SMS notifications: Are you harnessing their power for the holiday season?
It’s that time of year! Even the enormous challenges of 2020 can’t dampen the excitement in the air of the holiday season. From Christmas to Hanukkah, vacation time, and the (very welcome) winding up of the old year and the beginning of the new, the holidays are a busy time for advertisers, marketers, retailers, and service providers.
SMS notifications are incredibly effective year-round, but never more so than right now! They are the gift that keeps giving – not only to consumers but also for the businesses which utilise them.
What Are SMS Notifications?
SMS notifications are text messages which you send to consumers in response to other transactions or events. They can be promotional in nature, for example, SMS notifications for cart abandonment or items restocked. Or they can be transactional SMS notifications, like order confirmation texts or SMS alerts containing shipping information.
Marketers and business owners send bulk text messages of this type to get important information to their customers, staff, and stakeholders quickly. When important information surfaces, you can have your message crafted and sent within minutes. Just try doing that with email ?
And while we’re on the subject of email, for all those who have sent email marketing campaigns, reimagine your customer communications with a 98% open rate. Yep, only with SMS can you achieve such results so quickly.
Notifications work well sent via SMS; with that massive open rate and faster time to engage, there is no better nor more cost-effective way to maximise the reach of your communications.
Benefits of SMS notifications
- Instantly delivered to a device that’s constantly viewed. People spend over 3 hours a day on their phone and check it at least 58 times a day. Pretty good chance your SMS is going to be seen.
- Your messages get read. SMS has a 98% open rate with 90% of messages being read within 3 minutes. It smashes email.
- Massive global reach. There are over 14 billion mobile phones in the world and SMS works on every single one of them. You don’t have to be reliant on smartphones, there’s approx 3 billion of them, and you don’t have to be reliant on internet access.
- Drive people to your website, landing pages, social media channels. It’s incredibly easy to add clickable links, hyperlinks, to your SMS notifications driving people to one of your online properties. Track the link clicks and actions on these properties to measure effectiveness.
Note, you can’t hyperlink words and you can’t insert HTML into an SMS, however, if you use a valid URL in the message body, most modern devices automatically convert it to a tappable link. ClickSend also provides a free link shortening service.
- Easily build SMS into your applications for automated notifications. In certain situations, people expect to receive an SMS notification from your brand/company; an order confirmation, and then resultant order tracking for example. These types of notifications can be automated by integrating SMS functionality into your website, CRM, eCommerce platform. ClickSend integrates with over 700 of your favourite business applications, check out our dedicated integrations page and go and create something.
Why Are SMS Notifications So Effective During the Holiday Season?
Getting your message heard by the right audience during the holiday season can be challenging as there are so many others out there, competing for consumers’ attention.
SMS notifications are the most effective way to ensure your existing customers and SMS subscribers get your message loud and clear. Sending a text message is very effective at the best of times, due to it being quick and unobtrusive in nature. During the holiday season, businesses have a captive, engaged audience. Potential customers are actively seeking gift ideas, great deals, holiday experiences, and more. For example, consumers are given added incentives to choose your business when you send coupons or alerts which benefit them.
Top SMS Notification Tips
Take note of these tips before you start sending SMS notifications.
- Set an objective. What do you want to achieve from your SMS notifications? It might seem boring, but you need to know if your campaign is working. Your objective might be data capture, coupon redemption, an increase in sales or reservations. Set it, track it, learn from it.
- Opt-in users. All the people on your SMS contact list, on your database, have to have previously opted-in to receive SMS communications from you. It’s law in most countries and the sending of unsolicited SMS is a practice we take very seriously. Your account could be closed down.
- Schedule campaigns. If your SMS notification is urgent you can send it immediately, but you can also schedule it to be sent at a day and time of your choosing. This allows you to leverage best times, like a fast food outlet sending around a mealtime, without you having to physically click send at that time. And it also allows you to effectively manage different timezones.
