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How to Send Rich Media Through SMS

Rich media is a great way to engage with your subscribers. You can link to things like images, coupons, or even videos in your SMS marketing message.

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Even though we call them text messages, your communications aren’t limited to just letters and numbers. 

In those 160+ characters, you can fit a variety of rich media using a shortlink. 

Any form of mobile-optimized content can be delivered to your subscribers immediately, including:

  • Images—Send photo galleries to potential buyers
  • Coupons—Send printable discounts and promotions
  • Videos—Send a YouTube or Vimeo link of your latest event
  • Newsletters—Keep your subscribers up to date with PDF announcements and events

Including rich media in your text message marketing campaign gives your subscribers more content to peruse, share, and engage with.

Why Send Media Via Text?

If you have a message with a lot of text or attachments, your natural instinct may be to send an email. But there are actually a lot of benefits to switching to SMS.

  • It’s the inbox that’s always on: Most people’s inboxes are clogged with messages from newsletters and promotions. Fortunately, most people’s SMS inboxes are relatively quiet. SMS lets you stand out in the competition.
  • Instant delivery: Text messages are delivered to customers almost immediately, even in areas without internet connectivity. Emails, on the other hand, must be synced with an internet connection.
  • High open rates: Over 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes, compared to 22% for email, 29% for tweets, and 12% for Facebook posts.

Benefits of Sending Rich Media SMS

SMS isn’t known for sending rich media, but that’s all the more reason to add image shortlinks to your text message promotions. Need a little more convincing? 

  • Text messages that include a photo have a 52% higher CTR
    Sometimes you can’t say everything that you need to in 160 characters, so don’t try to! It may even increase the chance of your customer’s taking action. To fully express your ideas to your subscribers, you can link to an image. This image can be a coupon, photo, illustration, flyer, or anything else that helps get the point across.
  • See greater engagement across platforms
    Images are easier to share on social media. If your customers like your promotion, then sharing the accompanying image is easier than sharing the text message itself.
  • Break up the same old same old
    A majority of texts don’t contain images. So when you do add an image, it creates an additional layer of novelty and excitement surrounding your message.

Benefits of Using Shortlinks For Rich Media SMS

Adding shortlinks to SMS messages is a cost effective alternative to sending MMS messages, which can contain embedded rich media.

If cost is a concern, you can send SMS messages at a low, flat rate, even if you’re sending mass text messages. This also benefits your recipients—most mobile users can receive SMS messages for free, but not all can receive MMS messages without incurring a cost.

Shortlinks also let you track the number of clicks on each link you send. With this information, you can tweak and optimize your campaigns to get the best results.

How Businesses and Organizations Use Rich Media

We’ve worked with businesses across all industries. Here are some of the unique ways they’ve utilized rich media. 

  • Retailers: Brick-and-mortar and online businesses can both benefit from sending coupons by text message. Coupons can either be barcodes or QR codes, and instant deliverability increases the likelihood that customers will use the coupon immediately.
  • Schools: Educational institutions can send SMS flyers out to students to publicize events, safety issues, or health concerns. 
  • Entertainment venues: Concert halls, event spaces, bars, and clubs can attach flyers to text messages to publicize upcoming acts, special promotions, or other events.
  • Political campaigns: In tight races, campaigns need to communicate with their supporters quickly and effectively. Campaigns can attach polling location maps to their text messages, or attach flyers to publicize upcoming events or initiatives.

For additional ideas on how to incorporate text message marketing into your business, check out our industry guides.

What About Rich Communication Services (RCS)?

We have an entire article on RCS if you want to learn more. 

In short, it’s an end-to-end software platform and IP-based messaging service that is poised to revolutionize mobile messaging. RCS is relatively new and still developing as a mobile communications technology that’s poised to replace SMS and MMS messaging and redefine the application-to-person business space.

RCS adds features that MMS and SMS text messages don’t have, turning text messaging into a more interactive, actionable, feature-rich conversational experience. Here’s an example for a delivery notification.

It’s often referred to as rich messaging, rich media messaging, or even RCS business messaging. It might even go by other names like Advanced Communications, Message+, or, in Google’s case, Android Messages. (Google has enabled RCS on certain Android devices.)

Closing Thoughts on SMS Rich Text

Incorporating rich media into your SMS campaigns is just another great way to engage with your audience and stand out in the crowd.

And whether you choose to utilize interlinks or MMS, know that you can take your messages to the next level with SimpleTexting. 

Try us free for 14-days to see for yourself!

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