WHAT IS MMS GROUP MESSAGING

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MMS group messaging-Introduction

“What is MMS group messaging?” This question holds importance in a world that encompasses more than 7 million mobile phone users. Thanks to technological advancements, MMS Marketing has become one of the most effective ways to reach customers and engage with them in real time. 

Did you know that around 91 percent of people keep their mobile phones within their reach at all times? This is why SMSs and MMSs have an open rate of 98 percent. 

When businesses wish to send text messages to a large group of people, MMS group messaging can be a great way to engage with customers.

What is MMS group messaging? How does it work? How can it benefit businesses? How is it different from SMS group messaging? We’ll cover all this and help you figure out the best messaging strategy for growing your business. Let’s dive straight into it! 

What is MMS group messaging?

MMS group messaging is an extension of group texting that allows businesses to seamlessly communicate with their customers to drive more engagement and land conversions. Before we delve into the intricacies of MMS group messaging, let’s first clarify MMS as a concept. 

What is MMS? 
Short for Multimedia Messaging Service, this type of messaging goes beyond a simple text. It includes video, audio, images, and GIFs.  

MMS group messaging allows businesses to send MMS’s to multiple people at the same time, it is an effective, inexpensive and intimate form of driving useful customer engagement.

Types of MMS group messaging

Group messaging can be classified into two categories, namely: group texts and broadcast or mass texts.

  1. Group texts: In the case of group texting, you can send messages by adding all recipients to a group and communicating with them on a single ongoing thread IE all the recipients will be able to view each other’s contact information and messages. 
  2. Mass texts: A great way to send marketing communications to customers is to send a text to multiple contacts without a group message or use broadcast/mass texting. In this case, the recipients of the group will not be able to see each other’s contact details or messages IE a single communication thread is created between the sender and each recipient.

Check out our detailed article on group text vs mass text to understand the differences between these two types of group texting. 

Benefits of MMS group messaging

  1. Time-saving: MMS Group messaging helps to engage with multiple participants at once, thereby saving a lot of time and effort. 
  2. Easy integration: If you use MMS group messaging softwares like Emitrr, you can easily bring in data and conversations from multiple channels. 
  3. Seamless communication: Whether you are connecting with your employees or your customers, you can keep everyone in the loop with MMS group messaging. 
  4. Ability to get creative: Since MMS group messaging allows you to send media as a part of your promotional texts, you can be more creative and differentiate yourself from the competition
  5. Better engagement: Since sending group texts also includes multimedia content in the form of images, videos, and GIFs, it naturally catches the attention of the reader, thereby driving better engagement and conversions. 

How is MMS group messaging different from SMS group messaging?

MMS group messaging involves multimedia content, has fewer limitations and is highly engaging in sharp contrast to SMS group messaging. MMS group messaging is perfect for making product announcements, sharing product video walkthroughs with your customers or collaborating with an internal team. 

While group messaging effectively means conversing with a group of people at the same time, the nature of the content shared is what makes SMS and MMS group messaging different. 

Use cases of MMS group messaging

MMS group messaging is highly advantageous for both internal and external usage. Here are some top use cases: 

Internal communication 

  • Sharing information and marketing collaterals
  • Making informal plans with coworkers 
  • Sharing information regarding and updates on sales, revenues, and profits 
  • Wishing team members on special occasions 

External communication 

  • Sending product videos and brochures to customers 
  • Promotional messages related to an upcoming sale
  • Emergency alerts and schedule changes
  • Congratulatory messages on Birthdays and festivals 

Creating an opt-in database for MMS group messaging

MMS group messaging is nothing but group chat, wherein you can send and receive messages to multiple recipients by the way of long-code phone numbers.  

To be able to send MMS group messages, you first need to create a database of your customers who have opted-in/subscribed to receive communications from you. In the case of MMS group messaging, asking your customers to opt-in is imperative as any negligence on that part can lead to your messages being marked as spam. 

Fact check: What are long-code phone numbers? 
A long code number is nothing but your usual 10-digit phone number that you usually use for P2P messaging, using this number for marketing communications can enhance customer engagement as they deliver a more personalized experience. 

Opting in is the written consent that a customer gives to receive group marketing messages from a business. If you don’t ask your customers permission before sending them marketing communications, you are invading their privacy, which is highly frowned upon. 

So, to be able to generate sufficient engagement, build your customer base, and boost sales, you need to invite people to opt-in to receive communications. 

There are three ways that you can invite customers to opt in. 

  • Keyword

One way to invite customers to subscribe to your communications is through keywords. When customers text keywords to short code numbers, they have opted in for marketing communications. In order to invite maximum opt-ins, you need to promote your shortcodes and keywords wherever possible. From social media to emails, posters to advertisements; you need to really get the (KEY)word out! 

Fact check: What are short code numbers? 
Short code numbers are short digit sequences that are used by businesses to run marketing campaigns. These abbreviated numbers are shorter than telephone numbers and are 5-6 digits in length. Short code numbers require carrier approval since they are used for marketing purposes. 
Here’s an example: 
‘Winter is here! Get discounts on your favourite merch at Style Stores this winter season. Text ILOVEWINTERS to 599599 and receive exclusive discount offers!’ 
The ‘ILOVEWINTERS’ is the keyword and ‘599599’ is the shortcode number. 

