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MMS strategy

How to Optimize Your SMS and MMS Strategy at Every Funnel Stage

The first quarter of 2023 is ending, but for most mobile marketers, the work of upleveling their campaigns has only just begun. By now you’ve likely determined the mobile marketing metrics you’re prioritizing this year and are in full execution mode to achieve your brand’s goals.

In our last post, we provided an introduction to B2C text messaging and explained the differences between SMS and MMS. Now that you’re up to speed on these channels and the latest mobile trends, let’s dive deeper into MMS strategy.

We’ll cover key strategic aspects, such as how to:

  • Find the right use cases for SMS and MMS for your business
  • Leverage an SMS and MMS strategy at each stage of the marketing funnel
  • Identify what kinds of multimedia to send via MMS and when

Let’s jump in.

Use Cases for SMS and MMS

Whether you’re using simpler, text-based SMS (short message service) or interactive MMS (multimedia messaging service), you’ll need to decide both why and how you’re communicating with your customers via these channels.

In last year’s Activate session, “How to Confidently Leverage SMS as a Marketing Channel,” our friends at Telnyx revealed the four major I’s of text message marketing:

  1. Immediate: Sent with urgency and received as an opportunity
  2. Informative : Valuable and wanted information
  3. Intimate: Interact in a meaningful way to show you know your customers
  4. Individual: Personalized and customized engagements that grow loyalty

This is a great framework to justify your brand’s presence in your customers’ text messages and make sure your campaigns are received with smiles instead of eye rolls. So before you hit send on any SMS or MMS, ask yourself if it embodies at least one of the four I’s to start.

But before we walk through campaigns by funnel stage, let’s revisit MMS.

MMS: Types of Multimedia Magic

As the acronym implies, the tangible benefit of MMS campaigns is the ability to send rich multimedia. But with all the options at your disposal, how do you know what to send when?

Here are some general guidelines that can steer you in the right direction with MMS:

Rich Text

Unlike SMS, which is limited to only 160 characters, with MMS you can send up to 1,600 characters, including a bold subject line of up to 64 characters.

Use that formatting to your advantage by using attention-grabbing headlines for timely announcements and promotions. For transactional messages, you also have the space to send detailed order confirmations so customers know exactly what to expect.


You can send either a single image (PNG, JPEG, and GIF files) or a slideshow of multiple images, so the easiest application of this media type is to feature your sale items based on customer preferences and shopping history, as well as jog their memory of products left in their abandoned carts. This is also useful for transactional deliveries of tickets, QR codes, or event invitations.


Audio is an intimate and underutilized file type, so tread lightly. Media and entertainment companies can send clips of their latest podcast episodes or music releases, and brands can benefit from spicing up their promotions with cheerful sound. Just make sure you obtained licensed use of any copyrighted audio for commercial purposes.


With the ability to send up to 30 seconds of video, MMS is a great channel to share onboarding walkthroughs, new product releases, store and venue tours, and more. They’re valuable at every funnel stage, from activating new subscribers to your products and services, nurturing potential buyers with intriguing content, and celebrating your VIPs with exclusive sneak peeks.

Regardless of the type of multimedia you use, MMS messages may be up to 1MB in size, but we recommend keeping the limit of your MMS messages to 900kb, so you have enough data space for messaging encoding. This ensures your campaigns are delivered successfully.

SMS and MMS Strategies Across the Marketing Funnel


Some marketers refer to the top of the funnel as “Awareness” or “Activation,” but, regardless of the name, its purpose is to build a relationship with consumers that will ultimately drive them to conversion—whether that’s becoming a paid subscriber or making their first purchase.

Once consumers have shared their phone numbers and given consent to be communicated via text, you’re already in an advantageous position. But don’t lean too far over your skis quite yet.

Start by establishing your brand presence with SMS—which is a more economical option to communicate with pre-conversion consumers. Transactional messaging, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and password resets, is a great place to start because people are used to receiving these messages, they’re inherently immediate, and they’re easily automated so the lift is lighter on your team.

Once that connection is solidified, you can deploy more enticing SMS marketing campaigns to create a greater sense of urgency and drive conversions.

These can include:

  • New product launches
  • Flash sales
  • Limited-time promotions
Resy SMS transactional message

Reservation app, Resy, uses SMS to send transactional reservation confirmations and reminders.


Now we’re cooking! The middle of the funnel, otherwise called “Evaluation,” “Consideration,” or “Nurture,” is the stage when consumers are aware of your brand, are regularly interacting with it, and are actively considering a purchase.

Now’s the time to make a more substantial investment into an MMS strategy. The richer, more interactive content of MMS can be that extra oomph you need to overcome any remaining hesitation and seal the deal.

Here are just a few ideas to send powerful MMS campaigns that meet all the major I’s:

  • Outfit of the day (OOTD) suggestions based on local weather
  • Invitations to events at their nearest store
  • Promotions based on their browsing behavior
  • Abandonment reminders with images of what’s in their cart


At the bottom of the funnel, often referred to as “Conversion,” “Reactivation,” or “Loyalty,” consumers have finally become paying customers. But you can’t rest on your laurels now, as strengthening that relationship is of the utmost importance.

This funnel stage will require a mix of SMS and MMS campaigns to experiment with more personalized messaging and keep engagement fresh.

Here’s a shortlist of campaigns you can incorporate into your strategy:

  • Transactional order, shipping, and delivery confirmations
  • Exclusive promo codes and coupons for loyalty members
  • NPS surveys and requests for feedback
  • Milestone messages to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries
United Airlines MMS Strategy

United Airlines sends personalized travel-related notifications to inform travelers pre-flight.

Successful SMS and MMS Strategy With Iterable and Telynx

We’ve already discussed the importance of sending SMS and MMS messaging that is immediate, informative, intimate, and individual, but we recommend one final “I”—interoperability.

Mobile messaging has a history of living in a silo—separate from other marketing channels. We want to help brands break down those silos and optimize their SMS and MMS strategy to deliver the richest, most cost-effective experience.

Iterable’s partnership with Telnyx allows Iterable customers to benefit from Telnyx’s status as a licensed carrier and its multi-cloud IP network to deliver fast, reliable connectivity to over 200 countries. Learn more about our partnership and reach out to schedule a demo today.

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