The holiday season is just around the corner as companies all over the world prepare for a huge spike in sales. In this highly competitive landscape, it is essential to get a marketing edge over your competition. So, brands look for untapped channels to get their message across and stand out.
SMS marketing is a much more effective channel compared to other modern-day marketing channels such as social media and email.
Christmas is undoubtedly the most important holiday in the UK. If you are considering using the power of SMS marketing to reach your customers, this is the time to start.
In fact, SMS marketing campaigns offer a higher degree of personalisation and allow closer interaction with customers. So, here are 7 ideas to keep in mind while crafting your Christmas SMS marketing campaign.
1. Get the SMS festivities started
Kick-off your Christmas marketing campaign by sending a text to greet your customers. Sure you want to convince your customers to buy or subscribe for alerts. But a simple season’s greeting will have a long-lasting impression.
A greeting text that has no sales-like vibe to it makes your customer feel like you care about them, whether or not they are buying from you.
Your brand stays at the forefront by simply being present in your customer’s SMS inbox. This goes a long way to solidify brand loyalty.
It is also essential that your text relays a message that blends with the festive mood of the holidays. So, kickstart your campaign by showing personality and sending great vibes their way.
A personal touch to your SMS greetings can make your audience feel special with minimal effort. For example, instead of “Wishing you a Merry Christmas from XYZ”, “Hey Alex, Merry Christmas from us here at the XYZ family. We appreciate you and the support you’ve given to our brand all year round” feels much more warm and welcoming.
So if you are looking to boost sales through SMS campaigns, focus on establishing an emotional connection with your customer.
2. Share seasonal updates and make life easier for your customers
As the holiday season begins, consumers are inclined to look for relevant content. Making this time an ideal opportunity for you to publish content that the audience is looking for.
This is an opportunity to tailor your blog and social media content to make them timely, relevant and engaging. For example, if you are running a restaurant, publish content like “The Definitive Guide To Organising A Christmas Family Dinner”. Then send the link to customers through text. Chances are that they might appreciate your timely advice and incorporate it into their holiday festivities.
Sending updates through text can be a highly effective tool to drive engagement to your social media or blog post. An astonishing figure of 90% of text messages are read, either from inbox or notifications bar, within the first 3 minutes.
Besides, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you must have a linear interaction with customers. You can send out a voucher offering discounts on products or services relevant to the content you are sending.
Updates can also be given in the form of collections curated for particular needs. Moreover, collections or guides let you promote your brand without even appearing to do so. A well-crafted collection can help shoppers find their desired products easily.
After you have curated your collection, send the URL of the collection page along with your promotional texts.
You can also add a buying guide with the collection, and last-minute shoppers will surely be thankful enough for making their lives a lot easier.
If you are looking for a service to do the job for you, Octopush offers SMS 2.0 or Rich SMS, a popular tool among businesses. It sends a URL that leads to a Landing Page, the content of which can be renewed on every visit, creating a streamlined user experience.
3. Season of giving: treat your customers to a freebie
Who doesn’t want a gift? Regardless of the value of your gift, simply offering one will be highly appreciated by your customers. With the added context of holiday festivities during the season of giving, this is too valuable of an opportunity to let go.
If you are offering a voucher, generate a unique non-shareable code for each user in your SMS marketing list.
Remind them of the opportunity a couple of times if they have not redeemed it yet. Avoid sending the reminder text to users who already have utilised it once. If tracking this sounds cumbersome, you can rely on Octopush to take the hassle off your shoulders. It allows you to automate SMS sending with applications, software and information systems, and sends your marketing messages to more than 196 countries.
Freebies can be redeemable vouchers or an additional product given on purchase. For example, you can add a free dessert item to a delivery order over a certain price.
Another way of promoting freebies is by compiling discounted products and then sending a link of the landing page to the customers. The expanded range of choice makes it easier for them to engage and redeem a promotional offer.
Customers generally spend more during holiday seasons, especially during the Christmas holidays. A freebie during a heavy spending spree makes it a lot more welcoming than any other time. As for the customer’s perception of your brand, this puts a caring sentiment attached to you, which can do wonders in customer retention.
4. Segment your audience and target them according to what they care about
If you have an extensive SMS marketing list, chances are that the campaign you are aiming to run doesn’t cater to the entirety of it.
The first step is to segment your consumers based on subcategories. This might be different for different types of businesses. Factors such as nature of the products or services, frequency of purchase etc. come into account.
Segmentation can then be done based on demographic data, geographical location or any other appropriate metric. If you have enough data on the behavioural pattern of your customers, such as purchase history or cart abandonment, segmentation can be done even more rigorously.