- Keep messages clear and concise. Get to the point, creatively. You have 160 characters to drive your desired action. Your SMS notification can exceed the 160 symbols limit, but it will be sent as two separate messages, which is twice as long to read and costs two messages.
- Personalise your SMS notifications. We all know personalisation in marketing works. People like to feel they’re getting that personal touch. Using someone’s first name is a no-brainer and so simple with placeholders [first name] also known as merge tags or merge fields. You should go even further and send different message content based on the person’s stage /relationship with your company; you wouldn’t send a first-time buyer an offer for being a loyal customer etc.
- Segment your contact list. Segmentation means dividing, segmenting, your contact list, into different audiences that have something in common: gender, age, location, etc. If you promote a new line of women’s swimwear, you will find a greater response rate by promoting it to women subscribers. Chances are it won’t be as relevant for men.
11 Types of Festive SMS Notifications to Send Your Customers
1. Merry Christmas! Sign Up for a Free Gift!
This is a great way to build your network and attract new customers or patrons. Incentives work all year, but during the Holiday season, people are even more inclined to sign up.
2. Holiday Gift Guides
Promote your services or products with an online holiday gift guide. Link to it via bulk SMS notifications and use your SMS content and gift guide to include and incorporate target keywords and strategic landing page links to improve your SEO at the same time.
3. Back-in-Stock Alerts
Having items consumers seek out of stock is the bane of shopping for both consumers and businesses. After all, a happy customer gets what they want – when they want it. Maximise customer satisfaction and send back-in-stock alerts when bestselling items are restocked and available. You can also incentivize shopping with your business further by offering a discount for purchasing promptly.
4. Mobile Coupons
SMS coupons are redeemed far more than any other type of coupon. This is a powerful way to trigger sales for your brand.
5. Compelling Images
Images captivate a person faster than anything else – so why not send your mobile notifications via MMS? Create captivating, irresistible, high-quality images to hook the recipient. This is extremely effective for restaurants and bars, hotels and destination tours, beauty and hair suppliers and fashion companies.
6. Shipping Cut-Off Dates
When shopping for gifts online, one of the most critical things your customer is looking for is delivery in time for Christmas. Dispatch and shipping times can be highly variable with different companies, so give your customers the confidence to shop with you by letting them know shipping cut-off dates by SMS notification.
Pro tip: when determining the last day for customers to buy in order for goods to be received before Christmas, allow an extra few business days buffer in case of any unforeseen delays with your logistics company.
7. Exclusive Offers
Reward consumers for their loyalty to your business. Send access to exclusive events and offers via text – it makes the recipient feel special and like they are getting something others have no access to – and this is a powerful marketing strategy.
8. Create a Festive Hashtag
Use a seasonal hashtag to organise your holiday SMS marketing campaign. This not only creates conversation around your brand, but it also enables you to collect valuable insights into your customers via their user-generated content. Encourage them to use your selected hashtag via your text notifications and share it in their social media posts.
9. Post-Christmas Sales
Even busier than shopping for Christmas is the post-Christmas sales period. Promote your brand’s sale with SMS notifications to engage your customers and elicit FOMO (fear of missing out) shopping as the year comes to an end.
10. Activate Fundraisers
The Holiday season is a great time to activate fundraiser campaigns. Many people are feeling generous and more willing to give a little to those in need.
11.Thank Your Customers
Thank your existing customers and patrons for their ongoing support of your business. Offer a discount on a future purchase – this makes your customers feel appreciated and it further personalises the relationship between them and your brand.
Set Up Your Text Notifications with ClickSend!
Sending bulk SMS and SMS notifications requires the right SMS gateway software and ClickSend is here to deliver! Our superior SMS platform is renowned globally and we work with clients in all types of business, across all industries, all over the world. From small businesses and sole traders to large multinational enterprises, we have helped thousands of organisations to communicate effectively with SMS, post and more.