Articles on: SMS/WhatsApp

MMS Image and GIF Best Practices


When creating an MMS message, you want to ensure to include as high-quality media as possible. However, different types of phones and mobile networks can affect how an image or GIF looks on a recipient's phone. To make sure that MMS messages display well, follow the best practices for sending images and GIFs outlined below.

Note that when you add an image or GIF, the message automatically becomes an MMS. Further, each MMS message counts as three message sends.

Supported media types

AVADA supports the following media types for MMS messages:




How to add MMS to your message in AVADA?

Step 1: Choose to create an SMS campaign or automation workflow

We've written detailed guides on these topics, so please read:

- How to Create an SMS Newsletter Campaign?

- How to Send SMS Automation in AVADA?

Step 2: Add MMS

You can see the Add MMS option in your editing campaign/ workflow. Please notice MMS only supported for US/CA recipients.
Click the Upload icon and choose your preferred image/ GIF.

For example, we click the Upload icon, choose a product image from our device, and the image will appear immediately. You can click remove if you don't want that image/ GIF anymore.

It is easy to see the preview at the right side. You're able to edit the content of your message. Always test it out to see how your MMS message works on various devices.

Step 3: Go live!

Once you're done, you can send a test, keep it as draft, or go live immediately.

MMS image best practices

With images, GIFs, and videos, every end-carrier will interpret them differently. As much tweaking you do, remember there is still a chance that 1-2% of your audience may not be able to receive MMS altogether. With that in mind, there are several things you can do to improve the likelihood of your image being received.

You can use either PNG or JPEG images. Ideally, the image shape should be square or as close to square as you can get it.

The image's aspect ratio should be around a 2:3 (for portrait) or 3:2 (for landscape). Anything more than that, and your image can be too wide or tall. While the full image is still sent, the thumbnail shown on the recipient's phone (and in the preview in AVADA) may cut off the edges of the image. Your recipients would need to click the image to view it in full. This doesn't make for a good user experience, as they may not realize that they need to click, and thus will not get your full message.

We recommend keeping your image file size under 600 KB. Any larger, and your image may be compressed and thus distorted due to carrier constraints.

In addition:

- Keep your images simple. We recommend that you do not use gradients and you reduce the number of colors in your images.

- Images in a JPEG format tend to render faster and are supported on more devices than PNG files

- Don't use transparency in your image file. Transparent sections of an image may be rendered, black, white, or in the message bubble color. There is no consistency behavior between device client versions.

MMS GIF best practices

A good size of your GIFs is 480x480. Similar to images, it is important to use ones that are close to being square. If they're too wide or tall, they could be cut off, and recipients would need to click to expand to get the full experience.

Moreover, keep your GIFs under 600 KB to make sure that they won't be transcoded and compressed for carrier compatibility when sent. This ensures that recipients see the GIF the way you want it to appear - in the highest quality possible. 

In addition:

- Keep your GIF short and repeat it

- Lower your Frames Per Second (FPS). A higher frame speed means that you're adding more content to each second which will increase the file size. While a video may have 24-30 FPS, we recommend keeping GIFs in the 2-4 range depending on the length of your content.

- Limit the number of colors used in your GIF

- Animated images should always be saved and uploaded as .gif files

- Don't include any transparent aspects in your file. Transparency will be filled in with another color by the phone

- Before sending this to your list, you should send a test of your MMS to yourself to ensure high quality

Other MMS best practices to nail your message

Consider the audience receiving your MMS message

Your MMS message should be short and simple. Narrow your topic and narrow your list to people who will be most interested in your topic.

With AVADA, you can market text-to-join keywords that will allow your audience to add themselves right to the lists most relevant to their interests. For instance, if you're sending a messaging promo about all-you-can-eat nachos, you better be sure that your recipients like nachos.

Of course, first and foremost, it shouldn't go without mentioning that the audience you're messaging gave you "express written consent" to text them per the TCPA.

Read more: TCPA Compliance Checklist for Sending SMS in US/CA

Choose the right media type

MMS lets you get creative with different media types. With these capabilities, it is easy to go overboard. So, do a gut check with your creative team to make sure that the message hits home with your brand.

For example, if you are a serious, sophisticated financial firm, you may not want to lead with the latest viral meme or GIF. But if you are a new, hip craft brewery or a consumer lifestyle brand known for its tongue-in-cheek tone, that meme might be the perfect option.

Consider your content

Craft a message that your recipients will want to read. It is tempting to be wordy on MMS, but don't do it. You'll have more success if you take your time and craft a concise message.

There is a true art and skill in the ability to have brevity on an SMS or MMS message. Take the time to deconstruct your message to its sole purpose and trim the excess content that is only wanted, but not needed. You'll be glad you kept your message short.

MMS marketing is snazzy so spiff up with an attractive discount or limited time promotion. You can also test how your audience does with exclusive promotions. Offer a promo to a limited number of people on a first-come-first-service basis within a limited time. Exclusivity and urgency are two key ingredients to a successful MMS marketing campaign.

Consider the message timing

Consider the timing of your MMS message. Of course, you don't want to send a message too late and make your audience upset. But you also want to consider your throughput. Messaging throughput speeds can differ from provider to provider. It's critical to understand throughputs as it will determine how fast your MMS message reaches your intended audience.

With MMS messaging, it's necessary to remember that throughputs tend to be slower, meaning it often takes longer for your MMS message to reach your entire list. Ensure you plan ahead and send your MMS message at a time that it will reach your entire list within a timeframe working for you.

Test before sending

- Read your message. Before sending to your entire list, you should send it to yourself first. Better yet, send it to a test list of your closest internal team, so that you'll know if there are any issues with different receiving carriers or devices. Ideally, you send it to both an iOS and Android device. Ensure everyone reads it and no one catches any grammar or spelling errors. Send a test text, tweak, and repeat before sending to your entire list.

- Preview your graphics. As you send your test message to a test sample of your closest team members, ask them to preview the graphics. Is everything perfect? Is there text in your graphic? If so, are there any misspellings? Is it displaying correctly? Triple check everything!

- Click your links. Make sure to test your links if you have included any. If you share a link, share your own business domain or something unique that hasn't been abused by spammers already. Add a custom landing page and unique tracking on your URL to measure your campaign conversions. Make sure the URL links to the proper webpage and that the page is mobile-optimized.

Updated on: 06/09/2021

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