Photo Texting | How to Insert Pictures in Text Messages
Photo Texting | How to Insert Pictures in Text Messages

Learn How to Add Pictures to Text Messages & How to Send a Text Message with a Picture

Text message images and pictures are a great way to visually engage with people.

In fact, 67% of people prefer to text, and texting photos is especially good for:

  • Advertising and inviting people to upcoming events
  • Sharing QR codes, coupons, and discount codes
  • Visually promoting your products or services
  • Sending and receiving photos for estimates and quotes
  • Sending and receiving images of important documents
  • And more

So in this article, I’ll show you:

  1. What picture and photo texting is
  2. The difference between text messages and picture messages
  3. How to insert pictures in text messages
  4. Photo texting examples for your next campaign

By the end, you’ll know everything you need to start texting images and photos.

Read on for more.

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The Difference Between Text Messages and Picture Messages

SMS and MMS picture messages both mean texting. Each allows you to send messages between two or more mobile devices, tablets, or computers connected to the internet.

The difference between SMS and picture texting is that MMS picture messaging supports both text and multimedia content including images, videos, and gifs. SMS only supports sending 160-character text-only messages.

sms vs mms
Text Messages (SMS) Picture Messages
Supports media and images? 🚫 (not supported) ✅ (images, videos, gifs)
Character limit ✅ 160 characters ✅ 1,600 characters
Character limit
(with image)
🚫 (not supported) ✅ 1,000 characters
File size limit 🚫 (not supported) ✅ 300-500 KB

When to send SMS text messages (text only)

SMS text messages have some clear advantages, especially vs. email and voice.

But since they’re limited to 160 characters of text, they work best for short transactional messages and two-way texting. You’ll want to send a normal SMS message when visuals aren’t important.

SMS messages work best for:

  • Appointment reminders and reducing no-shows
  • Invoice, billing, and payment reminders
  • Text-to-give and text-to-donate campaigns
  • Keyword-based, autoresponder campaigns
  • Order confirmations and delivery updates
  • Event updates and reminders
  • Time-sensitive and inclement weather alerts
  • Sending links to ask for Google reviews or feedback
  • Password resets and two-factor authentication (2FA)

When to send MMS messages (images and text)

Are you promoting or selling a visual product, service, or event? MMS picture messages work especially well for eCommerce videos and various types of SMS marketing campaigns.

Picture messaging is also versatile in other situations for many types of businesses and organizations.

Let’s say you’re a landscaper.

With MMS you can send and receive picture messages of quotes and estimates. Or you could ask prospective and existing customers to text a photo of their yard. This makes it easier to quote the job and close the deal.

You could also use MMS to send before and after photos of your work for promotional purposes. And you can make it even more engaging by using a photo editor to add messages and other elements to the images.

Other photo texting examples include:


How to Insert Pictures in Text Messages (iPhone and Android)

Are you an individual looking to text images to a group of contacts? iPhone and Android both support text message images and pictures.

How to send pictures from iPhone using the Messages app

In Messages, do any of the following while writing a message:

  1. Take a photo or select multiple photos within Messages: Tap 📷, frame the shot in the viewfinder, then tap 🔘.
  2. Take a video within Messages: Tap 📷, choose Video mode, then tap 🔴.
  3. Choose an existing photo or video: Tap to see recent shots, then swipe up to search or browse through all photos and albums.
  4. Tap ⬆️ to send your message or ✖️ to cancel.
How to send pictures from iPhone using the Messages app

How to send pictures from Android

  1. Open the “Messages” app.
  2. Select the + icon, then choose a recipient or open an existing message thread.
  3. Select the + icon to add an attachment.
  4. Tap the Camera icon to take a picture, or tap the Gallery icon to browse for a photo to attach.

How to Insert Pictures in Text Messages Using Business Texting Software

1. Choose a business texting software

Using your personal phone for work to send and attach a photo to a text message isn’t the best idea if you’re a business or organization.

This is because:

So, you’ll need business text messaging software to text images and run text promotions in bulk.

There are also SMS marketing services that come with advanced features that allow you to:

  • Text pictures from local 10-digit phone numbers and toll-free 800 numbers
  • Send text message broadcasts to thousands of contacts on any mobile phone
  • Save SMS images as pre-saved templates
  • Upload and manage all of your images, pictures, media, and other files
  • Track picture message opens and link clicks
  • Ensure your text messages get delivered


2. Start a free trial with a business texting service

Your next step is to create a free account. Almost every business texting software offers some sort of free trial. MessageDesk offers a 14-day free trial.

