Whether scrolling for deals on Cyber Monday or looking for the perfect, last-minute gift on Christmas Eve, many of us now use our mobiles to buy products.
We also splurge on gifts during the holidays. Data from Adobe shows 2021 was the first $200B+ holiday season ever in the US, and nearly 65% of that was spent on gifts. For eCommerce brands, these numbers show an opportunity to capitalize on spending by reminding customers of sales and last-minute gift ideas where they'll see it—on their phones.
Holiday SMS campaigns can reach customers even when they're cooking their Thanksgiving turkey or pounding the pavement looking for last-minute Christmas gifts.
In this article, we'll show you 11 ways to target customers on the three biggest holidays this season: Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Let's dive in 👇
Why Holiday SMS can be your secret sauce for more sales this holiday season
We shop on our phones. A lot.
It's obvious that SMS marketing makes sense for your bottom line. But there's another reason to launch SMS campaigns this holiday season: some of your customers prefer it. Research shows almost two-thirds (63%) would switch to a company that offered SMS as a communication channel.
And sites like Facebook and Instagram are making it easier to capitalize on social commerce. Thanks to optimized checkouts and one-click pay options like Apple and Google Pay, customers can quickly buy items they need during a busy holiday period without spending time filling out customer forms or payment details.
All of this can now be done over mobile, but getting your customer to the checkout using SMS marketing still takes the same effort as any other strategy. The good news is if you plan a SMS marketing strategy early, you can target these shoppers for every holiday coming up this year.
Let's start with Black Friday/Cyber Monday 👇
Best Holiday SMS Examples for BFCM 👨💻
Cyber Monday is now the biggest online shopping day for eCommerce brands. And Black Friday isn't far behind.
According to Shopify, customers spent $6.3 billion over the holiday in the US alone, with average cart prices hitting $100. And data from Salesforce showed SMS marketing played a big part in the lead-up to the weekend, with messaging growing by 101% as Cyber Week hit.
Here are four ways to use SMS to bring in more customers this BFCM.
BFCM SMS example #1: Build customers a helpful shopping list
Kickstart your BFCM SMS campaign with a simple strategy: be helpful.
You've probably got hundreds (or thousands) of products discounted over BFCM weekend. Put together a list with your best discounts and split it into categories (i.e., shoes, t-shirts) to help shoppers find items easily. Here's how DressUp does it:
BFCM SMS example #2: Offer discounts and bundles to help customers save
Everyone loves a discount.
For BFCM, it's not unusual for brands to go big and slash prices by 40-70% over the weekend. Take this example from Old Navy:
Along with 50% off online purchases, customers can save big if they add a pair of the store's PJs to their baskets. The brilliant part of structuring BFCM deals like this is you can offer large discounts on products with a high-profit margin to keep revenue healthy.
Plus, with this kind of discount strategy, you can customize it for your BFCM campaign or even split into different offers over the weekend. If blanket discounts don't fit your marketing strategy, try 2-for-1 deals or product bundles to increase average order purchases.
BFCM SMS example #3: Give customers early access to sales
Who says you need to start your BFCM sale on the day?
There are no rules for the holiday. Do whatever you need to do to get shoppers to your store. One strategy is opening up your sale early to customers on your SMS list. Dick's Sporting Goods encourages customers to start shopping early with a 50% off link:
You can even grow your SMS list using this strategy by only opening up early access to SMS subscribers. Send out an email or post on social channels a couple of weeks before BFCM to give them a chance to opt-in. An email could look something like this:
Want early access to our BFCM sales [Name]? Sign up to our VIP SMS list to get in before everyone else!
Underneath the text, include a link that will send the customer to an opt-in form for your SMS list. These subscribers can then be added to a segmented list so you can send early discounts and offers in the weeks leading up to BFCM.
BFCM SMS example #4: Send out discount codes at the last minute (and after BFCM ends!)
Shoppers usually leave their purchases until the last minute on BFCM. Stats show 9pm was the busiest time for people adding items to their carts on Black Friday, and 10pm was when the fewest shoppers abandoned their carts on Cyber Monday.
Catch these shoppers at the optimal time by sending out a last-minute discount in the final hours of BFCM. Here's an example:
If you still want to get more shoppers to your site, extend your Cyber Monday deals into Tuesday. Tommy John lets customers know they've got more time to take advantage of sales when Cyber Monday is nearly over:
We love this strategy because not only has the sale been extended, but Tommy John also includes a handy gift guide to push products with the best discounts.
Best Holiday SMS Examples for Thanksgiving 🦃
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to build on your BFCM success and market to new (and old) customers leading up to the holiday.
However, Thanksgiving SMS marketing can also focus on messaging other than just products. You can use it to say thanks, share company news (like humanitarian campaigns which have succeeded thanks to customer purchases) and build trust .
