We know how it goes. Every year you promise yourself that you’ll start festive season marketing earlier.
Suddenly it’s November. Then December happens. In the mad rush to the holidays, your good intentions have been foiled again.
Never fear. If you’re a last-minute marketer, using online SMS for the holiday season is your saving grace.
We’ll show you last-minute text tactics and SMS strategies, including:
- Why last-minute messaging is manageable
- Templates for:
- Retail and eCommerce
- Hospitality venues
- Hair and beauty businesses
- Health and fitness companies
- Trades and services
- Real estate agents
Don’t stress: last-minute messaging is manageable with SMS
When it comes to SMS marketing, you can afford to keep your timelines a little tighter.
There’s no need to brief a graphic designer to create the perfect email banner. There’s no fuss over font styles, mismatched colours and odd sizing.
No wrangling with temperamental email templates and no testing responsiveness across numerous devices. No worrying about emails diverted to a promotions inbox or lost in a pile of EDMs dying for attention.
With holiday SMS, it’s as simple as writing your message and reaching your contacts in a few clicks.
You could wake up at 7am on Christmas morning and decide to send a message.
Your clients will see, open and read your message before they even consider opening their first gift. (Not that we’re advocating for messages on Christmas Day). Read on for better ways to turbocharge your festive season campaigns with SMS marketing.
You’ll also discover a range of templates to copy and paste. Some of the templates below are over the standard 160 characters and may cost more per send. Read our SMS character help doc to find out more.
Last-minute festive season text templates for retail and eCommerce
Spent all your tokens promoting Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Do not fret. People still spend a staggering amount over the Christmas and holiday period. Americans spent more than $1 trillion in retail sales last year.
Here’s another staggering stat: while about a quarter of people start their Christmas shopping in November, far more people leave it to the last minute — 62%, in fact.
Here are some templates to get your brand front of mind before most spenders hit the stores.
Templates: Christmas SMS messaging for retail stores
Shoppers are beginning to expect bargains before Christmas. If you offer holiday promotions, now is the time to drive them hard.
Did you know that 51% of Christmas shoppers buy gifts for themselves? You can use text to give them a little extra encouragement.
Show your customer how much you know about them with tailored, irresistible offers. Segment customers by buying history, and data from signup forms or conversations.
You can use [placeholders] to personalise messages with data from your contact list.
You can also choose to add a custom placeholder to automatically fill in important details. The words ‘little girl’ is an example below.
Not all marketing campaigns need to involve discounts. 19% of Christmas shoppers spend on unplanned purchases. And 30% tend to have a vague idea of what they need but rely on gut feel in-store.
Almost 50% of shoppers are open to suggestions, making them easier to market to. Send messages about re-stocked popular items or coax customers into visiting your store by letting them know about extended trading hours.
Templates: for eCommerce and online stores
Don’t get left behind this holiday season, ensure that your promotions and deals reach your customers with Christmas text messaging.
It’s very easy to sell the benefit of doing Christmas shopping from the comfort of your home. For the shop-averse, online shopping is an absolute godsend.
Did you know you can reduce cart abandonment by nudging customers with SMS? You can automate this using triggered marketing messages by integrating your content management system (CMS).
Postal delays are all part of the festive season. You can keep your customers in the loop about shipping timelines so they feel comfortable shopping with you.
Make sure you consider the shipping times provided by your usual carrier. Add the amount of time it takes your team to dispatch. Then, add a time buffer because it’s Christmas.
Send this reminder two days before the shipping cut-off date:
How-to: Christmas text messaging for restaurants, bars and hotels
Whether you run a bar, restaurant or hotel — December is always a busy time for the hospitality industry. Functions, office parties, bookings and holiday-makers are all part of the fun.
Maximise the opportunity for your hospitality business by selling the benefit of taking a break from cooking, a staycation or even a vacation to avoid all the kerfuffle of Christmas entirely.
Hair & beauty holiday text message marketing templates
With all the events leading to Christmas, many people turn to beauticians and hairdressers to ensure they look their best. Drive more appointments through holiday season SMS reminders.
Health & fitness holiday season SMS marketing templates
The holiday season can strain people’s health; from stress to indulgences or neglecting their usual fitness routine.
It’s a great time to remind people to come in for checkups, physiotherapy sessions, therapy, yoga sessions, or sign up for gym memberships.
Trades & services holiday text messaging templates
Strange but true: Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers in America.
On Black Friday, American plumbers will receive 50% more calls than on any other day of the year. Mostly because people put too many food scraps down the sink after Thanksgiving.
This highlights a huge opportunity for Christmas, where many families come together over a similarly large meal.
Make sure that your customers are in front of mind should their sink (or other drains) get clogged with a simple holiday season SMS.
Other trades and services can use the festive season to their advantage too. Depending on your hemisphere, December may be the beginning of very hot or cold weather:
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.
Or, even piggyback on ‘new year, new me’ attitudes as the year wraps up.
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
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. Is it the evening before, the morning of Boxing Day or before Christmas?
Just make sure you add a sense of urgency to encourage shoppers to come to your business first.
Keep the momentum going until the new year. You can send another timely message a few days later to remind customers of continuing sales.
If you aren’t an eCommerce or retail business, there’s still an opportunity to boost sales on Boxing day.
How to get maximum return with minimal spend
Want to get the most out of your holiday marketing campaigns? Check out our top tips on how to make SMS work best for your business.
A/B test SMS messages
To gain learnings fast, you can split some of your recipients into A and B test groups, send two different versions of your message and see which performs better.
Use this to test things like:
- Which call to action performs better?
- What type of offer is more enticing to your audience?
- What greeting 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.
Do’s and don’ts for holiday season SMS marketing messages
The rules of SMS aren’t complicated, but they are important. Follow these for SMS success.
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
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