Are Those Images & GIFs Really Helping Your SMS Campaigns?

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With SMS marketing, brands pay per message sent and the costs increase when you add-on images and GIFs so the question a lot of brands are asking themselves is:
“Are the extra costs really worth it? Does that image REALLY improve my KPIs?”

The Image Experiment 

The answer is a complicated one—however, in a recent series of A/B tests we were able to find a clear one for that specific client. In this experiment, our goal was to gain insights into whether or not the addition of a GIF or Image really made a difference in click through rates, on-site conversion rates and ROI. The control in this experiment was the audience segment that was sent these messages and the variables was Message A included media whereas Message B did not include media. 

After allowing the data to mature we found that Message B (No Media) drove a 68% higher click through rate. This was pretty showing as most research shows that including media drives a 15% higher click through rate. In addition to higher engagement, Message B drove a 22% higher delivered → purchase conversion rate. 

Outside of conversion rates with SMS and MMS costs being on the higher end of retention marketing costs it was important to understand if leaving out that piece of media played a role in ROI. It did—Message B drove a 75% higher ROI. This significant difference in ROI is the product of higher conversion rates and lower costs per send. On average MMS costs 3x what SMS costs—hence why it’s important to know whether that image makes a difference. 

So, Now What? 

While this data is compelling, it’s isolated to this specific experiment and this client’s audience. We believe that A/B testing this for your audience is extremely important, and we also know that there is a level of value that MMS messages can add to a brand. MMS messages with images or GIFs are more likely to be shared on social sharing platforms like Instagram, they also paint a picture with words which can be useful if the text is too long. 

So what does ‘Spray Marketing’ recommend? Test, test and re-test—this test provided helpful learnings for this client and their goals were heavily focused on ROI. Powered with this learning we were able to adjust our strategy accordingly and focus primarily on SMS sends with the added benefit of 1-2 MMS a month—which dramatically helped improve our ROI MoM.

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