How SMS marketing can be used during the holidays

Now that it is November, customers all over the world are thinking about holiday shopping. The shopping season usually spans between the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas, but some retailers are launching sales even sooner because a shorter than usual time frame.

How can small businesses compete with the major retailers that can afford to stay open late before the season begins? Why not utilize a text messaging service? This form of communication has a higher success rate because they are opened within 90 seconds of receiving the message, according to Practical ECommerce. Although text messaging has largely been used for personal use, companies that don't adopt SMS services are missing out on the benefits of its commercial reach—especially with loyal customers.

When 41 percent of e-commerce shoppers are returning customers who are likely to spend three to five times more than new visitors, it is up to the business to inform its client base on upcoming promotions and new products.

"If you have a text list, plan a weekly, exclusive holiday offer in the second half of November and early part of December," Practical Ecommerce contributor Armando Roggio writes.

SMS services are not limited to promoting sales, they can also be used as a customer service line or confirmation order alternative. Customers who need to speak to a representative spend a lot of time on hold on the telephone. Text messages on the other hand are straight to the point and can mitigate issues sooner because the toll-service doesn't have to decipher the customer's voice command.

"Text messaging can give retailers another way to communicate transactional information to shoppers without having to worry about spam filters, email blacklists, or a dozen other email-related deliverability issues that can plague programmatically generated transactional email messages," Roggio added.

With this kept in mind, it is necessary to note that having access to a person's inbox does not mean that marketers have free reign to send sales daily. This over saturated method can dilute the quality of this marketing tool and cause an uptick of unsubscribed customers.

The holiday season is also a great opportunity to reach beyond the targeted audience who may be looking for new places to buy presents. Using new technologies like SMS can make a great impression. Reaching out to a text messaging provider like Swift SMS Gateway can help companies create a text messaging platform that is compatible to their brand and the client base.