We spend a lot of time talking about SMS, QR codes, Mobile Web and Mobile Applications. For some reason MMS is often missing from our vocabulary – the real question is why? Read why MMS has the potential to change mobile as we know it.
With the emergence of new MMS based platforms, like Rich Media Messaging, we need to be embracing the technology as the best choice for direct messaging in the mobile space. Before we can decide if MMS is best for our current mobile initiatives, we have to understand the capabilities and limitations of the technology. It’s time to get the low down and dispel some of the fallacies surrounding this technology.
Myth 1: MMS has limited market reach
Did you know that 99% of phones have the capacity to accept MMS in the United States. As more sophisticated phones have been introduced into the market, there are very few phones that do not support MMS technology. Over the past few years, carrier infrastructure has improved and vendors have gotten smarter to deliver MMS on all the major carriers. What does this mean to us – consider the user experience of SMS vs MMS. As marketers we could send a 160 character based message or we could send a combination of audio, video, images and long text to the same handsets. This opens the door to marketers to push more engaging content to their opted in users like scanable bar codes, user generated videos, and promotional content to extend media campaigns.
Myth 2: MMS is Expensive
MMS has a sordid history with premium based messaging. That’s likely why we associate it with higher costs than SMS. Over the last few years, the cost of this technology has come down substantially. From a user perspective, the cost is based on standard messaging rates – MMS is included in most messaging bundles, so there is no additional cost to the end user. From a marketer perspective, the cost of delivering a MMS is usually based on a per message model with the additional cost of creating content for the campaign. MMS is a very cost effective mobile marketing option and most marketers are seeing higher returns on investment than many other mobile strategies like apps and web – this is in part due to the low set-up costs and the greater market penetration of MMS.
Myth 3: MMS does not deliver results
We already know that 97% of SMS messages are opened (83% are opened within the first hour, Frost and Sulivan, 2010). The same open rate is true of MMS due to user messaging behavior. The difference with MMS is the user engagement level and the results surrounding the ultimate call to action. For example typically with SMS we see double digit redemption rates with coupons around 16% (Comscore, 2011). With MMS we have seen conversion rates as high as 30% (Iris Mobile, 2011).
Myth 4: MMS is the same as SMS
Some marketers believe that MMS is similar to SMS in that the only difference is that users can link to rich content if they have data plans. This in fact is not the case. MMS is push technology and much like SMS does not require end users to have a data plan to receive rich content. It in fact enables 96% of the market to access rich content. With a SMS link, content must be downloaded and only data enabled handsets, which account for 41.1% of the market (Comscore, 2011) would have access. This means that marketers can send rich content to almost any handset at standard messaging rates. There are no programs to download, or links to follow in order to view content thus resulting in higher conversion rates.
MMS needs to be the leading messaging technology in our mobile tool kits. We must capitalize on this underutilized, cost effective technology to send rich content and benefit from the highest conversion rates of any other mobile technology available in the market today.
Cezar Kolodziej, Ph.D. – President & CEO
Cezar Kolodziej, PhD is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Iris Mobile. He is widely recognized as one of foremost mobile technologist and visionary experts on MMS, rich media messaging and universal mobile marketing. He is actively participating in defining the next generation mobile marketing and advertising. He has more than 20 years of technology and managerial leadership experience.
Prior to founding Iris Mobile, Cezar was Chief Architect for the Motorola messaging business. Under his leadership Motorola messaging products were chosen as an exclusive multimedia-messaging platform by the largest tier-1 US wireless operator, considered the most successful in the world as measured by MMS uptake.