TIPS & TRICKS

5 Ideas to Help Kick-Start Your Summer SMS Campaign Planning

5 SMS campaign ideas for the month of June guaranteed to delight your customers

 We recommend you use the ones that make the most sense for your brand and overall messaging strategy.

Some quick notes on campaign best practices to keep in mind as you build out your calendar.

  1. As a rule of thumb, for SMS, you want to send a maximum of 2-4 campaigns a month. This helps to prevent campaign fatigue while still keeping your brand top of mind.
  2. For maximum ROI, we always recommend segmenting your audiences when sending campaigns. By creating segments, you can target your messaging to specific audiences which increases personalization and relevancy. 
  3. SMS vs MMS: There are certainly use cases for both SMS (text-only) and MMS (text + image or GIF), but we suggest testing which format works best for your audience. For example, an SMS campaign can be helpful if you are attempting to convert a segment of your audience who hasn’t historically engaged with previous MMS messages. SMS can also be more cost effective if you’re confident in your messaging or offer, while an MMS allows you more real estate to tell your story through imagery and can engage a reader deeper than traditional SMS.
  4. Implement a Campaign Pre-check Process – Before you press the send button, run through a standardized process for checking your campaign. This includes proofreading all text, checking links, and if you used an image or GIF, confirming that it works.

June Campaign Idea #1: Summer Activities

June kicks off the start of summer when school ends, the weather really warms up, and everyone starts thinking about those getaways they have planned. Incorporating summer messaging themes into your campaigns can be a great way to take advantage of activities people are already thinking about and starting to shop for. 

    • If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the official start of summer is June 20th. It’s the longest day of the year and a great reason to celebrate warmer weather and getting outside. 
    • Incorporate message themes of where your product can be used with summer activities. Think about how your shoppers might use your products at the beach, while traveling, getting outside to hike or hang with friends, at pool parties, for a backyard cookout, etc.
    • For a large segment of the population, school is out for the summer. Parents are always looking for activities to help keep their kids engaged.  If you sell a product that is kid or family-friendly, this is a great angle to take.
    • Segment your audiences by region to create more targeted messaging. For example, if you sell beach clothing, send a targeted message to subscribers in California. A message could look like, “Soak up the California sun in our newest drop. Shop it first, here!”.

June Campaign Idea #2: Father's day, June 20

This year, the NRF predicts that consumers will spend $20 billion on gifts for the dads in their lives. To ensure you get your piece of the pie, we recommend the following strategies. 

    • Send your subscribers a curated gift guide with the best ideas for dads.
    • Invite shoppers to get ahead of the rush and avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. Offer shoppers exclusive text-only offers to shop before anyone else. We recommend starting sending campaigns at least one week before the big day.
    • Transparency in shipping is one of the core pillars of increasing confidence in a purchase decision. If possible, be sure to call out shipping deadlines so shoppers know exactly when their gift will arrive. For example, “Get your gifts in time for dad’s big day. Order by 12:00pm est on 06/14 to ensure ground shipping by 6/19.”
    • Missed the shipping deadline? No problem! Offer your shoppers the ability to purchase gift cards, or if you sell digital products, you can promote those as well. 
    • Father’s Day messaging doesn’t need to be limited. Invite your shoppers to celebrate all the father figures in their life.

June Campaign Idea #3: Amazon Prime Day, June 21-22

In 2020, Amazon Prime Day sales reached $10.4 billion, making it one of the biggest sales days of the year. 

Prime Day has been known for its “lightning deals” which give shoppers exclusive limited-time-only offers. You too can create your own “lightning deals” with these ideas. 

    • Leverage the hype by offering your own deals on Prime Day
    • Get creative with the messaging & image. Highlight urgency and the limited time availability of your offer. 
    • If you sell products on Amazon, send shoppers directly to your listing.
    • Why wait? Beat the Prime Day madness by starting your Prime Day promo ahead of the 21st to attract extra attention to your offer. 
    • Run an extension sale instead on June 23rd. Capture the attention of shoppers who may have missed out on Prime Day deals with messaging like, “Hey, missed Prime Day? You’re in luck with this deal”.

