Is driving local traffic one of your top goals?
Whether you’re trying to drive holiday traffic or traffic during any season, SMS might be the answer.
According to research from the messaging platform Podium, SMS (or text messaging) is the only marketing channel with a 97% open rate.
Use it this holiday season (or any season, really) to drive foot traffic and online sales.
On November 17, I moderated a sponsored webinar presented by Matt Boyce, Senior Director of Partner Marketing at Podium.
He shared practical and effective tips for SMS marketing this holiday season.
Here is a quick recap of the webinar. For full details, complete the form to access the entire webinar.
Holiday Shopping Outlook
Nearly 30% of U.S. consumers plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year than they did last year.
Consumers also plan to start their holiday shopping earlier in the season than the year before.
So we expect a lot more holiday shopping dollars to move around this year.
As a business owner, marketer, or agency, how can you be ready for the shopping rush? How can you stay top of mind?
Text Messaging vs. Email
Perhaps you’re saying that you already use email. Why add SMS?
While email is one of the most efficient channels that a business can use, most users are bombarded.
This results in a lot of unopened emails.
SMS is a great way to cut through the clutter.
Podium has seen that people open texts 98% of the time and 90% within three minutes.
SMS Holiday Marketing Tips
Companies of any size, both B2B and B2C, can benefit from the following tips, regardless of the number of subscribers in your list.
We’ve also got great pointers for building and nurturing your subscribers.
Tip #1: Utilize Effective Opt-in Touchpoints.
Take advantage of every opt-in opportunity, such as:
- Point of sale or transaction.
- Website chat.
- Online sign-up pages and forms.
- Website banners, pop-ups, and prompts.
Tip #2: Leverage Your Online Presence To Capture Opt-ins.
Use your current marketing channels to reach customers:
- Convert your email marketing contacts into SMS marketing opt-ins—send an email blast promoting opt-ins for promotional texts.
- Create social posts with a URL, QR code, or keyword to capture opt-ins through social media.
Tip #3: Be Prepared To Capture Opt-ins From In-store Holiday Shoppers.
Use the in-store shopper journey to capture more opt-ins:
- Set up a sign-up station or kiosk.
- Utilize QR codes and signage.
- Create a textable keyword to make it easier to opt-in.
Tip #4: Optimize Conversions For The Holiday Shopping Season.
Create enticing offers to boost opt-ins:
- Offer VIP status for opting into text messages.
- Provide a specific discount, offer, or gift to consumers who choose to opt-in to SMS messages.
- Run a contest or giveaway to boost opt-in engagement.
Tip #5: Advertise Seasonal Promotions Via SMS Messaging.
Capitalize on holidays and other seasonal opportunities to reach your audience:
- Don’t wait until the holiday season begins to let customers know about holiday marketing campaigns.
- Send SMS marketing messages to your opt-in list to let them know about upcoming sales.
Tip #6: Advertise BOPIS, Curbside Pickup, And Other In-store Services.
Use SMS campaigns to educate your audience:
- Remind your customers (via text!) that they can utilize BOPIS, curbside pickup, and other in-store services.
- Integrate your mobile marketing strategy with your overall marketing plan—use it as an amplifier to your current efforts.
- Convert planned holiday promotions into short, textable messages.
Tip #7: Personalize Your SMS Marketing Campaigns.
Track key behaviors to create better segmentation:
- Use purchase or review recency as an indicator of positive engagement with your brand.
- Note responses to past sales or specific items or services as indicators of interest in similar sales, items, or services.
Tip #8: Close The Deal Conveniently With SMS Payments.
Create a better checkout process:
- Send a purchase link to collect payments directly through an SMS campaign.
- Get paid faster as customers capitalize on a convenient checkout process.
What To Look For In An SMS Marketing Platform
If you’re looking to start with SMS as one of your marketing strategies, here’s what you need to look out for to ensure a successful campaign for your business:
- Stay Compliant.
Compliance is vital. You want to make sure that you’re tracking when people are opting in so that you’re not getting in any spam trouble.
- Integrate With Your Existing Tech Stack.
Whatever your CRM is or point of sale is, you want those tools to be integrated as much as possible. It will allow subscribers to flow into your CRM easily or vice versa.
- Build Targeted/Segmented Campaigns.
Being able to tag or segment users is valuable in creating focused campaigns.
- Offer Two-way Conversations.
A business can drive customers away when they use an SMS number that customers can’t reply to. The ability to make a two-way conversation is pivotal in creating a successful sale.
- Get Started Quickly.
Consider your timing and needs. You may not want a complex platform that requires custom dev work or resources you don’t have, especially if you to be up and running for the holidays.
You want customers for the lifecycle of your business, not just once. If you want your company to be sustainable, you must engage, retain, and grow your customer base.
Get those conversations started with text messaging campaigns.
Many touchpoints can make it an effective channel for converting and closing those prospects and nurturing existing customers.
The holiday season offers several opportunities to drive foot traffic and online sales.
SMS is one way to help drive the traffic and differentiate your business from the competition.
[Slides] SMS Holiday Marketing: 8 Tips To Grow Your Audience & Reach
Here is the presentation:
Featured Image: best pixels/Shutterstock