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Your ultimate guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday text messages

Two of the biggest shopping holidays of the year are coming up soon. Get ready to keep orders rolling in with these Black Friday and Cyber Monday SMS tips.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) bookend the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

In 2022, BFCM saw record-breaking sales. Online sales alone grew by 3.5% to reach a global high of $281 billion. This year could be even higher as more people choose to take advantage of steep discounts. 

The struggle is standing out amid the melee of price cuts and one-time deals. You might be wondering how you can reach new customers during the busiest shopping holiday of the year, especially when you’re juggling multiple other business tasks.

If you haven’t thought about leveraging text messaging as part of your BFCM campaigns, here’s why you should.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday text message ideas

Text messages can be a great way to cut through the noise on Black Friday and reach shoppers directly in their message inboxes. Here are some ideas you can steal to promote your BFCM campaigns via SMS:

  1. Flash sales: Announce the start of your BFCM flash sale via text with a link to specific products or landing pages.
  2. Discounts: Share discount codes in your text messages to encourage shoppers to buy.
  3. Coupons: Send individual coupons with unique codes to different customer segments.
  4. BOGOFF: Promote a buy one, get one free offer for people who make a purchase via your text message link.
  5. Earlybird deals: Launch your BFCM campaigns early to existing customers via SMS.
  6. Freebies: Reward shoppers with a free gift when they make a purchase through your text message link.
  7. Abandoned cart: Send shoppers a text to remind them they have a product in their cart.
  8. Loyalty campaigns: Continue to BFCM love after the event by encouraging shoppers to sign up for your loyalty or rewards program.

7 real-life BFCM text message examples

Black Friday’s just around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your BFCM text message campaigns. Here are some examples of brands that have used SMS to promote their holiday deals and discounts.

1. Marleylilly: Promoting a rewards program

Marleylilly uses Black Friday as a springboard for nurturing long-term customers. It uses its Black Friday text messages to thank customers for shopping during the sale and invites them to join the rewards program to continue unlocking perks. 

2. Rough Cut Social: Creating a sense of urgency

Axe throwing entertainment venue, Rough Cut Social, created a sense of urgency around its Black Friday SMS campaign in the final hours. It reminded shoppers they had a limited time left and reiterated the code they could use to get money off.

3. Crossnet: Using social proof to sell

Crossnet leverages a bit of recent social proof in its Black Friday text. Name-dropping brands like Target instills trust and credibility with shoppers who may not be as familiar with the brand. 

4. Filippo Loreti: Promoting a limited-time freebie

Watch brand Filippo Loreti adds something special to its Black Friday SMS campaign with a free gift for shoppers who use the code at checkout.

5. Print Fresh: Earlybird special for VIPs

Print Fresh rewards its best customers on Black Friday with an early bird special and 25% off. This nurtures long-term customer relationships while boosting its BFCM sales early on.

6. SkinTe: Starting the celebrations early

SkinTe launched its Black Friday deals early via MMS. Advertising its 30% sitewide discounts, the brand encouraged an early swathe of sales before the main event began.

7. Hybrid Racing: Using scarcity to sell

Hybrid Racing uses scarcity to encourage some last-minute Black Friday sales. It includes a visual prompt in its text messages and encourages shoppers to take advantage of the discounts before they disappear.

Why retailers should use SMS and text messaging in BFCM campaigns

For starters, SMS marketing is extremely easy to set up, and you can quickly create and launch campaigns with just a few clicks.

Secondly, text messaging is one of the most convenient marketing channels for holiday shoppers.

Think about it this way: 43% of holiday shoppers make purchases from their phones, so texts are a natural extension of their shopping experience.

Even when people aren’t checking out sales on mobile, their phones aren’t far away. We surveyed 1,400 people and found that 80% of consumers check their text notifications within five minutes of receiving a text. On top of that, 71% of consumers opted to receive texts from businesses.

The takeaway? Your customers probably want you to text them, and they’re going to see your message soon after receiving it.

And one last thing: Businesses that text their customers are 217% more likely to report that their marketing is successful (compared to businesses that don’t text customers). And 90.09% of businesses that text their customers report that their marketing is successful.

Get it right: Black Friday and Cyber Monday texting tips 

BFCM weekend only comes once a year, so we want to help you make it count. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build your holiday SMS strategy.

