Best practices for your MMS texting campaign


First impressions are very important, so you want to make your initial message as effective and efficient as possible. In addition to Organization IDs and Opt Out Language fields that need to be added to each initial message, there are additional best practices for engaging your contacts. Learn more about our tips below!


Remember, you pay for the messages you send, not just the ones that are delivered. It is in your business' best interest to optimize the delivery rate.


Before starting

Check to ensure that you have submitted your sample image to your use case! Until that is completed, you will be unable to add gifs, images, or videos to your campaign. 


Tip 1: Avoid using links

Including a link in your initial message will dramatically increase the risk that a carrier marks your text as spam and fails to deliver it to your contact. Once a recipient responds, sending them a link is safer -- for example, your initial message could invite a volunteer to an event. If they respond that they are interested, you can include a link to an RSVP form in a subsequent message.


NOTE - If you have to include a link in your messages (in initial messages or replies,) do not use a link-shortening service like bit.ly. Bit.ly and similar links carry a very high risk of being marked as spam as bad actors use them maliciously. Use a secure link that uses https:// instead of http://, and include that prefix in your script. The best link is a shortened, secure URL for your domain name.


Our texting partners recommended avoiding the following link shorteners entirely:

  • goo.gl
  • bit.ly
  • tinyurl.com
  • tiny.cc
  • lc.chat
  • is.gd
  • soo.gd
  • s2r.co
  • clicky.me
  • budurl.com
  • Bc.vc


Tip 2: Keep it short

MMS initial messages can be a maximum of 1,600 characters, but best practice is < 1k characters. Your initial message should be short and to the point because long text portions of an MMS can cover the image when it's received by your contacts.


Tip 3: Invite contacts to engage in a real conversation

ThruText enables real, two-way conversations, so try ending your initial message with an engaging question that invites a response from your contact. Be creative! For example, you can ask if your contact has a song they would suggest for your event's playlist.


Tip 4: Anticipate MMS throughput

Due to carrier throughput limits, MMS messages can only send so many messages a day due to the speed at which they travel from network to network. You can account for MMS throughput and increase your deliverability by sending your MMS messages as early in the day as you can. This will allow messages to carriers with lower throughputs (like AT&T) to deliver your messages to their clients on the same day.


Tip 5: Avoid prohibited words and SHAFT violations

Please note we recommend avoiding certain words that are carrier prohibited in the text portion of an MMS that can trigger a CTIA SHAFT violation, which leads to keyword filtration. This includes terms related to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, tobacco, and vaping/e-cigarettes. In addition, cannabis (or marijuana) related terms are also carrier-prohibited content and may encounter filtering regardless of federal or state legality. This also includes CBD, Kratom, or drug paraphernalia. Text messages with content connected to any of these terms have a high probability of being blocked as SPAM.


Tip 6: Send a test MMS to yourself

The best way to ensure that your message appears as intended is to create a test campaign. Create a group that includes yourself and some family, friends, or colleagues and send them a test MMS message. This helps to preview how the image or video will appear on your device and can surface image or audio quality issues. If your message doesn't deliver, you can also preemptively catch deliverability issues in your test campaign by assessing the message errors in your message export.


NOTE - If your organization plans to send text messaging related to cannabis/marijuana, please reach out to our support team at support@getthru.io for tips on crafting messages connected to the topic.