5 Short Message Service (SMS) eComm Tips for the Holiday Season

5 Short Message Service (SMS) eComm Tips for the Holiday Season

This year’s biggest concerns? Businesses are faced with two new challenges: rising inflation and inventory imbalances. Perfect timing for the upcoming holiday season, right? Wrong. The good news? Experts are still predicting a bright and festive season for online retailers in the form of a four to six-percent increase in holiday sales.

This doesn’t mean it’s going to be a sweet victory, however. Coming out ahead will hinge on capturing buyers’ attention and adjusting to evolving consumer buying habits. What’s also essential here? Reaching your target audience most effectively. 

Enter SMS marketing.

Research indicates that nearly two-thirds of consumers favor text messaging as their communication channel with brands. If you’re not using SMS to communicate with your target audience, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to connect, build brand loyalty, and drive sales.

Whether you’re just getting started with SMS or you’re already using it as a channel, these five tips can help you get the most out of your marketing initiatives this holiday season.

1. Grow Your SMS List

More subscribers = more sales opportunities. There’s no better time than right now to focus on increasing your subscribership. Some specific tactics for building your subscriber list with high-intent browsers include:

  • Add a phone number field to your existing pop-up form for email collection. Whenever you have the opportunity, consider how to collect opt-ins and expand your reach or both channels at the same time.
  • Entice your potential SMS subscribers with a small incentive with their next purchase. This can be something as simple as a promise to keep them up to date on the latest deals and exclusive offers or easy order tracking.

2. Don't Overdo It

Staying top of mind with your target audience is important. However, sending too many messages can do more harm than good if you end up bombarding them with messaging that is neither relevant nor useful. Remember: The goal is to excite them, NOT exhaust them.

The operating word driving the best messaging strategies? “Value.” Every message you send should deliver value to the recipient. In today’s fast-paced retail landscape, anything that doesn’t give value risks being perceived as spam.

3. Utilize SMS-Only Offers

More than six billion texts are sent daily, with the typical adult under the age of 45 receiving as many as 85+ texts a day. And many of these people find texts just as meaningful as phone calls.

One way to ensure that new subscribers look forward to receiving your texts? Create VIP experiences for them by offering special deals and time-sensitive incentives.

Examples include early access to sales, better discounts, and exclusive offers — just for your SMS subscribers.

4. Include Personalized Sales Recommendations

The power of personalization cannot be overstated. Not only are 80 percent of consumers more likely to make purchases from businesses that provide tailored experiences, but 72 percent of them will ONLY engage with personalized messaging.

One way to give yourself an inside edge on the personalization front? Include personal information fields in your text message and email sign-up forms to collect data like a subscriber’s name, ZIP code, and product preferences so that you can build profiles about each person.

Approaches to further personalize and tailor your messaging include segmenting based on what recipients have viewed or purchased, length of time since the last purchase (i.e., “win back” campaigns), and buyers who’ve never purchased from you.

If you’re using two-way SMS, it’s essential to respond to incoming texts — and quickly. Research indicates that speed of response tops the list of indicators of what constitutes good customer engagement, according to consumers.

5. Make Email + SMS Work Together

There’s a lot of debate regarding whether email or SMS is a better marketing channel. The answer is not an “either/or,” however. These two marketing methods can work symbiotically together to help you achieve your marketing goals — with certain best practices in place, that is. These include:

  • Staggering your SMS and email messages to ensure you are getting users at every touchpoint.
  • Incorporating SMS in your automation. For example, if someone bounces from your website, send an SMS. Then, follow up with an email a few hours later to ask if they have any questions.

One last thing to keep in mind? In addition to predicting increased sales this holiday season, insiders are also expecting consumers to start shopping earlier this year. That means there’s no time like the present to get started on your digital marketing plan for the holiday season and beyond, and CAKE is ready to help.

To learn how our team of digital marketing specialists can help you end 2022 with sweet success, get your free marketing audit today.