As we dive head first into the festive season, after another record-breaking Black Friday month, it’s an apt time to double down on your customer engagement strategies and make sure that your business is well-positioned to take on the holiday shopping demand.
The rise of e-commerce giants, such as Amazon and eBay, presents significant competition for retailers, and convincing consumers to shop with your brand over a competitor’s is not an easy task.
So what can we do to market our brand for success?
Be present with your target audience.
When it comes down to hitting the mark with consumers, a large part of what determines success is communication. In other words, get your products/services in front of customers as soon as possible
This is where SMS marketing is a great asset. Research from ReviewRefer shows that SMS is the most effective channel for customer engagement with a 98% open rate. Make customers sit up and take notice of your new offers and discounts.
Give more to your customers than just a hard sell.
While it’s true that SMS marketing is an ideal way of pulling more consumers into your peak season sale, this is only tapping the surface of its potential. If we think about campaigns that have struck a chord with us personally, it’s usually when a business has gone above and beyond to make a human connection that’s based on real value. So how do we go about doing this?
SMS marketing is more than just a sales tool – there are various strategies you can use to make a real connection and show customers that you care.
More ways to use SMS
Keep customers informed of your opening and closing times.
Whether it’s just a temporary close for maintenance or an extension of your opening hours for peak trading season, make sure you keep consumers in the loop. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a store to find out that it’s temporarily closed, and that you’ve been misinformed. You could send your customers a text to let them know the best times to visit your store.
An informative text message could look something like this:
“Hi Julie, just to let you know that we will be closed over the Christmas period from the 24th – 27th of December and the 1st of January.”
Show customers that you’re thinking about them.
Use SMS to send holiday greetings and well wishes throughout the year to add a more personable feel to your communications strategy. Segmenting your SMS campaigns into relevant celebrations or key dates such as Christmas, Eid, and Diwali could also go a long way towards building a real human connection with your consumer database.
If you like these first two ideas, you could even include a link to your holiday opening hours within your season’s greetings message.
“We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from all the team at Shoes Direct. Visit our website to see holiday opening hours [LINK]”
Gather feedback and consult with your customers.
One of the most effective ways to improve customer service is to actively seek feedback, and sending out a quick survey by SMS is a great way to accomplish this. SMS surveys can help identify and straighten out any bumps in your purchase or post-purchase journey by collecting feedback from customers on every aspect of their recent experience. It’s always a good idea to add a little incentive – if there’s an opportunity to claim a discount code or win a voucher then it’s all the more worth their time and effort.
Offer SMS giveaways.
Competitions and prize draws are a great way to open the stage to your consumers’ creativity and sense of fun. By learning more about your customers and what they care about, you’re building a sense of loyalty that will ensure they purchase from you in the future. Text-to-win campaigns are a great way to boost engagement and motivate consumers to stay tuned into your comms.
“Text WIN to 88703 to be in with a chance of winning a holiday to New York, and £500 spending money, courtesy of Holidays4Everbody.”
The bottom line
It’s important to remember that whilst SMS marketing is a powerful tool that can help you hit your sales targets campaign to campaign, we’re talking about what SMS can do to boost customer engagement in the bigger picture during the most impactful time – peak trading season.
Putting in the effort to connect with consumers throughout the year, and not just when you want them to make a purchase, is key to nurturing brand loyalty. We hope that by using some of the ideas above you can take your SMS campaigns to the next level, ensuring that customers are more receptive to sales news and discounts during peak trading season.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a Marketing Calendar of some major holidays and key dates throughout 2024 that you can use to connect with customers this coming year.
If you’re keen to get more out of your SMS marketing, start your free trial with TextMarketer today.