Send pictures and other files via SMS – with SMS attachments
What if you could combine the undeniable advantages of SMS with multimedia content? You think you have to wait for RCS to become widespread? We got a better idea: you can send your attachments via SMS. Use our new service to easily extend your effective short messages and include pictures and brochures to convince your customers.
In this article we will show you examples of how others use SMS attachments to their advantage. But before we get started with those, we’ll give you an overview of how you can use the attachment feature and what you should keep in mind before you get started.
Especially if you use SMS for marketing purposes, you need to be aware of the legal basics.
We have summarized some basic knowledge for you in a blogpost.
How can I add attachments to my SMS?
So let’s clarify the important requirements first. If you have an account with us, you can use SMS attachments at no additional cost in our webapp and via the HTTP API. You add your desired file and we provide a link to this file, which is automatically inserted into the SMS. You can determine how long the link is valid and additionally protect access to your file with a password. Your recipients then click on the link and view or listen to the file and download it directly, if needed.
Instructions for using the feature can be found here: How can I send SMS attachments?
Menus, daily specials, special offers
Whether you want to welcome guests to your restaurant or offer lunch To-Go, you will benefit from sending offers to your customers. Especially when restrictions take effect, as in the current pandemic, your customers often need to pre-order their food. So it only makes sense for them to receive the offer directly on their phone.
For example, you can send pre-scheduled text messages to the people who are particularly interested in your lunch menu. With SMS attachments you send a link to your image with the daily special or a PDF with the weekly menu. Your customers can see what delicious dishes are waiting for them, and all they have to do is pick up the phone and order. Alternatively, you can offer replies to your own inbound number: In this case, your customers just have to reply to your SMS to place their order.
The advantages are obvious: the effort it takes your customers to place an order is very short, your SMS is opened particularly quickly and by particularly many recipients, and with the SMS attachment you can visually adapt your offers to your branding.
Exclusive real estate listings
The extremely personal character of the SMS is ideal for sending exclusive offers. If you add individualised SMS attachments, this personal character is exploited to the full. For example, you can send a PDF file via SMS in which you show your customer a new, attractive offer.
Imagine the following scenario: Your customer is looking for a bungalow near Berlin. When you send him an SMS with a PDF attached showing a new property, you combine service and personalized marketing at its best. Your customer feels valued and personally attended to. The relevance of the ad reinforces this effect. The fast reading rate also means that your customer is the first to know about the new offer – an additional service you can offer. Of course, you should pay close attention here to how often you send SMS, especially if you automate the dispatch.
Invitations and tickets
You want to send an invitation for an event? SMS make it particularly exclusive and personal. Here, too, you combine the best of both worlds with SMS attachments. The SMS is well received and your sent invitation is designed exactly as you want it, without compromise.
Of course, you can also send the actual digital ticket. This way, your guests only have to show the saved file on their smartphone when they arrive at your event. However, since your customers can also download the file, they can choose whether they prefer to print the ticket instead. This means that you are offering an environmentally friendly alternative to the classic ticket, but you don’t exclude the option for your customers.
Selling digital products is a big deal today, especially for freelancers and self-employed professionals. E-books, presets, access to closed forums or exclusive audio content, there are many products that are no longer or hardly ever sold in physical form.
Not every digital product can or should be sent in SMS attachments, but in some cases this variant makes more than sense.
On the one hand, there are products that are consumed on mobile anyway. Mobile presets, podcast episodes or access to community content can easily be sent via SMS to exactly where they are needed: the smartphone of your customers. The simple personalization with placeholders also addresses your recipients personally, which has a positive effect on customer loyalty.
On the other hand, there is the content where it is not clear on which device the customers want to use the product. Whitepapers and e-books are good examples here. In these cases, you still benefit from sending them via SMS, because here too, delivery via SMS attachments has a very personal effect. Your recipients can then decide how to save the file and, if in doubt, move it to other devices.
There is no doubt about it: newsletters are valuable marketing tools. They can be used at all stages of the customer journey, are flexible, and can be customized to make every corner of the email look like your brand. The big drawback? The open rate of newsletters sent by companies via mail averages around 20%. The average open rate of SMS, on the other hand, is 98%. So, if you attach the content of your newsletter as a PDF to an SMS, you can potentially reach many more recipients.
Now you may have objections. After all, recipients have to open the attachment and actively read it. This is certainly true, but SMS have a clear advantage here as well: their personal character. If you get into the privileged situation of being able to send an SMS to a person, they will perceive the content of the message as much more relevant. If the content of the newsletter is also personalized and interesting for the respective recipient, you are in the best possible situation. You are in personal contact with your customers and are perceived as relevant, ideally without appearing promotional.
Your personal use case
Of course, these examples are not the only situations where SMS attachments can be useful. In conversational marketing and support, you can use the attachment via SMS to send images that illustrate your point. Educational institutions can send documents via SMS attachments without worrying about the mixed audience. Organizations effectively send out personalized info sheets to interested parties. Animal shelters send updates about their animals to adopters.
Wherever media effectively extends the text of the SMS, you can use attachments to reach your full potential. Do you have your own idea on how to use SMS attachments? We would love to hear about your ideas, criticism and suggestions!
Header: iStock.com/DisobeyArt, edited color.