Fit for a King: Our exclusive Bank Holiday SMS marketing guide

Fit for a King: Our exclusive Bank Holiday SMS marketing guide

8 minute read

Apr 25, 2023

Boost your holiday season campaign with our tips and strategies

You may wonder why you should include the bank holiday season in your SMS marketing strategy this year. While it may not seem as big of an opportunity to maximise profits as holidays such as Christmas, Easter or Black Friday  it’s still packed full of hidden gems and often sees a peak in sales. This year, we have an additional bonus bank holiday to embrace!

Bank holiday SMS golden opportunities for 2023

We have identified 4 golden opportunities for marketers across the UK bank holidays for 2023:

Spring Bank Holiday

The first May bank holiday (Monday May 1st) was traditionally used to mark the start of spring.

May Day provides many workers with a day off, creating a long weekend. For some, it's an opportunity for a mini-break without using up annual leave. For others, it's a free day to catch up on DIY, gardening, shopping, and socialising with family and friends. Whatever people decide to do with the extra time, it's a great time to offer promotions, especially for retailers, hospitality, travel, and the leisure industry.

The King's Coronation

This year the nation is being treated to an additional Bank Holiday to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III which will take place on May 6th. Although the Coronation is scheduled for a Saturday, the following Monday will be an official Bank Holiday for 2023 only.

The Coronation will bring many opportunities for many brands hoping to tap into the celebrations. All brands can use SMS marketing to mark the occasion by promoting their businesses with special offers or encouraging communication with subscribers. This is a unique opportunity as the majority of the UK population has never witnessed a live Coronation, making it a momentous occasion.

Whitsun Bank Holiday

The Whitsun Bank Holiday is a Monday that falls at the end of May and for those with children in school, it rolls into a half-term week. With the weather picking up, this is a great season for holiday promotions, entertainment, and leisure.

Summer Bank Holiday

The summer bank holiday falls towards the end of August. For retailers, it's a good time for one last push on back-to-school promotions and sees the start of end-of-summer sales.

Plan ahead

Build your database

If you were wondering when is a good time to get started on your Bank Holiday season promotions, it's right away! Get ahead of competitors with strategic holiday planning.

If you’re currently using more traditional methods to market your brand, don't make the mistake of thinking that SMS campaigns can be added at the last minute. Like all marketing platforms, SMS requires preparation. It's permission-based, so you will need to build a database of SMS subscribers in advance.

If you’ve never tried text marketing before, it's easy to start from scratch once you have determined your target audience.

Take a multi-media approach to reach your desired consumers. Offer discounts or exclusive content in exchange for customer’s phone numbers. Use a sign-up form on your website, a text-to-join campaign, or in-store sign-ups. You may also wish to advertise on social media. You can run your SMS campaign concurrently with your traditional campaigns and invite those subscribers to migrate across with the promise of even better incentives.

Tidy up your marketing list

If you’re savvy enough to be already using text marketing, make sure you’re maintaining your database. There’s nothing more frustrating than realising that you have spent money on marketing that hasn't reached the intended target.

For example, where you have empty fields and missing phone digits in your data list, these messages will not be sent. Another common human error is duplicate phone numbers. When this happens, you pay twice to send the same message to the same person. So, check your list for any duplicates.

Schedule your marketing ideas

The best thing about text message marketing is its incredible reach. People tend to carry their mobile phones everywhere so you can engage customers wherever they are. Did you know that 98% of text messages are opened and read? Plus, with SMS marketing, you can also send texts out in bulk to thousands of people at a time.

Time well during the holiday season and you can remind customers of your special offers, grant them early access to your sales or use simple two-way conversations to find out more about them to build a relationship.

Start planning your Bank Holiday marketing campaign now and set out what elements of the holiday season are going to be important for your brand. As an example, this time of year lends itself to holidays, barbecues, outdoor living, wardrobe updates, time spent together, etc. Even if you don't have anything obvious to promote at this time of year, all seasonal occasions offer an opportunity to communicate with your customers.

Set up automated messages

Once you have worked out your strategy, schedule automated messages that can fire out with no intervention during the period. The chances are your marketing team will be looking to have a well-earned rest too so it may be unreasonable to assume that marketing texts can be sent out on an ad-hoc basis.

For two-way interactions, use keywords to sort the responses as they come in. If customers are asking questions, you can use keywords to prepare automated responses. If your text contains questions for your subscribers to help you to gather information, keywords can be used here too to add info to your data list.

Send helpful reminders

This spring holiday season is set to be a busy one and people will be rushing around and planning recreational activities. This is when you start to understand that text marketing is virtually the only way you’re going to reach them during this period. Wherever they go, their phones are going with them.

Use SMS to send reminders about your sales and special Bank Holiday offers. To simply keep your brand at the forefront of their mind, send them a Happy Holidays message. The King's Coronation will be a great opportunity to send a celebratory text. If you have Coronation-related content on your website, attach a link to your texts for subscribers to click on.

As it's a busy time, if you’re running a business that relies on bookings and reservations, use transactional SMS to remind people when you are expecting to see them. Offer customers the opportunity to cancel or reschedule and reallocate spaces at late notice. This will help you to cut down lost revenues from no-shows.

