Holiday Messaging: Don’t Let Covid Upend Your Success

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, governments are implementing new travel restrictions, gathering sizes are limited, and many holiday traditions are sure to look different this year. The pandemic has impacted many areas of business planning, including holiday messaging campaigns. With in-person communications scaled back, it’s likely that your company is rethinking how to reach its customers. SMS and MMS messaging offer a way to cut through the clutter and directly reach customers with critical information.  

Who might be pivoting more of their communications to SMS and MMS in the next few weeks? Here are some examples of businesses whose communications can’t fail at the peak of the holiday season:

  • Retailers sending updated promotions, store capacity limits, or reduced opening hours
  • Ecommerce vendors sending delivery notifications and updates for gifts
  • Grocery stores or restaurants arranging for curbside pickup or home delivery
  • Airlines notifying passengers of flight changes or updated health and safety guidelines
  • Ride-hailing platforms notifying of passenger pickup and mask requirements 

Make sure your messages reach their intended audience this season. Here are a few tips to remember if you’re making a sudden switch of communication channels. 

Don’t forget the visuals

Multimedia messages can help you stand out. If your store is closed or its hours have changed, but you still need to promote a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, use MMS messaging to send a variety of formats: pictures, audio, and video. With Plivo’s MMS API, you can send and receive MMS messages using any number type (long code, toll-free, short code) across the US and Canada.

Use the right number

Phone number validation minimizes delivery errors by determining whether a customer’s phone number is valid before including that number in your contact list. This validation process reduces errors and helps increase conversion rates by segregating landlines from mobile numbers. Make sure you’re messaging numbers that can actually receive them. Plivo’s Lookup API determines number format, type, country, and carrier for any phone number worldwide and in real time. 

Short isn’t always sweet

Short codes offer a clean, fast, and legally compliant option for sending high-volume, one-way application-to-person (A2P) communications. But, compared to other SMS number types such as long codes and toll-free numbers, short codes are the most heavily regulated number type. Short codes take the longest to get approval for and have the most expensive rates. If you’re trying to make a sudden switch, a short code may not be the best option. Read about best practices for using short codes with an SMS API and get your timelines correct.

Be recognizable

If you’re sending messages outside the US and Canada, a sender ID can help identify your brand via a custom alphanumeric phrase like the company’s name or service, thereby increasing engagement with recipients. Some countries require you to register sender IDs. If you’re on a tight deadline, make sure to check our blog post on sender IDs for more information.

Turn up the volume

If you’re changing tactics and suddenly incorporating more messages than you originally planned, you’ll need a solution that automates the sending of potentially hundreds of thousands of messages. Plivo Powerpack automatically determines how many phone numbers you need to deliver those messages, and can also find the best phone numbers for reliable delivery. Powerpack can ensure that the “from” number is always a local phone number, increasing open and read rates. Powerpack is designed to meet large-scale SMS and MMS message throughput and volume requirements. 

It’s easy to get started with Plivo messaging. It only takes minutes to set up an account and send your first message. If you’re suddenly facing a holiday crunch and need some guidance, let us help!  Talk to an expert today.

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