How to create a holiday SMS campaign: a step-by-step guide

    by Anastasia Sukhareva
    10.11.2020

    How to create a holiday SMS campaign

    Holiday shopping has become an integral part of our holiday experience. For retail businesses, it’s an intense period when all efforts should be directed to catch the attention of possible prospects or current clients. 

    However, the customs of modern shoppers have changed. Lockdowns pushed people to online shopping, giving a significant boost to mobile purchases. The usage of email campaigns increased as well. 

    As inboxes become full and new emails cause mostly annoyance than real interest, entrepreneurs and marketers need to leverage other channels to reach out to the customers and ensure that their messages will be read. 

    SMS has turned into an efficient medium that enables quick delivery and high open rates. We collected the main approaches to SMS for holiday campaigns, how you can gain the most from holiday text messages and how to create an SMS campaign that increases sales during the holiday season. 

    SMS holiday seasons

    Importance of sending holiday SMS

    So, why should you dedicate efforts to preparing holiday SMS text messages? The answer is quite easy: seasonal campaigns are a great source to generate new leads and increase sales. 

    Any holiday season is a time when customers are susceptible to special offers and promotional info, especially if it correlates with their needs and the items they are looking for.

    Basically, we would say that by preparing holiday campaigns, you are killing two birds with one stone: firstly, you increase your chances to attract more customers, secondly, with well-tailored messages, you might help your clients to navigate shopping activities easily.

    SMS channel shows a lot of benefits over others. In its nature, SMS messages are short, catchy, and don’t overload recipients with sales info like email newsletters. It’s a quick interaction, and hence, there is a bigger chance that your client or prospect will read it and follow the call to action.

    How to create a catchy holiday message?

    To set up a campaign for SMS holiday messages, you need to take care of two major aspects: a technical platform that will ensure the delivery of the messages to final recipients and smart content that will catch the eye of customers and will push them to make a purchase. 

    To achieve this goal, you may choose different SMS strategies and leverage them for your marketing. It might be a good idea to try several approaches and tailor certain campaigns for certain audiences, depending on their interests, demographics, their previous experience with your brand, etc. 

    Here are some examples of such strategies that created a lot of SMS marketing success stories:

    • invite customers to your in-store and offer an incentive (a coupon or a discount) for those who will shop there during an established time period;
    • create a special offer for your old-time customers, provide them with a gift to stress their importance to your business;
    • set up an automated campaign, so you will be able to share regular updates on shipping and delivery status;
    • launch a set of products dedicated to a holiday and promote them through SMS messages;
    • set up and promote flash sales, use time-limited offers to drive actions from your recipients;
    • offer early access to certain products with promo codes shared in SMS campaigns and make your clients feel special;
    • leverage SMS to follow up with clients who abandoned your online store in the middle of a purchase;
    • initiate conversations and use two-way messages to increase engagement and remind customers about your products;
    • offer tiered discounts, for example, 10 percent of every purchase; this might push people to improve their order and spend more money with you;
    • create additional value for customers and share something more than constant marketing messages; it might be an invitation to a thematic workshop, a useful article on how to take care of the product they purchased, and so on.

    The process of creating SMS for holiday: step-by-step

    The process of launching a holiday SMS message campaign consists of several steps. Let’s look through them. 

    1. Decide on a campaign strategy. To succeed, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, what action you should take for this, and what theme and approach you should select. Understanding these points will help you seamlessly guide through further steps and create efficient messages.
    2. Select campaign goals. Any marketing campaign demands clear and measurable goals, and SMS holiday one isn’t an exception. Decide what outcome you want to achieve from this campaign. It could be a certain number of leads, sign-ups or purchases, or a certain amount of money earned during a holiday shopping season. Having these goals written down will help you plan your volumes and timelines, and maximize the results you can get from the efforts invested.
    3. Choose a target audience. When you have your goals planned, you need to choose an audience that has enough potential to deliver the desired result. Another point here is to acquire mobile numbers of recipients you want to reach. If you target your long-time clients, most likely you have already asked for their numbers. So, what can you do to expand your audience and interact with people you haven’t yet messaged? In this case, you may turn up to SMS solutions that are spread on the market. Tools like the phone number extractor will give you access to new numbers, and the HLR service will validate and detect active numbers.
    4. Create an offer. The next step is to form the offer that will become a centerpiece of your campaign. Think about what will be interesting for your audience and what needs you can cover. Focus not only on selling your product, but on providing value for customers, and your campaign will convert well. Don’t forget about a clear and catchy call to action that will show your customers what to do next after receiving the message.
    5. Launch the campaign. Launching the campaign is a process companies usually complete through the bulk SMS providers like Atomic Bulk SMS Sender that have the necessary infrastructure to deliver messages. Your task is to set the campaign up and monitor if everything works correctly.
    6. Gather and analyze results. When the campaign is already delivered, orders received, and processed, you still have one step to go through. SMS tools usually provide enough data to analyze the performance of the campaign, and together with the response you have seen from customers, you may run an analysis of your SMS holidays messages, compare them with the goals you have set at the beginning, and detect bottlenecks you might remove the next time. 