The next step is to pick a particular segment or a combination of multiple ones that would be the most relevant target group for your campaign.
In your promotional messages, tailor the text using keyword usage data of your target audience if available. In this way, your marketing message will be relevant to your audience.
The ultimate goal of running a targeted campaign is maximising sales. So it is essential to have the latest audience data, especially since purchasing patterns during holiday seasons differ from regular ones.
After you have successfully segmented and targeted your audience, tailored and ran your SMS marketing campaign, don’t settle just yet. Use appropriate indicators to measure the performance of your campaign and make further adjustments to your segmentations if needed.
5. Create a sense of urgency if you are running an offer or promotion
Holiday promotional offers have a limited period of validity. You can use this limitation to your advantage and drive up sales by creating a sense of urgency among your customers.
Promotional offers such as flash sales can be used to prompt the customer to act swiftly before they lose the opportunity to utilise the offer. SMS campaigns are very effective in this case, as they have more than double the response rate compared to email or social media.
If you are offering discounts on specific products, add a short time limit to it and text your subscribers to act fast before they lose the discount offer.
Short-term validity can also be applied to coupons or vouchers. Adding a short expiry period to vouchers urges the customer to act instantly regardless of your store being online or offline. The opportunity to spend less and buy more is too tempting for any customer to let go.
With a strong and suitable call-to-action in your texts, you can leverage the rush people experience during the Christmas shopping period. Labelling a product as “limited stock” takes the hype up to one more notch and adds a “race” element to it. That is, you not only have to act fast but also act fast enough to beat anyone else to redeem the offer.
If you add the high redeeming rate of coupons delivered via SMS to the urgency of redeeming these coupons, flash sales and SMS campaigns are “a match made in heaven”.
So don’t just send discount offers for the sake of it, send discount offers that will make your customers get up, grab their wallet (or credit card) and run to you.
6. Team up with a charity and give back to the community or a cause your customers care about
Christmas is not only about presents, or shopping, it’s about the unbridled joy of having your loved ones by your side, keeping aside everything else. But Christmas isn’t the same for everyone. A part of the community who aren’t privileged enough gets denied from the merriment and the jovial spirit of Christmas.
So, during the season of giving, take the opportunity to be a Christmas elf, and take initiatives to give back to the community and those who need your contribution the most.
Involving your customers in your efforts to serve causes that they care about deepens the emotional bond between your brand and your customers. It instils a belief in them that your goals are bigger than running a business and making profits.
A brand that stays committed to serving the community it operates in accounts for greater consumer loyalty. It can be as simple as giving a percentage of your profits to a charity that your customers care about. Use the personalised nature of SMS marketing to let your customers know that their money is used for the cause and their contribution is making a significant difference.
Being the Christmas elf might not increase your sales instantly, but the connection your customers will feel towards your brand brings a long term value with it. Personalising your approach to each customer can further ensure the maximum effectiveness of the SMS campaign.
7. Organise giveaways to boost engagement
Most people love to compete, even for the smallest rewards. It is even more appealing to them when the competition takes virtually no effort or money to win.
Giveaways can generate a great amount of engagement. To make it more relevant, use a holiday theme for your giveaway campaign and add a festive element to it.
To get organic reach, keep a requirement or a step that involves “referring a friend”, which helps spread the message free of cost and boosts both their engagement and your SMS subscriber list.
To make it even more interesting, structure your contest/giveaway with a modern advent calendar to count days until Christmas. Each day, you can offer quizzes, polls or any suitable method to select the winner and announce the prize at the end of the day.
This will also mean that you have to create complex SMS sequences each day to send prompts, select the winner and send the results timely. Octopush allows you to send Polls, Questionnaires and Forms by SMS and then analyses the answers – a perfect service at your disposal for hosting giveaways or contests.
Giveaways or contests of this nature can have better traction during Christmas given the all-around festivities that come with the season of giving.
If you have not crafted an SMS marketing campaign for your Christmas promotions already, it isn’t too late yet. But keep in mind that an SMS campaign doesn’t have to be a standalone channel of your promotions. Integrating it with your email and social channel can help your customer get a holistic experience and maximise the impact of your Christmas campaigns.
Besides, customer activity doesn’t end with Christmas. A lot of consumers continue to shop to the week following Christmas still hoping to utilise the holiday offers. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to get ahead of your competition.
If you are still hesitant to take on your brilliant Christmas SMS marketing campaign, you can always put your trust in Octopush to do it for you, which ensures a seamless engagement with your customers. It lets you focus on what you do best – growing your business and taking it to new heights of success.
So why wait to get the festivities started? Create your free Octopush account today!