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SMS: The Ultimate Black Friday and Holiday Season Marketing Tool

“Americans spent $8.9 billion online on Black Friday 2021. The number was 1.3% down from the record-high $9.03 billion US online consumers spent on this shopping holiday the previous year... Meanwhile, Cyber Monday saw online spending of $10.7 billion, making it 2021’s biggest online shopping day. Overall, eCommerce revenue during Cyber Weekend 2021 totalled $33.2 billion...” – Money Transfers 

With two of the biggest retailer holidays (sort of) are coming up, which means now is the time to get the marketing strategy in order. The Black Friday weekend and holiday season account for a large portion of the annual income for many retailers, but that creates a lot of competition. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to develop an effective marketing strategy that leverages the power of SMS. Here’s why SMS marketing is the best way to go.

How does SMS work for business?

You can work with chat platform specialists who provide you with an SMS API. This is a software interface that enables the code to send text messages via an SMS Gateway. This bridges the gap between telecommunications carrier networks and the internet. This unlocks so many opportunities in terms of SMS marketing for your business – particularly around Black Friday and the holiday season. 

What are the benefits of SMS for marketing?

There are many digital marketing platforms available today, but SMS remains firmly in the lead because of several key benefits for companies.

1. People read the SMS

According to research, SMS has an average open rate of 82% which is incredibly high. Compare this with an email marketing rate of around 20% and it’s clear that you’re going to connect with more people via SMS. The reason for this could be that around 6 billion people have mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, which means wider reach. And the fact that most people keep their phones on them most of the day, checking messages and other apps, ensures your message will get to the target audience quicker. 

2. SMS marketing is less saturated

Unlike email marketing which has become overrun, SMS marketing is relatively unsaturated making it more likely for your audience to engage with your brand. Where many customers redirect emails to their spam folders these days, SMS marketing messages are generally read and acted upon. 

3. SMS marketing strategies are simple

Unlike other forms of digital marketing, an SMS marketing strategy is a lot more straightforward. The messaging needs to be short, sharp, and effective, but you can also include emojis, links and images if need be. It’s worth working with companies that have experience in this marketing platform to ensure it’s most impactful.

4. Personalised SMS marketing

With access to customer data, you’re able to better engage through SMS by using personalised messaging. This not only brings the customer closer to you, but it also lets you know their interests and preferences based on recent purchases, which means a much more accurate marketing approach. 

Tips for using SMS to attract buyers

There are so many simple yet effective ways to better engage customers through SMS marketing. It’s a delicate balancing act between capturing your audience’s attention with adequate information yet not overwhelming them with too much marketing material and, ultimately, scaring them away. 

- Discounts and special deals

There is a lot of shopping to be done at this time of year and, with budgets so restricted, many are on the hunt for special deals. Use your SMS marketing to reach out to customers with discounted offerings, buy-one-get-one-free promotions, and other ways that will either lure them into your store or get them to buy from your site. Other deals that work well are ‘bring a friend’ promotions or discounted offers for word-of-mouth promotions. This is also a great way for you to clear out inventory ahead of the busy season.

-  Product or service launches

If you’re going to launch a new product or service, then now is the time. People love to be the first to know about something new which is why they will be more receptive to such SMS marketing offers. You can create some mystery around the event or provide customers with the opportunity to get in on early-bird deals. SMS marketing also allows for links and images so you can share product descriptions ahead of time.

-  Gift cards

You can design SMS gift cards for your customers that they can send to friends and family on Christmas Day or around the holiday season. This means no fighting the crowds at a mall during this time and you can send SMS gift cards to family and friends anywhere in the world.

- Competition for gift box

People love the chance to win something, so why not build up your marketing database with a great Black Friday or holiday season gift box? You can encourage customers to opt-in to your SMS list as a way to win the gift box. Remember to include popular products and services so that you’re giving potential customers what they want.

-   Encourage online orders

You can use MMs to share brochures of your best-selling products and encourage customers to order their Black Friday deals or holiday season gifts online, rather than fighting the crowds. Ensure that your inventory is well-photographed and that the message is clear and simple. 

-  Last-minute sales

Many people will leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute or realise that they’ve forgotten to buy someone a gift right before the big day. This is where you can assist, by sending an SMS call-to-action such as a 24-hour last-minute sale, just in time for the big day. 

A few things to remember with SMS

Beyond the marketing strategies you can incorporate with SMS, here are some words of advice:

  • Share your store opening hours via SMS, especially if you have extended opening hours during Black Friday and the holiday season;

  • Keep customers updated about Christmas promotions early on so they have time to get in on the deal;

  • Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many messages – once a week will suffice unless it’s Black Friday weekend; and

  • Remember to send your messages at appropriate times – during work hours.

Clickatell’s secure global network will allow you to send SMS messages to your customers with the option of two-way messaging! Having created the world’s first SMS API, Clickatell is a leading provider that also offers a specialised SMS Gateway so you can contact with your customers at scale.

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