Start the new year with a bang (and a text message)

OpenMarket – December 27, 2017

Post-Christmas sales are a significant opportunity to boost revenues after the holidays. Discover four ways SMS can make the season even better.

The fallout from Christmas can often leave people feeling a little rough around the edges; trash engulfing the house, overindulgence, and the less said about how close January is the better. And retailers can find themselves nursing a headache, too.

True, there’s plenty of business to be done: according to Worldpay, 2016 Boxing Day online sales in the UK rose by 15% year-on-year. Trouble is, everyone’s trying to get in on the action. Customers are bombarded with offers though every conceivable medium.

What’s more, online and offline stores are already overworked processing returns from unwanted gifts following the festive period.

But you needn’t despair; SMS has your back. Here’s four ways text messaging can help you start your new year with a bang (and a revenue boost).

  1. Cut through the email clutter

Over the holidays, your customers’ inbox gets as cluttered as the floor on Christmas morning. It’s tricky to get your offers out in a way that’ll get noticed.

Before email arrived on the scene, sales advertising was generally done in-store, on the day. But now, brands are able to send exclusive offers before customers even arrive – days or even weeks in advance. It’s no wonder inboxes experience their own festive bloating.

The answer: cut through the noise with a channel that’s guaranteed to reach customers, wherever they are.

By sending a timely text message to customers (say, while they’re still watching Toy Story), you’re more likely to catch their attention than with a text (78% more likely in fact). Texts are also read on average within three minutes – ideal for those last-minute flash sales.

  1. Send holiday opening hours

If you’re opening your store longer for the sales (or even closing early), it’s vital to let your customers know. And for customers, it’s important information used in planning a day out shopping with the family.

But in the rush of the holidays, who seriously has the time to check store opening hours on multiple websites?

The solution: send your customers a text, letting them know when to arrive and grab a deal. It’s fast, easy, and ridiculously cheap. What’s more, a simple SMS may just be the encouragement they need to plan their bargain hunting.

  1. Keep customers loyal

With everybody looking for the lowest price, loyalty programs are an important way to keep your customers choosing you first over the holidays. (Remember, it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones, so now’s a great time to offer a little extra reward for their business throughout the year.)

Sure, you can send exclusive offers by email or even physical mail. But then, it might get lost in a sea of offers, cards and Christmas newsletters.

By linking SMS to your loyalty program, you can send highly personalized offers to your customers (because you know exactly what they like). It lets them know you’re thinking of them, helping to keep them loyal when it’s time to shop.

  1. Process deliveries and returns with ease

Picture the scene: it’s right after Christmas, and your online sales are booming because you caught your customers with the right offers relevant to them, at exactly the right time. Happy days.

But this means a lot of deliveries to dispatch. And when you consider the number of festive gift returns you still need to process, that’s a load of work (and a lot of people who want to know when their order will arrive).

Send a text message update, though, and your customers who’ve placed orders will know exactly where their item is, and when they can expect it. And people returning items will be aware of how busy you are, but safe in the knowledge that their return is being processed (and their refund is on its way).

They’re happier – and it’ll mean fewer customer service phone calls, too.

 Make SMS your new year’s resolution

Brands the world over are already seeing the difference SMS can make to their customer communications over the holiday period – and beyond.

The reason is simple. If you need to deliver time-sensitive interactions, efficiently and at scale, there’s no better channel on the market.

So when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, start the New Year on a high note and give a toast to text. Your customers will likely be the first to wish you a prosperous new year.

To learn more about the advantages of SMS, get our eBook Where Text Messaging Beats SMS. Or discover the brands already using SMS to boost customer satisfaction. And finally, if you want to talk to a human being, give us a call. We’re always happy to chat.

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