How to Use 2-Way SMS for Engagement During Christmas 2023

November 20, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
2-way SMS for Christmas

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The holiday season is a magical time of the year…

And it’s also time when businesses and marketers seize the opportunity to connect with their customers and spread some holiday cheer.

One of the ways most people engage with each other in today’s climate is SMS (Americans send ~2 trillion texts per year, after all!). But for businesses and other organizations, SMS doesn’t have to be all about text blasts to a mass audience.

You can use 2-way SMS effectively to give your audience an approachable means of connecting and engaging with you—particularly in the Christmas season.

And when people are better able to connect and engage, they are more satisfied and more loyal to your brand, and communication is just better all around.

So how can you engage with people via 2-way SMS during this Christmas season?

Let’s walk through a few tips.

4 Ways to Use 2-Way SMS During Christmas

4 ways to use 2-way SMS during Christmas

First, we’ll go through a few specific ways you can use 2-way SMS this holiday season.

Customer Service

Obviously, many people do more shopping during the holiday season than during other times of the year. One report says that 19% of retail sales occur during November and December.

With all of this extra shopping activity comes an increased need for quality customer service.

The traditional way to provide customer service is to have a phone number people can call for help. However, we all can attest to the fact that calling customer service is very often not a great experience.

You call. A robot answers. You have to press a number to get to the right department. You wait on hold (sometimes for quite a while). Someone finally answers and you give them all of your information and describe your problem. They say they can’t help you and transfer you to another department.

And on it goes.

Not to mention the fact that in general, many people just don’t like calling anymore.

Texting is becoming a more preferred channel, even for contacting businesses. The trick is getting it implemented as a major customer service channel for your business.

But if you invest the time and resources needed to have an effective SMS customer service channel, you’ll likely find that it’s worth it—and it could save you time and money in other support channels.

Coordinating Workers

With the holidays often comes more-than-typical coordination with employees and workers to help make sure all needed work is covered.

SMS can be a way to remind individual people about shifts and work schedules, and to request shift needs.

You can even set things up to automatically send these types of reminders to workers. And since it’s 2-way, they can reply back if needed to reschedule or to ask questions.

Answering Questions

SMS can open up a convenient avenue for people to ask any questions they may have—questions which may come more frequently during the hectic Christmas season.

People can simply submit their question to the “helpline” via text message, and you’ll be able to see and respond to their questions accordingly.

If they have any follow-up questions or comments, they can simply shoot back an easy text message and you can continue the back and forth.

SMS “Bots”

If you don’t have the capacity or resources to regularly monitor 2-way texting conversations during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you can set up an SMS “bot” of sorts by creating a series of pre-programmed messages triggered when people text in specific words.

This can help get people’s questions answered quickly, particularly if there are questions that are commonly asked and can be easily answered.

For example, you can set up trigger words such as HOURS or DISCOUNTS, and when someone texts in one of those words, they can get an automated response back pertaining to the topic at hand.

How to Implement 2-Way SMS for the Holidays

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How to implement 2-way SMS for the holidays

Having the desire to implement 2-way SMS and actually implementing it are two different things.

So what does implementing 2-way SMS actually look like?

  • Set Up an SMS Platform – You’ll want to use an SMS platform like Mobile Text Alerts to manage your 2-way SMS.
  • Assign People to Monitor and Respond to Messages – You’ll need to put at least one person in charge of monitoring and responding to messages; if you don’t give someone the primary responsibility, odds are some inquiries may slip through the cracks.
  • Establish a System – If you have more than one person monitoring messages, establish a system for how you’ll assign conversations to different users (you can manage and assign conversations from the Inbox tab within Mobile Text Alerts).
  • OPTIONAL: Set Up Pre-Programmed Auto-Responses – If you want to send out automated responses to people based on trigger words they text in, you can set that all up within your platform’s online dashboard.

If you’ve never done 2-way SMS in your business before, you’ll likely have a bit of a learning curve as you try to figure out a system that works for your situation, so it’s best to start now. That way, you’ll have a more established process as soon as possible..

Get Your Own 2-Way SMS System

A 2-way SMS system is beneficial to help boost engagement for virtually any business or organization out there.

Interested in exploring the possibility of implementing a 2-way SMS process for your own situation? Check out a free trial of the Mobile Text Alerts platform to get a feel for how it works.

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