SMS Marketing for a Blockbuster Black Friday
The annual sales bonanza that is Black Friday is almost upon us and for the retailer, this relatively recent development is fast becoming one of the UK’s biggest sales events of the year. Although the trend began in America, in the space of just a couple of years the craze seems to have taken hold of UK shoppers and shows no signs of going away. For retailers – and indeed any business in the B2C sphere, it is time to drop everything else and focus on nothing other than sales and marketing – and SMS Marketing should have a prominent place in your Black Friday strategy. Read on to find out why.
Black Friday – a brief history
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1952, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales.
In the UK, Black Friday traditionally had a different meaning, referring instead to the last Friday before Christmas – one of the busiest days of the year for the UK’s pubs, bars and off-licences, as well as the emergency services.
It was only in 2013 that the retail concept of Black Friday really came to the attention of the UK public, when Asda, owned by the American Walmart chain, attempted to replicate the event – with a mixed reaction.
In 2014, however, many more of the UK’s retailers adopted Black Friday and transformed it into a massively hyped retail event, albeit marred by chaotic scenes in some places as customers rushed to find a bargain. By 2015, Black Friday had been well and truly established in the UK retail calendar and is estimated to have been worth £2bn to shops and online retailers in just 24 hours.
Although the event has not maintained the same dramatic scale of interest that it continues to see stateside, it remains nonetheless a key event for UK retailers and simply cannot be ignored.
How to Use SMS Marketing for Black Friday
- Black Friday Discounts: Customers always love feeling like they have special access to a bargain, and on Black Friday this has become an expectation. Don’t risk your offers getting lost in an inbox full of everybody else’s – send customers a text with a simple discount code to use on their next purchase through your website or at the tills.
- Special Offers: Relay your Black Friday offers such as deal of the week, buy one get one free or free gift with purchase over a certain value. Again, all can be summed up in a short text providing a code to enter into your website’s shopping cart for those who prefer to buy online.
- Black Friday Sales: Notify customers of when they can start shopping your Black Friday sale. A simple text announcing the date and time your sale begins can help to direct more customers to the sale website or shop when they otherwise may have missed it from not checking their emails or online recently.
- Loyalty Programs: Keep those loyal customers informed of their points tally and reward them for being part of the club on Black Friday by encouraging them to redeem their points or earn bonus points for spending with you. Or just reward them for being a loyal SMS subscriber with a special Black Friday bonus. After all, customers like to feel that their loyalty is being recognised and rewarded.
- New Lines/Products: Make sure your customers know what’s new for Black Friday and give them the website link to view. Tap into those who like to be first to have the latest items.
- Order & Delivery Status: When it comes to Black Friday, buying the products is often only half the equation – especially if you are an online retailer. The mission is not truly accomplished until the items have arrived safely with the customer. As courier companies get ever more tech-savvy, customers expect more than ever to be kept informed of their order status. SMS texts can relay the information quickly wherever the customer may be.
- News & Tips: Black Friday doesn’t have to be just about the direct sell. It’s a great opportunity to make your brand stand out by sharing knowledge and offering an exceptional customer experience. For example, if you sell cycling accessories then you could send something like ‘’ Winter’s coming. Here are our Black Friday top tips and products to make sure you and your bike are ready for winter, click link (to your website)’’ to coincide with your Black Friday sale. Done right, your customers will be convinced that you are the obvious place to buy from.
Whatever the size and nature of your business, SMS is a highly effective and low-cost way to make sure that you get as many sales as possible on Black Friday. To get started now or find out more about using our business bulk SMS messaging packages, call now on 0800 954 5305 or contact us online for instant support from an award-winning team of experts.
Loyalty and rewards programs can help your business retain your best customers. But they only work if customers see your messages and can check their reward status. A new survey shows most people prefer companies use to SMS for loyalty programs. Find out why in this blog.
Discount codes, limited time sales, special exclusive pricing...you may have seen, or used, all of these in a text message campaign. For retailers, it is the most obvious and direct use of SMS marketing. It works and it's cost effective. But are there other ways you can put your SMS channel to work for you?
Shoppers are very tech savvy. Even when they shop in store they are using their mobiles to do price comparisons, look up reviews or post on social media. And while your customers are busy using tech, your store needs to be using it too. SMS is one of those technologies that can really enhance the shopping experience whether your shoppers are in store, or not.
You've run a successful SMS opt-in campaign for your retail store. Now that you have your list, do you have a plan to keep them from opting out? Wait, you mean there's more to this than just sending out coupon codes? There is if you want to keep your customers from opting out.
One of the great advantages of SMS: it's completely trackable so you know exactly how your campaigns are engaging your opted in customers and clients. And if you’re a small business, operating in a specific geographical location, then that local knowledge can be invaluable in targeting your campaigns to a local audience.
In a world where your competition can be found in just a few seconds, instilling brand loyalty in customers is a greater challenge than ever. One way to proactively reach out to customers is via SMS. The personal nature of SMS messages, combined with high read rates, gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with each customer.
Can SMS marketing increase sales numbers? In the next entry of our Results Series you’ll see the kinds of results that real companies achieved. We’ve rounded up sales numbers and timelines to show you how well, and how fast, SMS marketing can improve your sales.
Read some practical advice on how you can use SMS messaging to drive more traffic to your website. Include a shortened url in your SMS marketing message that sends the recipient to a special offers page or a how-to video or even a top-up page for consumables. But make sure the page is mobile friendly.
Mums are natural entrepreneurs. And now they're turning that entrepreneurial spirit towards running a business, using their organisational skills to turn a profit from franchises and hobbies, fundraisers and baking. Mumpreneurs are on the march and they need smart marketing strategies like SMS that fit around their busy lives.
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.