COVID-19 is shaping Black Friday marketing trends this year as in-store shopping restrictions remain in place across the country. With more of us expected to shop online than ever before, reaching customers while they’re at home will be critical for sales, and a solid Black Friday SMS strategy can help your business do that.
Yahoo Finance reported that 56% of all orders on Black Friday came from a mobile device in 2019, while 76% of digital traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend happened on smartphones. With these numbers expected to increase this year, text messaging offers the best way to ensure your marketing efforts will be seen where customers are spending most of their time: on their phones.
Ahead, we offer tips for a successful Black Friday SMS campaign, along with examples to drive customer purchases.
1. Use two-way texting for better customer service
The customer service experience on Black Friday can directly impact sales. Tech Radar reported that on average customers who receive “excellent” service can spend up to $65 more at a retailer and nine out of 10 may turn into repeat customers.
Sharpen your customer service offerings this season by offering shoppers added assistance via your Black Friday text message outreach. A recent Zipwhip survey found that:
- 80% of consumers say it’s important for businesses to offer text messaging as a communication option
- 96% of consumers think it’s important to have options available to them when they need to reach a business, including phone calls, email, text messaging and social media
- 96% of consumers said they were frustrated when their preferred communication option wasn’t available
Keep customers happy with two-way text messaging using your existing 10-digit, VoIP or toll-free phone number. While the alternative short code texting is popular among businesses because of its effectiveness for sending blast messages — like alerts and announcements — short codes don’t always offer the ability to text back and forth with customers.
Zipwhip’s 2019 State of Texting report found that three out of four consumers said they feel frustrated when they can’t reply to a company’s text message. If a customer replies to your Black Friday SMS with questions about an offer or they need help with your product or service, you wouldn’t be able to answer in the same text exchange.
Customer service requests naturally increase during the holiday season due to the influx of shoppers. Offering text messaging as an option to reach you can lower phone call and email volume and help close tickets faster.
2. Gather Black Friday SMS opt-ins
With two-way texting in place, gathering a list of customer opt-ins is your next priority. One way to do this is to advertise a keyword letting customers know they can get Black Friday notifications sent to them via SMS.
Keywords can be created with business texting software and are tied to an auto-response. Customers text a keyword (like BLACKFRIDAY) to your business phone number, and they’ll receive an automated response that confirms their opt-in. Common ad placements include:
- In-store. If you have a physical location, post ads throughout your store and at checkout.
- Website. Advertise the keyword via an eye-catching banner.
- Marketing emails. Dedicate an entire email or create a banner to highlight the message.
- Social media. Pin a post to your page for every visitor to see.
3. Start your Black Friday text message campaigns early
Salesforce expects “digital sales to hit all-time highs” that will “lead to strained shipping capacity as retailers grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To ease congestion, many retailers are offering their Black Friday sales well in advance of November 27. Plan ahead and set up your campaigns by scheduling texts in advance. You won’t have to keep track of sending sale reminders to your contact list; texting software automates the process. Learn how to schedule a text message with Zipwhip here.
4. Black Friday text message campaign examples to use
Black Friday SMS Flash salesA text message is better suited for a flash sale than an email. Customers will open a text message within three minutes of receipt while an email may take days, if they see it at all. A customer may become frustrated if they realize that they missed out on a good sale because they didn’t see the communication in time.
After hours SMS Black Friday example
Customers will be more likely to reach out to your business during the holiday season. Setting up an auto-reply text message during after hours is a convenient way to maintain timely customer service even when employees aren’t available. Customers won’t be left hanging, and they’ll have an expectation for when they’ll get a reply.
Black Friday sale SMS advertisements using a graphicCreate a graphic to pique interest in your sale. Text messages should be succinct, and an image helps save space by including details such as a call to action or specifics about the offer.
Send exclusive offers
Use group messaging via business texting software to segment customers into groups. Customers won’t be able to see anyone’s replies but their own. Use dynamic fields with group messaging to personalize each text with the recipient’s name and other relevant identifiable information.
5. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday text messages
Lastly, consider sending a Cyber Monday text to round out the holiday shopping weekend on November 30.
See other ways you can optimize your text campaign this Black Friday with examples in this post or browse these other helpful resources: