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Holiday Season SMS: The Last Minute Marketer’s Guide

We know how it goes. Every year you say that next year you’ll start your holiday marketing planning earlier. Suddenly it’s November, then December, and you find yourself inundated. End of year events pop up, last-minute collateral or a mountain of end of year reports need to be whipped up all of a sudden. December is here and your good intentions have been foiled. So once again you find yourself in a last-minute rush. Using a text messaging gateway for holiday season SMS can help with that.

We’ll show you how.

With holiday season SMS marketing you can afford to leave things a little later. No need to engage with a graphic designer to ensure you have the perfect banner for your email. No-fuss over font styles, mismatched colours and odd sizing. No wrangling with temperamental email templates, no testing responsiveness across numerous devices. No worrying about emails diverted to a promotions inbox, or lost in the pile of EDMs vying for attention. With holiday SMS, it’s as simple as writing your message and it reaching your contacts in a few clicks.

In fact, you could wake up at 7am on Boxing Day and decide to send a message to your clients and have it sent, opened and read before 8am. Not that we’re advocating it. Read on for better ways to turbocharge your festive season campaigns with bulk holiday season SMS.

How-to: Christmas Text Message Marketing Campaigns

christmas sms marketing

Missed out on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weekend? Do not fret; people spend a staggering amount over the Christmas and holiday period. Americans spent more than $1 trillion in retail sales last year. Australians spent over $50 billion and around the world, people are spending silly amounts of cash during the silly season. That’s a huge opportunity for your business.

While about a quarter of people start their Christmas shopping in November, far more people leave it to the last minute – 62% in fact. This gives you plenty of time to get your brand front of mind before the majority of spenders hit the stores.

Templates: Christmas SMS Messaging for Retail Stores

Customers are increasingly expecting bargains before Christmas. If you are offering holiday promotions, now is the time to really drive them hard with holiday season SMS marketing.

Flash sale! Get 25% off all ladies and men’s clothing at [company name]. This weekend only, everything must go. Instore and online – shop sale at smsg.io/123567. Opt-out reply STOP

Missed [company name] our epic Cyber Monday sale? Check out our one-day sale – tomorrow only! Get an extra 20% already reduced lines. Opt-out reply STOP

51% of Christmas shoppers buy gifts for themselves; why not encourage customers to reward all their effort with a gift for themselves?

Buy one get one 50% off for all shoes at [company name]. Buy a gift and treat yourself. Show this message at the sales counter to redeem. Opt-out reply STOP

The more you know about your customer, the more you can make tailored, irresistible offers. Customer information could be from buying history, data from signup forms or even through conversation.

Hi [first name], looking for the perfect gift for your little girl? Get 20% off all toys this weekend only. Opt-out reply STOP

You see that we’re using [placeholders] this data is pulled from your customer list. You can also choose to add a custom placeholder to automatically fill in ‘little girl’, ‘little boy’ ‘son’, ‘daughter’ etc.

Not all marketing campaigns need to involve discounts, they can be informative or educational. 19% of Christmas shoppers spend on unplanned purchases, plus 30% tend to have a vague idea of what they need, but rely on gut feel in-store. This means that almost half of all shoppers are open and receptive to suggestions, making them easier to market to. Set the seed in their mind that your product is what they need before they reach the store using text messages. You can also send messages about popular items back in stock or coax customers into coming to your store by letting them know about your extended trading hours.

Hi [first name]. Stuck for gift ideas this Christmas? Make life easy and give them the gift they really want – a [company name] gift card! Order in-store or online smsg.io/123567 Opt-out reply STOP

Hey [first name]. Limited edition [company name] eyeshadow palettes back in stock! Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for her? Look no further, buy now smsg.io/123567 Opt-out reply STOP

Take the stress out of shopping this Christmas with [company name]’s extended trading hours. From now until Christmas Eve, we’re open from 8am until 8pm for your shopping convenience. Opt-out reply STOP

Templates: Christmas SMS Messaging for eCommerce and Online Stores

Similar to marketing for brick-and-mortar stores, if you’re offering amazing promotions, discounts or coupons, this is the time of year that your customers are most expecting it. Don’t get left behind, ensure that your deals reach your customers with Christmas text messaging.

