Only 14 more weeks until Christmas. That always sound weird when it’s baseball season. But, it’s true and for most retailers 50-80% of their annual sales will come in the 4th quarter. But, the holidays will pass and before you can blink it will be 2016. Then what?

The most overlooked opportunity during the Holidays is capturing client data so that you can market to them in the future. The best opportunity to do this is a simple Text to Win contest on their phone. When customers participate in the contest they will also be saved in your database which will be an invaluable asset come 1st Quarter. Plus, SMS has advantages over email and social media contests since it’s the easier for mobile-savvy customers to participate. Here’s my checklist, and call me to set up your campaign:

Types of Text to Win Contests: 

Grand Prize or Multiple Grand Prize Winners – you choose the number of winners and the software will randomly pick the numbers.

Every Nth Winner – my software will send a winning text to every Nth person. You can choose every other person, or even every 1,000th person. Every business is different so a good rule of thumb is base the Nth number off of a daily customer count. If you have 50 customers a day you might do every 5th person. If you have a 1,000 customers a day then every 50th person can win.

Specific Text Winner – The winner is determined by an exact number. For example the 100th, 500th or 1,000th person to text-in will win.

Types of Prizes:

Gift Cards, Holiday Gift Packs, Grand Prizes and Trips, In-store discounts, etc.

How do you promote your SMS Contest?

In-store posters – this is an easy way to get customers to participate. I would also include an employee contest to encourage your staff to talk about the contest with customers.

Social Media and Email – cross promotions never hurt.

Offline Media (Radio, TV, Print) – Quick! Answer this question: name the last 10 commercials you heard today? I know, I know, it’s an old question. BUT, wouldn’t you agree that if you heard a commercial with a Text to Win offer AND you participated – wouldn’t you remember that? Of course you would and that is exactly why the holidays are a great way opportunity to collect client data, build a relationship, then get them to come back as a repeat customer in the 1st Quarter.