1. Attract new contacts

First, if you intend to send out texts to your shoppers, you’ll need shoppers to text. That means you’ll need to grow your text list

You have several options to grow your text subscriber list:

  1. Text-to-join keywords
  2. QR code to text message
  3. Link click to text message
  4. Web signup forms and mobile website forms
  5. Checkout data capture

You can set up a text-to-join keyword that new contacts can text to your number to receive your messages, then advertise it on your site or on your storefront.

You can also use QR codes to send text messages like text-to-join keywords: You can create a QR code and put it on advertisements like posters. When someone scans the QR code, a text message with automatically populate in their native message app. All they need to do is send the message to opt in to your text contact list.

Alternatively, you could set up a web signup form or mobile widget that helps visitors to your website or mobile site easily join your text list. Take Got Bag, for example. They reward shoppers with 10% off if they share their mobile number and opt-in to receive text messages.

You can create a form through SimpleTexting that asks shoppers for their mobile numbers and first names. When they supply this information, you can then start sending them text messages about your BFCM campaigns.

2. Use your auto-confirmation message

When new contacts join your list, they’ll receive an automatic confirmation message from you. 

This is a good opportunity to create some excitement and let customers know you’re grateful to have them on your text list. Plus, the aim of any good brand is to form personal relationships with each customer. A well-written confirmation message can help.

Take advantage of this customizable message to thank them for signing up for your texts and offer them a text-exclusive promotion at the same time.

FashionNow: Thank you for signing up for FashionNow text alerts! We’ve got a gift for you. Use code MONDAYFUNDAY on Cyber Monday for free shipping + 20% off your order.

Use the Autoresponder feature to create an automatic welcome message that goes out to shoppers when they give you their mobile number. You can choose whether you want the message to go out straight away or after a delay.

3. Get a head start on the holiday

You don’t want to wait until Friday morning to start sending texts about your sales. Start at least a week ahead to let shoppers know that deals are coming. 

This is a good time to double down on the value of your text lists. Let contacts know that these deals are exclusively for those who’ve signed up for texts. 

You could even start a countdown to Black Friday and send out messages a couple of times in the week leading up to the big sale.

Brand: T-minus 3 days until our big Black Friday bash! Take 30% off with code FRIYAY. [link]

Part of this tip also includes planning out your texts in advance. Decide which days of the week you want to send your texts and what time of day they’ll go out. Then schedule your texts.

Be sure you plan your messages with sleep schedules in mind. You don’t want to wake anyone up, so be sure you plan for the middle of the morning or later.

You can even automate your texts during this step so you can set it and forget it.

To do this, go to the “campaigns” section of the dashboard, create a new campaign, and write out the message you want to schedule. Then, choose the date you want it to go out.

4. Vary your content

Of course, there’s a caveat to the above tip. While your contacts will appreciate hearing about Black Friday deals and receiving coupons, they’ll appreciate a break from those things even more.

Send out a few messages with helpful content related to your brand or the holiday. That could mean including useful tips for online shopping during Black Friday (as in using services like Honey for extra coupon codes) or recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Brand: Got your eye on some Black Friday treats? Save the items you want to your Wishlist on your favorite sites so they’re ready to go on Black Friday.

This ensures that your text contacts don’t get tired of hearing from you. More importantly, it protects the trust between you and your customers. Phone numbers are personal, and you want to respect your contacts by not overloading them with sales pitches.

Use the scheduling feature to line up a mixture of text messages for your audience. You can send a combination of tips, offers, and how-to guides, or ask questions to encourage a conversation. All of these will spark a deeper connection with your customers and help you get to know them better (which is always a bonus for future offers and promotions!).

5. Segment your contacts

Of course, not every product on your website or in your store will appeal to every single customer. 

We suggest setting up segments — that is, contacts who have something in common with each other — to make sure each customer only sees the information they’re interested in.

It could be anything from product categories they’ve purchased in the past, store locations they’ve visited, or any other criteria that you think will be helpful. 

💡Pro tip: You can easily collect this type of information from your contacts by using the Data Collection feature and taking advantage of our SMS integrations.

Not only will this keep customers from getting annoyed or tired of your texts, it will also make them feel more seen and cared for (which will do wonders for your brand’s reputation).

