When you only have 160 characters to tell your story, adding in a GIF or image to your text message gives you another 1,000 words.
Your friends don’t just send you text-only messages. Instead, they include an emoji or two (or five), pictures and screenshots, and videos to convey their personalities and tell you about what’s going on in their lives.
It turns out, consumers have the same expectations for brands. We asked 600 consumers to weigh in on how they feel about getting MMS (text messages that include GIFs, images, or emojis) from brands. 73% say including these multimedia elements is a good showcase of a brand’s personality.
But MMS comes down to more than a brand voice play. It can help you build loyalty, stand out, and drive conversions.
Consumers feel more connected to a brand after seeing GIFs and images in text messages
73% of consumers agree that MMS is a great way for brands to showcase their personality, helping them stand out in subscribers’ inboxes. And 52% say that emojis in particular make a message more relatable and appealing.
But MMS doesn’t just help brands stand out: multimedia messages help brands build loyalty, too. 32% of consumers say MMS makes them feel more connected to a brand, and 28% say it helps them get to know a brand better.
Gen Z—who’ve spent most of their lives communicating with GIFs, videos, and memes—are especially attuned to MMS. In fact, 85% of consumers aged 18-24 say that MMS is a great way for brands to showcase their personality, and 39% say multimedia messages help them feel more connected to a brand. They love emojis, too: 60% say emojis make a brand’s message more relatable and engaging.
More than a feeling: MMS drives more engagement, too.
MMS isn’t just about intangible emotions. It moves the needle on conversion.
56% of consumers say they’re more likely to engage with text messages from a brand if they include GIFs, images, or emojis, compared to copy-only messages. That number jumps to 71% for Gen Z shoppers.
Think of MMS as your pinch hitter when you really need to boost traffic to your site from texts, such as product launches and major sales. Nearly a third of consumers say they’re likely to click on a multimedia message to learn more.
Humor sells (and product imagery does, too)
Finally, when it comes to the type of content that catches a consumer's eye, humor and entertaining content is the clear winner. 56% of consumers say humorous or entertaining messages will grab their attention. Lean into playful emojis and copy, fun GIFs and images, and even a well-timed meme. These playful moments should feel authentic to your brand, though. If they’re not in line with your brand identity, they won’t feel relatable to your audience.
A close runner up? 44% of consumers say product imagery is the most eye-catching visual content a brand can share. And 24% say a product tutorial, walking them through how to use your products, is engaging.
There’s a clear learning here for brands: MMS is a relationship-building tool. Using GIFs, images, and emoji at the beginning of your relationship with subscribers—and after they’ve made their first purchase—will help you increase customer retention, and boost conversions.
In June 2023, Attentive conducted a survey of 600 US consumers aged 18+ about their sentiments toward multimedia in text messages from brands.