Tis the season…
You might be wondering what SMS marketing has to do with Christmas. Well, it could just revolutionise the way we do Christmas. Most of us love Christmas and can’t get enough of the festive cheer. However, it can be really stressful for the majority. There is so much to cram in before the big day that it forces us to plan and organise more than usual.
If you are running a Christmas marketing campaign this year, it’s best to start early to catch sales from the very start to the very end of the holiday season. As early as September, there are consumers ready to start their Christmas shopping and get last-minute appointments and festive meet-ups arranged before the New Year.
What are consumers looking for at the start of the holiday season?
The most obvious thing that consumers want is Christmas gifts. No sooner have the summer holidaymakers finished washing off their swimwear, then Christmas products begin to appear on our supermarket shelves. We try to fight it, but it creates a wave of panic that we experience every year at the same time. Over the years, Christmas stock has come out earlier and earlier in response to shoppers’ needs.
What good are Christmas gifts without gift ideas? What to buy for whom, is probably the most talked about subject on social media from November onwards.
Another panic-induced consumer need is getting up-to-date with appointments. The holiday season is the busiest time for those in the hair and beauty industry, but dentists, opticians, and GPs can also see a rise as patients rush to get things checked before the Christmas break begins.
The hospitality industry will not have a minute to spare handling Christmas parties, last-chance get-togethers, and other festive celebrations. Many restaurants will be fully booked from the end of November until the new year.
So how can you ensure that your business is making the most of the Christmas rush?
Create a Christmas SMS series
Start to address the needs of your subscribers by planning your Christmas edition SMS series. Retailers: send out an SMS message to acknowledge the Christmas period and let your subscribers know what you have coming up over the next few weeks.
With subsequent text messages to start to build the excitement with:
- Hints about what’s coming up in your Christmas product launch.
- A gift guide to help customers to plan what they are going to buy for their loved ones.
- Stagger release dates of special, highly anticipated products to drive up demand
- Add links to your Christmas webpages
- Launch a daily SMS Christmas countdown competition
- Send out exclusive discount codes and vouchers
- Offer free delivery
- Grant early access to limited products or flash sales
Segment your subscriber list
Segmenting your database for SMS marketing campaigns is key to holding onto your subscribers. You can personalise data fields to target a specific audience. Using the information you hold on your database you will be able to separate your customers by areas of interest and send more targeted comms. Segmenting can be set up with the data that you have collected on sign-up and categorised by your database. SMS content can be matched with groups of recipients and sent automatically to the right person at the right time.
Personalising your SMS program can enhance your marketing communications and help you cut through the competition. It’s one of the most sophisticated advances in automated mobile messages that can turn casual observers into loyal customers. With a good SMS platform, you will be able to include more specific details within your texts such as the recipient’s name, relevant dates, and times, or even direct them to pages of interest on your website. Use the recipient’s names as a subject line or too close to your subject lines to catch their attention and allow them to feel like they know you.
Appointment reminders and booking confirmations
As a business that relies on bookings and appointments, sending SMS messages during a busy period could be your saviour. As we know, Christmas is chaotic, appointments and bookings can easily be forgotten.
Transactional SMS is a real golden nugget for businesses. You can set up your transactional SMS to send out reminders to the end user. This facility has transformed the way many industries operate and helped to increase revenue.
The restaurant and beauty industries have also seen a vast improvement in their operations. When restaurants returned post-pandemic, they saw a seismic shift in no-shows. This was largely down to panic booking due to limited covers and customers contracting Covid but failing to cancel their reservations. Transactional SMS can be set up to send SMS notifications to the customer at certain intervals such as the day before or even an hour before. For example:
“Hi John, you have a reservation at the Tap house tomorrow at 7.30 pm. We hope you can still make it. Text back with “Y” if you are still coming or click the link to cancel and rebook”
By using SMS in this way, you can fill cancelled appointments with new customers and avoid wasting staff resources and losing money. An appointment reminder is a simple text message that can make a big difference.
With a good SMS provider, the customer will be able to interact with the business using two-way SMS.