Flash sale! Get 20% off all items sitewide at [company name]. Enter FLASH20 at the cart to redeem. Shop now: smsg.io/567123 Opt-out reply STOP

Get 25% off the hottest toys of this year at [company name] and see the smiles on their faces when they unwrap their gifts this Christmas! Get 25% off all BugMan toys, Barbara Dolls and Star Who figurines. Go to smsg.io/567123 Opt-out reply STOP

Free shipping Friday with [company name]! Get free express shipping on all orders, today only. Use FRIYAY at cart to redeem. Shop now: smsg.io/567123 Opt-out reply STOP

With shops and malls getting uncomfortably crowded from Black Friday until well after Christmas, it’s not hard to sell the benefit of doing Christmas shopping from the comfort of your home. For the shop-averse, online shopping is an absolute godsend.

Hey [first name], hate the stress of Christmas shopping? Do it online with [company name]! We’ve put together a gift guide to make shopping a breeze – go to smsg.io/123567. Opt-out reply STOP

Hi [first name]. Forget queues, hot and crowded malls, Mariah Carey on repeat and everything about the Christmas rush we all hate. Do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your home or on the go with [company name]. Check out our Christmas edit at smsg.io/123567. Opt-out reply STOP

For a strong customer relationship, ensure you have simple and user-friendly returns and delivery policies. This also helps strengthen your value proposition – you could even drip-feed the benefits with followup messages:

Hey [first name], did you know that if you’re not happy with your purchase from [company name], you can return it free of charge? That way you can be sure your gift will be perfect! Here’s $10 toward your next purchase, to redeem go to smsg.io/123567. Opt-out reply STOP

An added benefit of running an online store is that you can see whether customers browse, add items to their cart and whether they check out. Get the most out of your leads and reduce cart abandonment by pursuing customers who add items to their cart without completing the checkout process. You can automate this using triggered marketing messages through integration with your content management system (CMS).

Hi [first name], you’ve forgotten some items in your cart at [company name]! Don’t let them get away! Opt-out reply STOP

Given the nature of online shopping, unless click-and-collect is available, you’ll need to send your messages ASAP to ensure that Christmas gifts arrive in time. It’s worthwhile keeping customers updated about the cutoff dates for shipping, saves unpleasant conversations with support staff when items don’t arrive when customers expect. Find out from your postal service or courier their estimated delivery times, whether it’s different for the holiday period to regular shipping times and remember to factor in your dispatch time.

For example, your postal service might say, to guarantee delivery allow an extra 2 business days for all post on top of regular delivery times of 5-7 business days for regular post, or 2 business days for expedited post. If you dispatch all items within 1 business day, add that to your shipping times.

That would mean if your customer chooses expedited delivery, they will be guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas if they order 5 business days (1 week) before Christmas. So the cut-off for guaranteed express delivery by Christmas would be 18 December. Similarly, using standard shipping, they would need to order items 10 business days (2 weeks) ahead of the big day. With this in mind, you can craft offers and schedule messages accordingly.

Hi [first name], last days to order online with [company name] and receive your items before Christmas. Buy now and be guaranteed that your gifts will arrive in time. Opt-out reply STOP

Two days before shipping cut-off date:

Get FREE express shipping on all items ordered today with [company name] and be guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas. Hurry, offer available today and tomorrow only. Opt-out reply STOP

How-to: Christmas Text Messaging for Restaurants, Bars and Hotels

christmas sms for restaurants

December can be incredibly busy for businesses in the hospitality industry; whether you run a bar or restaurant and get extra bookings for Christmas or end of year functions, or you run a hotel and see an increased occupancy of people coming home to their family.

Maximise the opportunity for your hospitality business by selling the benefit of taking a break from cooking (for bars and restaurants), a staycation to avoid the daily grind and all chores or even a vacation to avoid all the kerfuffle of Christmas entirely (for hotels).

Merry Christmas from [company name]. Need to feed the family? Make life easy for yourself and order in. Get free delivery on all orders on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Opt-out reply STOP

We know Christmas can be tiring. Reward your effort with a staycation at the [company name] – stay 2 nights, get the 3rd free! Opt-out reply STOP

Holiday Season SMS for All Industries

holiday season sms

No matter where you work, or in which industry, holiday text messaging and Christmas marketing can help you maximise profit in this most critical part of the year. Here are a few templates for some of our most popular industries.

