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Should You Use SMS or MMS for Your Business?

Laura Liang

Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr

Published Jun 9, 2022

In today’s world, text messages surround us and everyone is very familiar with them, however, are you able to answer the question “What is SMS” if someone asks? Do you really know what’s the difference between SMS and MMS? This article will tell you the pros and cons of each of them and how you can choose them when doing your business. 

What is SMS?

The full name of SMS is Short Message Service, and it is the original method of texting.  Although you may refer to various different message types as “text” in your daily life, SMS is actually a text message of up to 160 characters without any attached file. It was invented in the 1980s and is one of the oldest texting technologies, nonetheless, it is the most widespread and frequently used. 

What is MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, which is developed using the same technology as SMS to allow users to send a variety of content. For example, if you would like to send a picture, video, audio, or a website link, all these are considered as MMS. By sending MMS, you are allowed to send more than 160 characters and up to 1,600 characters. 

SMS vs. MMS: What Are the Differences?

Given the above definitions, if you are still confused about the differences between the two of them, the following section will introduce the key differences between SMS and MMS in detail. 

Media Supported

You can’t include any non-text related multimedia such as photos, audios, GIFs, videos, etc in an SMS. In contrast, you can send all these in an MMS message. 

Length of Messages

SMS messages are limited to 160 characters in length, or less if specific characters or emojis are included. By contrast,  MMS generally allows no more than 1,600 characters, which reduces the possibility of not breaking up your texts into several segments.

Deliverability

All cell phones can send and receive SMS messages. However, most, but not all cell phones could receive MMS messages. In this case, sending an MMS to a phone that is not supposed to receive MMS messages can cause deliverability issues. Also, you may not send MMS if you are not using a smartphone. 

Pricing

Sending MMS costs more data, so they will definitely be more expensive than SMS. Depending on the recipient’s plan, they may also have to pay for receiving MMS messages. The difference in price is typically 1-2 cents, however, this can add up if you are using MMS to send numerous marketing campaigns or customer support. With Textr Team, you’ll never worry about overspending as its plan includes unlimited SMS and MMS messages, check the price here

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Pros and Cons of SMS and MMS

Once you understand SMS and MMS, knowing the advantages and drawbacks of them will help you better engage with your customers. Both of them are great ways to communicate with your customers, sometimes one may be better or more effective depending on the use cases and how you intend to use it. 
Pros of SMS
  • You can keep the messages short and sweet with much less time and effort. 
  • It’s much cheaper to send than MMS.
  • You customers don’t have to pay to receive MMS messages since all types of phone are able to receive SMS texts. 

Cons of SMS
  • It is very easy for you to run out of characters
  • You can’t include any multimedias like GIFs, emojis, pictures, videos, or audio files, which is hard for you to grab attention.

Pros of MMS
  • You can freestyle whatever you want for marketing or any other purposes since you are not likely to reach over 1,600 characters.
  • You can incorporate multimedia, including GIFs, pictures, videos, audio, and emojis, which will make your messages be much more engaging.

Cons of MMS
  • Not all customers will be able to receive the MMS messages, some may need to pay for it. For example, seniors who do not use smartphones may not receive the MMS messages. 
  • Sending MMS costs more, and you may want to limit how often you will send MMS if your budget is not enough. 
  • If you want to send videos or graphics, you may need to create them by yourself or hire someone to do this task.
  • The higher character limit makes it easier to create the content that is harder to read originally.

How Do You Choose Between SMS and MMS in Business? 

Now you have understanded SMS and MMS, then you will use it in different situations as they have their own advantages. If you want to communicate quick reminders and follow-ups, SMS is the best choice. For example, you can use SMS for:
  • Appointment reminders 
  • Orders confirmations
  • Tracking deliveries
  • Time-sensitive alerts
  • Customer support
SMS conveys messages quickly and using it to send important or transactional texts can help you make sure all customers receive them. Some customers whose phones can’t receive MMS will miss some important messages if you use MMS to send important information.  By contrast, MMS is a good option for sending mass texts or lengthy messages if you want to better engage with your customers. Essentially, MMS is powerful when you leverage it for marketing campaigns since multimedia content is the best medium to grab people’s attention. You can use it when:
  • Birthday cards or holiday messages
  • Discounts and coupons
  • New product introduction
  • Service announcements
  • Sales promotions
When you’re texting, it’s easy to switch between SMS and MMS. So it’s important for you to analyze your customer base and decide which one you will use. SMS is simple, cheap, and reliable, while MMS supports any multimedia contents you want to send. Leveraging these two types of texts will allow you to have the best interaction with your customers and then achieve your marketing goals.  Textr Team is a text & call on one app that covers all your business communication needs . Without using your personal phone number, you’ll have unlimited SMS and MMS messaging and call minutes, so you won’t worry about overspending on MMS. Also, you can register an SMS campaign, segment your customers by tags and notes, set up IVR, and more. To get started, download Textr Team now and start your text journey!

Should you have any further concerns, you may contact us by email [email protected].

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