Amid the chaos of doorbuster deals and coupon codes, it’s easy for businesses to get lost in the Black Friday frenzy. How do you stand out when every brand is shouting, “Sale!” at the same time?
The answer lies in a simple, yet often overlooked communication tool: SMS marketing*.
Direct and immediate, short message service (SMS) messaging, also known as texting or text messaging, boasts higher open rates than traditional email, offering the perfect channel for time-sensitive promotions and urgent updates. Still, SMS is about more than just quickly reaching out, it's an opportunity to build brand loyalty long after the discount dust settles.
Best practices for effective SMS campaigns
Cookie-cutter campaigns are out, but best practices and compliance are in. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when crafting your SMS marketing campaigns.
Clear, concise copy
A single SMS message is limited to 160 characters. So, make every word count. Keep your copy short, to the point, and focus on the benefit your customers will receive from the offer. Avoid using complex language or jargon that may confuse your audience.
Federal regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) require express written consent from a customer before you can send them promotional SMS messages. Make sure your customers have explicitly opted in before you start firing off discount codes. You must provide easy opt-out options in every SMS.
Additional regulations and compliance requirements may apply depending on the country you’re marketing in, so please conduct your own research and/or seek legal advice.
Timing is key
You shouldn't bombard your subscribers with texts all day long. Respect their time and only send messages during business hours. Be aware of any federal or state-specific "quiet hours" when promotional texting is prohibited.
Personalize your messages
Use customer data to personalize your SMS messages and make sure they’re relevant. Address customers by name, include details about their past purchases or preferences, and tailor messages to their specific interests.
Automated Customer Journeys* can trigger pre-set messages based on customer actions. For example, if someone abandons their cart, they’ll get an automated SMS reminding them to complete their purchase.
Segment your audiences
Customers are unique. Treat them as individuals. Segment your audience based on demographics, purchase behavior, or other criteria so each SMS message fits each recipient.
For example, don’t send a welcome message to a customer who's been with you for years. Likewise, avoid sending repeat-customer discount codes to browsers who have yet to make a purchase.
Be helpful, not just transactional
As you start mapping out your SMS campaign, consider how to provide value to your customers, even if they don't purchase immediately. How can you make their lives easier or more enjoyable, all from the convenience of their phone?
Test and measure results
As with any marketing campaign, it's important to test and measure the results of your SMS efforts. Knowing which texts are delivered, which are ignored, and which campaigns drive the most sales will help you refine and improve your strategy.
Messages sent with Mailchimp can access detailed SMS reporting, including info on click rate, delivery status, and the unsubscribe rate.
7 post-holiday purchase campaigns
Mailchimp data shows that while marketers send billions of emails during the week of Thanksgiving and into Giving Tuesday, marketers send approximately less than half of that volume on the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday. Since overall engagement remains steady during this time period, opportunity abounds for marketers who can capitalize on this attention on Saturday and Sunday.*
1. Thank you messages
While your customers’ purchases are still fresh in their minds, show your appreciation for their business by sending a post-holiday thank you message. Let them know their business doesn't go unnoticed and that you value their support. Even a small personal gesture can help turn a one-time customer into a loyal brand advocate.
2. Upsell and cross-sell offers
You've got your customer's attention, and they’re in a buying mood. Now it’s time to sweeten the deal.
If a customer purchased a new smartphone on Black Friday, an SMS about a discounted screen protector or phone case could spark a new sale. If they bought a kitchen appliance, send them an offer for accessories or recipe books to build their skills. Show them you understand what they need.
3. Loyalty program invites
Keep the big picture in mind. It's not just about a single purchase—you want to build long-term customer relationships. Use SMS to invite customers to join your loyalty program after their Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchases. Highlight any exclusive benefits or rewards they'll receive and make it easy for them to sign up via text message.
4. Referral program invites
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for driving sales. Encourage your customers to spread the word about your brand by offering a referral program. Send an SMS with a unique referral code and instructions on how to share it with their friends and family. Reward them with discounts or other incentives when their referrals make a purchase.
5. Exclusive offers
Customer action can be spurred by urgency, exclusivity, and the fear of missing out. Use SMS to send exclusive offers that are only available for a limited time or to a select group of customers. This might be a flash sale for your top customers or a discount code for those who have been subscribed to your SMS list for some time.
Whatever your offer, make sure it exudes "VIP treatment."
6. Surveys and feedback requests
SMS is great for gathering customer feedback and improving your products or services. Send surveys or feedback requests to customers who made purchases on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to find out what they liked or didn't like.
Not only does this show that you value their opinion, you’ll also collect relevant data that you can use to fine-tune your marketing strategy.
7. Abandoned cart reminders
With all the chaos of the holiday shopping season, customers can be easily distracted and forget about the items in their online shopping carts. Use SMS to send friendly reminders and links to checkout before and after the sale ends. Sweeten the deal with an additional discount or free shipping to entice them to complete their purchase.
Avoid being too aggressive or persistent with these reminders—the key is to provide supportive nudges, not coerce your customers with pushy sales tactics. Keep it simple and helpful, and you may see higher conversion rates for your abandoned carts.
Do more with SMS
SMS marketing isn’t just for the holidays. Keep your messaging strong all year round with integrated SMS and email campaigns.
With Mailchimp's SMS add-on, you can easily send targeted, personalized text messages to your subscribers and track their engagement all in one place. Plus, you can take advantage of our latest automations, including triggered messages that respond to customer actions (like buying a product or leaving a review), and customer journeys that guide them through your marketing funnel.
SMS is available as an add-on to US paid plans only and SMS credits are added to your account after purchase. Application and agreement to terms are required before purchasing credits. Credits are issued monthly and unused credits expire and do not roll over. Pricing varies. See terms for details.
Customer Journey Builder functionality varies across plans.
Availability of features and functionality varies by plan type. For details, please see Mailchimp's various plans and pricing.
Based on emails sent by Mailchimp users from 11/21/22 to 12/1/22. Engagement measured by click-through rates.