How to Use SMS and The Olympics to Boost Business
In just over two weeks the summer Olympics begin in Rio. Even though the events are half a world away, the frenzy over them is worldwide. It’s the Olympics after all.
Almost any business, or even a not-for-profit company, can take advantage of that frenzy. Especially when you combine it with mobile marketing. That’s because there are plenty of fans, and their devices, here in the UK.
According to a report from the Olympic committee, “over 44 million people (76% of the TV population) watched…programming during Sochi, a rise of 10% compared to Vancouver 2010”. They went on to add, “the BBC generated over 170 million page views and 20 million video views, up from 62 million and 11 million respectively in 2010”.
Granted those numbers are for winter Olympics, but there hasn’t been a summer Olympics since it was hosted in London in 2012. That year, around 96% of us watched some of the Olympics. But the winter games numbers I listed above show the audience is increasing, even when the event occurs far away.
And in part that’s thanks to mobile devices and the option to stream any event directly to your own private screen. So imagine your customers or members watching their favourite sport, and then getting your great Olympic related offer via SMS. It’s perfect timing.
More Than Just Sports Retailers
One of the most obvious beneficiaries of the Olympics are sports retailers. But they aren’t the only ones who can leverage the events for SMS marketing. Here are examples of some others:
- Clothing retailers – Anyone who sells sports or exercise clothes is again an obvious choice. But imagine the possibilities if you sell trunks, swimsuits or bikinis. You don’t have to go to Rio to want one of those (actually I hear the beaches there are often clothing optional…) to enjoy summer here in the UK. Why not hold an Olympic celebration sales event and send out SMS messages to your customers announcing the savings?
- Local sports teams/events – During the Olympics, people’s awareness of sports is heightened. Local sports teams could use SMS messaging to drive up attendance or to raise money for the team. Local sports events can also increase attendance and revenue at the same time. Just send out SMS messages with special ticket prices to celebrate the worldwide event.
- Pubs & Bars – People gather to watch the UK compete in various events in pubs & bars. But which one should they choose? How about sending out an SMS message for special pricing on drinks or a meal during the event – when they come to watch it at your establishment. Even better, add another special discount code to celebrate if we bring home a gold medal!
- Not-for-profits – If you’re part of a sports-related charity, now’s the time to ask for help. You can reach out to your donors directly or partner with another company to raise funds. For example, you could work out an agreement with a sports store to donate an amount to your charity every time someone makes a purchase using a special coupon code sent out via SMS. You could send the messages out to your donors, and they could send the message out to their customers. It’s a win, win for both of you. The sports store will get all the “feel good” effect and sales from the campaign, and you get more awareness and some amount of donations.
That is just a short list of four possibilities. When you think about it, the Olympics can be used to promote all sorts of things, from personal development to fitness to travel. Just put your creative cap on, and brainstorm how you can use SMS messaging to let fans, customers, or donors know all about it.
The British Equestrian Trade Association’s findings from their National Equestrian Survey 2015 put the economic value of the equestrian sector at £4.3 billion of consumer spending across a wide range of goods and services, with the average spend per horse during the same year at £3600. It is an incredibly varied industry encompassing all types of businesses from sole traders making a living in remote areas to multinational companies. Their customer base typically tends to be busy people who lead largely outdoor lifestyles so the obvious and most effective means of communicating with them is by mobile phone, yet very few equestrian businesses appear to be utilising SMS text messaging marketing. So how could businesses in this sector benefit from this method of marketing?
The New York Times used the Olympics as an excuse to try a massive SMS experiment. They wanted reporter Sam Manchester to get personal with their thousands of readers using two-way SMS messaging. Read the blog to see if the experiment was a success or a failure.
We look at how SMS Marketing can help gyms, saunas, solariums or other any other kind of membership based businesses in the health and fitness sector generate substantial ROI by unlocking the value of lapsed memberships. With a simple strategy, you can bring former members back on board and turn them back into loyal customers.
Most major sports teams in the UK and US already know the power of SMS for engaging fans via scores, stats and other data. But the power of SMS can extend far beyond the world of the major leagues. SMS is ideal, not only for communicating with participants but to coordinate teams of volunteers across the event.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
Statistics show that a huge 98% of text messages are opened within the first fifteen minutes of being received, so it's little wonder that sports organisations and fitness centres have been looking to take advantage of a potentially lucrative market.
A lot of the time, personal training can be one of the most rewarding jobs you could possibly pursue. Yet at other times, it can be dispiriting. Naturally, this is all part and parcel of the industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes you can make to your everyday work habits that will boost the benefits and mitigate the downsides. And top of the list of those changes are SMS marketing strategies.
Marketing for gyms and leisure centres is unlike marketing within many other industries. It's not enough to simply gain a customer and expect to keep them indefinitely. It's important to make every attempt to keep that customer dedicated and interested in achieving their fitness goals to avoid lapsed memberships and cancellations. It's in every gym's best interest to have a loyal customer base that feels supported and encouraged to attend the gym regularly. Failure to do so can result in members who feel it is a waste of money to pay for a membership that they don't use often enough. That's where SMS marketing can make a big difference.