It’s 11:00 am on Valentine’s Day; you look at your mobile phone – still no text. You’re not worried yet – “Still got the whole day ahead of me,” you think – as you begin to do anything you can to occupy your mind. But then anxiety kicks in. It doesn’t normally take this long to receive a text on the most romantic of days…
And then there it is: A text notification on your phone. Your hands tremble as you swipe to read it.
“Special Valentine’s Day offer! 30% off all flower bouquets for the next hour when you show us this text! Get yourself down to John’s Flowers now!” Good old John, he never lets you down when it comes to texting you a great deal on flowers for your partner.
Yep, it’s not always our significant others that we’re waiting to hear from on our mobiles (there are cards for that, after all). Instead, it’s often local businesses and online retailers with special offers and codes.
The week or so around Valentine’s Day is a great time to promote your services via SMS. Let’s take a look at some examples of perfect SMS campaigns you could start doing today that your recipients will just love.
Mobile tickets for special occasions
Texting out tickets and vouchers is a great way to market your product or service any time of year, but days like Valentine’s give you a great excuse. You can really theme your offers around the day, rather than keeping your campaign ideas broad.
A classic first date often involves catching a flick, so a cinema might consider texting out a ‘two for one’ deal on movie tickets to ensure it gets bums in seats. Perhaps there’s a particular movie that hasn’t been performing as well as others; text out an offer on tickets for that particular picture and watch the theatre fill up in no time.
The same could go for local theatres or music venues. Your texts might have a link to an online ticket, or maybe they’ll just feature a simple code number. Of course, each code will have to be unique for that recipient in order for you to track the people who took advantage of your offer; this’ll improve your targeting in future marketing efforts.
Enticing offers and good old fashioned text discounts
The next staple of a first date is a bunch of flowers. Take a leaf out of John’s book; merely notifying your text audience that they’re entitled to a Valentine’s Day discount is often enough to make them act on it. Florists, chocolate shops, jewellers and the like should definitely be taking advantage of this type of SMS campaign in early February. According to our research, the average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day. As many people are like the individual at the beginning of this article, eagerly waiting to be contacted, you can expect that number to be even higher on Valentine’s.
Dinner at a restaurant either concludes the first date or kicks it off, so text message marketing is perfectly suited to eating establishments. In the build up to Valentine’s Day, your restaurant might send out texts offering a free bottle of Prosecco when guests book their table via SMS, for example. Like online booking, this reduces the need for a member of staff to answer the phone and allows employee time to be spent elsewhere.
On Valentine’s Day itself, your restaurant will want to make sure it’s fully booked all night long. If there are any tables left unreserved, you could text out messages along the lines of “Great news! A table for two has just opened up at 9pm tonight. Reply to this text ASAP to book it or visit our website” and practically guarantee that there’ll be no empty seats.
Manage your bookings and don’t forget to say “Thanks!”
Even if your restaurant, cinema, theatre or venue is fully booked, you can still use SMS on Valentine’s Day. Send out reminder texts to ensure you jog the memory of any guests who booked their place a while ago. Particularly for restaurants that have yet to receive any kind of payment, this’ll mean you won’t be left with empty tables that could have gone to someone else.
A lot of email marketing is predominantly focused on maintaining contact with audiences and keeping the conversation going. There’s no reason that SMS marketing shouldn’t be used in this way either. A courtesy thank you text the next day (“Hope you enjoyed your meal with us last night and had a very special Valentine’s Day. To say thanks for spending it with us, here’s 10% off your next visit”) goes a long way and ensures your brand is firmly on their minds when they decide to go out next.
So there you have it. Hopefully some of the ideas we’ve gone over will give you plenty of inspiration for your SMS marketing. If you begin to prepare your campaigns now, come 11:00am on Valentine’s Day it’ll be your texts that the lovebirds are anxiously waiting for.