A successful mobile marketing strategy involves multiple components and different types of messages, such as SMS, MMS, RCS, instant messaging and more. The type you need to use depends on the content you want to send to your target audience, for example, promotional, transactional or conversational.

This article explores six types of messages used in mobile marketing and explains how you can quickly get started with business texting. But first, let's look at the many ways mobile messages are frequently used.

Different uses for mobile messaging

Mobile messages are ideal for keeping customers informed, engaged and satisfied. They're great for communicating many different types of messaging content, such as the following.

  • Announcements – a mass text message announcement ensures key people (customers, employees or other stakeholders) are timely told about important or urgent information.

  • Adverts – to promote new products or services or get more signups to a membership programme.

  • Discounts or promotional offers – for time-sensitive flash sales where prospective buyers only have a limited time to purchase.

  • Order or reservation confirmations – to reassure customers that their purchase or booking has been made.

  • Reminders – for reminding customers when appointments or payments or due.

  • Billing confirmations – to confirm when a payment's been received.

  • Order tracking – you can include a tracking URL within your message content to allow customers to view order tracking status online.

  • Customer support – customers can chat back and forth with an agent to resolve a problem or get technical help.

  • Enquiry responses – used in conjunction with a chatbot, answers to FAQs can be prepopulated and automated (effectively offering 24/7 service).

  • Newsletters – a promotional message where you can include a link to a company newsletter or the latest blog update.

  • Surveys – a poll or feedback request can be easily and quickly administered via a two-way mobile message.

6 most important types of mobile messages

Your use case will inform the type of mobile message you'll need when communicating with customers. Here's an overview of the different ways of sending messages to mobile, so you can see which will best suit your business needs.

1. Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is commonly known as a text message. It's the native messaging service on mobile phones, allowing for the sending and receiving of texts between mobile phone users.

SMS has a 160-character limit, and you can only use it to send text-based content (no attachments). SMS-based marketing messages are sent and delivered over a cell network which means they can be received in any area with a phone signal. This type of message is extensively used for marketing purposes due to its accessibility, conciseness, instantaneity, and high delivery rates.

There are primarily two types of SMS marketing messages: promotional messages, such as product launch notifications or limited-time discount offers, and transactional messages, such as 2FA PIN codes, shipping confirmation texts, or reminders.

Example of standard SMS message

2. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

MMS allows you to send multimedia content via text message. It's an extension of SMS – it has a longer character limit and enables images, videos, or GIFs to be added.

There is a file size limit with MMS messages. As a general guide, keep attachments under 500 KB; otherwise, you might experience message delivery failure.

Example of MMS message

3. Instant messaging

Instant messaging is an alternative to traditional text messaging. It's best used for having rapid back-and-forth conversations in real time. An indicator shows whether the other person is online and available to chat. Some apps also show 'Typing' and 'Last seen' indicators.

Unlike SMS, instant messaging marketing works over WiFi. And rather than just sending text-based messages, you can use instant messaging apps to make voice calls and attach various files (images, video, audio, documents or forms).

Examples of IM apps include Messenger, Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp. If you intend to use these messaging apps for business, you'll need to ensure your customers also have them installed on their mobile devices. If not, your text messages either won't be delivered or will convert to SMS, which can lead to additional costs.

Example of instant message

4. Rich Communication Services (RCS)

RCS is a relatively new Android technology that aims to replace regular SMS with rich-content messages. RCS messaging protocol enhances the built-in messaging functionality in Android phones and is based on Apple's iMessage principles.

The concept is much like MMS in that you can send multimedia messages. However, RCS allows for higher quality free-form media content as well as structured content, such as rich card carousels.

From the user perspective, RCS feels similar to instant messaging, except that there's no need to install a separate mobile texting app. Features include read receipts, a typing indicator, hi-res media sharing, group chats and WiFi texting.

Example of RCS message

5. Mobile push notifications

Push notifications are one-way messages that pop up in the notifications panel on a mobile device. Push messages are sent by third-party apps even when users don't have the apps open on their phones. They're often noticed immediately, so they are great for grabbing attention and engaging (or re-engaging) customers and sending real-time updates.

There's one major downside to this type of message, though. The only way customers can receive your push notifications is if they've downloaded your app to their mobile devices and have opted-in to receive this message type.

Example push notifications

6. In-app messages

In-app notifications are very similar to push messages. However, the user must have your app open to see an in-app message. This type of mobile messaging aims to keep users engaged or persuade them to convert while using your app (e.g. purchasing a discounted product on a countdown promotion).

In-app messages are often displayed as popups or interstitial adverts. However, they can also be used for tutorial purposes, for instance, guiding a new user through your app or highlighting a feature they haven't yet used.

Example of in-app messaging

Getting started with cellular texting

A mass texting provider such as Messente can deliver many parts of your mobile marketing strategy, helping you send both SMS messages and multimedia instant messages to engage customers, boost satisfaction and achieve a solid ROI.

To get started, contact us with your requirements. We'll set your business up with the different types of messages you need and advise on the best ways to plan and deliver your strategy. All you need to do then is choose your delivery channel, create your message content and send or schedule your campaigns.