In the lead up to occasions like Mother’s Day, customers are online searching for ideal gifts and offers for getaways or dining experiences. This is a great opportunity to drive sales and delight your customers with memorable service. SMS marketing is a great way to boost engagement all year round but it’s particularly effective around seasonal events. This is because your customers are actively looking for hard to find items and last-minute offers on their mobile phones. In fact, research from Criteo shows that one in three Mother’s Day purchases will be made on mobile. Here are three ways SMS can help to complement your existing marketing tactics:
DRIVING IN-STORE SALES
Using SMS to send alerts about any Mother’s Day sales or promotions is a cost-effective way of promoting special offers. Sending offers by text message will increase foot traffic too, as customers are more likely to visit a store after receiving an SMS deal. For businesses having a one-off sale this is the best channel to actually reach shoppers and keep them updated. Most text messages are read within three minutes, while only 20 per cent of emails are read at all, and social media posts will only be seen by a small percentage of online followers. SMS also helps to reach customers while they’re out and about, adding relevant context and encouraging them to visit nearby shops.
POWERING ONLINE SHOPPING
While in-store sales are crucial around events, greater convenience is pushing more shoppers online. When it comes to occasions like Mother’s Day, online vouchers are now one of the most popular gift options, and overseas ecommerce stores are growing in popularity. SMS is a great way to reach customers looking online for gift ideas and event supplies, or to send important information like order confirmations and shipping updates. Text messages make it easy to provide visibility so customers don’t have to search for order numbers or find time to call customer service. If you’re running an ecommerce store, you can also use SMS to let customers know when the supply of popular products is running low, and when they’re back in stock, to prevent them turning to a competitor.
HELPING LAST-MINUTE SHOPPERS
Many customers won’t get themselves organised for Mother’s Day until the last minute and they’ll be on the lookout for convenient deals. Research shows a significant spike in last minute searches for flowers, jewellery and spa deals just before Mother’s Day. Tailoring last-minute SMS offers to these customer habits will yield great results – this could mean offering free express shipping, a store-wide discount or gift wrapping for all online purchases. Using SMS is also a great way to ensure a quick and easy process for customers who have left their shopping to the eleventh hour – all they have to do is click a link in the message and be taken directly to an online store. Or use SMS to send reminders about sales and delivery cut-off dates, to help people get organised and make sure their gifts arrive in time.
There’s no better time to engage customers than in the lead-up to an occasion like Mother’s Day. Sending text messages is the best way to reach customers who are researching special deals, before following up with helpful content like shipping and order notifications. When they’re busy looking for gifts and organising events, customers appreciate brand communication that is quick, simple and relevant. By contacting customers with great offers when they’re already out and about, you’ll be able to drive purchases online and in-store while still providing a great customer experience.
Jonathan Morgan is Vice President Corporate Development Asia and Pacific at OpenMarket.