SMS for Christmas and beyond

With just 2 sleeps (yes we count in sleeps) until Santa descends the chimney, I think we’re all wondering the same thing… are we on the naughty or nice list? In all seriousness though, this got us thinking. What can a business do to ensure their customers put them on the nice list, not just for Christmas but for Christmas and beyond? After all, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, whilst the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5 – 20% (Source: Kapost).

Well, in recent years SMS marketing campaigns have become increasingly popular with customers. So popular in fact, that text campaigns are opted out of, less than 5% of the time. So with mobile marketing on the rise and SMS an accepted marketing channel, text campaigns are a logical place to start.  

Image of envelope containing Santa's Naughty and Nice list

Now we know that one of the largest hurdles to the world of mobile marketing, is often perceived barriers to collecting data from customers. So we thought we’d pull together a few tips on how your business can approach building a mobile database or as we like to refer to it, growing that nice list:

1. SMS customer loyalty program

Put simply, incentify. This concept is by no means new but a report by Smart Insights found that 90% of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program, felt they gained value from it. A great way to keep customers engaged is to be selective with the campaigns and in this case, the deals and discounts that you are sending them. 

By ensuring you segment your database, into various services or product areas of interest to your customers (you could use purchasing or survey data) you can make sure individuals only receive the campaigns and discounts they’re really interested in. This in turn, will increase the likelihood of engagement and sales.

2. Make it simple

 Remember what your goal is – to get your customers to opt-in so keep the message simple.  We think a really effective way to grow a mobile database is to set up a shortcode with an allocated keyword so customers can message in directly. 

“Text SMS to 88802 to opt-in to our mobile marketing and be the first to find out about our sales!”

This could also be incentivised and advertised on other marketing channels (more on this below), to really drive database sign-ups. For instance, you might run an in-store promotion offering each customer that registers for the mobile distribution list, an additional 10% discount off their purchase.   

3. Use all available channels

Having a reliable and up-to-date database is key to any successful marketing campaign. But it’s important to remember that all campaigns, no matter the channel, should work together in harmony.

One study shows that integrating SMS into a campaign can increase email open rates by 20% (Source: Smart Insights).

When it comes to marketing there are multiple channels you can use to communicate with your customers, to name just a few: 

  • Direct Mail
  • Email 
  • Website
  • In-store promotions

 Why not consider using these other channels to give a shout out to your mobile marketing activity? It could be as subtle as a couple of lines on the end of an email: 

“Never want to miss a sale? Reply with details of your mobile contact number to be added to our mobile marketing list. This will guarantee you’re the first to know about our amazing deals!”

Or as in-your-face as a pop up on your website:

“Enter your mobile number now, to be added to our fantastic SMS loyalty program! It’ll be worth your while, we promise.”

Hopefully these tips will help you grow your mobile database whether you’re new to SMS or a seasoned professional. Our friendly team are always on hand to help, so if you would like to discuss a few ideas, simply email us at

Wishing you all a very Happy Holidays!