‘Tis the Season to Text: Why Every Online Store Needs SMS Marketing For the Holidays

woman at a table working

When it comes to being prepared, marketers usually fall into two camps. 

There are those who are ready to tackle any and all scenarios, equipped with checklists and every minute detail hyper-organized. And there are those who are getting ready down to the wire, often because they don’t have enough time or resources to plan ahead.

For Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) and the holiday season that follows, taking the prepared-as-possible approach will serve you best. 

As the largest retail event of the year, it’s an unmatched opportunity for you to build relationships with shoppers new to your brand and to strengthen ones with your existing customers—plus, you have the potential to make a ton of sales. Sounds like a good time, doesn’t it?   

Well, word on the street is SMS marketing can help you dial up the engagement and relevancy of your communications this season. As you get your BFCM marketing ducks in a row, consider weaving text messages into your overall game plan. 

Don’t worry, I’ve got some ideas to help you get the ball rolling. Keep reading to learn: 

What’s the big deal with SMS marketing?

Email marketing is such an established marketing tool you might doubt how something as simple as a text message could complement such a powerhouse. 

But SMS is the Robin to email’s Batman. The jelly to its peanut butter. The Lousie to its Thelma.  

Customers who added text messages to their email outreach saw an average revenue increase of 21 percent in the first 60 to 90 days alone, according to data from Klaviyo. 

Talk about a dynamic duo. 

Now, imagine what that revenue increase could mean for you if you devised a thoughtful and engaging email and SMS program to support your holiday goals. 

But more sales aren’t the only upside. SMS marketing is a sustainable way to grow your business: 

  • It won’t raise your customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • You don’t have to bother with annoying, unspoken algorithm changes
  • You can use the customer data you own to personalize your messages and join them together with your communications from other channels (i.e., email) 

If you can meet your customers where they are, on the devices they use every day, through the channel they prefer, you’ll have a much better chance of building relationships that’ll stand the test of time—through BFCM and well beyond the holiday craze.

SMS and BFCM: A match made in heaven

Text messages have their own strengths compared to email, and you can use them to your advantage. 

SMS and MMS messages are short—you only have 160 to 1,600 characters to play with. 

This means they’re a great option for sharing time-sensitive content, reminders, and nurturing relationships with people who are highly engaged with your brand—they don’t need a lot of contextual information or backstory, they already know you and like you. 

During a major retail event like BFCM, it’s all about encouraging your past customers to come back to your brand and enticing potential ones to make their first purchase. 

Here are some ways you can accomplish those holiday ambitions with text messages. 

1 | Use SMS campaigns to drive sales 

Text messages are a smart way to announce new holiday product launches, speciality sales, or upcoming events. 

Include one clear call-to-action (CTA) in each message you send, so your subscribers will know exactly what you’re prompting them to do next—like shopping your latest items or snagging your BFCM sales.

2 | Recover abandoned carts via text

Abandoned cart automations aren’t just for email

Brands that added business texts to their abandoned cart flow saw up to a 37 percent lift in revenue, according to Klaviyo’s data. 

You can dynamically insert items from your subscribers’ online shopping carts into a text message and then automate it to send shortly after they’ve said adieu to your checkout page. 

If you include a personalized message along with the product image, you can keep your brand top of mind as other stores bombard your subscribers with their generic marketing. 

3 | Send transactional text messages 

Often, shoppers are anxiously awaiting their packages during the holidays so they can wrap the contents in time for the big event or squirrel them away before ruining a surprise. 

Sending an order confirmation or a shipping notification with a text message will help your subscribers plan accordingly. 

Instead of risking the chance that your transactional email gets buried in an inbox, send those vital messages directly to your subscribers’ phones so you’ll know they won’t miss them. 

4 | Nurture customers via SMS after they purchase

A thank you note can go a long way, and so can a thank you text. 

Setting up a thank you SMS automation shows your customers that you not only value their purchase, but that you value them as customers. 

They could’ve spent their dollars anywhere else, but they choose to spend it with you—and that means something.

You can also run an SMS winback automation to re-engage your past customers because it’s never too late to try again. 

Sometimes a simple, personalized, “thinking about you” text is all it takes to re-spark the relationship with an old flame.  

Plan ahead and spread holiday cheer with SMS

It might feel unnecessary to think about—much less start planning for—the upcoming holidays that are months away. 

But the sooner you start brainstorming ways to sweep your subscribers and customers off their feet, the better. 

There’s too much on the line to not prepare your BFCM marketing strategy ahead of time. Map out your plan of action now and try using text messages to stand out from the crowd by reaching your customers on a channel they’re highly familiar with and use frequently.

If you’re interested in weaving in texts to your holiday marketing blueprint but you’re not yet an SMS pro, I’ve got good news! 

Klaviyo just launched an SMS Strategy Certification course that’ll teach you the basics of text message marketing and walk you through strategies for all experience levels.  

Think of it as Klaviyo’s gift to you. After all, ‘tis (almost) the season.

Prepare for BFCM and level up your SMS skills.

Get SMS certified today

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