June Campaign Idea #4: the 4th of July

Okay, technically this holiday isn’t in June. But, it’s a big one for your customers based in the US so you want to start your planning now. 

    • Get your creatives (image or GIF) in place for any MMS campaigns and plan ahead on messaging.
    • July 4th is on a Sunday so start your deals on Friday to take advantage of the whole weekend. 
    • Send a “sale extended” SMS on Monday to capture sales from those who forgot or were too busy on the weekend.
    • If you do opt to send a text on July 4th, send your message in the morning so that you’re not competing with festivities. 
    • Because this is a big holiday, shoppers are bound to get lots of notifications from different brands. Stand out by leveraging your SMS and email channels in tandem. Start off your sale with an SMS in the morning and follow up later in the day with an email to anyone who didn’t purchase. You can also get creative with your strategy and utilize email to tell more of your story, highlight additional offer details, and handle any potential buyer objections.
    • If you sell in Canada, don’t forget that Canada Day is July 1st. Make your Canadian shoppers feel extra special with a promotion just for them.

June Campaign Idea #5: 1-day SMS Sale

While there are lots of different ways to leverage the above dates in campaigns, you don’t have to tie a campaign to a specific holiday or event. Holding a 1-day sale just for your SMS subscribers is a great way to reward them and to also encourage new subscribers. To make sure you see the highest ROI with this type of campaign, we suggest the following.

    • Run a 1-day flash sale with deal(s) that customers can only receive through SMS
    • Build hype in the days leading up to it by encouraging your customers to sign up for your SMS list on channels like email and social.
    • Thank subscribers in the message and make sure you only send the deal via text, this ensures your subscribers are getting the VIP value of being on your SMS list.
    • Send an SMS the night before the sale goes live to build even more hype and anticipation. 
    • Scarcity is your friend with this one. Running an SMS only sale a limited number of times a year builds the value of this type of campaign. Your subscribers will begin to anticipate these deals as you work them into your strategy.

Segmentation Strategies for Maximum ROI

Now that you’ve planned out your June campaign(s), it can be tempting to send it to your entire list. Instead, take a moment to think through the unique ways to segment your list, further personalizing your campaigns and increasing ROI. 

    • Never purchased – Focus on company values, social proof, handling purchase objections, calling out any first-time customer offers, and leveraging authority. These are often your hottest leads, so be sure you’re treating them appropriately. 
    • Abandoned checkout, never purchased – Handling purchase objections is key here. Do you offer a buy now pay later solution like Klarna or Afterpay? Let them know they can split their payment to make it easier. Do you have a money back guarantee? Shipping and returns policies? Focus on education to push them over the purchase barriers.
    • Purchased X but not Y – Cross selling complementary products is a great way to boost customer lifetime value. For example, say you sell clothing and your hero product is a pair of shorts. A perfect cross sell might be recommending a shirt. Let this audience know the value in purchasing this shirt and why it’s a popular pairing. 
    • Placed order but not in the last X days – Thank your existing customers! Remind them how much you value them and why they are getting this offer or deal. This is a great segment to help reactivate customers at risk of churning.
    • Clicked but never purchased – This should be considered some of the hottest leads in your funnel. Send targeted messaging to customers who have clicked on an SMS or Email link but never made a purchase. You can level up your segmentation by attaching a time element, for example, “clicked in the last 14 days, but never purchased”. These are customers who showed great interest and it’s important not to lump them in with everyone else. 
    • Signed up in the last 30 days, never purchased – Is there additional brand education or value you can deliver? Is there a welcome code they can leverage? Nurturing these folks along through education, value, and support is a surefire way to increase conversions.

As with any SMS marketing campaign you send out, your customers are bound to have questions. Watch your inbox and be sure to respond in 5 min or less. If you’re a Tone customer, replies are already handled for you and you can rest easy knowing that your customers are receiving the best customer service.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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