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 But by the time I read the email (I get lots of emails), the event had passed and the offer was no longer valid.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.
As old as SMS messaging is (going on 25), is it surprising to know that for non-profits and political campaigns it’s just now catching on? It might be, but if you think about it maybe it isn’t surprising. Until the last few years, people have been very reticent to hand out their personal mobile number. Now though, they’re more willing – if they care about the source of the messages.
In a report released last week by Nielsen, it turns out people want more than just to see a lower number on the scale. In their study, 75% of people worldwide plan to lose weight by changing their diet. And another 72% plan to exercise – that’s where your health club and SMS comes in.
SMS marketing has come to be a crucial element of most businesses’ marketing strategies, and there is plenty of received wisdom within the marketing world as to how to get the most out of your SMS messages. So it might seem like there is not a lot that the world of politics can teach the world of business about SMS. But then again, there probably is.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
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.
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If you run paying events - music, drama, sport or even fine dining, training courses or workshops, you'll know the hardest seats to fill are the last few and they are also the most profitable if you can sell them. SMS is an immediate and compelling means of event promotion that can shift those last few places.