    Tips and examples of holidays text messages

    So let’s discuss the precise dates and holidays you might use to send “happy holidays” SMS messages.

    Birthday of client or employee

    Birthday of client or employee

    Birthday is one of the most obvious landmarks you might use to interact with your clients. Moreover, you might use not only his or her birthday but, for example, their children's, if you are selling toys or other products for kids. 

    Leverage the data you know about the client (the most common purchases, for example) to create a custom offer instead of common congratulation.

    Anniversaries

    Anniversaries

    Anniversaries are occasions you might determine as you want and hence, leverage, as you like. The first interaction of the client with your business, whether it’s the first purchase, the first trip, the first day of subscription, or the day of joining the loyalty program, may be used to remind customers about yourself.

    Veterans Days

    Veterans Days

    Veterans Day is celebrated in the United States on November, 11, honoring military veterans. This holiday would be relevant for businesses selling military-themed products, and hunting and fishing retailers. Restaurants, souvenir shops, and other businesses that can provide products or services for the celebration might also offer some incentives to mark the occasion.

    Thanksgiving Day

    Thanksgiving Day

    Thanksgiving is a big deal for the United States, so no business can allow themselves to miss this opportunity. It is not only a great time of year to congratulate and wish the best to your customers, but to promote your company and increase the flow of clients.

    Black Friday

    Black Friday

    Worldwide, Black Friday has become one of the biggest events in the autumn. People are getting prepared for it, determine beforehand what products they are interested in, and follow brands they like. 

    You might leverage such an opportunity and create real hype around your Black Friday sales through SMS chains. Share the discounts you plan, send reminders about the upcoming event, and use all your creativity to be in the customers' spotlight during Black Friday.

    Christmas

    Christmas

    Christmas is another holiday you should get prepared in advance, as your customers start Christmas shopping beforehand as well. Help them find perfect gifts for their family and friends, offer incentives to make them choose your products over your competitors’ don't be shy with holiday wishes, and translate the holiday mood that flies in the air.

    Christmas is also a time of miracles, hence, it would be a great time to go beyond commercial purposes and launch charitable actions too. Ask your clients to join your charitable campaign and donate to non-governmental organizations along with your business.

    New Year's Eve

    New Year's Eve

    The New Year's Eve campaign might be a logical extension of your Christmas one. Congratulate your customers, maybe even gift them a present (coupon, discount, gift card, another incentive) to win their loyalty and ensure that they continue using your services and products next year.

    Choosing a Bulk SMS service

    Whatever campaign you decide to launch and whatever happy holidays SMS you decide to send, a significant part of your success depends on the SMS provider you choose.

    There are a lot of services on the market, as the SMS channel has been popular for many years. So, how to choose the one SMS partner who will be able to provide high quality and cater to all your needs? We suggest considering the next points before making a final decision.

    • Pricing

    Of course, your selection heavily depends on the budget you can allocate for SMS marketing. Usually, companies provide different pricing plans with different volumes, sometimes even custom solutions, so you can choose an optimal option for optimal money. However, don’t make price the main factor here, as prices below average might say about unreliable delivery. 

    • Quality

    SMS providers are your middle person between mobile carriers that serve the mobile numbers of your clients. They might cooperate with other providers, hence, adding other third-party companies to the link. Choose providers who work directly with mobile network operators, as it gives a bigger chance of reliable services and high delivery rates.

    • Customer support

    Some issues and disruption may arise, especially with such an intense industry as telecommunication. An efficient and round-of-clock support team is a must-have for a good provider. As for a client, a strong support team also means low downtime of services, confidence in their partner, and an overall positive experience from SMS marketing. 

    • Scalability

    A good provider should be able to cater to your needs, even if they grow in the future (and they probably will). Ensure that the SMS vendor has capacities and experience supporting the growth of your volumes and that you won’t have any issues with deliverability and regulations while scaling up.

    Take some time to research the market and learn your options. Check and evaluate different offers, and talk to the company’s managers. You might also want to talk to your current email marketing tools provider: it might be possible that they offer SMS solutions as well.

    Conclusion

    There are a lot of holiday greeting options for SMS, and it would be unwise to miss them. Creating a holiday SMS campaign is a great way to boost your sales, expand your client base, and strengthen your brand appearance.

    SMS marketing might become a game-changer for your business during the holiday season, and we suggest you not miss this chance!

    Written by:
    Anastasia Sukhareva
    Back to blog
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