Hair & Beauty Holiday Text Message Marketing Templates

With all the events that occur in the lead up to Christmas, many people turn to their beauticians and hairdressers to ensure they look their best. Drive more appointments through holiday season SMS reminders.

Big Christmas function coming up? Take the pressure off – come in for a full makeover at [company name] for $50 and redeem the cost on product. Book now, appointments are limited! Opt-out reply STOP

Want to turn heads this Christmas? Book in for a half head of foils, styled cut, wash and blow wave and save 20% off at [company name]. Book at smsg.io/123567 Opt-out reply STOP

Hi [first name], come in to [company name] for a pedicure from now until Christmas and get a free upgrade to a deluxe spa pedicure or add on a manicure for 50% off. Hurry, places are limited. Opt-out reply STOP

Health & Fitness Holiday Season SMS Marketing Templates

The Christmas and holiday season can really add strain to people’s health; the stress, the indulgences or neglecting their usual fitness routine.

This is a perfect opportunity to remind people to come in for checkups, physiotherapy sessions, therapy, yoga sessions or especially to sign up for gym memberships.

Hi [first name], holiday stress getting you down? Take care of YOU with 20% off all appointments until Christmas at [company name]. Call us or book online at smsg.io/567123 Opt-out reply STOP

Protect your sanity this holiday season at [company name] – we’ve added extra yoga and pilates sessions every day of the week up until January. Sign up now. Opt-out reply STOP

Hey [first name], Christmas indulgences starting to show? Come see the team at [company name] and get your free fitness appraisal and nutrition plan. Book now! Opt-out reply STOP

Trades & Services Holiday Text Messaging Templates

Did you know? Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers in America. On Black Friday American plumbers will receive 50% more calls than any other day of the year, to fix clogged sinks. This tends to be due to the incorrect disposal of scraps after a meal.

This highlights a huge opportunity for Christmas where many families come together over a similarly large meal. Make sure that your business is front of mind should their sink (or other drains) get clogged, with a simple holiday season SMS.

Hi [first name], thanks for entrusting your plumbing to us this year. Everyone at [company name] would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. And should you need our services, reply text to this number. Kind regards, your friendly plumber [plumber1 name]. Opt-out reply STOP

It’s not just plumbers who can maximise business during the festive season, but other trades and services also. Depending on your hemisphere, December may be the beginning of very hot or very cold weather:

Hi [first name], fan not quite cutting it this summer? Get your fully ducted air conditioning system up and running with [company name]’s festive sale. Opt-out reply STOP

Hey [first name], get warm and toasty with our gas heating installation. Book now in time for Christmas. Opt-out reply STOP

Real Estate Holiday Text Message Marketing Templates

If you’re a realtor or real estate agent, you can use the holiday sentimentality to your advantage when selling homes.

You can either buy a smaller tree… or a bigger living room. Dreaming of a bigger home? Contact [company name] now. Opt-out reply STOP

Asked Santa for a new home? You could be closer than you think. Call [company name] to check out our amazing Christmas listings. Opt-out reply STOP

Or even piggyback on the new year new me attitudes that people often sport as the year wraps up:

New Year, New Home! Looking for a bigger, newer home? [company name] have some beautiful houses and apartments just hit the market. Reply with your preferred suburb to see some listings. Opt-out reply STOP

With the help of an autoresponder, you can have replies sent immediately to potential leads with relevant property listings.

How to: Post-Christmas Text Message Marketing

post christmas sms

Boxing Day is one of the biggest shopping days worldwide. Increase online sales and foot traffic with boxing day text message marketing. Think about the best time for your business to send a text message:

  • Do you want to send text messages on the evening before, to ensure people can make plans to come to your store?
  • Do you want to send holiday season SMS first thing on Boxing Day morning to encourage as many online sales as possible?
  • Are you starting your Boxing Day sales early? If so, send your customers a message as soon as you go on sale.

