SMS and MMS: What's the difference?

When setting up your company’s messaging service, there are two terms you’re likely to hear often: SMS and MMS. While these two types of messages are similar, they have some key differences. In this article, we’ll take a look at the key components of SMS and MMS messaging and how you can use them in your business.

What is SMS?

SMS stands for “short message service”. An SMS is a text message that only contains text - it does not contain any rich media files. An SMS message can fit up to 160 characters in a segment, although many cell phone characters will now combine multiple segments so they read as one long message. An SMS message can also support links to websites.

Ways to use SMS?

SMS is great for any short message that only contains text, and it’s also a great format to send links. Common uses for SMS are customer reminders, two-factor authentication, and general text updates. Even when using bulk messaging, you can set up an SMS campaign that users can respond to, so it’s an easy way to get information from clients quickly.

What is MMS?

MMS stands for “multimedia message service”. An MMS text message can support rich media files, unlike SMS. MMS are most often used to send images, but they can also be used to send audio files, videos, GIFs, and more. Unlike SMS files, MMS files do not have a standard character limit. Most providers will support MMS files with a length of 1,000 characters or more.

Ways to use MMS?

MMS is great for sending long messages that contain media. Many people use MMS for promotional campaigns, because it allows you to add much more visual detail and make your promotion really stand out. Many people also use MMS messages as a way to send QR codes, which have become a popular no-contact way to share information.

Which is better for you?

SMS and MMS messages serve different purposes. If you’re using text messages to promote your business or stay in communication with clients, they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest advantage of using SMS messages is that they are much cheaper than MMS messages. If you’re just starting with messaging or are looking to keep your budget in check, SMS is always going to be more friendly on your wallet. You also may only need to send short text messages and links, in which case an SMS message will be more than enough for what your business needs.

If you’re just sending appointment or delivery reminders to your customers, SMS messages are going to do the trick. Since you can send links as part of an SMS message, you can send them to your website or social media pages directly from the text message.

However, if you regularly include media in your messages, you may want to invest in a bulk messaging package that includes MMS. This way, you won’t have to compromise on your creativity when it comes to writing your text messages.

MMS messages can also be a good option if you like to send much longer messages. This way, your messages won’t be broken up into multiple segments when you send them. Longer messages mean you won’t have to worry about abbreviations or having to cut back on important information.

Although MMS messages are more expensive to send than SMS messages, they can be a very effective way to boost customer engagement. Many businesses find that including images or GIFs in their messages are a good way to make them stand out from the crowd. They can be particularly effective for promotional emails.

It’s important to note that some older phones may not be able to receive MMS messages. This could be something to consider if your target demographic isn’t one to invest in the latest technology.

Messaging for business

Both SMS and MMS messages are a great way to reach your customers or clients. In our highly digital world, text messages will reach your target audience quickly and easily so you can stay connected. At SMSGlobal, we offer both SMS and MMS services that you can customise to suit your needs.