We compare the data from email and SMS marketing campaigns and show you exactly how to boost business using direct, targeted SMS marketing and autonomy. Learn how and why you need to be channelling your marketing efforts into text..

SMS Marketing for Nightclubs & Bars: The Ultimate Guide

It's cold and dark, you've had a long day and you're starting to think about dinner. Out of nowhere you receive an SMS almost perfectly timed, tempting you with that gluttonous two for one deal from your local pizza shop. A happy marketing coincidence? Or maybe there's some method to the madness.

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"We've analysed over 1000 SMS marketing campaigns"

With rumours abound that Coca-Cola have invested 70% of their mobile marketing budget on direct SMS marketing. It's worth taking a closer look at how this technology can be utilised in the nightclub and bar sector. We've analysed over 1000 SMS marketing campaigns leaving the Cluboid system to bring you what we consider the ultimate nightclub and bar SMS marketing guide.

So Why Use SMS?

SMS technology has been around for the last 23 years. So you would be forgiven to think the technology is dead and buried. Recent statistics have shown that a staggering 100% of all devices in the mobile market are SMS enabled (no matter the handset, new or old), 350 billion messages fly around the globe monthly, and that even your mother knows how to send you those constant pictures of your nephew.

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"SMS open rate is near 95% and on average messages are read within 3 minutes"

Often there are comparisons between email and SMS marketing and they certainly both have advantages. Sure with an email you can cram in an event flyer, animated buttons, and all the text you could ever need, but across the board open rates rarely exceed 23% and on average emails are read disappointing 6.5 hours later. Comparatively the SMS open rate is near 95%, on average messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery, and the amount of consumers who \'click\' through from an advert is a staggering 36%. The SMS marketing advantages are clear.

How Often To Send SMS Campaigns

Every business has a budget, including the marketing team, and it all comes down to the return on investment (more on that later) but consistency in your marketing is the hidden key to engagement with your audience and getting those much needed heads through the door.

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"Consistency in your marketing is the hidden key to engagement with your audience "

Too many messages will equal a high unsubscribe rate from your database but conversely too few will also have the same effect. Before you start to think you can't win. Why not buy that Pizza and see how many times they contact you? I will eat my hat if it's not at at least once a week. Look at any successful business operating in the mobile marketing stream (think Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, Mastercard) and you will find they send at least one message to their SMS database in order to stay fresh in the minds of customers.

Timing Is Everything

The time and day at which a consumer receives your marketing will determine their future buying potential. Deliver your campaigns at the right time and the return on investment can be huge.

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"You're now receiving large response rates. Good times!"

Let's cover the worst case first. Sending an SMS out on a Monday morning at 9am is like throwing your marketing budget into a black hole. Open rates are at an all time low, unsubscribe rates increase dramatically, you barely receive a response. It's safe to say your customers are still nursing that two day hangover. In short they now hate their hangover and your brand in equal measure. So what's the best case scenario? It's Thursday (and it's pay day) so open rates are at their peak as consumers get ready for the weekend, on top of this you've set your SMS campaign to send out somewhere between 7pm-10pm when you know that recipients are more likely to respond to consumer promotions. Your open rate jumps, your unsubscribes are low, and importantly you're now receiving large response rates. Good times!

Writing Compelling Messages

Let's assume you've taken into account the timing of your new SMS campaign. The next hurdle is the message itself. There's no room for fancy videos and images here it's all down to the copywriting. But what do you say to a consumer to have them engage and take action? Here are a few examples of some of the most successful campaigns we've seen in 2015.

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"Don't assume your customers will know who you are. "

When creating your SMS campaign message don't forget to consider the following. Start your message with an attention grabber that will compel the customer to read on. These can often appear in the capitals with examples such as; Member Special, 20% Off Drinks, Last Remaining Tickets, 2 for 1 Entry, or Limited Guestlist. Avoid cramming in too much detail. An SMS message typically is 160 characters (although you can now send messages over this length) and with too much detail you can confuse customers. Keep it short, simple, and concise. Personalise messages using merge tag technology of you can. Everyones favourite word is their own name. Remind customers of who you are. Something which seems plainly obvious is often left our of SMS marketing campaigns and can severely impact your unsubscribe rates. Don't assume your customers will know who you are. Use a strong call to action. You want your customers to take an action when they receive your message, so make it as clear as possible. Don't just quote a link or a phone number, prompt the customer to click or call now.

About the Author

Cerys McCluskey is a regular writer at Cluboid focused on helping large and small businesses achieve better bookings and reservations.

You can read more posts by Cerys on our blog.

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