we hear from businesses is whether they should send SMS or MMS. We also get asked what’s the difference.

So here’s our handy little guide on whether SMS or MMS is better for your business.

So what’s the difference between SMS and MMS?

Most of us now send and receive text messages every day; the majority of these are sent via Short Message Service or SMS. These are simple text-based messages, with no image or video attached. SMS are sent via mobile carriers and do not require access to the internet, only the cell towers.

Despite being one of the oldest texting technologies used today, having been developed in the 1980s, SMS remains the most widely used globally.

If you want to send a long message or add imagery, the SMS becomes a Multimedia Message or MMS. Typically MMS supports:

  • Long messages of up to 5000 characters
  • A subject line of up to 64 characters
  • Multimedia files – images (.png, .jpeg, .gif), audio and more.

MMS is essentially an enhanced text message. So if you can’t get your message across in an SMS, why not use MMS?

SMS vs MMS: A Comparison

Both SMS and MMS are effective ways to communicate with and engage your audience, but there are important differences, and each has its pros and cons.

Should you use SMS?

Phone with text messages showing

Pro: gets your message across succinctly, does not require an internet connection and messages are cheaper.
Con: limitations in terms of content versatility and quality; MMS allows for greater creativity and options to deliver captivating, comprehensive content.

When to Use SMS:

  • You want to send short, sharp, simple messages
  • You need to send a message fast, without waiting on new imagery
  • Cost-efficiency and budget concerns are important
  • To suit delivery to any and all phones (not all phone plans are MMS-enabled)

Should you use MMS?

Pro: enables a much higher level of consumer engagement. Captivate your audience with MMS for:

  • 15% higher clickthrough rate than SMS
  • The four-fold likelihood that your message will be shared by consumers
  • 20% fewer opt-outs

Con: MMS costs more than SMS, and recipients need an internet connection to receive the multimedia content.

However, MMS is far more shareable and delivers fantastic ROI for businesses when used with their targeted audience.

When to Use MMS

Phone with text messages showing

Use MMS to capture attention immediately; with eye-catching content, you can really boost engagement. You can also use MMS to:

  • Send more detailed messages, similar to an email but faster (and no spam filters!)
  • Photos, videos, or GIFs
  • Event Posters
  • Maps/Directions
  • Menus
  • QR codes

…and more. We look forward to seeing how you use MMS to engage your customers.

How to Choose SMS vs MMS: Some Examples

It’s really up to you to decide whether SMS or MMS is better for your business. It depends highly on who your recipients are, which industry you’re in, what you’re selling and what message you want to convey.

Here are some examples:

  • The fashion industry is well suited to MMS, as there is a whole world of opportunity when it comes to creating eye-catching imagery.
  • Food and travel industries can also benefit from MMS, given the scope of great content that can be shared.
  • Emergency alerts are urgent, succinct communications that must relay basic information quickly and without distraction. SMS is the most reliable, cost-efficient way to deliver these messages.
  • Appointment reminders and booking confirmations need to be clear and concise – whether it’s for a medical appointment, a salon booking, or a personal training session, automated reminders reinforce and improve attendance rates. SMS is perfect for this.
  • Run an eCommerce store? Amp up your cart abandonment marketing with MMS – give your customers a visual reminder of the products they are missing out on.
  • Event invitations work well when delivered via MMS. It’s also great for sending tickets with a graphic and a QR code, eliminating any need for attendees to print a ticket.

If you want to achieve the best results and a massive boost in ROI, consider your messaging strategy and how it’s applied. You might even find that a combination of SMS and MMS achieve the best ROI; best of both worlds we say 😎

Let’s Get Sending: SMS, MMS and More

Whether you choose SMS, MMS or another of our messaging tools, sign up with us and let us support you with finding the best communications solution for your business. Sign up and get sending now, like tens of thousands of our clients worldwide.