Make shopping seamless for your SMS subscribers

We know you’re keen to get your promotions sent out to your subscribers but, be careful to ensure that all links are checked and that voucher codes are working. If links are broken or your website can't handle the extra traffic, you could be wasting money and time.

To avoid frustration for all concerned, run stringent checks in advance of your text campaign so that you can be confident in the process your customers will be following. To keep things even more simple, create a landing page on your website that takes customers who click on the link directly to the action. This will cut down on time searching and encourage quicker and more determined purchases.

Set up automatic transactional SMS messages to follow your customer from purchase to delivery. SMS can send purchase confirmations, tracking information, delivery dates, request feedback, organise returns, and even help with customer support.

Encourage user generated content

Spring and summer are the perfect months to share user-generated content. Ask subscribers to share images of them using your products to showcase to your target audience. This kind of content can generate ideas for your customers to be inspired by and also boost your customer's need for an item they can see is trending.

Manage this information in a couple of different ways:

  1. Take to social media channels to ask your followers to share your content or use your products by offering an incentive. You can then use images or feedback to share via SMS with your subscribers.
  2. Alternatively, send a text inviting subscribers to reply with images, or click a link to download their images to your website.

Simply fabulous SMS marketing campaign ideas for the spring season and the Coronation

To make the most of the marketing opportunities during this holiday season, here’s a round-up of the best ideas for reaching your customers:

1. Flash sales

Flash sales are generally more successful when consumers have more time to shop. A long weekend is a perfect time for a flash sale. Text your subscribers in advance to let them know when the event will start and that as subscribers, they’re the first to know. For your more loyal customers, you could offer early access to the sale or a VIP sale slot.

Choose your timing carefully to capture the most interest from your subscribers and word your texts to include a strong call-to-action and sense of urgency.

2. Text competitions

Text-to-win can be used to boost your subscriber list when used across other marketing channels. Use an SMS shortcode across your other marketing channels to simplify the process for prospective subscribers.

For customers who are already subscribers, competitions can boost your engagement and help to gather further information about them for your database. The more information you have about your customers, the more targeted your content and communication will be.

3. Bank holiday events

If you’re organising an event, use an SMS campaign not only to inform your subscribers but also to set up automatic reminders to make sure they don't miss it.

This is a great way to capture passing traffic. Holiday marketing campaigns don't have to be local even though physical events are. Lots of people will be taking to the road to enjoy the Bank Holiday in other areas. So feel free to invite people to sign up to receive SMS marketing from your brand well in advance of your event.

Events can also be held online such as three-day-sales or a Coronation discount. It's worth planning ahead and giving people plenty of time to participate. Instead of sending reminders, you could use SMS for an event countdown.

4. Discounts and deals

We love an excuse for a discount or deal. Send voucher codes to busy subscribers that they can use wherever they are. Like with all things SMS, make them exclusive and let the customer know that they can't get these deals anywhere else.

6. Information and ideas via SMS

Offer added value to subscribers by sharing information and ideas. Over the Bank Holiday weekends, plenty of people will be taking to the roads to travel. Offer your subscribers traffic and weather updates to help them to plan activities.

Create guides on your website for a variety of things. Here are a few of our own suggestions:

  • Celebrate Like a Royal - Host the Perfect Coronation Party - include decorations, cocktails, recipes, bunting templates, etc.
  • Bank Holiday Fun Travel Guide - Help customers with children on long journeys with activities they can do on the move or, easy to make snacks on the go.
  • Budget-friendly Days Out - Give details of free parks and museums in different areas and ideas about how to keep costs down on a family day out.
  • Local Entertainment Guide - List local events for Bank Holiday or to celebrate the Coronation, and make transport suggestions. Collaborate with event planners and include booking links.
  • Holiday Packing Guide - Create the ultimate guide for what to pack for a holiday and include links to products to buy in advance.
  • Recommended Bank Holiday Destinations - Offer a rundown of different holiday destinations, including typical vacation costs, places to visit, ways to travel, sightseeing highlights, best restaurants, etc.

You can choose to offer this information to showcase your own products or services, or simply to engage your subscribers and boost your brand reputation. By texting links to useful information, you could drive more traffic to your website, which in turn could help to increase sales.

7. Use your campaign to grow your reputation

Although SMS marketing is permission-based, requesting feedback post-sale is classed as transactional as it is linked to customer support. Therefore, following your automatic order confirmations, tracking, and delivery texts, a request for feedback can be sent.

Feedback is so valuable for any business looking to make improvements to products and services. If you’re confident in your products or services, ask subscribers to leave you a public review after their purchases to help you to attract more customers. You can offer an incentive to subscribers who leave you a review such as a discount or free delivery on their next purchase.

If you ask your customers for feedback, it's a sign that you care and that you are unlikely to disappear in a hurry. Your brand will quickly become a trusted one if you’re transparent about your feedback and use it to work towards improvements.

If you would like to know more about SMS marketing, get in touch with Voodoo today!

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