When it comes to parties, Independence Day is undoubtedly the biggest in the country. Not only does the 4th of July mean barbeques and fireworks... it also means shopping!
And if you’re in the eCommerce business, it’s an excellent holiday for you to cash in from your products.
During this holiday, Americans spend:
- Over $6 billion on food
- Over $1 billion on beer
- Over $1 billion on fireworks
And that’s just on the necessities!
Aside from a day off, time with family, and fun in the sun, the 4th of July is also more often than not synonymous with sales and discounts. Businesses take this opportunity to clear out old stock, reach out to new customers, and – in the case of international businesses – expand their operations in the United States. Many stores – especially clothing stores – also mark Independence Day by promoting new summer collections.
If you’re planning to host your own 4th of July sale, it’s essential to reach out to customers and get them excited. Given the number of businesses vying for attention from the same audience, you need to use an uncommon and unsaturated channel if you want to differentiate yourself – and that’s where SMS marketing comes in.
Text messaging is one of the most underused marketing channels today. 64% of consumers want to be contacted by SMS more often, and 75% of consumers specifically wish to be contacted with special offers. Texts have a 98% open rate, allowing you to capture the receiver’s attention, and they have an extremely high conversion rate, making them highly cost-effective, especially when you take into account the inexpensive cost of sending a text message.
However, once you commit to using SMS marketing to promote your 4th of July sales, you still have to plan your campaign and create the messages to send. While the actual shape of the campaign will depend on your personal timeline and the products you are promoting, there are some general concepts you can take advantage of.
When to Start Reaching Out to Customers
Before you can start sending messages, you first need to develop a timeline – when you will send your first promotional message and when to send the subsequent messages, all of which lead up to the message that announces your sale.
As you can see on Google Trends, people start searching for 4th of July sales relatively early. The first spike in this chart appears on 11th June, just over three weeks before Independence Day. This means that it’s almost impossible for you to start marketing too early – as long as you start in June, you should be good to go.
That said, consider waiting until about a week before the date. This will ensure that you don’t stretch your campaign out too long, and you hold onto your audience’s attention by the time your sale goes live.
Outcomes of a 4th of July Campaign
Aside from publicizing your sale, you can get a significant amount of traction from a 4th of July SMS campaign. Some potential goals you can achieve include:
Attracting a Wider Audience
Customers are more likely to spend on holidays such as the 4th of July. Furthermore, they are aware of the likelihood of sales and primed to take advantage of those available to them.
By reaching out to as large an audience as possible with your 4th of July SMS marketing campaign, you have the opportunity to expand your consumer base and attract new customers who can try out your products at a discounted price.
Getting Customers to Subscribe
Customers are more likely to provide details, sign up for a newsletter, and follow your social media channels, if provided with the right incentive. By tying the potential for further discounts to their participation on these channels, you can significantly widen your subscriber base.
Other incentives you can provide include early access to your 4th of July sale, the opportunity to “book” the right to buy certain discounted products before the sale starts, and specific coupon codes that provide better deals.
SMS Marketing Techniques You Can Use in Your Campaign
There are many forms your SMS campaign can take. One of the best ways is to utilize MMS to engage your customers more. Multimedia Messaging Service or MMS allows you to include rich media content such as images, videos, and audio in your message.
Because the content has a bigger size, the price for MMS messages is higher than regular text messages (can be equal to three to four SMS messages), but they are more engaging. Here at Winback, MMS messages can be sent to US and Canada-based customers.
Some marketing techniques you should consider using include:
You can never go wrong going back to the tried and tested staple of MMS marketing – great photos. Choosing the perfect image is one of the best ways to the receiver’s attention.
However, it’s vital to ensure that the image you choose is relevant to your message. Make sure to reference the reason for your promotion (the 4th of July) either directly or indirectly in the text. Then, choose an image that is related to Independence Day. Some standard graphics include ones featuring fireworks and American flags and ones of backyard barbeques, red, white, blue-themed elements, and generic 4th of July celebrations.