The great thing about keyword opt-ins is that you can use personalization to drive better engagement and more conversions.

  • Sign-up forms 

Another way to invite opt-ins is by sending web forms to your customers. A web form that initiates sign-ups generally requires the customers to enter their name, phone number, and email address; and check a box that verifies that the customer agrees to the terms and conditions of the business. When a customer fills in all the details and hits ‘submit’ he/she has opted in to receive messages from the business in question. 

  • Paper forms 

Old school paper forms are also a great way to invite opt-ins and engage with your customers. But how do you ensure compliance with a paper form? It’s simple: adding a checkbox along with a disclaimer. 

Here’s an example: 

Customer information:

Name: 

Email address: 

Phone number 

<> I agree to receive notifications from this business 

Signature: ________________

By adding a signature column, you won’t face any compliance issues. It is like a shield that will keep your messages from getting spammed. 

Can you send MMS group messages on iPhone and Android? 

To be able to send MMS group messages, you need to enable the MMS Messaging feature in the settings of your iPhone or Android Phone. If there isn’t such an option, then you need to contact your network carrier for the same. 

For iPhone users, the limit for sending regular MMS group messages (green bubble) is 10, including the sender. In the case of iMessage (blue bubble), the limit is 32, including the sender.  

In the case of Android phones, the number of recipients you can add depends on the model, but it generally varies between 10-30. 

The process of sending a MMS group messaging is very similar to sharing SMS group messaging on android and IOS, the step by step process for Mass texting through various platforms is available here .

How do carriers treat MMS group messaging?

Carriers follow strict rules with respect to handling phone calls, emails, and web services and all of these are classified as telecommunication services. However, when it comes to MMS or SMS messaging, the carriers for the longest time lacked clarity on the best category for the same. 

It was in 2018 that the FCC voted to classify messages as information services, and not as telecommunication services. 

There are various carriers that support MMS group messaging: 

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • US Cellular 
  • Verizon Wireless 
  • Metro PCS
  • T-Mobile USA 

Network carriers also have their own set of rules when it comes to MMS group messaging. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) prohibits businesses to use MMS group messaging for promoting illegal goods and services. It also holds the authority to block messages that contain hate speech, profanity, and pornographic content. 

To understand how carriers treat SMSs and MMSs, let’s look at the comparison table below: 

sms vs mms

Rules for MMS group messaging for businesses

Did you know that 2.8 percent of all messages are spam? According to the FCC, there were around 15,000 complaints received last year pertaining to unwanted messages. If you are also into the practice of sending messages to your customers without their permission, then you are in violation of the TCPA rules and will have your messages spammed. This is called filtering. 

When it comes to MMS group messaging, there are two main rules that apply: how businesses can protect the privacy of consumers, and how frequently they can send MMS group messages.

If you do not want your messages to be considered illicit or unwanted, you need to adopt certain practices to avoid the filtering of your MMS group messages. These practices will help you engage seamlessly with your customers and stay away from the radar of TCPA, FCC, or CTIA. 

As per CTIA, here are some rules and best practices that you can follow while sending MMS group messages to your customers.

  1. Using proper methods for opt-ins: Before sending marketing communications across, you need to ask permission from your customers. Doing so will help you acquire a database of people who actually want to receive marketing messages from you. You need to respect the privacy of your customers and approach them politely. Hence, asking for their consent is paramount. 
  2. Timing and Intent: Send crisp MMS group messages that serve the purpose of promoting your business. Do not send MMS group messages at odd times. People hate early-morning and late-night promotional texts. If people receive messages that do not align with their interests, they might not respond, or worse; they might mark your business as spam. So make sure that your messages are well-thought-out and that they align with the intent of the user.  
  3. Allowing for easy opt-outs: Whenever you send a message to your customers, always close it with a one-liner that clearly gives them the option to unsubscribe. Here’s an example: Reply ‘STOP’ to opt-out”. Also, track your opt-outs. If a lot of people are opting out of your communications, figure out what’s causing the spike and take corrective measures.  
  4. Sending appropriate messages: Do not send anything that can potentially hurt your customers’ sentiments in any way possible or makes them uncomfortable. Make sure that every single message is well-constructed, has meaning, and benefits the customer. Personalize messages for every customer. 

Explore Emitrr’s MMS group messaging

Emitrr is a customer communication and engagement platform through which you can send marketing campaigns and generate engagement. By using Emitrr’s messaging capabilities, you can send one-to-one messages, group messages (SMS and MMS), and mass texts. 

It is possible to send MMS group messages using Emitr, just like you can send mass texts, BCC texts and group texts using the software. You can add images and videos while drafting MMS messages to your customers. 

Conclusion

MMS Group messaging can help you generate good ROI for your business, drive more engagement and easily ensure customer recall. 

As a business owner, you need to be in compliance with the rules of sending marketing communications to your customers. All you need to do is understand what your customers need, formulate a sound marketing strategy, and implement it by the way of messaging. 

Considering the open rate of messages, this is sure to get you ample leads and conversions and help simulate sales. Check out how you can make the most of MMS group messaging by booking a demo with Emitrr. 

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