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Winning the Holidays with SMS

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

The cannabis marketer's guide to a successful communication strategy this holiday season.

Pumpkin spice is wafting through the air, excitement is buzzing, and sports have finally returned to our feeds. The Holidays are back, and we couldn’t be more excited!


We love the Holidays and we’re thrilled to help you get ready for the rush this season. Let’s start by considering text message marketing strategies to use in your communications. Guru’s text message marketing lets you manage various different types of campaigns that will help you Win the Holidays this year. Here are some tips:


Scheduled Text Messages


“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. We’re all familiar with this adage, and it applies to your holiday sales as well. The worst time to craft your holiday messaging is while you’re waist deep in holiday rushes. It’s important to line things up in advance as much as possible.


You can use Guru to schedule messages ahead to any date and time. Choose a slow moment to grab a cup of coffee and sit down in front of the calendar. You want to communicate with your audience throughout the holiday lifecycle, not just on that special day. Keep these timelines in mind as they relate to each key date.


- Beginning of the Holiday Month

As a marketer, it’s always a good idea to lay the groundwork for your future communications. It’s important to set the stage early on, especially if you will have promotions leading up to the holiday. The beginning of the holiday month is the earliest you can do so without people thinking it’s odd. If nothing else, it’s another reason to engage with your audience, and any reason is a good reason for engagement.


- Two Weeks Prior to the Holiday

At this stage of the game you’re probably still too far out to affect people’s plans for the holiday itself. This is a great time to raise more immediate awareness as to your holiday promotions or to grow existing “awareness” into “consideration”.


- Week of the Holiday

This is the “golden hour” for your holiday sales campaigns. People are starting to take action on their holiday plans and still have the breathing room to look for the best promotions. They are in their purchasing window and are receptive to your promos. You should invest the bulk of your energies into this week. This is also a good time to inform customers of your holiday hours.


- Day Before the Holiday

Don’t underestimate the power of last minute shoppers. As you already know, this will be a very busy day for you. Use text messaging to streamline the dissemination of information and help keep things moving within the store. Use the “schedule ahead” feature to focus on informative texts that will let people know your holiday deals and hours without calling you, or share coupon codes to bring in last minute stragglers.


- Day of the Holiday

If you’re open this day, text messaging is a great way to remind people of this fact and share your hours. If not, sending a non-sales “happy holidays” is still good practice as it helps to build loyalty and relationship with your audience.


- Day After the Holiday

The day after a holiday can often be a great day for sales. Many people who did not leave town will be sitting at home with a day off from work and may be curious as to what deals you have. This is also a great moment to stay on top of your customers’ minds while your competitors take the day off.


On-the-Fly Text Messages


Things can be unpredictable, and this can make scheduling ahead difficult at times. You’ll still be able to schedule general seasonal posts, but you may not yet know what deals or promotions you’ll be running.


Within Guru, you can send a message on the fly. This is a great tool to supplement your existing promotions. Many successful marketers will use tactics like offering “flash sales” in particular locations or on particular products to help sales move along on a day to day basis.


You can also use on-the-fly messaging to keep your audience engaged with the same types of content you might share on social. It’s a great idea to text a photo from the sales floor or of your team members so that people become invested in your brand’s story and become loyal fans.


Order Status


Implementing a communication plan revolving around each customer’s sales cycle is a great idea. Each interaction with your customer provides you with another marketing opportunity.

Guru allows you to create text messages that will get sent based on a customers’ online order activity. This gives you many opportunities to drive the sale home and encourage repeat purchases, all based on the status of the customer’s order. Check out these status based ideas:


- New Order

In addition to serving as a quick “Thank You for Shopping”, this is also a great chance to communicate instructions and ensure a streamlined process. Now is also a good time to ask them to share your online menu with others, or share a coupon to encourage them to shop more before picking up the order.


- In Process

This is a great chance to keep your customer informed on the order status, and to manage expectations. This is also a great chance to share brand messaging and promote similar marketing campaigns you may have running.


- Confirmed / Scheduled

Here is your opportunity to ensure the process is smooth and remind the purchaser of any instructions. This is a great time to secure the upsell with irresistible in-store only coupons shared with them as they get ready to come in to the store.


- Fulfilled

Once the order is complete and fulfilled, send out a heartfelt “Thank You” to your customer and include an exclusive coupon or promo that they can only access with this text. If you limit it to a specific time (i.e., within the week the text is received) you increase your chances of this customer becoming a repeat visitor pretty quickly.


- Rejected

If you’re forced to reject an order for some reason, don’t just turn the customer away. Within the “order rejected” alert, feel free to soften the blow with witty text that shows your personality, and with a link to your online menu so they can replace their order.


Birthday/Anniversary


Guru Systems gives you the ability to include a Birthday or Anniversary for each of your audience members. Although not specifically holiday related, this is still a great way to engage on a more personal level. You can be mindful of the seasons and change the birthday message to be more holiday oriented.


Guru also lets you personalize each text by inserting “[fname]” into the text so that each recipient’s first name is automatically populated. Sending each customer a personalized Birthday message with a coupon is a great way to build customer loyalty and set yourself apart.


Content


Finally, keep in mind that there are various different types of media you can send. This makes your messaging strategy with Guru more dynamic and versatile. You can send images, gifs, emojis, and more. Sometimes text alone may be the best strategy, but don’t shy away from using resources like canva.com to make an attractive image and include your text content within it, like a list of specials going on this week or an image of the newest product drop to hit shelves.


Having the right communication strategy in place is critical for success during the retail holiday season. Use the holiday strategies above and complement them with existing promotions you may be running regularly (thinking about your Two-fer Tuesdays and your Waxy Wednesdays) to Win the Holidays this year.


If you’re looking for any extra guidance as you organize your holiday communications plan, we’re just a holler away. Contact us to learn more.

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