We’ve seen a resurgence in SMS Marketing for live events over the last 18 months.
If used the right way, SMS Marketing can be an incredibly powerful channel. When used in the wrong way, it can be disastrous and lead to serious backlash from fans.
For live events to succeed with SMS Marketing, you need to treat SMS as a channel in its own right. You can’t just treat it in the same way you would with Email Marketing, and if you do this, do so at your own peril!
This article will give you 11 different examples of how you can be using SMS marketing for your event – in the right way.
Of course, you’ll want to be using SMS sparingly, so pick and choose carefully to ensure you're using what you think will resonate the most with your audience.
1. Line up announcements
Text your fans immediately when the line up drops. Line ups are obviously highly anticipated by fans, so a text message is often appreciated, allowing them to be in the know before anyone else.
Tip: When notifying fans of the line up, ensure you include a call to action with the presale registration link (you’ll be surprised how many forget this – yes seriously!)
2. Presale purchase links
If a fan has signed up to receive a presale purchase link, text fans purchase links & codes when presale tickets are on sale. Fans are usually grateful for the reminder and you're ensuring they don’t miss out on presale tickets.
Tip: Make sure you message fans immediately when presale tickets are on sale. Do not message them before, otherwise they’ll need to remember to buy tickets (this defeats sending the message in the first place!).
3. Text people who have purchased in previous years, but not this year
Create a segment of people who have purchased tickets in previous years, but not yet purchased tickets for this year. Send them a text message with a private purchase link that gives them a special offer if they buy within 12 hours.
If your ticket pricing is tiered, you could hold back a limited amount of tickets in each tier, to allow you to offer the previous release prices to drive urgency. Alternatively, if you’re not discounting your tickets, then you could look at offering a loyalty reward like VIP upgrades and and other incentives to bring them back for another year.
4. Rewarding loyalty
Create surprise & delight experiences for your most loyal customers. Build a segment of fans who have purchased tickets to most of your events. If you have spare tickets to any of your shows, text them on the day and ask if they want to be added to the guest list.
Tip: Make sure you’re targeting fans in the same city as the show you’re offering tickets to! (if not that’s just a recipe to absolutely infuriate fans).
5. Flash deals
Text messages are incredibly powerful when it comes to creating urgency. Text your subscribers who have not purchased tickets yet, and give them a private link for a special offer that expires within 12 hours.
6. Exclusive content
Give fans a reason to subscribe to receive text messages from you. Give them access to content that you don’t send out through any other channel. Some examples can include onsite vouchers, sneak previews of the event site or personal videos from the artists/speakers.
7. On the day deals and promotions
Give existing ticket buyers the opportunity to upgrade to VIP on the day (either before doors, or during the event), with an instant upgrade purchase link.
Or do you need one last push to drive ticket sales? You could also text fans who have purchased tickets in previous years a private purchase link, at a cheaper ‘loyalty’ price or alternatively an upgraded ticket like VIP.
8. Pre-event updates
Make it hassle free for people to get to your event on the day. Send directions, include links to Google Maps and, if possible, public transport trip planners. Tell them what time they should get there and include set times.
9. Onsite updates
Things can and do go wrong. It’s not what happens, but how you deal with what happens that matters!. If there are changes to performance times, changes to the lineup or other important updates, let your attendees know by text message.
Don’t be afraid of sending fans multiple text messages through out the event, as long as they’re targeted, valuable & relevant. Remember they’re immersed in your experience, so the context is totally appropriate – but within reason of course!
Tip: If you’re planning on doing onsite text message updates to fans, make sure the cell networks can handle the additional capacity. Quite often promoters work with the cell networks to bring in additional capacity for the event.
10. Onsite team comms
Keep your onsite crew up to date, with important updates over text message. This could include wet weather updates, changes to set times and important safety updates which will keep ensure everyone's on the same page.
11. Post-event marketing
The day following the event text your ticket buyers thanking them for attending. Include a link for them to register their interest for next year, to build off the excitement from the event.
Tip: Make sure you send this the day immediately following your event. Yes, we know it’s the last thing you’ll feel like doing, but every day you delay sending this message, the less effective it becomes!
So there you have it! 11 ways you can use SMS marketing for your event. It goes without saying you need to ensure fans have properly opted in to receive SMS messages from you.