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February 4, 2020

Event SMS Marketing: Are You Missing Out?

SMS marketing was a thing 10 years ago, although it never really took off for live events.

If anything, most music festivals and concert promoters stayed well away from it – not wanting to come across as ‘too spammy’.

We're now seeing a resurgence in SMS marketing for music festivals & concert promoters globally and Audience Republic wants to outline why you’re missing out if you’re not using it and how to use it well.

Why has SMS marketing made a comeback?

We’ve seen SMS marketing returning bigger and better than ever for 3 key reasons:

1. Paid ads are getting more expensive

Paid advertising has become progressively more expensive. Music festival & concert promoters have been hit hardest by the rising cost of Facebook Ads in particular.

We all know about the Facebook Algorithm Change wreaking havoc in 2018, for both paid and organic social marketing.

Due to these increasing costs, music festival & concert promoters have been looking for alternate, more cost effective marketing channels – and for many SMS marketing has been a saviour.

2. Mobile numbers are being captured more often

Capturing mobile numbers has become more common place with the rise of Facebook Custom Audiences.

Facebook Custom Audiences allow you to match your customer database to Facebook using mobile numbers (among other information), allowing you to target your database with Facebook ads.

Given heaps of festivals & concert promoters are already capturing mobile numbers for this purpose, it’s a relatively low barrier to ask fans to also opt in to receiving SMS messages.

3. The rise of messaging

With the popularity of messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram DMs, as well as the continued slow demise of the news feed, we’ve seen messaging become one of the preferred social channels for fans, and SMS is no exception.

Why you should be using SMS Marketing

As a music festival or concert promoter, if you’re not using SMS marketing, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

Here's why:

1. Future proof your ticket sales

With paid advertising increasing in cost and news feeds on the way out, you need to ensure you a channel to sell tickets for years to come. Build your own audience with an SMS database, among others, so you’re not over reliant on paid advertising.

2. Highly targeted

When you use the right SMS platform you can easily target your messages, ensuring they’re relevant and personalised to the recipient.

3. Fans prefer SMS when it’s done right

The last thing you want to do is come across as ‘spammy’. However, when SMS marketing is done in the right way, it can actually become a fan's preferred way to receive communications from you.

4. It’s cost effective

Sending SMS messages is extremely cost effective. The cost varies from country to country, but can be as low as half a cent per message.

5. Very high open rates

SMS messages have a whopping 98% open rate on average according to Braze. This is because they are opened quickly and can be consumed more easily on the run.

When you compare this to email open rates of 24% and dismal 2.61% click through rates (according to MailChimp), SMS is the clear winner on engagement.

How to do SMS marketing right

When SMS marketing is done right, it can be incredibly powerful for music festivals and concerts. Done the wrong way, SMS marketing can really damage your brand. Here's a few points to remember when doing SMS marketing.

1. Updates, not promotion

SMS marketing is typically better as a channel for updates, as opposed to overly promotional content. So wherever possible, try to use this channel for things like line up announcements, presale purchase links and important updates.

2. Provide value

Ensure your message delivers something of true value and relevance to the recipient, which could be cheaper tickets, presale access or first look at line up.

3. Limit the amount of messages you send

You’ve successfully gotten fans to opt in to your SMS list, great! Now don’t abuse it. Make sure you avoid sending too many messages to the same person. Remember that you don't want to be too 'spammy'.

4. Leverage urgency

The instant nature of SMS messaging, with its near-immediate read rates, means that you can offer “spot” deals to customers. This could be VIP tickets, back stage access, presale access for a short window of time before releasing to a wider audience. Nothing generates more ticket sales like urgency.

5. Make sure they've opt in!

If they have not opted in, you can’t message them. Not only is it illegal, it’s also damaging to your brand if you’re sending unsolicited SMS messages.

6. Take time zone into consideration

There is nothing worse than getting woken up to a 3am text message. Make sure when you’re sending messages, that you’re sending them out at a reasonable time for the recipient’s timezone.

SMS is here to stay

SMS marketing has made a comeback, and it’s here to stay. It’s being used really well by a lot of music festivals & concerts globally.

If you're not already onboard, now is the time to start building your SMS database.

Want to get started? Contact Audience Republic today!

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Article by
Jared Kristensen

Jared is the CEO & Co-founder at Audience Republic. Jared is also the Executive Producer of the Music Tech Summit which explores how technology is completely changing the music industry.