Although December feels like an eternity away, it is in fact simply (and scary) now less than 3 months to go! The RCS revealed that the 3 month run up to Christmas (September, October, November) almost 70% of shoppers are in the Christmas buying mood! This makes the last 3 months of the end of the year a vital time for business to maximise their sales. Excellent planning and preparation is essential to take advantage to the lead up of the New Year. SMS can be a great tool to assist in all areas of the business such as customer service, sales, marketing and much more!
To help you maximise your SMS preparation we have highlighted 5 useful steps below…
1. The CountDown Starts now! Schedule your text messages in Advanced…
A key part in making sure the end of the year is a success, is having a detailed plan in place. One of the plans could be to ensure all your SMS messages are nicely scheduled prior to the mad rush of the festive season. With TextAnywhere you can schedule messages in advance, saving you time and peace of mind. The average duration businesses start their advertising campaigns 7 weeks before Christmas Day. However, the larger organisations tend to start planning before then. The key is to start planning your end of year strategy now and take time to create the content of your SMS messages. If you want to read more on this particular point, we have also written an ultimate checklist when setting up your SMS campaigns.
2. Mobile Orders
Mobile, as we all know, is increasingly popular and now is the top medium for consumers. Salmon reported that 51% of Black Friday orders were made on mobile devices and 60% of Christmas orders were purchased via mobile devices. In the busy world we live in today, consumers spare time is limited, and as we all do prefer the freedom of ‘purchasing on the go’. Provide an easier route with your customers when purchasing a product by sending an SMS message detailing other products they may be interested in.. Include a URL link to the page they can buy your product. This saves your customer time and effort of having to search around your website. Make sure that the product recommendations you send are personalised and something of interest. Ensuring your data is up to date and organised appropriately will assure the success of any SMS campaign.
3. Delivery Slots / Bookings
If you are looking to book in customers for the festive season, then it would be beneficial to start those offers on promotions or delivery slots now! You could be a restaurant offering Christmas dinner. Or a beauty salon offering treatments to look good on the special occasion. Even a store booking in delivery openings. So start taking reservations now to get totally prepared. You can use a shortcode and keyword, which would advertise to your potential clients to text in their name and a date and time they would like to confirm their booking. For example, people could text DINNER to 81025 with their name and reservation time. You could send a bulk text message out to your client base, notifying them that you’re taking festive bookings and include within the SMS a URL (website) link to your booking appointment page. Once they have placed their reservation, send them a confirmation via text so they can’t forget. If they made their booking in advance, it’s helpful to send a text closer to the time to remind them of the details. This will increase the chances of them attending and avoid no-shows. You can also give them the option to reply back if they want to CANCEL or RESCHEDULE.
4. Last-minute deals
Not everyone likes to plan and prepare for the holiday season in advance. In fact, 50% of brits complete their Christmas gift shopping between 21st December and Christmas Day, and a staggering 23% admit to last-minute gift buying on Christmas Eve. Some last-minute shoppers tend to leave things to the last minute in the hope of getting a better deal, so let them know they are still getting a better deal by doing business with you. For example, if you offer same-day delivery or click and collect then detail your message with this including a link to the URL to purchase! Last-minute shoppers look out for keywords such as ‘discounts’, ‘savings’, ‘last minute’ and ‘free delivery’, so when you’re compiling your bulk SMS campaign, make sure you include at least one of these keywords. Also, personalising your messages will add that individual touch, ensuring that your customer feels they have been specially selected to receive your offer.
5. Notifications / Communications
In the last few months of the year, many seasonal events will mean times and delivery slots for businesses will vary. Will you be open earlier or later for Black Friday? Is your business closing early over the festive season? It’s always good to plan for such events by notifying your valued customers where appropriate. The best way to ensure that all your clients are aware of these important changes is via text message. With 98% of text messages read within 3 minutes, you can be assured your customers are informed in good time.
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