You can easily find images from free stock photo websites like Pexels or Pixabay. If you can’t find the right image from free sources, you can also search through Adobe Stock or Shutterstock for premium images that match your messages.
Custom promotional banners do not just need to be limited to your website and email. They can be resized and adapted to fit a mobile screen and allows you to visually promote your brand while still connecting your sales to the 4th of July.
Banners are also a great way to provide easily understandable coupon codes. While your receiver may easily skip over the code if you only sent a text message without graphics, banners ensure their attention is immediately on the coupon and promotions you’re offering.
While creating a campaign for your sales, you can also take the opportunity to promote other sections of your website, including your blog (if you have one). Consider combining your offers with advice blogs – suggestions for how people can use the products they buy to enjoy their holiday better or why they need to shop sooner rather than later.
Even if you’re selling products that seem unrelated to the 4th of July (hockey equipment, for example), you can still boost visits to your blog by promoting posts that focus on the holiday in general. Some topic ideas include firework safety tips, 4th of July decoration ideas, and recipes they can try during the big day.
While such blog posts may not offer direct conversions, they help boost visits to the website. You can also use them to drive subscriptions to mailing lists and social media from people interested in these topics, who can then be converted into paying customers.
Campaign Ideas (with SMS Templates)
Now that you’ve got an idea of the many ways in which you can structure and use your 4th of July sales to promote your business, it’s time to work on creating a campaign.
You will, of course, have to personalize your outreach depending on your customer research and the type of audience that visits your website. However, there are some general ideas that you can use and adapt as part of your final SMS campaign. These include:
1. Early Warm-Up Campaigns
Seasoned shoppers and people looking to buy non-essentials are usually well aware of the upcoming 4th of July sales. To ensure that you get the most conversions and sales from your list of SMS subscribers, it’s essential to reach out to them as soon as possible.
Informing them of upcoming Independence Day sales as soon as possible ensures that your deal is at the forefront of their minds rather than those of your competitors. At the same time, you need to make sure you don’t send your first message too soon, as they may forget about it by the time the 4th of July actually rolls around.
The best time to reach out is after Father’s Day. Usually, it falls on the third Sunday in June, which gives you enough of a gap before Independence Day that you aren’t reaching out at the last minute while still being close enough that you can reasonably send out an early message. If you have had a sale for Father’s Day as well, keep a gap of a few days before sending your first message so that it doesn’t seem like your shop is always on sale.
Craft your message by offering receivers a sneak peek at new products if you have any. You can also provide smaller early-bird discounts and other perks such as free shipping to help boost conversions in the period before you properly launch your sale. Alternatively, you can simply advertise your upcoming sale and pair it with a link to a seasonal blog post that attracts visitors to your website.
Some templates you can use for your message include the following:
Hey (FirstName)! Get ready for the 4th of July with Free Shipping on all orders, and check out our holiday-themed recipes to ensure you have a delicious celebration! (SiteURL)
Getting ready for your 4th of July bash? Stock up on all your necessities with early-bird discounts on selected items at (SiteURL).
Celebrate Independence Day in style with our summer sale, coming on (Date). Enjoy massive discounts and free shipping with quantities last!
2. Flash Sale Announcements
Now that you’ve got your audience interested, it’s time to go all-in and bring them to the table with your actual sale. Ideally, the sale should be during the lead-up to Independence Day so that deal-seekers have the time to order and receive their necessities.
Unless you offer super-quick shipping, it’s best to allow for at least a week-long sale leading up to the 4th of July. This ensures that your customers don’t feel cheated because they didn’t receive their purchases in time for the holiday. If you want to keep your sale shorter, you can announce it a week out, keep it live for only a few days, and offer different discounts on the 4th of July and the next few days post-holiday.
