SMS is for life, not just for Christmas

SMS is for life, not just for Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and not just because of Santa (yes, he is real) but because it is the one of the biggest holidays of the year for UK businesses. Millions of consumers are looking for that perfect gift for their loved ones, and businesses are looking to sell them that gift.

For consumers Christmas time is brilliant, retailers are constantly battling it out to win their business, but for the retailers themselves it can be hard. Trying to convince someone that they should shop with you rather than your competitors is not an easy task. It is very unlikely that your shop sells something that a consumer can’t get from another shop, most items can now can be bought from multiple places, especially with online retailers like Amazon and eBay.

How can you convince someone to shop with you? Well a big part of this is getting your products and offers in front of your customers as soon as possible. This is where SMS marketing can help, sending your customers a text message as soon as your Christmas sale has started, is a great way to inform all your customers of your sale, and with a 98% open rate, it almost guarantees that your message will be read.

christmas spend 2018
But isn’t Christmas about giving and not trying to sell as much as possible? Are you planning on doing anything special for your customers this year? Or are you just going send them a text message with an offer in it? If you only plan on sending multiple text messages prompting your sale, we are afraid to say that this just isn’t enough anymore. Yes, SMS will help you make a sale, but it can do so much more than that.

So when you customers start thinking about gifts they are going to buy, how do you go about ensuring that they buy from you and not your competitors?

Well this doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and a lot of giving. Consumers don’t just want to be sold to, they want to be wined and dined, they want to be felt like a real human, rather than just a number that you send promotional offers to.

SMS marketing is more than a sales tool, there are many other great ways it can be used to show your customers that you care.

Other ways to use SMS other than sell

Open and closing time – Whether it is just a day that you are closed for maintenance, or the whole of Christmas, consumers hate turning up to your store and finding out that it is closed. Send your customers a text message with open and closing times on. Why not use our free feature SMS Web Pages, to include more information which is just what Star Cars Birmingham did.
“Hi Jane, just to let you know we will be closed over the Christmas period from the 24th – 27th and then again closed on the 1st of January.”

Send holiday greetings – Wishing your customers a Merry Christmas is a nice thing to do, it makes them feel like your business is more personable. It doesn’t just have to be Christmas, there are other major events around the year like Eid and Diwali that your customers might like to receive a message about too.

You could even include a link to your open and closing times in the message, this would save sending two separate messages.
“From all of us here at Shoes Direct, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For all our opening times see our website”

SMS surveys – The only way you will improve your business is by asking your customers what they like and dislike about you, and this is where an SMS survey can help. Just after your customers have purchased, or at the end of the year, send your customers an SMS survey asking them a couple of questions about the service and products you offer. A handy tip to get more answers is to add a little incentive.
“We would like to thank you for being a valued customer and hope that over the year we have provided you with a great service. To make sure that we have, we would really appreciate it if you could complete a short survey. By completing this survey, you will be entered into a prize draw where you could win a £50 voucher.”

Text to win – By offering something away for free, customers are more likely to purchase from you in the future. A competition is a great way to get your customers interacting with your brand and who doesn’t like winning something. If you are thinking about running a text to win campaign have a read of our 5 top tips that will help you get started.
“Text WIN to 88802 to enter into our draw where you could win a holiday to New York and £500 spending money, courtesy of Holidays4Everbody.”

Appointment reminders – This may not be suitable for all businesses, but for those that it does, sending an appointment reminder massively reduces the amount of no shows. This will save you money and keep customers who have genuinely forgotten, happy with a little nudge.
“Hi John, just a reminder that your MOT is due on the 21/01/2019 so make sure you book it in with us before then.”

Making sure that you stay in contact with your customers throughout the year, and not just when you want them to buy, is vital to increase brand loyalty. By using some of the ideas above, wishing your customers a Merry Christmas, or just letting them know when you are closed, you will increase brand loyalty and when it does come to the time for you to send them an SMS offer, they will be more receptive and more likely to purchase.

In-between the regular updates and communication with your customers, of course you should send them a text message with your latest sale and discounts in, after all they are a customer of yours because they bought something from you.
With this in mind we have added a couple of major holidays throughout the year that you could have a sale and send your customer a text message on.

Major holidays throughout the year

Valentine’s day – Valentine’s day is getting bigger each year with £980 million worth of gifts bought in 2016 and a little SMS love can go along way during February.

Easter holidays – You may not think Easter is a big retail holiday but there are 21.9 million Easter cards sold (Source: Statisticviews) and 1.8 million Brits traveling abroad over the Easter weekend (Source: Visit England). It is a perfect time to send an SMS and not just about clothes or shoes.

Spring and Summer sales – The perfect time to send an SMS is when you have any seasonal sales, be that a spring or summer sale, whenever you have a sale, start it by sending an SMS to let your customers know it has started.

Black Friday – Last, but by no means least, Black Friday, this year is expected to have been bigger than ever before, potentially hitting over £9 Billion over the 4-day Black Friday weekend.

Remember that just because SMS can help you hit your sales targets, it is not just a one trick pony and can help you keep customers happy, engaged, and purchasing all year round.

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