Is driving local traffic one of your top goals?
Whether you are trying to increase traffic during the holidays or traffic during any season, SMS may be the answer.
According to research from messaging platform Podium, SMS (or text messaging) is the only marketing channel with an open rate of 97%.
Use it around the holiday season (or any season, really) to drive more online traffic and sales.
On November 17th, I moderated a webinar hosted by Matt Boyce, Senior Director of Partner Marketing at Podium.
Share practical and effective tips for SMS marketing this holiday season.
Here is a quick summary of the webinar. For full details, complete the form to Access the entire webinar.
Holiday shopping forecast
Nearly 30% of American consumers plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year than last year.
Consumers also plan to start holiday shopping earlier in the season than in the previous year.
So we expect more holiday shopping dollars to move around this year.
As a business owner, marketer or agency, how can you be prepared for the shopping rush? How do you stay top of mind?
Text messaging versus email
You might say you already use email. Why add SMS?
While email is one of the most effective channels a business can use, most users are bombarded.
This results in a lot of unopened emails.
SMS is a great way to beat the clutter.
The platform has seen people open texts 98% of the time and 90% within three minutes.
SMS holiday marketing tips
Businesses of any size, B2B and B2C can benefit from the following tips, no matter how many subscribers your list has.
We also have great indicators for subscriber building and nurturing.
Tip #1: Make use of hot touch points.
Take advantage of every opportunity to subscribe, such as:
- point of sale or transaction.
- Site chat.
- Online registration pages and forms.
- Website banners, pop-ups, and prompts.
Tip #2: Leverage your online presence to capture empowerment.
Use your existing marketing channels to reach customers:
- Convert your email marketing contacts into SMS marketing subscriptions – send an email promotion to opt in promotional texts.
- Create social posts using a URL, QR code or keyword to capture subscriptions through social media.
Tip #3: Be prepared to snap up subscriptions from in-store shoppers during the holidays.
Use the in-store shopper journey to get more subscriptions:
- Set up a recording station or booth.
- Use QR codes and banners.
- Create a textable keyword to make it easier to sign up.
Tip #4: Optimize Conversions for the Holiday Shopping Season.
Create attractive offers to boost subscriptions:
- View VIP status for text messaging subscription.
- Offer a specific discount, offer or gift to customers who choose to subscribe to SMS messages.
- Run a contest or free giveaway to boost subscription engagement.
Tip #5: Announce seasonal promotions via SMS.
Take advantage of the holidays and other seasonal opportunities to reach your audience:
- Don’t wait until the holiday season to let customers know about your holiday marketing campaigns.
- Send SMS marketing messages to your subscription list to let them know about upcoming sales.
Tip #6: Advertise BOPIS, Curbside Pickup, and other services within the store.
Use SMS campaigns to educate your audience:
- Remind your customers (via text!) that they can use BOPIS, curbside pickup, and other in-store services.
- Integrate your mobile marketing strategy with your overall marketing plan – use it as an amplifier for your existing efforts.
- Convert planned holiday promotions into SMSes that can be texted.
Tip #7: Customize your SMS marketing campaigns.
Track key behaviors to create better segmentation:
- Use the purchase or recency review as an indicator of positive engagement with your brand.
- Note responses to previous sales, items, or services identified as indications of interest in similar sales, items, or services.
Tip #8: Close the deal with ease with SMS payments.
Create a better payment process:
- Send a purchase link to collect payments directly through the SMS campaign.
- Get paid faster as customers benefit from a convenient checkout process.
What to look for in an SMS marketing platform
If you are looking to get started with SMS as one of your marketing strategies, here is what you need to look out for to ensure a successful campaign for your business:
- Stay committed.
Compliance is vital. You want to make sure that you keep track of when people sign up so that you don’t run into any spam issues.
- Integrate with your existing technology stack.
Whatever your CRM or point of sale system, you’ll want to integrate these tools as much as possible. It will allow subscribers to flow into your CRM easily or vice versa.
- Build targeted/segmented campaigns.
The ability to differentiate or segment users is valuable in creating focused campaigns.
- Provide two-way conversations.
A business can turn away customers when they use an SMS number that customers can’t reply to. The ability to have a two-way conversation is central to creating a successful sale.
- Start fast.
Consider your timing and needs. You may not want a complex platform that requires dedicated development work or resources that you don’t have, especially if you’re up for the holidays.
You want customers for the life cycle of your business, not just one time. If you want your company to be sustainable, you must engage, retain, and grow your customer base.
Start those conversations with text message campaigns.
Many points of contact can make it an effective channel to convert and close those prospects and nurture existing clients.
The holiday season provides many opportunities to increase online traffic and sales.
SMS is one way to help increase traffic and differentiate your business from the competition.
[Slides] Holiday SMS Marketing: 8 Tips to Increase Your Audience and Reach
Here is the presentation:
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