SMS Marketing for Large-Ticket Sales is the fourteenth in a series of articles that we'll be posting this fall. Small Business Marketing Tips To Build Sales In A Down Economy will teach you how to use do-it-yourself tools like SMS, email and social media to effectively market your business.
Entry By Jason Brick
A lunch time or happy hour coupon is probably the most recognizable SMS marketing broadcast. It's a short-term offer intended to bring in customers on an impulse buy, or to add an appetizer or similar small item to something they were going to buy anyway. In this context, text marketing has a proven track record of success.
But what about higher-ticket items? If you sell pianos, or cars, or long-term services like legal representation or karate lessons, a "weekend warrior" coupon isn't going to get the results you want.
This doesn't mean an SMS message can't get you results. A recent eCommerce Predictions report notes that mobile commerce can actually spur large-ticket purchases more than everyday purchases. The trick is tailoring your mobile message to make this true in your shop.
Here are some Dos and Don'ts to help you get started:
Do integrate your message with your mobile and traditional websites, making it easy for potential customers to do research on their own.
Don't include unnecessary time pressure, like you would with a smaller ticket item. You can hold special sales from time to time, but sophisticated customers will resent a "high pressure" feel.
Do provide insider information in your posts. People who purchase luxury items like to feel "in the know" – and will remember the source for their behind-the-scenes knowledge.
Don't ignore the value of freebies. Offering a free accessory, or an entry into a sweepstakes for a free high-ticket goody, can be the gentle push your broadcast list needs to make a buying decision.
Do respect the time scale of purchasing high-ticket items. You'll send fewer messages than for other kinds of business. Too many messages can mean extremely well-in formed customers &ndash for your competition.
Don't limit your options. If you have two potential market demographics, set up two different SMS campaigns – with each tailored for the tastes and values of that demographic. One thing large-ticket SMS has in common with less expensive merchandise is that it's all a numbers game. The more people you reach meaningfully, the more sales you'll make.
Do make things as personal as possible. Include customer names, and your own name, in your message. Direct readers to your top salespeople and technicians. As they come closer to a buying decision, a personal relationship is likely to steer them to your door.
Don't forget to include a call to action with every message. It may not ask for a sale, but it should elicit a response so you can track what works and what doesn't.