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How to Use SMS Blasts to Boost Your Next Event

Posted by Nicholas You on Feb 05, 2016

39328027_l.jpgCopyright: gstockstudio / 123RF Stock Photo
It’s a party, and everyone is invited!


Well, probably not everyone. You can count on at least several billion fellow Earthlings who more than likely would say “I’m too busy,” “I have to work tomorrow,” “It’s a bit far, isn’t it?” or “Who are you again?”


So, already your prospective invite list just became considerably less massive and more manageable – especially if you can contact potential guests by SMS blast and then quickly and easily determine who’s in and who’s out.


A few generations ago, the process of event planning was definitely more cumbersome, and involved lots of paper, lots of strikeouts, and quite a lot of guesswork.


Today, apart from weddings that seem to have their own special kind of etiquette involving formal invitations and guests mailing back RSVPS, event planners use more digital methods to track things like head counts and estimated quantities of food.


Marketing methods can also be used to not only get people excited about attending a function, but assuring their host that they’ll be there, or at least expressing their regrets.


The popularity of social media also has enhanced this process, and hosts can now create event pages and generally gauge interest, and attendees can also preview the guest list.


Texting
can also be a huge help in spreading awareness and getting people fired up. A host can check with their guests one by one, or save time and energy by using an automated SMS blast to spread the word.


Try these suggestions to make the planning for your next event a blast.

  • Plan your campaign. Unless your party is a spur-of-the-moment/throw something together in a hurry/anything goes kind of affair, you’ll want to start the organization process weeks, if not months, early. It’s smart to treat it like any other marketing campaign, with required steps, deadlines and responsibilities for different elements. If you’re planning to use texts to boost interest, you also have to keep in mind not to overdo them: some people love them all the time while others will get tired of hearing from you fast. So schedule the amount of texts promoting this event with care, perhaps no more than one a week. This pre-planning can also including making sure your mailing list is robust, so consider some teases like “make sure you sign up for our texts soon so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about upcoming cool events.”

  • Send out invites. If you have several text groups based on different profiles and interests, consider sending this text to all of them. Or, if you are throwing a special event just for your “VIP members” only, draw from this list. Depending on the formality of the event, the text could count as an official invitation, or you can direct your SMS recipients to an event landing page for an actual invitation/registration form. You also can consider creating some new groups just for this event – people who have RSVPed, those who haven’t yet, and those who have declined (and leave them alone!).

  • Consider something more visual. While a text telling recipients the what, where, when and how of your big event can give recipients the basic info they need, an additional fun step would be to attach your event logo. This will change the text from a SMS to a MMS, and may not work on everyone’s smartphones, but those who can see it may get even more excited. Something more visual can also give details about the theme and style.

  • Increase the urgency of texts as the event approaches. Sure, you need a mostly accurate head count as far as what to tell the caterer and what size of space you need. But those you invite may not be as aware of these routine planning stresses. However, you can build up the demand and peer pressure prior to the event, starting from a basic “don’t forget” to “everyone else has signed up, except for you.” A little closer you can up the demand with notes like “only a few spots left – hurry!” Keep it fun though – even if they’re unavailable, they still might enjoy your light tone in trying to persuade others. But you also don’t want to come across as overly pushy for something they’ve declined.

  • Send texts a few days before – and on party day. It could be fun to contact those who have already RSVPed – not only is it a reminder, especially if they signed up weeks before, but also it gives the impression that you’re personally excited to see them. “Only 32 hours left until the start of something huge – see you soon!”

  • Send texts during the event. A fun touch during the proceedings is to occasionally send texts to your guests. These can be one-to-one, such as welcoming someone by name, or one-to-many, so everyone in the room gets the same messages at the same time and starts wondering who is sending the messages. You can add to the mystery and engagement by allowing several employees to text. The messages can be party specific – how the room looks, how people look, what kind of food/drinks are present. Besides being fun and unexpected, it could help build interest and loyalty to your organization, and show your employees are serious about making sure guests have a good time.

  • Anticipate non-texting guests. Since modern etiquette pros will tell you that face-to-face communication is a dying art, some guests may put their phones on silent or in their purses or pockets. They may not see your party texts, but they will see later and have a reminder of what they missed. This will at least provide a fun memory, and maybe encourage them to leave their phone on at your next party so they won’t miss out.

  • Send a thank-you text afterward. Every party guest should be thanked for their attendance, and since texting has been how you communicated before and during this event, continue the effort by sending an appreciative post-party SMS blast, or perhaps a mms with a picture from the party or your logo. It’s also an opportunity to slip in a quick mention about your business so they associate you with good times. You also can consider including a “save the date” text or image with info about the next get-together.

If adding texting to your party planning toolbox sounds like fun, Trumpia will be happy to help. The automated texting service can help you organize your database, create bulk texts, and learn how to create an SMS blast to be remembered. For more information about how to create an effective mobile marketing strategy for your next event, download our complimentary Mobile Marketing Success Kit.

 

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