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Black Friday SMS campaigns: tips and examples

How do you make your Black Friday SMS marketing strategy stand out from the competition? With these six tips and examples.

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Black Friday will never be the same. After the unexpected twists and turns of 2020 and 2021, the traditional in-store rush is largely a thing of the past.

We don’t need a crystal ball to predict that the crazy growth in online shopping from COVID will continue this holiday season.

More online sales isn’t the only trend to watch. According to a report from App Annie, people will buy more using their mobile devices than ever before.

That means it’s time to meet shoppers where they are, using SMS messages.

Why you should send Black Friday SMS campaigns

This holiday season, you’re going to see more companies than ever running Black Friday SMS marketing campaigns.

That’s because they’ve found a way to bypass saturated marketing channels like social media and website banner ads. Instead, businesses are sending their Black Friday offers straight to customers’ cell phones.

Plus, Black Friday is all about getting the best deals. One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is that it’s intimate. Give your text contacts advanced sneak peeks at offers before you send them to your email list or advertise them elsewhere to make them feel like VIP’s.

Whether it’s your first text marketing rodeo or you’ve been texting your customers for years, here are six tips you can use to stand out from the competition.

1. Grow your contact list

Before a big holiday campaign, you need to build up your contact list.

We usually recommend a varied approach to growing your SMS contact list. That means combining your website, social channels, and email marketing. 

As the holiday season gets closer, you need a tactic that can grow your list by 670% in just one month

That’s where our Mobile Sign-Up Widget comes into play. 

Website visitors can easily text in a keyword to your phone number. (A keyword is a word or phrase that allows people to subscribe to your text messages.)

When visitors click on the widget, it opens a pop-up with more information on your text marketing program. Here’s an example from our customer Toroe Eyewear.

Since people are beginning to plan their Black Friday shopping ahead of time, you can offer your website visitors early access to your holiday sales.

2. Send a series of pre-Black Friday text messages

You’ve added our Mobile Sign-Up Widget to your site, and your contact list is growing. Now you need to keep that list engaged with a series of text messages. 

There’s no golden rule about the number of messages you should send to your subscribers. You don’t want them to forget about you, but you also don’t want to overload your subscribers with coupons and sales. 

It’s why we recommend a few simple guidelines:

  • Share useful content
  • Create anticipation about your Black Friday deals by hinting at what subscribers can expect
  • Send out a teaser promotion

3. Don’t just send Black Friday coupons, build relationships

SMS is a two-way channel, allowing consumers to engage in real-time conversations with brands.

E-commerce strategies like this even made our top holiday marketing ideas. That’s because shoppers typically want to see and touch an item before buying it. This year they can’t.

One example we’ve mentioned before on the SimpleTexting blog is Versed skincare. Its text message-based hotline lets customers ask skincare-related questions.

If that sounds like a lot of work, you can always add a free click-to-text button to your website and answer sales or customer service questions via text.

4. Optimize your Black Friday SMS send time

We tend to stay away from statements like “sending your messages at X time is best.” But when it comes to Black Friday, mobile search data gives us some valuable insight.

Google found that searches peak at midnight before Black Friday. People start searching again between 7 and 8 in the morning and use mobile devices more than desktops.

Source: Google

It makes sense to send your text messages in the morning–but not so early that you wake anyone–as people are already browsing the best deals from their phones.

5. Use SMS marketing and email marketing together

One study from 2019 found that consumers purchased 21% more from SMS than they did from email, and the SMS open rate exceeded emails by 592%. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, SMS pulled a 150% higher order rate than email. 

Despite this, we know that email marketing isn’t dead.

That’s why you should combine your email and Black Friday and Cyber Monday texts.

American Eagle used a cross-channel promotion strategy for their Legendary Gifts holiday campaign. They used SMS messages and email to send promo codes, drive traffic, and get new leads for future promotions. 

They ended up connecting with more than 8 million total email and SMS subscribers in less than two weeks. Here’s how they combined the two channels.

Source: Pinpointe

6. Send a survey after the Black Friday sales period

Several direct-to-consumer startups have reported huge revenue growth over the past several months. In some cases, that means double or triple the amount of new customers they had during the same period last year.

The challenge is turning these first-time buyers into loyal customers. 

This is where SMS surveys come in, offering you an affordable way to build a customer feedback loop.

You can use that feedback to improve your offers and products. It can even prompt a conversation with an unhappy customer that helps them stay.

Hi there, thanks so much for buying a subscription box from Swin Inn. We’d love to know how we can improve our service. Fill out this short survey and be in for a chance to win a free month on us:

Black Friday SMS examples

Here are six Black Friday SMS examples to give you the inspiration you need to start texting this holiday season.

Early doorbuster announcement

Beat the rushーour Black Friday doorbuster sale starts at 6 PM on 11/24. Don’t miss our Early Bird deals!

Text-only coupon code

Use coupon code “blackfriday” to take advantage of online specials up to 30% off. [link]

New Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal

New merch on our online store! Shop Friday through Monday and get free shipping on orders over $45. [link]

Product advertisement

New for Black Fridayーwe’ve added a special-edition bamboo pillow to our Sweet Dreams collection. You can find it at [link] while supplies last.

Limited-time discount

Show this text in-store to get 20% off your entire order, now through Cyber Monday!

Reward program special offer

Congratulations on 6 months as a Sun Glow rewards member, Nancy! To celebrate, we’re giving you a special Black Friday discount. Use code REWARDS online to get 15% off our sunless tanning line, Thursday through Monday. [link]

The wrap on Black Friday SMS marketing 

Text messaging has become a popular channel for direct-to-consumer brands. Modern Retail even called it the new email.

We expect many brands this year to focus on their text marketing channel when it comes to the holiday shopping season. Get it right, and you’ll see a big upswing in revenue.

If you haven’t started a text marketing program, give SimpleTexting a try. Your first 14 days are always on us, no credit cards or contracts involved. 

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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