While it might seem early to start talking about Q4 and the holiday season – it will be here before we know it! Spring and Summer are critical seasons for growing your Text Message Marketing subscriber list and building awareness of your program. Now’s the time to implement new strategies, run tests, optimize, and repeat so everything is in your most favorable conditions for a solid end to the year. Let’s unpack the top acquisition strategies to put in place now, and things to consider as you plan for Q4.

Two-Step Popups Cannot Be Missed

Our last blog post centered around acquisition, and highlighted Two-Step Popups as the overall leader in SMS subscriber growth. That rings even more true when preparing for the holiday season and is mission-critical for reaching your acquisition goals. Now’s the time to implement a Two-Step Step Popup strategy if you don’t have one in place today, and test different offers, copy, and settings. Having a strong incentive to provide both email and SMS opt-in in a Two-Step flow will accelerate list growth across both channels and give you a larger audience for the holiday-related messaging that’s just a few months away. As we get closer to Q4, you can even tease early or first access to your best deals and promotions of the year by joining through unique Calls To Action that only run for a limited time.

Ensure your popups are fully compliant and test your most aggressive settings to show them as soon as possible after landing onsite. A pervasive Sticky Button across pages and a matching exit-trigger popup spread out the opportunities to reach contacts who don’t initially interact with the entrance popup. Testing all these ahead of time will allow you to curate the strategy that works best for your brand to have in place by Q4.

Don’t Deprioritize Checkbox At Checkout

You might think adding more to the checkout process would distract from a sale, but the truth is you can set up a valuable subscription point without implementing additional steps! Whether you send marketing SMS or also trigger transactional SMS, you should add a checkbox to the existing phone number field in your checkout process to solicit opt-in to applicable programs. This checkbox should be unchecked by default, include all necessary compliance language, and encourage subscription for contacts completing their purchase. These are some of the most valuable you can have on your program, since you know they’re already interested in your brand. 

Additionally ahead of Q4, now’s the time to consider implementing a transactional SMS program if you’re not sending these messages already. Consumer surveys have shown that contacts want to receive order updates via text, so this is a huge opportunity to build up a secondary list prior to the holiday season.

Connect With Your Email Subscribers

Another compelling strategy that provides a quick lift in SMS subscribers is promoting opt-in to existing email subscribers. Contacts opted into both SMS and email programs for a brand have upwards of 30% higher lifetime value than contacts subscribed to a single channel. So prior to Q4, your day-to-day marketing email template should include a unique keyword Call To Action encouraging SMS opt-in and the additional benefits of getting texts alongside email. You can again promote benefits like first or early access to deals and promotions, exclusive products and collections, and even monetary bonuses like coupons and rewards. These CTAs can be adjusted seasonally for relevance as well, including other holidays and celebrations that might be pertinent to your brand. 

We recommend using keywords per strategy so it’s easy to identify where your list growth is coming from. So make sure any keywords you inject into email campaigns aren’t being used anywhere else – It will make your life a lot easier when you audit your program and review performance!

Extend Your Reach Through Social Media

Similar to email, you can build your Text Message Marketing program list through outreach on social media. New channels are emerging in the retail marketing sphere, like live-streaming commerce, so take those opportunities to also plug SMS as well. Make opt-in efficient with more keywords that are unique per CTA and position the benefits and incentives you have to give. Leading up to holiday, get your influencers and partners in on the action with their own unique keywords and promos to measure their effectiveness as well.

These don’t need to be complicated CTAs – Less is more when it comes to SMS. The key here is to position a strong incentive and benefit to subscribe and consistently offer the opportunity leading up to the holidays.

Don’t Forget About In-Store Shoppers

Q4 brings out seasonal customers who might only be interested in purchasing from you when they need a gift to give, including those who prefer the in-store shopping experience. So don’t forget to extend reach and position Text Message Marketing on in-store signage and experiences leading up to the holidays. This is especially critical to plan for now if there are additional steps for approval, collaboration with other teams, and longer lead times to print/QA. Confirm what incentives you can use and cover the entire store with CTAs – Leverage keywords again on signage, bag stuffers, and receipts. And consider technical integrations at point of sale to collect phone number with purchase. The latter might take more time to implement, but it’s worth the time and investment if it means reaching more customers, building more value, and further growing your SMS list.

Begin Your Additional Prep Now & Don’t Stop Sending

The holiday preparations don’t end with acquisition though, and you should take the time now to begin outlining your broadcast messaging calendar and ensure your automated campaigns are optimized and ready for the season ahead. While you focus on growing your list, you should continue to send broadcast text messages and your strategies to identify what works best for your contacts. Listrak is here as your strategic partner and will be publishing additional holiday prep resources in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Get Started

Now You want to have a healthy, engaged list by the time Q4 and the holiday season rolls around, so prioritize list growth now. This gives you plenty of time to implement, test, optimize, and repeat so you have the best of the best strategies in place by holiday and a large list to work with. For more information and to get started implementing new acquisition strategies for your program, reach out to your Account Manager.

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