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MMS messages

Overview: SMS & MMS

Cordial's MMS (multi-media message service) channel supports text messages with media, such as images, animated GIFs, audio, and video. If you have SMS enabled in your account and have also purchased MMS from Cordial, you can send MMS messages. The same short code will be used for both SMS and MMS. 

To enable the SMS or MMS channel in your account, please contact your Cordial Client Success Manager.

Create a new MMS message

1. To get started, log in to Cordial and navigate to Messages > Create New Message and select SMS from the Channels dropdown.

2. Fill in the required fields and select Continue.

3. Select Edit in the Message Content pane.

4. Select the MMS radio button.

5. Add text to the Message text field and an image from the image library. You can also add your hosted image to the image input field.

Carriers mandate that image media size in a MMS message should not exceed 1MB for static images and animated GIFs.

Android and iOS render MMS messages differently: Android devices display the text first, followed by the image. iOS devices display the image first, followed by the text.

Use Smarty for images, video, and audio

Media can also be added to the Message text field using the smarty utility, setMmsMedia. This utility can be used for images, video, and audio.

When the utility is added to the body text, it will override images that were added to the image input field.

  • {$utils->setMmsMedia("https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61IkrxQ9p8L._AC_SL1500_.jpg", "image")}
  • {$utils->setMmsMedia("https://cordialdev-testclient.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/johanna/SampleVideo_1280x720_1mb.mp4", "video")}
  • {$utils->setMmsMedia("https://cordialdev-testclient.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/johanna/HappyFace.mp3", "audio")}

MMS experiments

Experiments provide a simple yet powerful way to create and test multiple SMS or MMS messages against one another—with the ability to select the best-performing message for a specific KPI. 

AI-generated content

You can utilize AI-generated content in your SMS and MMS messages to enhance and streamline the message creation process. Generative AI content is available in batch messages, automated messages, and message experiments.

Contact cards

A contact card (also known as a vCard) is a great way for your contacts to instantly recognize your logo and brand name when you send messages. Your contact can easily add your brand’s information to their mobile address book. 

Contact cards are only available if MMS is enabled in your account.

Because iOS 16 makes it very easy to report SMS and MMS messages as junk, we strongly encourage the use of contact cards to help people recognize your communications and ensure they receive future messages. 

How contact cards work

When the contact receives and clicks on the contact card, an option to Create New Contact displays on the mobile device. Once saved as a contact in the mobile address book, all subsequent messages will display as the brand name.

The contact’s mobile device controls the operation of adding contact cards to the address book. Tracking contacts that have added contact cards is not available.

Use the Smarty utility to create a contact card

A Smarty utility is required to construct the parameters of the contact card. The addVcard utility inserts the parameters and media into an MMS contact card, such as your company name, logo, phone number, address, email address, and note. All parameters are optional but at least one is required to send the contact card. Supported parameters are:

  • Parameter Description Required Expected
    photo Thumbnail image (90x90) optional URL
    first First name optional String
    last Last name optional String
    title Title optional String
    company Company name optional Object
    phone Phone number optional String
    url website URL or support URL optional String
    street Street address optional String
    city City optional String
    state State optional String
    postal postal code optional String
    country Country optional String
    note Additional text optional String
  • {$utils->addVcard([
        'photo' => 'https://images.cordial.com/1003/96x96/CordialThreads_favicon_96x.png',
        'first' => 'Cordial', 
        'last' => 'Threads', 
        'phone' => '+18885551212', 
        'title' => 'Best ESP',
        'url' => 'https://www.cordial.com/',
        'company' => 'Cordial Inc',
        'street' => '123 Main Street',
        'city' => 'San Diego',
        'state' => 'CA',
        'postal' => '92109',
        'country' => 'USA'
    ])}        

Devices will render contact cards differently depending on the device type and operating system version.

Set up the contact card

A contact card can be sent with an MMS message or on its own. We recommend adding your contact card with a welcome series.

1. Create a new SMS message (navigation: Messages > Create New Message > SMS) and click the Edit button in the Message Content pane.

2. Select the MMS radio button.

3. Add your message content into the Message text field and add your image, either in the Media input field or using Smarty.

4. Within the body of the message, add the addVcard utility with any of the parameters you want shown in the contact card. Here's an example:

{$utils->addVcard([
    'photo' => 'https://images.cordial.com/1003/96x96/CordialThreads_favicon_96x.png',
    'first' => 'Cordial', 
    'last' => 'Threads', 
    'phone' => '+18885551212', 
    'title' => 'Best ESP',
    'url' => 'https://www.cordial.com/',
    'company' => 'Cordial Inc',
    'street' => '123 Main Street',
    'city' => 'San Diego',
    'state' => 'CA',
    'postal' => '92109',
    'country' => 'USA'
])}        

How the contact card will appear on a mobile device

Devices will render contact cards differently depending on the device type and operating system version.

Welcome message with contact card contact card on a mobile device
Welcome_w_CC.png CC.png

Best practices for MMS messages

Here are some tips to help you create impactful MMS messages.

Static images

  • Recommended size is 1MB.
  • Optimal image size across all devices has an aspect ratio of 9:16.
    • 640px by 1138px
    • 1080px by 1920px
  • Image files in a .jpg format tend to render faster and are supported on more devices than .png files.
  • Do not use transparency in your image file. Transparent sections of an image may be rendered, white, black, or in the message bubble color. There is no consistency behavior between device client versions.
  • 480px by 720px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 39px at the top, right, and bottom of the GIF. Also avoid the adding such content in the 44px on the left side of the GIF.
  • 480px by 640px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 65px at the top, and the 58px at the bottom of the GIF. Also avoid the 39px to each side of the GIF.
  • 640px by 640px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 52px at the top, right, and bottom of the GIF. Also avoid the adding content in the 58px on the left side of the GIF.
  • 480px by 480px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 39px at the top, right, and bottom of the GIF. Also avoid the adding such content in the 43x on the left side of the GIF.

Animated GIFs

  • Recommended size is 1MB.
  • Do not include any transparent aspects in your file. Transparency will be filled in with another color by the phone.
  • Recommended dimensions (portrait/vertical):
    • 480px wide by 720px tall (a little animation)
    • 480px wide by 640px tall (a lot of animation)
  • Recommended dimensions (square):
    • 640px wide by 640px tall (a little animation)
    • 480px wide by 480px tall (a lot of animation)

Video

  • Recommend MMS video files under 740Kb.
  • Video source files are best in .mp4 formats.
  • Recommended video dimensions for MMS videos:
    • Landscape video format (Horizontal): 1280px by 720px
    • Portrait Video Format (Vertical): 640px by 1138px
  • Maximum duration for HD quality video: 20 seconds.

Audio

  • Recommended size is about 410KB of data or around 30 seconds of audio.

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