Guide: How to create MMS marketing campaigns
Five steps in creating an effective MMS campaign:
- Write a powerful subject line
- Craft a short, compelling message
- Finish with a strong call-to-action
- Design and optimise your creative
- Test on iOS and Android
Write a powerful subject line
The subject line appears in a bold font and will typically be the first thing that your recipients read. It has a limit of 20 characters.
Like an email subject line, the goal is to immediately capture their attention and to get them to continue reading.
Feed their curiosity gap, provide a compelling promotion, or use a call-to-action to draw them in. Here are some examples:
- Win a free trip! (18 characters)
- 30% off Summer Sale (19 characters)
- Buy 1, Get 1 Free (16 characters)
- Don’t miss out! (15 characters)
- It’s Happy Hour! (16 characters)
- Exclusive VIP Invite (20 characters)
- For your eyes only! (19 characters)
- Here’s your gift (16 characters)
Craft a short, compelling message
The body copy of an MMS has a 1000 character limit, so it’s naturally tempting to write long messages, but it’s unlikely anyone will want to read it.
The more concise, the better. Many of the most successful SMS marketing campaigns we’ve seen are under 160 characters. For MMS, try to keep the copy under 320 characters, which should include:
- A big incentive: MMS is more flashy, so it’s important to have a big incentive. Many e-commerce websites offer a 10-15% discount for joining an email list, but for an MMS marketing campaign, a 30% or more discount may be a better option.
- A deadline or cap (optional): Experiment with placing a cap of 500 promo code uses or a 24hr expiry in your message to add a level of urgency and exclusivity to your MMS marketing campaign. Urgency gets people to take action.
- A link to a mobile landing page (optional): Use our built-in URL shortener to add a link to your campaign. Make sure that the destination is mobile-optimised.
- An opt-out mechanism (mandatory): All MMS marketing campaigns allow you to set a custom URL opt-out, which leads recipients to a mobile landing page. You have an opportunity to ask for more feedback or provide a bigger incentive before they unsubscribe.
Finish with a strong call-to-action
A compelling offer is a moot point if your recipients don’t know or are confused about what to do next.
That’s why writing a clear and concise call-to-action is important.
Here are some examples:
- Buy your tickets online at [Website] or call [Number]
- Shop now: [Website]
- Use [Code] to get 35% off your next purchase online: [Website]
Design and optimise your creative
Here’s where the fun part begins.
Our MMS platform supports a range of file types: MP3, MP4/MPEG4, PNG, JPG, JPEG, or GIF files, meaning that you can send audio files, videos, images, and animated GIFs.
Choose the type of file you want to send based on what you’re trying to accomplish. Keep in mind that the maximum file size is 450 KB.
Here are the differences and what you need to consider.
Videos are a great way to tell a story and communicate a lot of information in a few short seconds.
The video formats we support are MP4 and MPEG4. Alternatively, you can send an animated GIF in place of a video.
Animated GIFs are similar to videos but don’t have sound.
Though GIFs don’t nearly have the same quality and expressiveness as a video, some may choose to send a GIF because of its auto-looping feature.
GIFs capture more attention than images but take longer to create and are bigger in size.
Images are the bread and butter of MMS.
If time and quality is important, we recommend that you send a regular image rather than a video or animated GIF.
Let’s look at an example of an image and animated GIF to help you decide:
The animated GIF is almost double in size but draws much more attention.
- 480px by 480px
- 640px by 640px
Other sizes you can experiment with are:
- 480 x 640 px
- 480 x 720 px
- 640px by 1138px
- 1080px by 1920px
When a recipient opens your MMS marketing campaign, tall creatives appear smaller than its square counterpart because of how iOS and Android devices choose to display them. If you have text, make sure it’s larger for immediate legibility.
Design tips for images and GIFs
Now that you have a file dimension and size in mind, here are some design tips to help you create your image.
If you plan on using an image without text, then you can skip this part. Otherwise, read on.
Create a hierarchy
Decide what your recipients should notice first, second, and third. That’s your visual hierarchy.
Since we read from top to bottom and left to right, your most important elements should generally be at the top and on the left.
Typically, your recipients will notice these in the following order:
- The subject line, and
- Body copy
When creating your graphic, the goal is to ensure that your eyes aren’t drawn to several different elements or directions at the same time. If you don’t feel confused about what to look at first, then you’ve created a strong visual hierarchy.
Tip 1: Squint and look at your design. Your eyes will be pulled to the element with the most weight and then the second. Your eyes don’t lie.
Tip 2: Use white space, which is the space between the text, graphics, and other elements in your design. White space is like having line breaks that split one big paragraph into many, making things easier to read and easier on the eyes.
Choose your fonts wisely
Choose fonts that are easy to read, especially when the creative appears on a small screen.
Script and italic fonts are the hardest to read and shouldn’t be used for paragraph copy, but can be great for big titles and headlines.
For most intents and purposes, a sans-serif or serif font is your the best bet. Check out Google Fonts for a wide variety of copy-friendly fonts; it’s free.
In this example, everything except the logo is a sans-serif font. The logo, being a script font, is harder to read.
Pick the right colours
A nicely coloured creative grabs attention, and sparks emotional reactions.
- Blue - trusting, dependable, and strong
- Red - exciting, bold, and youthful
- Yellow - optimistic, clear, and warm
Depending on the age and gender of your customers, they may prefer certain colours over others. Red is used to express a party atmosphere and to attract a younger audience in this example.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out how to choose your brand colours.
Optimise your file
If your completed design is a bit bigger than you expected, here are some tips to help you reduce its size.
- Remove gradients or reduce the number of colours in your design
- Experiment with your .jpg’s image quality. Try reducing it from 100 to 60, which is still considered high quality
- Test different or reduce the size of the dimensions. For example, change your 640px by 1138px graphic to a 480px by 480px one
Video / GIFs:
- Lower your frames per second. The animation won’t be as smooth, but there are lower data stored per second, reducing your file size
- Experiment with the number of colours. Lowering it will reduce the size, but the quality will be affected
- Simplify the animation by reducing the amount of moving objects and colour changes
Test on iOS and Android
Send your MMS to both an Android and iOS device and check if:
- The multimedia creative is displaying correctly with legible text
- The URL links to the correct website or landing page (if applicable)
- There are no spelling and grammar mistakes
- If you have the most important characters in the previews
As you can see, there are some subtle differences in how the latest iOS and Android devices display an MMS. Most notably, the subject line is above the file on an iOS, and Androids display it just before the body copy with “Subject:” preceding it.