If you run a florist or a restaurant, you may not think you need to run a Valentines Day promotion beyond offering a special bouquet or a bottle of champagne with a meal. But any business can use SMS to add value to their marketing campaigns and to retain loyal customers, even those that don’t seem to be an obvious fit with the culture around Valentines Day. With a little creative thinking and the power of SMS, anyone can create a Valentine’s campaign.
1. Personalise Your Message
If you’re targeting couples, put the emphasis on the male partner as he’s statistically more likely to forget to buy a gift. Gift suggestions and useful discounts will offer value – include easy to use links to landing pages or use shortcodes like ‘text LOVE for more information’.
Don’t put all the emphasis on those who are already coupled up. Singles promotions are increasingly popular, especially those that are cynical about the entire Valentines Day theme. If you’re a car dealership offer a ‘who needs Cupid?’ test drive in a sporty 2 seater; if you’re a salon offer a ‘Killer revenge makeover’. The point is to think outside the usual hearts and roses paradigm and create a buzz around your alternative Valentines Day promotion.
2. Send a Text Reminder
Everyone appreciates a little reminder now and then and SMS is the perfect way for your business to give your customers a friendly nudge, especially since 53% of women are happy to end a relationship when they don’t receive a Valentines gift!
You can keep your reminder straightforward: “don’t forget to order that special bouquet” or add some humour: if you’re a petrol station you can remind customers to order their bouquets in a timely fashion so they don’t end up buying their flowers from your forecourt. If you are a florist, don’t forget the follow-up messages confirming delivery and asking for feedback on the Valentine’s experience. These kinds of reminders are useful and timely and create a positive impression of your company.
3. Make Your Customers Feel Special
Every business can use Valentines Day to make their customer feel just a little bit special by rewarding them for their loyalty. Take the trouble to personalise the messages, referring to the length of time your business relationship has lasted, and offer a free gift or promotional code/discount to mark the occasion. It’s a simple promotion, but one that works well for businesses not generally associated with Valentines Day. Even something as simple as offering free delivery will be perceived as a thoughtful and personal gesture.
4. Promote with a Gift
Heart shaped stress busters, chocolate roses – even a voodoo doll if you’re taking the anti-Valentine theme to extremes – line up some branded promotional gifts and then ask your customers for the best Valentines Day limerick or definition of love. Remember the old ‘Love Is…’ cartoons? Customers can text their answers in return for some fun and useful swag. It’s a simple way to create customer engagement and to push your brand in a complementary fashion through promotional merchandise.
5. Drip, Drip, Drip
It goes against all the rules of frequency that state 2 text messages a month are enough. But sometimes a drip campaign can prove even more effective if it’s tightly focused on one promotion or event. Set up a marketing calendar and automate your texts every 4 days up until Valentines Day. This kind of campaign works best if you’ve forewarned your customers to expect your messages, and if the content is timely, relevant and valuable.
6. The Language of Love
Ensure your customers know exactly what your SMS texts are about by using appropriate language, whether that’s swooning and romantic or more ‘smouldering’, ‘adventurous’ and ‘sexy’. Getting the language right will help your SMS generate the right kind of buzz.
7. Cater for the 'Last Minute Merchants'
Research suggests that spending on Valentine’s gifts peaks sharply around the 12th and 13th of February, suggesting that many people leave their plans to the last minute. This is the time for you to push time critical coupons that will be a boon to the last minuters and give your business a quick Valentine’s boost.
8. Planning the Perfect Date
If you’re performing on Valentines Day, text out a 2 for 1 deal on tickets for couples, and make sure you include a link or code that you can track to see who took advantage of your offer – it’ll make it easier to track back and target everyone who takes up the offer for future promotional campaigns.
If you’re in one of the traditional ‘romance’ industries, then you should be texting discount offers at the beginning of the month. You’ll jog your customers’ memories and they’ll thank you with their business. Remember, the average smartphone user checks their phone an astonishing 150 times a day so give them an excellent reason to click through with discounts on flowers and chocolates.
9. Keep the Romance Going
For restaurants, a savvy way to leverage that free bubbly promotion is to have it apply when you reserve using SMS. You’ll have a clear record of the booking and by automating the process you leave your employees free to deal with other issues. And of course, SMS is the perfect tool to make sure every table is filled all night on Valentine’s Day by sending an SMS to remind customers of their booking and then by offering any unclaimed tables on the night via a text message.
SMS marketing should focus on customer engagement and keeping the conversation going, so don’t forget to send your customers a message thanking them for their custom, and of course offering a 10% discount on their next visit.
10. Ask the Professionals
SMS messaging is so simple and effective it really is the perfect match for your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns. These little messages can be surprisingly powerful so it makes sense to be as savvy and professional as possible when you use them. That’s where we come in. FastSMS has a range of packages to make your use of this adaptive and flexible technology as pitch perfect as possible, so contact us for more details on how we can help you unlock the power of SMS for Valentine’s Day and beyond.