Blog/Beyond Texting

How Nonprofits Can Use MMS To Improve Their Messages

Learn about how sending MMS messages can help you relay stronger, more appealing content to your nonprofit text subscriber list.

Featured image for the article

Studies show that people remember 20% of what they read, but about 80% of what they see and do. If you need to tell a story, craft an appeal, or inspire people, pictures are over one thousand times more effective.

A text message provides a quick, 160-character moment to capture the hearts and minds of donors, volunteers, and supporters alike. But what if you could expand your messages to create an impact that stays with recipients throughout their day?

With MMS, it’s possible.

How Does MMS Improve Nonprofit Messaging?

Semiotics, or the study of how techniques like photos and videos influence consumers on a subconscious level, is nothing new to nonprofits.

The belief within this social science is that the thoughtful choice of visuals can have a direct impact on behaviors such as increased donations and mood management. We’ll spare you the semantics, but researchers have found a pretty direct correlation between images and donations.

Rich media allows you to show recipients something vs. telling them. And that kind of demonstration results in a deeper, more meaningful bond with the content. The same principle stands in storytelling. We’ll demonstrate.

Which of these descriptions do you feel more connected or emotionally drawn to:

A. The man felt very sad, his dog was sick.

B. And as the man watched his dog limp over to him one last time, he knew Fido was nearing his last breath.

Storyline B gives you a narrative to connect to. These tangible emotions create a kinship between you and the subject which compel you to do things like give, help, donate, volunteer.

Now, picture the impact of storyline B with an accompanying image like this:

Images are just as effective storytelling devices as text, but together they’re unstoppable pathos messaging machines.

This is where MMS comes in. As opposed to its counterpart (SMS) that solely sends text messages, MMS allows you to send rich media such as photos or videos. MMS also extends your character limit from 160 to 1600!

Combine the two and you’ve got a fairly robust new way to communicate with your audience.

Examples of MMS Messages Your Nonprofit Could Send

You can utilize MMS to send images that help you to show your recipients something with your messages as opposed to just telling them. For example:

  1. Improve donation thank you messages
Today 3:30 PM
Thanks to you 1,000 children in Mecklenburg County have their school lunches covered for the year. Thanks to your donation, these kids know where their next meal is.

2. Demonstrate a need for supplies or donations

Today 1:00 PM
This month we took an extra 100 dogs and our need for food is great. Please consider dropping off a bag to the shelter!

3. Show progress on a project that donations/volunteer hours contributed to

Today 10:35 AM
Hey build team! Thanks for putting in awesome work this week. Thanks to you this neighborhood is halfway done and ready to re-home 18 hurricane victims.

4. Encourage people to continue to give by sharing outcome-related pictures

Today 12:46 PM
SHARE Charlotte, thanks to you 80% of our families have their Christmas needs met. Let’s get to 100% by Friday!

What Are The Other Benefits of Nonprofit MMS?

When you include images in your texts, you invite subscribers to catch a glimpse of your world, behind the curtain. That kind of exclusivity is a key ingredient in any recipe for engagement.

In addition to encouraging an emotional connection, MMS has other benefits.

  • Images can help you educate—it’s the most fluid way to attain information as it takes a lot longer to read and process text than it does to analyze a visual.
  • Images are memorable—Recall the statistic from our introduction. An image is far more likely to be recalled vs. something like a description, blog post, or text-based ad.
  • Images increase attention span—If you use MMS for the 1600 characters, know that the inclusion of a photo increases the odds your message will be read to completion! Interesting and engaging images are proven to increase the time spent reading text.
  • Images increase message engagement—When images are included in an article or blog they receive 90% more total views than ones without. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets, and so on.

Better engagement, higher open rates, and stronger message retention…can you picture it yet? If so, give us a try (free for 2 weeks) and see what you think!

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