SMS holiday marketing campaigns: getting started

Lots of brands are already feeling the excitement and pressure of the holiday season. Even if you feel like it’s too close to Cyber Weekend to incorporate a new sales tactic, don’t worry. Text message marketing is easy to implement and it can pay off.

Here’s what we’re seeing with SMS success:

  • 61% of marketers increased their SMS marketing budgets in 2020
  • 54% of consumers report they want to receive promotions via text message
  • 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes

Your competitors may already be integrating this research by adding SMS to their marketing mix. Plus, customers really do want to receive texts (from their favorite brands, at least) and they read them quickly. Finally, holidays are usually the busiest and most profitable time of year for brands.

What does this mean for you? The best time to start using SMS to grow sales in a sustainable way is right now.

SMS works best for: 

  • time-sensitive messages: Don’t miss our Cyber Monday sale!
  • succinct reminders and notifications: We saw you left some nice kicks in your cart. Still want ‘em?
  • personalized conversations: Suzi, your favorite organic face mist is almost out of stock. Want to snag it before it sells out?

Need a little help getting things set up? We’ve made it easy. Check out our guide to getting started with SMS.

Once you’re familiar with the basics, we’ve got some text messaging tactics to get you ready for the holidays. But first, check these things off your list before getting started:

  • Set up SMS messaging in your account settings
  • Choose your SMS plan
  • Update your terms of service
  • Start growing your list

Once you’ve checked all the boxes above, it’s time to dive into tactics. Here are 5 easy ways to get your SMS plan up and running. 

1 | Grow your SMS subscriber list

The more people you’re sending messages to, the more money you could make.

There are a few ways to collect phone numbers:

  • Add a phone number field to your existing email signup forms for:
    • Traditional pop-up forms
    • Exit-intent pop-up forms
    • Ads on social channels (you could promote early sale sneak peeks and exclusive text-only deals)
  • Send an email to your existing customers asking them to sign up for texts
  • Get consent at checkout
  • Capture phone numbers in your website footer

To learn more, watch this video. 


2 | Create a dedicated SMS welcome series

Once someone consents to receive text messages from your brand, it’s your most direct way to connect with them. 

This is an opportunity to stand out during the noise of the holiday season. Use an SMS welcome series to incentivize the first purchase with an offer. It should contain fewer messages and longer wait periods relative to emails.

 To learn more, watch this video. 


3 | Create a VIP sneak peek for your customers

Send VIPs an alert that gives them early access to your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale—they’ll feel pretty special. VIP segmenting can be helpful in other ways, too. 

The pandemic created an ongoing inventory and logistics crisis, and a VIP list for frequent buyers can allow you to communicate availability, giving your best customers first access to your products. 

To learn more, watch this video.

4 | Create a business text  campaign to let customers know about time-sensitive announcements like a flash sale or pre-sale access

Remember, 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes, so this will likely get your customers’ attention. Send a text message to let your customers know about your holiday sales, sneak peeks, flash sales, and shipping cut-off dates.

To learn more, watch this video. 


5 | Create an abandoned cart flow

On average, almost 70% of shopping carts are abandoned. An abandoned cart flow is a great way to remind customers to complete their purchase. The holidays are a busy time for people and sometimes they may need a nudge.

To learn more, watch this video. 


If you follow these steps, you can delight your customers  in meaningful ways and start increasing your revenue, making this holiday season great for everyone.

Try SMS for free 

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