SMS Marketing for Garden Centres
After an unseasonably cold and wet Easter weekend, the weather has finally turned to something that resembles spring, with temperatures finally reaching double figures and some lengthier dry spells – and with this the opportunity to invest some quality time in our gardens. According to a report published by Horticulture Week, the UK gardening market will grow at a 1% compound annual growth rate at constant 2016 prices, leading to sales of £4.3 billion by 2021. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), the trade association for the UK garden industry, reports that that over two-thirds of British adults visit a garden centre every year, spending around £1.5 billion each year on plants alone for their gardens – before we consider lawn mowers and other garden power tools – which gives the home and garden sector combined a total value of close to £34 billion as at the end of 2017.
Whether you are an established chain or an independent local garden centre, SMS Marketing is a great way to increase sales, and now is the ideal time to make the most of it. Our experts look at 5 ways SMS can be used to drive profits.
1. SMS Marketing for new products and ranges
With the new gardening season comes a plethora of new products and ranges, from gardening power tools and equipment such as mowers, strimmers and pressure washers to plants themselves, including seeds, bulbs, shrubs and trees. Then there are essential hand tools and of course items such as fencing, edging and trellises. With so much for customers to choose from and so many opportunities for upsells and cross-sells, reaching both new and existing customers with offers tailored to their interests and needs is a highly effective way to draw in those sales – and SMS Marketing is a great place to start.
For online customers, you can use their order history to send out messages of specific relevance to them individually. For example, if your records show that a customer purchased a new lawn mower two years ago, now might be a great time to introduce the upgraded model. An SMS message might read something like:
“Dear Mr Anderson, have you seen the latest model of the Flymo Easi Glide 330VX, with improved efficiency, greater accuracy and better than ever handling? Now available at Harry’s Garden Centre. Click here to learn more…”
Where a purchase history is not available, such as for customers who purchase non-guarantee items in store, SMS Marketing can be used for a more generic offering, for example:
“Is your lawn looking worse for wear? Make sure the grass looks greener on your side with 10% off Evergreen Extreme Green when you spend £50 or more at Harry’s Garden Centre this week…”
In this second example, the offer for a discount with a minimum spend entices customers to increase the value of their transaction, whilst the time-limited offer adds a sense of urgency to increase conversion rate.
2. Special events
From flash sales to celebrity visits and expert talks, there are plenty of opportunities for garden centres to use SMS Marketing to share details of special events. The long weekend that marks the early May bank holiday on 7th May, for example, is a great time to run a range of different events. With longer, warmer evenings, consider running a three-day special promotion on barbecues and related products – this might take the form of a fixed percentage off every product within the range, or special offers based on basket value. Either way, SMS Marketing is a great way to make sure customers are in the know. Try an SMS message such as:
“For 3 days only this May Holiday Weekend 5-7th May, get a sizzling 15% off our entire BBQ range! See you soon at Harry’s Garden Centre…”
If you’ve managed to secure a gardening expert such as Charlie Dimmock or Matt James to host an event or give a talk over the weekend, then a similar approach is a great way to maximise attendance.
Don’t forget that family-friendly events are also a great way to bring in sales – why not set up some themed, garden activities for children to participate in such as seed planting, garden adventure trails, etc.
3. Opening hours by SMS
If your customers are going to spend their money at your garden centre, then it is important that they know when you are open for business – and SMS Marketing is the obvious way to keep them up to date, especially if, like many centres, your hours vary on a seasonal basis. A simple, periodic SMS message is all it takes to make sure everybody knows exactly when your doors open and close –
“Spruce up your garden this spring with Harry’s Garden Centre – now open from 9am – 7pm daily, 10am – 4pm Sundays…”
4. SMS Marketing for gardening tips and tricks
A great way for your garden centre to add value to customers and increase engagement and loyalty is to offer advice and information to help them make the most of the gardening season. A blog is a great way to do this, however, your customers need to know when new articles and features are available – so why not distribute your updates via SMS?
Every time you update your blog, send out an SMS message with a brief introduction to the article such as:
“Learn 5 expert tips to keep your lawn looking lush this summer – check out the latest blog at harrysgarcencentre.co.uk…”
Remember that most smartphones support clickable links, so customers will be able to access your link directly from the SMS message – meaning they can go straight to your website even if they happen to be in the garden at the time.
5. Rate your visit
Customer feedback is an essential part of customer relations, and an important way to make sure your garden centre is living up to expectations – so giving customers an opportunity to rate their visit is very important. SMS Marketing is a simple and effective way to do exactly this and because of its simplicity tends to get a high response rate.
For best results, ensure you ask the customer if they are willing to participate before beginning:
“We’d love to hear your feedback on your visit to Harry’s Garden Centre today. To participate in our short survey, reply YES. To decline, reply NO…”
The survey is best run using a short series of questions that can be rated on a numerical scale, for example –
“On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is the best, how would you rate the customer service you received today?”
“And how easy was it to find what you were looking for?”
To incentivise customers to respond, consider adding a special bonus for participation such as a discount voucher code.
To get set up with SMS marketing in seconds, give the award-winning team at Fastsms a call now on 0800 954 5305.
It’s said over and over that SMS is one of the most personal forms of communications today. That’s mainly because people guard their mobile numbers and only give them out to those they think worthy of them. So anyone who has opted into your SMS messaging has indeed invited you into their personal world.
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.
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.
Here’s some ideas on what you can do to help your SMS campaigns to do better. Use the following checklist to see if you’re using all your possible channels.
With open rates as high as 98% and click-through rates substantially higher than their email counterparts, SMS marketing is an essential channel for eCommerce store owners and should not be ignored. Add to this the fact that mobile phones are now the most popular internet browsing device, and it is easy to see why SMS has become so attractive to retailers and consumers alike. If you haven’t already started using SMS marketing to support your business, read on to find out why you really should.
After a cold and wet Easter weekend, the weather has finally turned to something that resembles spring, with temperatures now reaching double figures and some lengthier dry spells – and with this the opportunity to invest some quality time in our gardens. Whether you are an established chain or an independent local garden centre, SMS Marketing is a great way to increase sales, and now is the ideal time to make the most of it. Our experts look at 5 ways SMS can be used to drive profits.
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In one of my blogs last week, I talked about a marketing study by Vibes and what it said about SMS marketing. This week I wanted to take another look at it from the perspective of the mobile wallet industry, also covered in the report. It turns out there is a strong case for integrating your SMS marketing with mobile wallets. Let’s take a look.
If you are the owner-manager of a UK retail business, then you will know that it’s vital to use every weapon you have available to battle with the big guns on the high street and online. That must include embracing all the advantages modern technology provides, including a communications campaign based on the Short Message Service (SMS) – better known as text messages. Not sure what SMS is about and how it will work for your shop? Then read on, because you are missing a golden opportunity to give your small shop a much bigger presence and outreach.
Mobile Marketer is holding the mCommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2016 today in New York City. And you’ll get to find out what happens when I get back and write about it next week. But today, I’m going to give you a sneak peak at what I’m seeing in New York at this moment. Before I do though, be sure to check our fastsms Twitter feed throughout the day. I’ll be sharing the best tidbits as they come up in each session as they happen.