During the winter holiday season, many companies launch strong campaigns to take advantage of the large number of people searching for holiday gifts.
It is also customary to use the excitement about any holiday to advertise a sale or promote goods and services. Think about how Columbus Day has become less about celebrating the discovery of the Americas and more about mattress sales.
Run a texting campaign to take advantage of the holiday shoppers.
Running a texting campaign during this time provides a way to support your overall marketing efforts. The more than $650 billion spent during the winter holidays, including Christmas, makes it the perfect model on which to create holiday promotions throughout the year.
There are several steps to take to create a more effective text marketing campaign that works not just during the winter holiday season but for any of the holidays that take place year round.
What Are Your Goals?
Before you go too far down the rabbit hole of creating a dynamic text marketing campaign for the holidays, it is important to understand your goals. Ask yourself some questions:
- Do you want to increase profits by a certain percentage or move inventory?
- Is your promotion more about building brand awareness and increasing traffic, whether online or in person?
Having a strong idea of the objective of your efforts helps you to create a stronger plan that will actually meet those goals.
To do this, get your team together for a brainstorming meeting. Ask everyone what they believe the objective and goals of the program are. When going through the different potential goals, make sure to keep SMART in mind:
A good example of a goal is to increase holiday sales by 10 percent.
Why Do You Bother With Holiday Marketing?
One place to start is to think about why holiday marketing is important in the first place. People are trained to know that certain holidays are synonymous with deals to buy gifts and personal items:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
Although this provides an opportunity to promote sales, it also means that you are competing with hundreds of stores in a wide variety of industries.
During the brainstorming session discussed above, ask your team why you are even bothering with holiday marketing. Are you doing it just because it is what is done, or do you have another reason?
Even if your sole reason behind it is because everyone else is doing it does not mean that you will have a lackluster marketing campaign. However, it does mean that you might just be going through the motions if you do not take a moment to focus on creating a dynamite campaign.
When Is the Best Time To Start?
It is not enough to promote your holiday marketing in December. Marketing surveys point out that in October, 26 percent of digital shoppers are already getting an early start on their winter holiday shopping. Almost half start in November. Some people start in September or even earlier!
If you start too late, then you miss out on all of those early shoppers. Therefore, consider running some deals throughout the fall. Or you might simply just start advertising your holiday sales weeks ahead of time so that people can plan accordingly.
Don't be afraid to start your promotion early to catch shoppers.
Early planning is not just about letting your customers know about your sales; it is also ensuring that your company is ready, too. Inform your employees about the sale, making sure that they have all the information necessary to answer questions from customers.
Give yourself plenty of time for creating the marketing material for your promotions so that you can ensure it is perfect. However, finalize the promotion late enough that you can make any last-minute adjustments you need to based on any current events or feedback from customers so that you remain relevant.
For your texting campaign, this early preparation includes the following:
Develop a strong strategy.
- Determine how often you plan to text customers.
- Consider what types of offers you plan to send out.
- Create a calendar so that the texting offers complement other deals without oversaturating.
- Decide how you plan to promote your text marketing program to increase the number of subscribers.
- You might choose to have a push for subscribers months prior to the big holiday event for greater impact once you launch your holiday texting campaign.
- Choose who will be in charge of reviewing the content and handling any issues that arise.
How Do You Integrate?
Text marketing works a little differently. It is an immediate medium since most messages are opened within just a few minutes of receipt. This makes it a great medium for last-minute deals and reminders about sales. This complements your program, especially if you take the time to integrate your text marketing smartly.
During the initial planning stages for your holiday text marketing program, consider where it fits into the rest of your marketing efforts. A texting campaign complements other channels really well. You can ad it as a call to action on your
- TV and radio spots,
- print ads,
- digital marketing properties,
- social media accounts
- and more.
This works two-fold: first, you increase the number of subscribers and second, you increase the engagement and success of your other marketing channels.
Taking the time to strategize how you will use your texting program prior to running any of your holiday offers or advertising campaigns helps you to integrate in the best way possible. You can determine where to place your texting campaign in the sales funnel and how to best use it to increase the efficacy of the rest of your marketing efforts, and vice versa.
For example, use texting as a call to action with your print ads that provide early promotion of your holiday deals. Then, text your subscribers reminders about the sales the day before to increase the number of people who participate.
