There are more channels available to marketers for communicating with shoppers than ever before, and while email is still the leader of the pack, these newer platforms aren’t far behind.

Push notifications, SMS marketing, and Facebook Messenger are just three of the options for new marketing efforts this holiday season. Each of these channels allows a highly personalized visitor experience, leading to more tailored interactions and better customer experience.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are a great way to reach the segment of your subscribers who are hyper-engaged and want to be up to date with the latest from your site. They also allow you to reach subscribers directly when they’re off your site.. This is a great tool for urgency-driven messages such as flash sales or back-in-stock notifications.  

Since these require a bigger commitment than simply offering up an email address, it’s a clear signal of interest and intent when someone opts-in. Your most active and engaged subscribers are what one would expect to find among these consumers.

Using Push Notifications During The Holidays

How do you fully utilize this highly-interested and receptive channel during the holidays? Depending on your industry and customer base, the options are nearly endless.

Push notifications can be the perfect way to remind subscribers of important shipping deadlines that are fast approaching, building urgency, enticing conversions, and gaining opt-in permissions to utilize for future remarketing. An exclusive flash sale for your push notification users can be yet another way to cultivate this engagement and gain further opt-ins.

Since the holidays are all about specific dates, shipping deadlines, and finding the right gift–it makes sense for the tone of these notifications to stay informational. Rather than immediately turning push notifications into just another avenue to sell through, consider making your holiday strategy all about being helpful.

Consider options for promoting helpful content on your site (like gift guides) with these notifications. Shoppers are often stressed and overwhelmed with choices this time of year, so anything that takes effort off their plate is a sure win, and can help build trust and loyalty into the new year.

SMS Marketing

Text-based marketing is a great way to interact one-on-one with consumers in a medium that’s almost guaranteed to be checked. Inboxes on both email and social platforms can become cluttered or ignored, but text messages tend to be opened within three minutes. 

Not only are texts a highly visible medium, but according to Google, 34% of online purchases now occur on mobile devices. Consumers are spending a great deal of time on their phones, so let’s go where the people are!

Using SMS marketing During The Holidays

For the holidays, use SMS marketing to cultivate 1:1 interactions that are informal and personalized based on a customer’s history with your brand. Suggest items related to those they’ve purchased or browsed in the past, send early access to flash sales, or ask for feedback from long-term customers. Justuno recently partnered with three SMS marketing companies to make this a one-step integration for our customers.

Here’s two holiday strategies from two of our SMS marketing partners, Retention Rocket and Attentive Mobile: 

Jon Stern from Retention Rocket suggests using text marketing to amplify your paid ad spend as well as spread holiday cheer. We couldn’t agree more that this is the perfect channel to take a themed approach and leverage it alongside other social efforts.

Leverage text messaging to engage your customers and spread holiday cheer. Send personalized and precisely targeted videos, pictures, gifs, and text messages to ensure the highest returns on your ad spend.

Jon Stern Retention Rocket
Jon Stern
VP Client of Experience, Retention Rocket

Brooke Burdge, from Attentive Mobile stresses the importance of the mobile shopping experience during the holidays. Everyone’s stepping up their marketing game and as a result, the competition for consumer’s attention is fierce. Text marketing breaks through the clutter and becomes a great resource for driving mobile-first shoppers to your site.

This 2019 season is expected to set new records for mobile shopping. As a marketer, it can be hard to break through the holiday noise—email inboxes become more crowded, and social advertising costs spike. Text messaging gives retailers a new way to attract mobile-first shoppers and drive incremental revenue. With Attentive’s patent-pending “two-tap” subscriber sign-up from mobile web, brands can quickly scale up a new performance channel that delivers 30%+ click-through rates and 25x+ ROI. On-the-go shoppers will appreciate helpful SMS/MMS reminders about limited-time offers, abandoned carts, personalized gift guide ideas… even customer service via text.

Brooke Burdge Attentive
Brooke Burdge
VP of Marketing, Attentive

Consider taking a page from these partners when you approach integrating SMS marketing into your strategy for both the holidays and throughout the year. Mobile is becoming more important every day, and leveraging texts to meet these on-the-go shoppers can be the key to unlocking new growth opportunities for your brand. But first, set up SMS pops ups to build your subscriber list and find those most interested in engaging with your brand via text.

SMS for brick-and-mortar retailers

Don’t forget: SMS marketing is a perfect way to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations. For example, send geo-targeted texts to subscribers within 10 miles of your B&M store, with an offer that is valid for today only. Here you’re driving urgency with a limited time offer, but with such a small target radius you’re making sure not to bother those who can’t feasibly take advantage of the deal.

Facebook Messenger

Take a quick look around our blog and you’ll see many posts about using Facebook Messenger chat-bots. We’re big fans of this type of marketing automation, and partnered with several companies to make this possible for our clients.

Facebook Messenger opt-ins gives you an even faster route than email for connecting with your customers, and can be highly customized for any type of interaction. You can use Messenger for a new customer flow, recovering abandoned carts, or a winback campaign for a visitor who ghosted you. The great thing about Messenger bots is that they can cover any part of the customer  journey, including post-purchase interactions.

For the holidays, consider using Messenger for post-purchase activities that build loyalty and reinforce positive sentiment. Customer support is one of the biggest resource strains during the holidays. Being able to automate the smaller issues like order tracking, FAQs, and general inquiries can help immensely with wait times and easing customer frustrations.

You can also use Messenger to rescue abandoned carts during the holidays. Email inboxes can become clogged with the endless onslaught of messages from every retailer someone has given their email to…ever. 

With Messenger, there’s far less competition for inbox real estate, so abandoned cart messages are more likely to convert here. Check out what Ben Parr from Octane AI has to say about using messenger bots for cart and browse abandonment messages:

Use Octane AI + Click-to-Messenger ads to automatically send high-converting follow-up messages (such as cart and browse abandonment messages) to customers who click your Facebook ads. Then connect your Octane AI account to your top e-commerce tools (such as Justuno, Klaviyo, Yotpo, and Recharge) to increase opt-ins and coordinate your marketing campaigns across email and Messenger.

Ben Parr
Ben Parr Co-Founder & President, Octane AI

Facebook Messenger provides the ideal vehicle for a low-stakes, personalized interaction that encourages consumers to visit your site and remains accessible in their inbox for future consideration.

Justuno Facebook Messenger

Be selective

With the holidays, it’s a marathon not a sprint. These three channels are ideal because of their immediate impact, and ability to hyperfocus on specific segments and touchpoints in the customer journey. 

But this can also be a double-edged sword; if you overdo it, or don’t appeal to their current mindset–they’ll certainly unsubscribe. There’s nothing more annoying than opt-ing into one of these high-access channels and being bombarded with irrelevant messages.

This is not the time of year to reinvent the wheel, rather it’s a time to reinforce your brand identity and lean in to your customers expectations. Utilize these three fresh marketing channels to amplify your presence, compliment other marketing efforts, and provide value to your subscribers.

Want more holiday marketing content? Check out our holiday corner with resources for all your e-commerce holiday marketing needs.