It’s astonishing to reflect on how much text marketing has evolved since its 160 character limit. Experienced text marketers who have been medium strategists for years can tell you that text marketing has gone beyond this limit and became a more enriched engagement machine. But how and why? Here we explore a quick history on how short message protocol became such a multimedia messaging powerhouse.


A Brief history lesson

Here is a little brief lesson, back when the concept of SMS was developed in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert while working for the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) group. They designed a system for sending short messages between mobile phones and established the 160-character limit. It gets pretty technical on how they accomplished this so for those interested you can read more about it here.

Fun fact: The first use of First Use: The first SMS message was sent on December 3, 1992, by Neil Papworth, a test engineer for Sema Group, to his colleague Richard Jarvis. The message consisted of only two words: “Merry Christmas.”


MMS: The Evolution of Texting

Now that we are caught up on that timeline, you are probably wondering, when did MMS (multimedia messaging service) come along? Well, the concept and early experimentation existed earlier, but MMS was formally standardized by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) in 2002! What made MMS so disruptive was that it standardized and defined the technical specifications for sending and receiving multimedia messages artifacts like you can experience today such as: pictures, videos, and audio through mobile phone networks!

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Clever backed marketing teams have pushed these boundaries with MMS campaigns and are discovering even more ways to build connections and evoke emotion with their audiences. By using powerful messaging aligned with emoji’s, GIFs and videos for almost any advertising initiative you can fathom! For limited feature set and full release product launches to cross-channel retargeting, MMS can be used to magnify your outcome.

How amazing is that, a messaging type and service that has been around for almost 20+ years and we are just scratching the surface with its potential in almost every industry!

Omnichannel Integrations

SMS, MMS and email marketing automation is the absolute future! Teams that are harnessing these three points most creatively will see themselves in front of the competition. Why? Well, the seamless integration of each communication channel just unifies your customers journey’s. With multi-channel campaigns you can deliver personalized and effective outreach across multiple touchpoints.

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That way you can win potential opportunities and ensure that your brand experience is met at any digital front. Omnichannel integrations paired with text marketing also allow you to gather more valuable data which is key to improving operational decision making.

Critical Uses Beyond Entertainment

Text marketing has taken SMS and MMS messaging beyond entertainment and opened up the idea that this medium can be used for more than promotional and advertising interactions. Text marketing can provide leverage for critical use cases like: healthcare reminders, emergency alerts, financial updates, and educational resources.

Getting through the noise and delivering on time is what makes text marketing a key marker for a user-to-user connection. That is what makes it a garden for interactivity and why it has a place in the future of mobile messaging.

Last updated: 1/30/24


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