Jenny owns a food store that sells fresh and dry seafood. She used an SMS campaign last Christmas, and she had a good sales amount that month. Let's hear about what she has to share with us.
BUKA:Can you tell us about your business?
Jenny:Sure. This store is left to me by my parents. We had been selling seafood for around 3 decades, which was a long history. We usually sell to old customers, who know my family. As the online business is becoming popular, I opened an independent online store and started an e-commerce business a few years ago. It was quite difficult at the beginning. Cause I had to do all the marketing to let more people know my store and my products. I hired an employee to do the delivery, therefore my customers can get the fresh seafood in time.
BUKA:It sounds like a difficult beginning. What did you do to make the break?
Jenny:Yeah, it was difficult. The good news is we had a solid customer foundation, so they can give me a call to make an order. But if we want to expand our customer base, we need to do the marketing. That's when I started to notice email marketing. It was like in 2014, and I would give discounts to people who walked into my store and made a purchase. At first, I would add them on Facebook and get their emails, sending them emails about promotions or seafood stories. We did an email promotion for a while. The effect was not good. You see, we wanted to build good relationships with our customers through emails, but people seem not so engaged with emails at that time already. I thought it was probably because too many merchants are sending promotional emails.
BUKA: So how did you know about SMS marketing, and when did you use it?
Jenny: I knew about SMS marketing not long after email marketing. I knew about SMS marketing when I searched online marketing on google and knew about it in an article. At the moment, I was not thinking about using it cause I thought it might interrupt people too much. After I started to receive SMS messages from many different merchants, I knew I can do it too. So I found an SMS supplier online and started my SMS marketing campaign. It was around 2017.
BUKA:What happened next?
Jenny:Well, it was like magic. I was sending old customers at the first. The orders were increasing. I thought it was because people respond to SMS messages more often. And then I started to buy local customers' phone numbers and sent SMS messages to these people. At the first, there was nothing special happened. But after 2 or 3 months, sales started to increase. People who make orders online are increasing at a stable speed. I shall say it is because of the SMS marketing campaign, cause that change happens after we use the SMS campaign.
BUKA:What about the last Christmas SMS campaign?
Jenny:We started early last year for the Christmas promotion. It was our first Christmas SMS campaign. And we started to send SMS messages to our customers at the beginning of December. By the middle of the month, more than 100 customers had got our promotion vouchers. And the number is growing gradually. There were both new and old customers. During Christmas, we sold a lot of goods. To us, an SMS campaign is an effective marketing method for sales. You have to be patient, and the result is gradual. It is suitable for a small merchant like us.
BUKA: Thank you, Jenny. Your story is fabulous. We're sure your story will be an inspiration for those small merchants like you.
Jenny:Yeah, I hope my story could be an example for them to take the first step and have a try.