Here are four tactics to add to this year's Thanksgiving SMS campaign 👇
Thanksgiving SMS example #1: Tie your products to the day
Have items in your store that scream Thanksgiving?
Put them front and center in your SMS campaign. Whether its table settings or fall/winter clothing, there are so many products that can be tied to Thanksgiving with some clever copywriting. Here's how Amazon Treasure Truck does it with one of their knife sets:
The wording of SMS immediately makes you think about your Thanksgiving dinner. But it's also clever product positioning—the set could be used by the person hosting the dinner, or as a gift if someone is hosting them.
Take a look through your store inventory and see which items could be marketed in the same way.
Thanksgiving SMS example #2: Offer a single product or perk
Thanksgiving marketing is a completely different beast from BFCM. You don't need to discount every item in your store. Offering a specific item or perk (like free delivery) can be all it takes to get a customer to the checkout.
For example, Farmgirl Flowers creates a special "Thanksgiving" bunch for customers in limited stock for the occasion:
This campaign (and others like it) will only work if you reassure the customer their items will arrive either on or before Thanksgiving. So make sure to include delivery information in the SMS—and don't send it out if you can't meet the deadline!
Thanksgiving SMS example #3: It's time for gratitude. Here's how you've helped us grow.
Not every message you send at Thanksgiving has to push shoppers to the checkout.
Build in non-promotional text messages that make your customers feel good to build trust. Linking a recent report that highlights how much customers have contributed to one of your campaigns (i.e., social issues or charity work) is a great way to make them feel thankful for shopping with you.
Here's an example:
It won't send them to the checkout. But this messaging strategy shows your brand isn't just thinking about profits at Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving SMS example #4: Link your campaign with a discount code to use later
Don't put deadlines on your Thanksgiving campaign.
Shoppers can be busy with loved ones and buying products may not be on their agenda. But nothing stops you from sending a discount code that can be used after Thanksgiving is over. Here's an example:
We love this strategy as it's useful for eCommerce sites and vendors who also have a brick and mortar store. You won't just give customers a fuzzy feeling when you tell them how grateful you are, but they can also use the discount code on another holiday you have coming up if you ease up on the T&Cs.
Best Holiday SMS Examples for Christmas 🎄
The break between Thanksgiving and Christmas is short—less than a month.
Lots of customers will only start ticking items off their Christmas list once they've eaten their turkey. According to research by the National Retail Federation, 56% of holiday shoppers purchase their last gift during the week before Christmas, with 62% still buying gifts on December 21st.
This can be a goldmine for your SMS marketing strategy and lure in shoppers with last-minute gift ideas and sales.
Here are four SMS examples to get more customers to the checkout 👇
Christmas SMS example #1: Gift guides with stocking stuffers
Shopping guides are an ideal way to help customers choose the ideal gift and sell product bundles at Christmas time.
Check out how bebe promotes its holiday gift guide to customers:
The link directs customers to a Christmas landing page where products are segmented by style, best sellers and price (the gifts under $100 section is a great touch!). These lists are usually created based on target audience, sales history and price points, so they're super helpful for customers who love your brand but need a little help making a buying decision.
Christmas SMS example #2: Push gift cards for customers who aren't sure what to buy
Christmas shopping can be stressful for people who can't find the perfect gift for friends or family.
Offer gift cards over SMS so customers can let their loved ones choose the right products themselves. We love how Cynthia Rowley does this:
The SMS includes a GIF to grab the customer's attention that doubles as a mock-up of different online gift cards available. "Procrastinators" can solve their gift-giving dilemma with the link that directs them to the gift card landing page to buy one straight away.
Christmas SMS example #3: Send out shipping deadline reminders
Nothing spoils Christmas quite like… an order not arriving until Boxing Day.
Send out shipping deadlines to remind customers when cut-off times are and give them a last push to your checkout. Here's how Williams Sonoma reminds customers to get their orders in before it's too late:
A large percentage of Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X will do their holiday shopping online, and Millennials expect deliveries to arrive within 24 hours. If you promise goods will arrive before Christmas—make sure you've got the infrastructure to follow through.
🎅 Pro-tip: Brands can capitalize Boxing Day and New Year's Eve sales by setting automated workflows to send out SMS even when employees are enjoying their Christmas break. A quick post-Christmas SMS like "disappointed Santa didn't bring the goods? We got you!" with a flash sale on Boxing Day is perfect to target customers who still want to tick items off their list!
Get more from your Holiday SMS campaign with the right tools
Holiday SMS campaigns are a goldmine for eCommerce companies, but the right tools will really make them run smoothly.
An eCommerce SMS platform can schedule text message campaigns in advance and align messaging with past customer behavior.
Using Sendlane, brands can build automated workflows and send customers messages specifically tailored for their shopping habits. Even when your team takes time off over the busy holiday season, your text messages will still hit customer inboxes and drive revenue.
Want to take Sendlane for a test drive? Sign up for a free 14-day trial here!