Event Promotion : Use SMS Marketing to Fill Empty Seats
Event promotion can be a mystifying activity. It happens more than you might think. You have unsold seats for even some of your best shows. You’ve advertised in all the usual ways, you’ve emailed your customer list, but still the seats sit empty. With the event date closing in, what else can you do? What remains to be tried? SMS messaging, that’s what.
Let’s turn the question around for a moment and look at an example of the person you’re trying to reach.
It’s a Friday night and a man just got off work. He’s looking for something exciting to do with his girlfriend. He starts searching on his mobile, maybe with an app or just Google. He finds a few possibilities, but nothing that seems quite right.
Just then, he gets a text message about seats available for a show that night. He replies to the number in the text message (via phone or a redirect to a website), purchases two tickets, and calls his girlfriend with the good news. He’s the hero of the night.
And your unsold seats are now filling up as others reply to the same text message sent out as part of your standard last minute marketing plan.
SMS marketing is a great, and fast, way to connect with existing customers. These are customers that have already purchased from you in the past, or signed up for notifications based on their interests. You may already be reaching out to them using email or print advertising, but neither is as targeted or timely as a text message.
Timing Is Everything
I’ll share an example from my own experience. I’m on a list for my local music hall. The other day I found an email from them for a “super date night package”. It was an amazing offer with tickets to a show, a late night romantic dinner and one night in a historic hotel. But by the time I read the email (I get lots of emails), the event had passed and the offer was no longer valid.
I wonder how many other people had the same experience, or never saw the email at all.
Email certainly is a key part of marketing, but SMS is a better alternative in some circumstances. And there are many different ways to use it for event promotion and marketing:
- Announce new events and VIP early ticket purchase dates
- Event updates in case of delays, changes, or added dates
- Offer chances to win tickets, backstage passes, or meet and greets with a reply code
- Send coupons or discount codes to your best customers
- And, of course, last minute pushes to sell seats for an event
SMS messages work well, because your audience is primed. They already like your events (since they’ve signed up on your list and gave you permission to text them) so they are your exact target market.
When used correctly (i.e. not over used), SMS messages are a great way to connect and keep customers engaged. Will SMS message marketing work for your events? We think so. Contact us today and we’ll answer your questions and help you get started.
Is your social media struggling? Read this article to learn how businesses of every shape and size can use SMS messaging to drive social media engagement and generate revenue from increased brand exposure. Whether the goal is to support a one-off sales campaign or a long term drive to increase reach, SMS messaging offers an unparalleled opportunity to make your brand's voice heard in the increasingly noisy social media space.
Facebook is a popular place. According to Statista, they had 1.44 billion active users in the first quarter of 2015. It’s no wonder then that businesses are flocking to advertise there. But big isn’t always better. SMS marketing is similar in many respects to Facebook advertising, and for some uses it is actually better. Let me explain and see if you agree.
With the continued rise of different and more diverse technologies in the social and mobile web, it would be easy to dismiss the potential benefits of SMS marketing - and that’s exactly the reason you shouldn’t. An SMS is the unexpected visit of a familiar friend, and there’s one demographic that embraces an old trusted ally in this new, noisy digital world more than anyone else: the millennials.
My family doesn’t go to the cinema often, but when we do, I dread the ticket line. So I almost always purchase my tickets online if we plan to go during a busy time, or for a newly released movie. Paying for the tickets is always easy, but getting them at the cinema can be problematic. Enter SMS.
People love live music. Ticket sales worldwide are expected to reach $20.5 Billion (~£14.2B). The UK alone has around 900 festivals each year. There just aren’t enough headliners to go around. What else can you do to draw people to your event (whether you have a headliner or not)? The answer: Make your event an experience rather than just a destination.
Sometimes bloggers or journalists get a bit carried away. They see some data or fact, and run off to declare there’s a trend you need to know about. The latest one I’ve seen is all about how to reach the generation of “cashless shoppers”. The argument goes that you need to use SMS messaging to reach customers because they are all shopping online – where you obviously can’t pay in cash.
SMS coupons have redemption rates ten times email coupons. Averages run around 30%, but they could be as high as 45% for personalised messages. Even with those great numbers, retailers can still lose money to fraud. Find out how make sure customers only redeem your coupon once.
In a previous blog post I shared how getting my movie tickets delivered to me via SMS made going to the cinema with my family easier than it’s ever been. I signed up to the company’s SMS marketing list too and I want to share the process with you because it was so easy, so seamless for me as a consumer, that it makes a great example for others to follow.
Mobile marketing offers an unprecedented access to your customers virtually any time, anywhere. This is particularly true for SMS marketing because it is “always on”. Customers don’t have to be surfing the web, or using an app to receive messages. Instead, they see the marketing messages right alongside ones from their friends and family.