When most brands want to drive awareness to an upcoming sale or event, they usually create a Facebook event page first.
But, as you may have already witnessed, it can be extremely difficult to get your customers to find your event page and engage with it.
You not only have to contend with Facebook’s constantly-changing algorithms, which tend to favor and nudge paid posts to the top only, you have to fight for your customer’s attention too.
With all those social posts and funny memes stealing the spotlight, it’s even more difficult for your special Event to stand out.
Luckily, there’s a better solution that avoids all this hassle: SMS marketing.
When you’re using SMS marketing, you won’t have to fight with algorithms or trending news stories to be seen. You’ll open a direct line of communication with your existing and potential customers that connects on a personal level.
Once your customers opt-in to receive your text messages and you have a list of subscribers, follow our 5 tips to use SMS marketing to drum up excitement for your next sale or event.
To start, you’ll need to send your subscribers an initial text to raise awareness.
#1: Bring Awareness to Your Event or Sale
It’s crucial to give your customers plenty of time to prepare for your event.
One way to do this and drive awareness is to send an initial text a few months before your actual event date.
Here, you’ll want to Include a link to either more information or your Facebook Event page so they can find out all the details.
Once you send this initial text, track the performance of it.
Specifically, you should pay attention to your open rate (i.e., how many customers opened your text message) and click through rate (how many customers actually clicked your link).
Customers who opened your initial event text should then receive follow up messages, as we’ll show you next.
#2: Keep Your Customers in the Loop
With a text messaging service like Mobile Text Alerts, you can easily track which subscribers clicked the link you provided in your initial awareness text.
This becomes the perfect group of customers to pull out and segment since they’ve already shown interest in your event or sale.
Send updates via text to these customers as your event gets closer.
The types of updates to send include:
- The specific dates, times, and other key details about the event
- Special discounts/incentives only available to those who attend the event
- Guest speaker announcements
- If it’s a fundraising event, send information about the charity you’re donating to
You may be wondering if you should still send texts to your main subscriber list in addition to the newly segmented list you created.
The answer is yes. But you should strike a balance here.
You don’t want to keep bombarding the subscribers who didn’t open your text messages or click your Learn More links with information.
This group may respond better to countdown follow-ups to gauge their interest.
If you see that a countdown text triggers your customers to open your message or click your link, as we’ll see next, you can move them to the list of interested subscribers you created earlier.
#3: Send Countdown Follow Ups
Follow-up texts are a great way to remind your customers that your event is quickly approaching and nudge them to mark their calendars so they don’t miss it.
These can be sent to both your main list and the smaller list you created and pulled out in point #2.
Keep in mind, if you’re seeing that your main list isn’t opening these countdown texts, you should switch to only sending them to your segmented list.
Try to schedule your countdown texts as such:
- 1 month after your initial text
- 2 months or 8 weeks out from your event
- 1 month or 4 weeks out from your event
- 2 weeks from your event
- 1 week from your event
- 3 days out
- 1 day, or 24 hours, out
- Day of (see point #4)
The idea is to space out your texts so your customers aren’t bombarded with multiple texts each week — except the very last week when your event is being held.
You want your list of subscribers to know the event is approaching, but you don’t want to annoy them in the process.
For those customers who open these texts specifically, you’ll also want to send them texts the day-of your event as well.
#4: Drum Up Excitement the Day Of Your Event
Day-of texts keep your event top of mind for customers. It ensures that, even with their busy schedules, they’ll remember your special event and plan accordingly.
They’re also an ideal way to drum up more excitement for your event.
With day-of text messages, you should lead with your biggest incentives for customers:
- Is there a special discount for those who attend?
- Are you showcasing limited-time only items?
- Did you secure a well-known guest speaker?
- Are there freebies or giveaways for early birds or anyone attending?
You can also send your customers day-of reminder texts like:
- Where the event takes place. If it’s online, send your customer a link with instructions on how to access your event.
- Is it weather permitting? For outdoor events, tell your customers what to expect if the weather is bad. Is there a change of location they should know about?
- Has anything changed? Did you switch venues or change the time of your event? Sending updates like these is essential.
- How much time is left? You can also use countdown texts the day-of so customers know time’s running out to make your event. #FOMO is real.
Keep in mind, these texts should only go to subscribers who opened your:
- Initial event texts
- Update texts
- Countdown texts
When your special event is over, you’ll be ready to send a follow-up text to keep your momentum going.
#5: Send a Follow Up Text
After every event, you should always thank your customers who attended and ask for their feedback for next time.
This sends the message that you appreciate your subscribers and value their opinion, which are two things every customer loves hearing.
Thankfully, you can tackle both of these using SMS marketing and one simple text.
This time, send a text similar to this one:
“Hi [insert name]! Thanks for coming to our [insert specific event name] on [insert date to remind them]. We’re so happy you could make it! To make this event an even bigger success next time, we’d love to hear your feedback. Use this link to tell us how we did: [insert short link to a survey]”
Now, since this follow up is only to customers who actually attended your event, you’ll need to collect a name and phone number from every attendee.
This should be the only group of customers who receive this text.
At this point, you’re ready to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. From here, you can (and should) repeat this process for every event in the future.
Segment Your List Further & Repeat for Your Next Sale or Event
If it seems like we keep badgering you to segment your subscriber list, it’s because we are.
This simple step guarantees that the right customers receive the right message. And that helps improve both your engagement rate and overall customer satisfaction.
Once you crush your first event, segment your main list by those who attended and those who showed interest in your event texts.
After all, something could have come up for customers in the former category but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in future events of yours.
You can still send future event texts to your main list, just make sure to keep segmenting and only send follow-up texts to those subscribers who show interest.
Start Using SMS Marketing to Drum Up Excitement for Your Next Sale or Event
SMS marketing is the perfect way to break free from algorithms that constantly change and crowded social feeds. Instead of your event messages getting lost in the shuffle, they’ll stand out and get noticed.
SMS marketing can also help you:
- Build awareness for your next event
- Keep your customers engaged and excited for your upcoming events
- Improve your overall customer satisfaction
If you’re ready to stay in touch with your customer base, check out our post about how to use SMS marketing to grow your business exponentially.
Remember, any marketing initiative you tackle requires the right game plan. Fortunately, you have everything you need to start SMS marketing thanks to today’s article.
Start by sending your list an initial awareness event text and continue with updates and follow-ups as long as your customers are opening and interacting with your texts.
Once you tackle this, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the improvement in your event attendance and engagement rates.