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SMS versus MMS - Time to Upgrade?

SMS versus MMS - Time to Upgrade?

Understanding the difference that MMS makes reveals why your text-based marketing needs MMS

First-gen Text Messaging: SMS. And it ain't bad.

The idea of restaurant text message marketing is fairly new, certainly compared to other marketing channels like print and TV. But even compared to other digital marketing channels, such as email and websites, it’s catching on quickly. 

Text messaging is the most effective way for a brand to reach its audience cheaply and effectively. Research backs that up. Even text-only (SMS) messages: 


Open Rate

(compared to email: 20% & apps: 5%)


Messages Open & Read within 3 Minutes


Higher Response Rate

(compared to phone, call, email, or Facebook Ads)


of Clients Want to Receive Offers via SMS


More Offer Redemptions than Other Marketing Channels

These SMS marketing stats are seriously impressive, explaining why so many brands are now leveraging this channel for reaching their customers. But here is something to think about…

What if SMS marketing is child’s play compared to MMS?

While SMS has proven to be a successful way for getting your brand’s message not just seen but also processed and responded to, restaurant brands are getting far more impressive results with multimedia messaging: MMS a.k.a text messaging enhanced with images.

In other words, apparently, no matter how engaging your language skills are, the old adage still holds true that a picture is worth a thousand words. A text message with words and an image dramatically outperforms SMS marketing.

Words are great; words with images are even better.

In-text message marketing, MMS is the evolution of SMS. 

Take a look at your target market. For most restaurants, the customer is trending downward in age to younger buyers, like the Gen Z crowd who are the digital natives. And if your target audience is Gen Z, you probably already know that Gen Z’ers made almost 15 billion restaurant visits in 2018 and now represent 25% of all foodservice traffic. So, what they expect matters.

  • They want content that’s easy to consume, entertaining, and memorable. 

  • They expect content to be personalized and timely, with offers that are easy to redeem.

In a mobile-first world, visual communication dominates.

It’s a fact that humans are visually wired. Researchers tell us that we remember 80% of what we see but only 30% of what we read. 

Would it be any surprise to you that the text marketing message below delivered with just words on the left (SMS) does not perform anywhere near as well as the same message delivered with words and images on the right (MMS)?

mo-burger-sms-mockup-02            MO-burgers-MMS-iPhone-X-Mockup

Imagery sells! MMS text message technology gives you the power to use images for higher views and higher response rates. When compared to SMS:


MMS Opt-Ins


to be shared by subscribers on social media


Conversion Rates

Imagery is what your guests want and expect today. No doubt you’re already using images with your other channels; it’s available for your messaging program, too!

Not all text message marketing platforms offer MMS… But Mobivity does.

With Mobivity’s MMS, you can expect:

  • Richer, more memorable content that maximizes customer engagement 

  • Use the creative content of your other marketing channels on your text message marketing channel

  • More creative ways to engage with your customers

Here are some of the successful mobile marketing strategies Mobivity has seen top restaurant brands use by employing visuals in their text message campaigns. 

  • Use MMS marketing to increase downloads for your mobile app.

  • Introduce new, featured products with mouthwatering visuals.

  • Highlight seasonal and holiday menu items with matching color schemes and iconic imagery.

  • Share companywide or store-specific news, like extended hours and store openings.

  • Promote fundraisers and charitable campaigns, even using the partner’s logo for higher response rates. 

  • Promote contests and giveaways with enticing prize imagery.

If you are already a Mobivity customer and want to start using MMS, contact your Customer Success Rep for more information and download our MMS Messaging Guidelines guide:

Download Now

Whether you’ve not started using text message marketing at all or are simply ready to upgrade to a mobile messaging platform capable of delivering visually rich MMS messages, we can help! Unified Mobile Messaging gives restaurants and other businesses the ability to easily create and manage a text club, including the ability to send different messages to different guests based on their purchase habits or other categories. Your brand will be able to use both MMS and RCS technology to deliver visually engaging mobile messaging campaigns. 

To learn about more capabilities your text message platform should have, download our checklist for choosing a text platform.

Get the Text Marketing Evaluation Checklist for Restaurants



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