Offer a free gift this Christmas
Consumers are focused on getting more for less this year so finding a brand that offers a free gift with purchases is a winner. An SMS marketing message containing a link to a free gift should get a lot of traction. Boots often give away a free gift when you spend over a certain amount. The gift is often a small cosmetic or toiletry set, presented and ready to re-gift.
Offering a free gift is also a big thank you to your brand-loyal customers and will encourage them to remain on your subscriber list.
Christmas gift guide
Traditionally retailers sent out gift guide brochures by snail mail or had them available to pick up in-store. To reduce our carbon footprint many catalogues and brochures have gone digital.
Consumers will be exposed to a wide range of Christmas gift guides online through social media and email. Many will be scrolled past and ignored. Send a link to your Christmas gift guide as part of your SMS campaign. Get people thinking about what they want to buy this year and budgeting in advance. Some retailers add release dates for their Christmas products, which is a great reason to contact your subscribers via SMS more often to remind them of launch dates.
A popular way for Brands to countdown to Christmas is with an SMS competition campaign. At Christmastime, competitions are popular as people try to win some of their gifts. Take the opportunity to send a daily competition link to win products from your gift guide.
Let shoppers know your last shipping date
All of your customers will want to know your last shipping dates, it’s really important. Whether your subscribers are super organised or last-minute shoppers, it’s good to be able to plan and not be left without.
The last shipping date is a good opportunity to make contact with subscribers via SMS with further notice. Customers will welcome the reminder. You could even offer them the chance to add the date to their smartphone calendars via a link.
Our favourite top 10 text message templates for Christmas
Your text message campaigns would not be complete without a scheduled programme of amazing Christmas SMS messages. Read on to discover our favourite text message examples.
1. Christmas promotions
James, we are officially allowed to talk about Christmas now! Make sure you are ready to start your festive decorating with 20% off all Christmas decorations! Shop now: (Web link])
2. Limited-time pre-Christmas sale
Get a jingle on! The pre-Christmas sale you have been waiting for starts today! Add code XMAS22 for a 15% discount on all products. Off ends at midnight tonight! (web link)
3. Free Delivery
A little Christmas gift from us! Free delivery on all orders placed before December 3rd! Take advantage now! (web link))
4. Christmas countdown competition
HoHoHo Ravi, join us on our daily Christmas competition. It’s your chance to win prizes everyday by clicking the link and answering our daily Christmas question. See T&C’s on our website. (web link)
5. Exclusive first look
Hello Beth! Our Christmas edit is going live tomorrow and we are giving our subscribers exclusive access! Some stock is limited so register here before 5pm today to be the first to view it! (web link)
6. Christmas Gift Guide
Vienne, we know how hard it is to buy great Christmas gifts. Visit our website and take advantage of our new present finder. Tell us who you need to buy for and we’ll tell you what to get! Click here for Christmas shopping bliss: (web link)
7. Booking reminders
Hello Julian, this is a reminder that you have a Christmas menu reservation with us tomorrow 14th December 2022. We can’t wait to help you kick off your festive celebrations with us. Let us know if you are still coming. Reply “Y” if you are in and “N” if you are out. It would really help us to plan our evening.
8. Flash sales
Hurry, flash sale on all Christmas jumpers today only! Use the code JUMP22 to get £5 off any Christmas-themed jumper in our collection: (Web link)
9. Get delivered before Christmas
It’s officially only 3 weeks until Christmas. Get your orders in by 18th December to receive your goods in time for Christmas day. Click here (Web link) to get next day delivery for the same price as regular delivery. Hurry, offer ends 10th December 2022!
10. Free Christmas gift
Did you know we are giving away a free gift with every purchase over £50 this Christmas.So treat yourself or a loved one to an extra gift. No codes needed. If you spend over £50, a free gift will automatically be added to your basket! (web link)
Use TextAnywhere to get your business noticed this Christmas
Let us help you to tailor your SMS campaigns this Christmas and for all your future sales events. Take advantage of our years of expert SMS experience to add value, boost engagement and improve your ROI from your SMS campaigns. Sign up for your free trial with TextAnwhere today.