Then craft your message, ensuring that you include a sense of urgency to encourage shoppers to come to your business first:

Hi [first name], get down to [company name]’s biggest ever Boxing Day Sale! First in best dressed, get in early to avoid missing out! Opt-out reply STOP

Hi [first name], it’s up to 50% off storewide this boxing day at [company name]. Don’t miss out! Opt-out reply STOP

Hey [first name], beat the crowd, shop online with [company name]. Our Boxing Day sale has arrived and we’re offering free returns and free express shipping! Shop now: smsg.io/123567 Opt-out reply STOP

Keep the momentum going until the new year with another timely message a few days later to remind customers of continuing sales:

[first name] Need a dress for new years? Shop [company name]’s Boxing Day sale to look great for less. Opt-out reply STOP

Boxing Day Model Clearance continues at [company name]. There’s still time to save on run-out models. Come in and make us an offer! Opt-out reply STOP

If you aren’t an eCommerce or retail business, there’s still an opportunity to boost sales on Boxing Day:

Hi [first name], whether you hit the Boxing day sales or sat it out, there’s nothing better than a boxing day beverage. Come down, say hi and get free tapas with every beer, wine or cider at [company name]. Opt-out reply STOP

Boxing Day Sale has hit [company name]. Make us an offer on these amazing listings. Opt-out reply STOP

Hosting a shindig this Boxing Day? Fix that leaky tap or hissing toilet before your friends notice. Book now with [company name] for instant quotes. Opt-out reply STOP

Send Bulk Holiday Season SMS Campaigns for Maximum Impact with Minimal Spend

bulk holiday sms

Holiday text messaging is an under-utilised and underrated medium for your December marketing campaigns. SMS is inexpensive, discreet, succinct and has an incredible open rate of 98%.

Low-Cost Messaging with Real-Time Reporting

Forget throwing thousands of dollars into advertising campaigns and having no idea what worked; with holiday text messaging you can be sure that your message was delivered with real-time reporting. Include a link in your message body and you can track exactly how many people clicked through to your website and who they are. This not only means you can easily track ROI, but you learn about what works for which customer.

To gain learnings fast, you can even split out some of your recipients into A and B test groups, send two different versions of your message and see which performs better. Whichever message performs better can be sent to the rest of the database. Use this to test which call to action performs better, what type of offer is more enticing to your audience, what greeting at the beginning of the message performs better, whether your audience appreciates festive puns, what time of day or day of the week is better for sending messages. The opportunities for A/B testing your holiday SMS campaigns are endless.

High Open Rate and Engagement

98% open rate sound too good to be true? Well sure, if you’re using email. Maximise your marketing campaign’s impact using holiday text messaging; not only do SMS have a 98% open rate, but 90% of the messages are also opened within three minutes of receipt.

Further, engagement rates for SMS are far higher than email, so you know that not only are more people seeing your message but more people are likely to make a purchase from you.

Easy Setup and Fast Delivery

Be up and running in minutes with your favourite online SMS gateway. With ClickSend, once you’ve signed up you’re only a few clicks away from sending your first text message campaign. Then once you have sent your first campaign, watch in real-time as your messages reach your recipients.

Thousands of Integration Options

Market smarter with thousands of helpful, time-saving automations at your fingertips. Get the most out of your existing applications by connecting them to ClickSend, without needing to write a line of code. Just a few of the things you can do through our integrations:

  • Connect your content management system to automatically send text messages when:
    • Items are restocked
    • A shipment is about to be delivered
    • A returned item has been received/processed/exchanged
    • Customers abandon their cart
  • Connect your appointment scheduling system to send reminders for appointments, to reduce the rate of no-shows across the busy holiday season.
  • Connect your social media platforms and have welcome text messages sent as soon as customers sign up to your lead ads.

When it comes to automations, there is no end to the possibilities of what you can accomplish.

Dos and Don’ts for Holiday Season SMS Marketing Messages

  • All marketing messages need an opt-out option.
    • If you use a shared or dedicated number, you can direct recipients to reply stop to unsubscribe.
    • If you use a shortcode or business name as the sender, you need to include an opt-out link.
  • Be mindful of the time you send your messages and the timezone of your audience. Timing is everything.
  • Don’t buy contact lists. Not only is it illegal, but it won’t drive the results you desire.

Don’t be shy to start your first-holiday marketing text message campaign. Sign up now and get sending, or talk to our knowledgeable team members about how to optimise your holiday marketing campaigns.