How Do You Promote?
In order to get the most out of your texting campaign -- and your holiday sales -- you need to create increased awareness. To do this, it is necessary to promote your campaigns.
It is even more important that you let people know about your texting campaign early because it is a permission-based medium. This means that you have to have people sign up before you can send them messages.
Many of the traditional forums for promotion also work for your texting campaign:
- Print ads
- In-store signs
- Digital banners
- Email newsletter mentions
- Social media posts
- Radio and TV spots
Any way that you traditionally announce news to customers will also let them know about your new texting promotion.
However, do not just let them know and expect them to sign up. A common way to do this is exclusive offers and deals, including a special coupon just for signing up. Do this early enough to capitalize on the number of people who sign up when the holidays roll around.
Plus, strategically send messages throughout the year to keep people interested in staying on your list so that you only have to build on it each year, rather than having to rebuild it.
Who Is Your Audience?
Create targeted messages based on your ideal customers.
An effective holiday text marketing campaign always keeps the audience in mind. This is because you want to strive to create content of value each time you send out a text message, especially during the holiday season when people are saturated with marketing messages. Therefore, spend some of your planning stage determining who your audience will be.
To do this, gather as much information as you have about your customers:
- Shopping data
- Behavior patterns
- Survey results
- Market research
To find this information, it might be necessary to directly ask your subscribers to provide it. Because many people might opt into a text marketing campaign with a simple text, you might not have that much information about them. If that is the case, then you might want to create a persona of your ideal target audience.
You do not have to stick with just one target audience. It is easy to divide your subscribers into lists based on their personal data in order to send personalized, targeted messages. This also enhances the effectiveness of the campaign.
What Offers Should You Use?
Once you have completed the prep work, determining your goals, audience, calendar, integration and other components of the structure of your marketing strategy, you can start focusing on the fun part: the text message content and the offers themselves.
First, consider what type of offer you wish to send, whether a BOGO, a percentage of purchase, dollar amount a price, a free gift with purchase, free shipping or something else. It is most important that you choose something that is attractive while also not hurting your profit margin. For the best impact, create something unique and exclusive, as this further motivates the customer to take advantage of the deal.
The words you use also helps to create the best redemption rate. Choose active verbs and words that impart urgency. For example, Buy Now, Redeem Today, Limited Time Offer, and Click to Activate This Exclusive Deal all motivate customers to take the action you want them to do. Be sure to make it easy for customers to redeem them; otherwise, you will lose out on a lot of sales.
How Do You Stand Out?
Now for the fun part: making your content unique, attractive and fun so that you stand out from the competition. Do not be afraid to include some of the personality of your company in the messages.
One common way to do this is to add some humor into the messages. However, do not become too unprofessional when you do so. Puns and simple, unoffensive jokes are easy ways to get creative without worrying about losing customers.
An example of a Christmas offer with some humor is, "Don't be a Scrooge. Use this 20% off coupon to buy your loved ones gifts. Expires [date]."
Get your team together to brainstorm creative ideas for messages.
One of the reasons to jump onto holidays in terms of marketing is that you can create themed messages. A simple template for dynamic holiday-themed messages that lead to a successful campaign is the following:
- Character/holiday allusion
- Active language
- Urgent/motivating language
- Expiration date
- Company Name
- Stay within the 160 character limit
- The right timing
Use your creativity to decide upon promotions, deals and content that sounds just like your company rather than the same old, boring offers that everyone sends out. This helps you to stand out from hundreds of promotions circulating during the holiday season.
What Is Success?
Before you start sending out your messages, consider how you will measure success. Most texting platforms have analytics that detail the open rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, click-through-rate and other metrics similar to other digital properties.
Look at your starting point and set a realistic finish point that means your program is successful. Reviewing your original goal will help you with this. For example, if you wish to increase profits, then you might focus on the number of conversions your text messages create.
Remember that a strong texting campaign takes some time to build. You might need to do some trial and error, which is why it is best to start your text marketing program long before the holiday season. This gives you time to work out the kinks so that you can take full advantage of the medium when it comes time to promote your sales.
Ready to get started on your holiday texting campaign? Try ClubTexting for free.