Are you a larger organization needing custom or enterprise pricing? Free to meet with a messaging expert to learn more.


3. Source and edit the images you want to attach

Unless you have an in-house photo or graphic design team, you’ll want to source royalty-free images and pictures that are appropriate for your texting campaigns.

You can also use a photo editor or apps like Canva to edit your images, resize them, change the file format, add text, and more.

Where to get the best pictures for texting:

  • Pixabay
  • Pexels
  • Unsplash
  • Shutterstock
  • Tenor
  • Adobe Stock


4. Upload your picture and compose your message

You've sourced and edited your picture messages and you’ve got your texting software set up.

Next, you'll need to upload and compose your message.

For this, MessageDesk supports pre-saved text message templates, tags, media, and links. You can also upload .jpgs, .jpegs, .pngs, and .gifs.

To upload an image, just tap the image icon in the message compose box. This opens the media gallery which shows previews of all your saved images. Just select the photos or photo you’d like to add to your text message.

You can also transfer photos from iPhone or Android into MessageDesk using the mobile app.


5. Schedule or automate your text messages and picture messages

You can always schedule texts and images to send at a later date. You can also take advantage of automated text message campaigns to deliver messages to your recipients.


6. Track when contacts open and click links in your text messages

Another feature that separates MessageDesk from iPhone and Android is the ability to send a link in texts. Just tap the paperclip icon in the message compose box to insert a link.

This allows you to track text message open and engagement rates and monitor the success of your messaging campaigns.

MessageDesk’s SMS broadcast service delivers a report with information on who successfully received the text.


Photo Texting Examples

I’ve included a short list of picture texting examples for ideas and inspiration.

1. Add a photo to a text message with a QR code

If you want to quickly send people to a specific site, digital form, or landing page, you can make a QR code instead of a link.

qr code message

Dear {{ FirstName }}, it's time to service your car. We're offering a 20% discount if you book in with us for a full service before {{ date }}. Use the QR code to book your service asap. We look forward to seeing you.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am
Free Tool: Create a QR Code
Turn any link into a QR code for free with our free QR code generator.
Create for free

2. Send a photo promoting your product or service

Attach a picture to a text to add some visual context around the product or service you’re promoting. Here’s an example from a furniture company.

autumn sale

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall 🍂 {{ FirstName }}, celebrate the changing season with 20% OFF sitewide with code AUTUMN. Shop now: https://msg.dsk/0/5CeRr6 Text STOP to opt-out

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

3. Attach a picture to a text with event information

map image

Hello {{ FirstName }}, It's nearly time for the big party in the park fundraiser on {{ date }}. We're looking forward to seeing you. We're sending you a map of the venue, and you can find further information on how to get to us on our website {{ link }}. Remember to wear your comfy shoes or sneakers, and bring your confirmation email. It's going to be an awesome day! Take care and see you on the {{ date }}.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

4. Offer details on a quote or estimate

closet quote

Hello {{ FirstName }}. Thank you for talking with me on {{ date }}. I've now put together a quote for you on the work we discussed {{ link to quote }}. The image shows a mock-up of the shelving unit in the nook of your great room. In the quote, I've set out the materials to be used, their price, and the price of labor. Please let me know if this meets your approval, and we can discuss dates to start the work.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

5. Attach a picture to a text as a PDF

You can use MMS messages to send all types of media, including PDF documents like forms, contracts, and invoices.


Dear {{ FirstName }}, the contract we discussed has now been drawn up and is available for your review {{ link }}. Instructions on how to review and sign the document are also provided at this link. Once you have reviewed the contract and are satisfied, please sign the document as instructed. Don't hesitate to call me at {{ number }} if you need to discuss anything. I look forward to hearing from you. {{ CompanyName }}.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am
Add SMS Superpowers to Any Business Phone
No switching carriers. Just add texting. Talk to Sales to get started.
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Ready to start texting photos?

I’ve covered photo texting and what a business or organization needs to insert pictures in text messages. You’ve got a grasp of the basics, so what’s next?

If you’re ready, schedule a demo and meet with one of our messaging experts.

We’re here to help you improve your messaging and find success.

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