Four Reasons Why Marketers must Add Mobile Messaging to their Black Friday Strategy

It’s that time of the year again. Keen shoppers are starting to eagerly await all the great deals they can get their hands on over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What started as a tradition in the US has now become one of the most important shopping events across the world. Last year Black Friday and Cyber Monday drove $3.7 billion in sales in the US, and more than $1.3 billion (£800 million) in the UK.

This year mobile sales are expected drive an even larger share of sales, after accounting for more than a fifth of online sales for Cyber Monday last year. So it seems obvious that mobile has to be an important part of a marketer's strategy - however one aspect of mobile marketing that’s often overlooked is mobile messaging. With an open rate of 98 percent and a majority of them in the first 5 minutes of receipt, mobile messaging is an incredibly powerful tool for marketers and it’s not too late to incorporate SMS into your plans for this year.

Here are the top four reasons why your Black Friday strategy needs to include SMS:

1) It’s perfect for driving footfall to stores and communicating last minute offers

There are lots of great offers out there for customers during the Black Friday period, so a last minute reminder of your offers could be the difference between a customer visiting your store over a competitor's. With such a high open rate, especially within the first five minutes of being sent - SMS is the perfect tool for driving footfall into your store and communicating last minute offers.

This becomes even more powerful if you consider working with other more modern advertising technology solutions. For example you could add a geofence to push an SMS to a person when they come into close proximity to your store. Adding redemption or coupon codes helps you track the effectiveness of these campaigns. It's important that your messages add value to your customers, because SMS is so highly read and so personal, if your message doesn’t add value or appeal to your customer, you run the risk of irritating them, which may drive them to unsubscribe from your updates.

2) Retargeting for other key sales events

Given that some people are willing to go to the extreme length of paying up to $20 an hour for someone to line up for them, it’s inevitable that some of your customers are going to miss out on your deals. By maintaining a mobile CRM, you can use SMS as an effective retargeting tool. So you can monitor and retarget all your customers who missed out on great deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday further down the line for other key shopping events such as Christmas or Boxing Day.

3) Improving the customer experience

You’ve really got to feel for customers who stand in queues for hours for that one item they really wanted, only for it to sell out just as they were about to enter the store. But imagine if they could know how long they can expect to wait in line at the front of the store before they leave their house.

SMS is the perfect tool to help manage your customers expectations and maintain a positive brand experience throughout such a stressful time. You could establish a shortcode for customers to start an automated dialogue to find out valuable information such as product availability or store locations. Or, you could enable click and collect and use SMS to let them know the best time to collect their products.

For Cyber Monday shoppers, SMS notifications letting them know the status of their order, when it’s due to arrive is a massive benefit. It keeps your customer happy and improves brand perceptions, as well as reducing the inbound enquiries to your call centres. A simple SMS notification can allow your customer to set delivery instructions or arrange a more suitable delivery time.

4) It helps close the deal

With all the noise and great offers out there during Black Friday and Cyber Monday it can be hard to achieve cut through. The best marketing campaigns feature a series of communications across multiple platforms. Because SMS has such a strong open rate and is highly personal for users, it's great at working to enforce your advertising, email and app campaigns to clinch a sale. For example, you can track a user’s behaviour across email, apps and websites before sending a highly targeted, personalised offer via an SMS that seals the deal for your customers. So it’s possible to email your customers a great deal in advance of Black Friday, track their browsing on your website or mobile app and see what items they’re interested in. Then closer to the event, send them a targeted reminder to help close the sale.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday long weekend has become one of the most intense and competitive shopping periods of the year. SMS could be the perfect tool for your brand to achieve cut-through and maintain brand loyalty. With our easy-to-use platform and multi-channel capabilities, mGage transforms your mobile relationships.

To organise an informal cup of tea, a chat and a bespoke demo of how we could help your business, please contact us.

Originally Published in Digital Marketing Magazine.

The information included herein is distributed for informational use only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be taken as such.  All clients are responsible for meeting legal requirements and other rules that apply to their messaging programs.  Consultation with legal counsel is strongly recommended.