Black Friday’s over, Cyber Monday’s done with, now all that’s left is the business of Christmas. For retailers, the holiday represents the year’s last commercial hurrah before practically giving their stock away in January and hunkering down for a cold financial winter.
The importance of a successful holiday shopping season can’t be understated. Most retailers rely on healthy Q4 profits to get them through the rest of the year. The spending public goes into a frenzy just before Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t stop until January 1. With such high levels of activity, you’re likely to benefit without doing much more than opening shop every day, but you’re also more susceptible to losing more potential customers to a rival who has their marketing strategy figured out.
To compete, try applying some of these SMS marketing ideas to your 2014 Christmas marketing plan. It’s late, but it’s not too late…
Limited Time Offers
Consumerism might be cranked up to eleven at this time of year, but people are still procrastinators, often waiting until the last minute for that unbeatable deal. To take advantage of this tendency, offer time limited coupons that expire within 48 hours of being issued. If the discount is attractive enough, the narrow timeframe will convince the hemmers and the haw-ers to grab it with both hands.
Exclusive Deals for Existing Customers
It’s far easier to sell to people with whom you already have a business relationship. Often, your best strategy will be approaching current customers who trust your business already. Send a seasonal note or card to your existing clients thanking them for their business over the past year. As a postscript, include a special offer they can take advantage of by texting a shortcode. Be sure to inform them of the exclusivity of the offer – tell them it’s only open to your most valued customers.
SMS and Store-Only Discounts
Incentivizing foot traffic is one of the biggest challenges facing brick and mortar retailers in an increasingly web-oriented marketplace. In order to bring more people in to your store, promote special offers that only apply to foot customers. Once people come in, make them a separate offer that only applies if they sign up to receive mobile alerts. Tell them they will receive a text message within a week of opting in, and make it clear that only SMS recipients can take advantage of the deal.
Your SMS contact list should be subdivided according to as many variables as you can gather. Recipients are much likelier to respond to an offer or message that they feel is highly relevant to them. For most of the year it’s a case of collating and capitalizing on personal preferences; at Christmas, things gets a little trickier as most shoppers are focused on buying food and gifts for consumption by others. Run a customer survey early in December to find out what sorts of gifts people are planning to buy for friends and family this Christmas. Even if you don’t gain any useful information, it’s a great way to add more user to your SMS contact list.