Use the segments feature under the “contacts” tab to create segments to match your different customers. You group together contacts based on the date they signed up, any links they clicked, and how they found out about you among other things.

6. Check the numbers from Black Friday before Cyber Monday

To make your future SMS campaigns better, you need to know how your last messages performed. 

Through your SimpleTexting account, you can check all the analytics from your Black Friday texts, including how many responses you got, who clicked on any links you sent, whether anyone unsubscribed from your texts, and more.

Go through all this data and use it to tweak your Cyber Monday messages to make sure you get all the engagement you need. 

7. Tease your upcoming promotions

One excellent way to get customers excited for your big Cyber Monday sale is to give them a sneak preview of what you have to offer. 

That could mean a blurb about new products you’re launching over the holidays, teasing a big promotion, or just letting contacts know that they’re in for special benefits now that they’ve agreed to receive your texts.

Brand: Ready for Cyber Monday? Keep an eye on your text inbox. We’ve got exciting new deals coming your way this week so you’re ready for holiday shopping. If you can’t wait, try promo code EARLYBIRD at checkout.

8. Prevent abandoned carts

There’s nothing worse than seeing customers who start to place an order but then vanish before they complete their purchase, especially on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Fortunately, you can help them come back to finish their shopping.

Set up a text that triggers when someone who has opted into your text list abandons their shopping cart. This message could simply remind them to come back and finish their order, or you could add a discount to sweeten the deal.

Brand: Hey Lizzie! We noticed you left your favorite items in your shopping cart – you’ve got great taste, so come back and snag your faves with 15% off as a gift from us. [link]

It may also help to offer a direct line to your support team in case of any questions or concerns.

Use one of SimpleTexting’s many integrations to set up your abandoned cart text messages. A tool like Zapier or Shopify will automatically trigger a text message when someone leaves an item in their cart.

7 tips to get the most out of your Black Friday text messages

As you plan your holiday text messaging campaigns, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Personalize your messages

People love knowing that the message they’re receiving is just for them. You can use data gathered from past purchases or demographics to tailor your offers and increase engagement.

2. Keep it short and sweet 

People are busy and don’t want to read a novel when they receive a text. Keep it concise (160 characters or fewer), and make sure the message is clear. Don’t overwhelm recipients either. Stick to one outcome and one call-to-action for each text so that customers know exactly what to do next. 

3. Leverage existing relationships 

If you already have an SMS contact list, use them as your main source of BFCM promotion. But don’t forget to promote your SMS list to new customers — you never know who will join!

4. Test different offers and strategies

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to SMS marketing. Try out different offers, message styles, and timing to see what works best for your audience.

5. Start early

As well as planning your Black Friday text message campaign in advance, you should also start warming customers up before the event. You can send reminders about your upcoming discounts or offer an exclusive earlybird deal for VIP shoppers. 

6. Create a sense of urgency

Black Friday is a limited-time event. Shoppers know they have to take advantage of discounts while they’re available, but there’s no harm in reminding customers that the clock is ticking.

Brand: Our big Black Friday deal starts NOW. Get 25% off if you buy in the next 24 hours. [link]

7. Go beyond BFCM

Black Friday is a great opportunity to reconnect with existing shoppers and attract new ones. Keep the momentum going after the event is over by continuing to send nurturing texts to shoppers. You can send social proof, product or service recommendations, or simply check in to see if there’s anything you can do to help.

Brand: Thanks for making Black Friday so fun! Now that the chaos is over, we want to hear from you: Would you like some help using your new coffee maker? Reply for 1:1 support.

The wrap on Black Friday and Cyber Monday text messages

Everyone is competing for consumers’ attention as Black Friday and Cyber Monday get closer. 

Lucky for you, texts are in high demand, with 71% of consumers opting to receive texts from businesses in 2023.

That means it’s a great time to send valuable, exciting texts to your contacts ahead of the major shopping holidays. Put these tips to work in your holiday SMS strategy for your best-ever Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This article was originally published October 13, 2022. It was significantly updated September 27, 2023. Lily Norton and Nathan Ellering contributed to this piece.

Lizzie Davey
Lizzie Davey

Lizzie Davey is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS and eCommerce companies with 10+ years of writing experience. She's written about marketing, SaaS, and e-commerce for brands like Shopify, CoSchedule, and Sprout Social.

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