It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all.
The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. UK shoppers were picking up their first presents back in September, Christmas jumpers have already hit the shelves in Primark, and our Christmas cake has been sipping sherry for weeks now. But is your Christmas SMS campaign as prepared as the rest of us?
If you’re late to the Christmas SMS party, or don’t know where to start, panic not. In true John McClane style, we’re here to swoop in and save Christmas day with our 12 tips of textmas.
1. Utilise Bulk SMS
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...bulk SMS. Bulk SMS is a Christmas saviour - enabling you to send out mass text messages at the click of a button. Not only can this save you essential time and money during a busy and expensive period, but, by using custom fields to personalise your messages, you can make your customers feel extra special this Christmas.
2. Send informational texts
Christmas time, mistletoe and… Don’t let your customers or clients miss out on their Christmas essentials by failing to notify them about your opening hours, availability and last posting dates. Informational texts help keep your customers in the know and your business busy at the right times.
3. Schedule reminder messages
Jingle bells, jingle bells...your appointment is tomorrow. In the mayhem that is Christmas, it can be easy to forget appointments, miss bookings and leave you twiddling your thumbs. Schedule SMS appointment reminders to customers ahead of their allotted time slot, and don’t forget to include an option to cancel or rebook so that you can let someone else take their place.
4. Offer discounts and deals
All I want for Christmas...is a discount. Text messages are the ideal way to promote sales, offer discounts and send exclusive deals to your customers. Christmas is a busy time for email inboxes so beat the crowds by using the platform that achieves a 90% open rate. Just ensure that the discount and deals are relevant to your specific audience.
5. Provide an easy way to opt out
Avoid Santa’s naughty list this year by ensuring that your messages contain a clear and easy way to opt out. SMS opt outs enable customers to politely tell you to stop messaging them by texting a keycode such as END to your five-digit shortcode. Plus, it helps you to keep your contact list full of relevant and interested people, while portraying your brand as one who cares.
6. Implement SMS in your school
School’s out for...Christmas. As nativity season peaks and textbooks are swapped for Christmas films and festive crafts, this can be the ideal opportunity to implement SMS for your school. Examples of ways you can use text messages in education include reminding parents of the Christmas holiday dates, confirming the call time for donkey#1 and sending your staff a holiday countdown.
7. Check for errors
He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice. Checking your Christmas SMS campaign for errors, incorrect recipients and irrelevant content can prevent you from being the Christmas fool this December. It can be tempting to click send and cross your fingers while you try to finish your to-do list in time for Christmas eve, but with this SMS checklist, you can avoid errors and perfect your messages in no time.
8. Help last-minute shoppers
T’was the day before Christmas and all through the town, people were rushing before the final shut down. Yes, they should have started their shopping earlier, but they didn’t, and now it’s your time to help out. Use SMS to send last-minute gift ideas to your audience, because if they’re not checking their emails the rest of the year, they’re definitely not doing it today.
9. Expand your customer service
Santa’s helpers don’t all live in the North Pole. Customer queries increase dramatically during the final months of the year and can cover everything and anything from last posting dates and returns to product advice and even complaints. Ensure that your customers can access your support team on the method most suited to them by adding SMS customer service to your channels.
10. Tailor your messages
It’s the most wonderful time of the year...because Santa has this funny way of knowing exactly what you want. Extend the personalisation of Santa to your text messages by using customer segmentation, keywords and custom fields to personalise your text messages. For example, you can address customers by name, segment audiences based on opt-in method or even provide useful details about appointments.
11. Wish them a merry Christmas
When the big day arrives, spread the Christmas joy by sending a “Merry Christmas” text message and thanking your audience for their custom this year. And, if you don’t have time to do it between stuffing the turkey and stuffing you face, use an SMS platform to schedule and send the messages for you.
12. And a happy new year!
Texting is for life, not just for Christmas. Analyse your SMS reports to see when people opted out, opened and click on your messages, to learn what content and strategy worked best for your customers.