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How to take advantage of holidays for your next text marketing promotion

Salt Lake City gym owner Blake Robinson once brought in $12,000 in a single holiday weekend with a single text marketing promotion.

One holiday, an amazing offer, and an extremely effective communication platform resulted in a perfect storm for Blake. It’s totally possible to see great returns for your business too.

Let’s walk through, step by step, how you can create a text marketing promotion and take advantage of a holiday. Whether you want to reach out to leads or current customers, holidays are a great “excuse” to do something special.

Pick your holiday

Business owners across the country know the importance and value of capitalizing on the Christmas holiday season, especially Black Friday. The Friday after Thanksgiving always proves a very profitable day, likely the most profitable day of the year for most businesses. While the origins of the name are a bit dark, it is typically understood as the day stores become profitable and “go into the black.” But it doesn’t have to start and end at Black Friday.

At least 18 other major holidays exist that businesses take advantage of. Plus, let’s not forget about the 365+ national days. You’ve heard of these and seen promotions for them before. They’re especially popular with restaurants and other food establishments (National Burrito Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, National Waffle Day…)

With a little creativity it is really possible to utilize any major event. One gym owner capitalized on the 2018 solar eclipse craze and ran a promotion that earned him $6,000 that one day. Never underestimate the power of random events. (Think about how excited Stanley was for pretzel day at Dunder Mifflin.)

Below is a list of some holidays you might want to build a promotion around in 2020.

  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • Easter (April 12)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Mother’s Day (May 10)
  • Memorial Day (May 25)
  • Father’s Day (June 21)
  • Friendship Day (August 2)
  • National Dog Day (August 26)
  • Read a Book Day (September 6)
  • Labor Day (September 7)
  • Thanksgiving (November 26)
  • Black Friday (November 27)
  • Small Business Saturday (November 28)

Think about if your local area or state celebrates specific holidays, maybe around a founder or other important figure. For example, in Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day and lots of businesses run Pioneer Day sales.

Identifying holidays is the just the first step, though. The next step? Finding which ones will work for your market and identifying a strategic time frame to run the promotion.

Plan your promotion

The recipe to a powerful offer is a great promotion that your audience and demographic will identify with. When all is said and done, the customer is interested in just one thing from your organization: value. If your text marketing promotion doesn’t offer real value, then any offer and all the targeted marketing in the world isn’t going to make it a success.

Ask yourself what kind of offer your customers will find most interesting and use these three strategies to create a powerful promotion.

Keep the offer relevant

Blake scheduled a message in Skipio to his 150 members offering a free month if they paid for the next five months upfront. He knew with summer coming that his clients would jump at the opportunity to get one month free. Clearly his offer was relevant to his demographic.

Another Skipio client, a solar panel installation company, also ran a really successful Memorial Day text marketing promotion. They understood that their target market of homeowners in the Midwest would appreciate a free grill, cooler, canopy, and gift card to kick off the summer. Valued at over $900, this offer proved very enticing for their cold leads. (They ended up doing over $1 million in sales.)

Keep it short and sweet

Nearly every holiday success story and text marketing promotion we see has one common thread – they kept their verbiage short and sweet. Blake made an effort to put the call to action in the first few words of his text, and he got his members’ attention in the first glance. The first 40 characters are the only ones visible when a text message preview is received, so make those characters count!

Create urgency

In Blake’s case, members acted fast because it was an enticing deal that was offered for a limited time AND to a limited number of people. After all, Blake couldn’t let everyone get a month free. So part of the promotion was that it would only be good for the first five people who replied.

On average, it only takes someone five seconds to read a text. In just a few hours after Blake sent the text, he quickly got five people to commit to pay for the next five months upfront. Limiting the number of people receiving the deal also contributed to the urgency.

According to Salesforce.com, “Behavioral psychologists have found that human beings tend to assign greater value to things they perceive as being scarce.” When something seems limited, we naturally assign it greater value. We tend to want things we can’t have or that we fear we won’t be able to have in the near future. Humans have a keen sense of regret, and we hate missed opportunities.

By taking advantage of this very human phenomenon and offering valuable, limited-time deals, your promotions will really succeed.

Trust that texting will get you the best results

These urgent promotions were made possible because these businesses used the most effective way to communicate in this day and age – texting.

If you want your customers to act on your offer, they have to see it first. Texts have a 98% open rate, while email has an average of 22%. If you have 1,000 customers in your database, that is a difference of 760 people seeing or not seeing your offer.

And when dealing with limited time offers, you want to give people the fastest way to respond. Text messages get a response in the first 90 seconds on average. Email response time is 90 minutes.

Finally, 89% of consumers want to use texting to communicate with businesses. Our customers and clients practically beg us to text them!

We could go on and on about the effectiveness of texting for businesses, so now it’s up to you to try it for yourself.

Ready to plan your holiday promotion?

Fortunately, there’s always more holidays and promotions to use as part of your customer retention strategy. Whether you’re offering free products or a hot deal on a service, just make sure the offer appeals directly to your audience and grabs their attention fast.

Get a free Skipio account and start planning your next holiday text marketing promotion.

Note: This post was originally published on June 19, 2018 and updated on March 10, 2020. Significant updates included a 2020 holiday infographic and list, different texting-related stats, and more details regarding Blake Robinson’s holiday promotion.