Messages sent at this point in the campaign need to quickly actionable and entice customers to click on the link provided in the text message. Additionally, you will need to ensure that their experience as a whole at your store is seamless, from quick delivery and timely shipping updates to pick-up options (if you have a physical location). Ensuring that your customer experience is top-notch will keep customers coming back to you, even when you are not on sale.
Some templates you can use for your message include:
Hey (FirstName)! 4th of July is almost here – stock up on all you need with our summer sale. Up to 50% off on selected items – use the code (DiscountCode) at (SiteName) (SiteURL)
The fireworks are starting early this year! Join us for our 4th of July MEGA sale at (SiteURL) – up to 60% off sitewide and free shipping on all products until supplies last!
Celebrate Independence Day with style with our 4th of July sale! Special discounts on everything in our summer collection – use code (DiscountCode) at (SiteURL) to start shopping now!
3. The Afterparty – the Last Chance Campaign
Independence Day is finally here, and you’ve still got products you want to move at a discounted rate. This is the perfect chance to offer a last-minute and post-4th of July sale for procrastinators looking to make their purchases on the big day itself and extreme stockers looking to stock up for next year.
A last-chance sale allows you clear shelves and boost your sales before a summer slump. The good thing about it for you is that discounts don’t need to be as steep as they were for your main sale – you’re targeting people who need to buy your products because they have nowhere else to go, which means your offers don’t have to be as attractive as before.
Of course, you still need to feature some offers so that you can customers coming to your store instead of competitors.
With your last-chance campaign, consider stretching it out to the next two days post-Independence Day as long as you have the stock. Many people like to take this opportunity to stock up on things for upcoming summer celebrations, or even for the next 4th of July if you sell themed items.
For example, if you sell children’s clothes, many parents will take the chance to ensure they have an entire closet to prepare for birthday parties and summer barbeques. The days following the 4th of July are relatively less stressful, allowing them to focus on this part of their shopping finally. If you are running a sale during those days, you have a better chance of attracting their business.
Alternatively, depending on how urgently you want to clear all stock from your store, you may also decide to offer larger discounts. The sale strategy you use should depend on your shop’s unique needs, the type of products you sell (perishable products will need to be cleared out faster, for example), and your customer base’s buying habits.
Some templates you can use for your message include:
Hey (FirstName)! Everything must go – this is your last chance to enjoy massive discounts of up to 60% sitewide. Use (DiscountCode) at (SiteURL) before stocks run out!
Grab everything you need before your party tonight – grab discounts of up to 65% on selected 4th of July products at (SiteName). Hurry, offer only until stocks last!
Planning a post-4th of July bash? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Up to 70% discounts on selected items until 7th July – use (DiscountCode) at (SiteURL) today before we run out!
Using Discount Codes
Often, it seems easier to simply mark down products on sale on your website and let customers purchase. However, using coupons and discount codes instead of marking down can be highly effective for tracking marketing metrics.
Codes allow you to have a better understanding of your ROI on marketing. You can track how many people use specific codes. Additionally, if you assign different codes to different marketing channels (SMS, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.), you can better understand which channels work the best in terms of conversions.
Of course, depending on the type of sale you’re having and the amount of time you have to work on your website, you may find that marking down works better for your needs. However, if you are already having a challenge measuring ROI or are looking down to cut down on the number of marketing channels you use, promo and discount codes are a must.
Ready, Set, Go!
Once you’ve got your campaign all worked out, all that’s left to do is hit send. Remember to ensure your team is ready – once the orders start rolling in, we’re sure you’ll be on your feet until well after Independence Day is over!
Here at Winback, we have various pricing plans depending on your need. We have a plan for every business and customer base size, so we recommend choosing a pricing plan that can accommodate your SMS marketing for the Fourth of July.
Hurry and sign up for a plan now so you can start using SMS marketing right now! We have a 14-day free trial for all plans, so don’t wait until the fireworks are over!