Did you think that Black Friday was the biggest shopping day of the year? Oh, how wrong you are.
According to Adobe Analytics, by the end of last year’s Cyber Monday, a record $9.4 billion was spent online in the U.S. compared to $7.4 billion for Black Friday.
Our theory: Black Friday is about buying for you, and Cyber Monday is the sinking realization that you have less than a month to purchase holiday gifts for everyone you know.
Whatever the reason for Cyber Monday’s rise to the top of the holiday sales food chain, it can make or break an online store’s Q4.
So, how do you ensure a successful holiday shopping season?
You need to optimize your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy for mobile. In 2019, Shopify reported that 69% of all online shopping on its websites were made on mobile phones or tablets, while just 31% occurred from a desktop.
If you neglect mobile, you’re leaving money on the table. With that in mind, we put together a complete Cyber Monday text marketing strategy for you to steal.
We include tactics for building your list, text message templates, how to keep your list engaged during the lead-up and crazy effective ways to create a sense of urgency around your Cyber Monday deals.
We broke it down into:
The number one reason to text your customers is that it works. You really can’t beat 98% open rates and conversion rates that reach as high as 45%. When you couple this engagement with the fact that people want to receive texts from brands they love, you’re onto a winner.
One worry we hear from DTC marketers is that SMS marketing will compete with their other channels–namely email marketing.
Let’s be clear: SMS marketing is not a replacement for any of your existing channels. It’s the additional missing puzzle piece your brand needs to create an omnichannel marketing strategy.
By leveraging the broad reach of your email lists and the high engagement of text messages, brands can use both channels in parallel to drive more sales on Cyber Monday.
Here’s what you need to do in the build-up to Cyber Monday.
We also have a couple of e-commerce platform-specific guides that are well worth a read.
First things first, to use text marketing during Cyber Monday, you need lots of people to text.
If you have a list of contacts you think you have permission to text, we recommend double-checking whether you actually can.
We wrote a thorough guide to SMS marketing compliance, but this section provides you with the TL;DR summary of what you need to consider. (We recommend always erring on the side of caution.)
Thankfully, there are a ton of fast ways to build your list of SMS subscribers. For example, you can send your email marketing list an email saying something along the lines of:
“Hey, do you want first access to our Cyber Monday sales? If the answer is yes, sig -up for our SMS list and you’ll be the first to know.”
You can then direct the email traffic to a SimpleTexting web form.
We don’t recommend parking your efforts there. The next step is to create a keyword. A keyword is a short word or phrase that your audience can text to a phone number to sign up for Cyber Monday text messages. With SimpleTexting, all paid plans come with unlimited keywords.
For example, if your store is called Bike Pop, you could create a keyword like “BIKEPOPCM.”
To promote your keyword, you can put up an announcement bar on your website like this.
When someone clicks on it, their phone’s native messaging app opens with your phone number and keyword prefilled:
All they have to do is click send and boom—they’re subscribed to your Cyber Monday texts.
We recommend launching your list building list efforts at least six weeks in advance of the shopping season. If you want to start building your list of SMS subscribers sooner, you can apply the same methods, and refer to general promotions rather than Cyber Monday.
Here’s how to do everything we’ve referenced:
To illustrate how to keep your list engaged, we’re going to use the fictional Bike Pop as an example.
If someone signs up for their text updates six weeks before Cyber Monday, doesn’t hear anything from them, and then gets a text out of nowhere promoting a sale, their reaction is likely to be, “Who is this again?”
On the other hand, if Bike Pop sends a couple of text messages before Cyber Monday building anticipation and offering value, they’re a lot more likely to purchase once the big day comes.
So, how do you do that without annoying someone?
When someone texts a keyword to your number, you can automatically generate a response. So, if someone texts in BIKEPOPCM, they’ll receive a text back. Here’s an example.
What this text does is:
We recommend applying the same approach to your keyword auto-confirmation.
You’ve got a rapidly growing list of people interested in your Cyber Monday deals and Black Friday SMS. You’ve written a killer auto-confirmation text.
Now you need to decide what texts you want to send before the shopping period.
While there’s no hard-and-fast rule about the number of text messages you should send, we recommend keeping it to once a week if you’re unsure. We also recommend using a mix of calls to action (CTAs).
Here are three examples of texts that Bike Pop could use. (The same approach can work for all e-commerce brands regardless of what they sell.)
Share Useful Content
If you sell cosmetic and beauty products, you might want to share an article that explains the best type of moisturizer for different skin types. If you sell clothes, you might want to offer insight into next year’s fashion trends.
In the case of Bike Pop, they could share a guide to buying bikes online.
You can provide some information on the Cyber Monday deals or at least hint at what your subscribers can expect from the sale to create anticipation.
Send Out a Teaser Promotion
A week or two before you could send your subscribers a teaser promotion as a reward for their patience.
Now that the big day is here, it’s time to let your audience know that your sales are live. If you’ve done the pre-Cyber Monday work, this part is a cinch.
The most effective Cyber Monday texts we’ve seen create:
You could send out one text in the morning to let your subscribers know that your sale is live.
Then follow up with one more text message later that day.
One tactic we approve of is to send one more text to your SMS subscribers using a unique discount code that extends the Cyber Monday sale.
We even recommend making it a coupon code like VIP25, to hammer home the point that only your best customers are getting this discount.
After Cyber Monday, you’ll also want to review your texting metrics: What were your CTRs? How many subscribers visited your store? How many subscribers purchased? Here’s how to find out how much money SMS is making your e-commerce store.
For your text subscribers who do end up purchasing, you could consider sending them post-purchase text messages asking for reviews or providing them with useful product information.
Text messaging has become a hugely popular channel for DTC brands. Modern Retail even went as far as to call it the new email.
We expect a lot of brands this year to focus heavily on their text marketing channel when it comes to the holiday shopping season. Those who get it right will see an enormous bounce in revenue.