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12 holiday SMS marketing ideas you’ll want to check twice!

With so many companies competing for your customers’ attention during this festive time of year, it may be challenging to reach your audience. The best approach is to create an integrated experience that combines email, SMS, and social media.

We’ve made a list of proven SMS campaign ideas to help retail and eCommerce businesses stand out from the crowd.

1. Encourage customers to visit you in-store

An example of an MMS message which includes a sales promotion and a QR coupon for a free item
You can send images and QR codes by MMS to the U.S and Australia

Incentivise customers to visit you in-store with a special promotion, like:

  • Offer your first 100 visitors the chance to win a gift.
  • Spend over $75 online or in-store and get a bonus gift.
  • Bring in a text voucher for a special surprise offer.

Everyone loves a gift or free access to limited supply items. Use this desire to your advantage to attract shoppers.

2. Target a new audience

Get in the spirit this holiday season with a jolly competition! Text-to-win competitions make it easy for customers to text your business to get entered to win a prize.

An example of a promotion where people text in to win

3. And reward your loyal customers

Reward your most loyal customers this holiday season with a little something extra. Surprise them with a gift, early access to a deal, or exclusive products. It will help you keep them for years to come.

Build customer loyalty by giving them extra rewards when they invite their friends and family to shop with you too. You can send them a text message that contains a unique gift code for them to use and share. They’ll be thrilled with your thoughtfulness, and you’ll get more business without more effort.

Example SMS where you offer your customer 20% discount or 40% if they refer a friend

4. Customize your marketing text messages

Customers appreciate their holiday shopping experience being easy and personalised. Show them your appreciation by curating special gift collections tailored just for them.

Send customised marketing text messages to your customers by segmenting them by preferences, past purchases, or behaviours. That way, your SMS marketing campaigns will be as relevant as possible. Since 90% of text messages get read in under two minutes, it will also have higher customer engagement.

Example MMS with a picture included and a message offering 20% discount on knitting supplies
You can send pictures to the U.S and Australia

Once the holiday gift-giving season is over, run a similar campaign to promote items customers might like to purchase for themselves.

Top tip: When writing your holiday messages, enable short trackable links to reduce characters and save money.

5. Keep your customers in-the-loop

Wondering if their gifts will arrive in time for Christmas can create worry during an already busy time. Set their minds at ease by keeping them informed with automated text reminders on order confirmations and shipping status.

An example SMS updating customers on deadline for gift delivery for Christmas

Encouraging customers to subscribe to text reminders is also a great way to boost your SMS subscriber base.

6. Treat your customers to a deal

Because the holidays can get expensive, 72% of shoppers hope to start shopping earlier this season to take advantage of sales. That means your holiday campaign won’t be complete without a special offer.

Treat your customers to multiple opportunities to save by offering special holiday coupons, discounts, and exclusive offers delivered right to their mobile phones via SMS.

An example MMS advertising discount on a range of luggage
You can send pictures to the U.S and Australia

7. Support a good cause

Customers like to support businesses that give back. Let them know your company cares and give them the opportunity to support a good cause. Offer to donate a percentage of their purchase to a charity of their choice or let them know how they can give back in other ways.

An example SMS offering to donate 20% of the sale to a designated charity

8. Offer increased value to your customers

Instead of overwhelming customers with a series of repetitive, impersonal marketing messages, create helpful and engaging experiences. Foster long-lasting relationships beyond the purchase by sending tailored messages.

For example, if a customer is buying a gift for their child, serve up post-holiday content on how to take care of their new toy. Or, if a giftee has received a skincare package, include a sign-up option in the shipment that allows them to receive skincare tips delivered to their phone.

An example SMS following up a scooter purchase with timely accessories (in this case tips for protecting from cold and snow)

9. Try something new with holiday-themed products

Creating a holiday-themed product or service can prove bountiful for your business. There are plenty of ways to deliver more holiday cheer to your customers, from holiday workshops to limited edition PJs.

Example MMS message including a picture of lipstick and an SMS promotion for exclusive VIP members
You can send pictures to the U.S and Australia

10. Branch out to your other channels

Diversify your marketing strategy by connecting with your customers across different channels. Stay front of mind and increase their shopping experience by reaching out when it suits them best. 

An abandoned cart SMS reminder, an e-mail newsletter tailored to their preferences or an online loyalty program with special offers are all options to try. Some ecommerce platforms allow you to integrate automations into one workflow, such as the SMS for Shopify app.

11. Open your doors to customers

If you have the resources to do something more lavish this season, create a virtual or in-store holiday party experience and invite your most loyal and ideal prospective customers to join you.

Example SMS used to invite customers for an event. Use replies to confirm attendances and then schedule follow-up reminders

Use an SMS service to send invitations to your in-person or virtual holiday event. You can enable two-way messaging and event integrations to create instant text-in RSVP confirmations.

12. Celebrate alongside your customers

Create a joyful experience for your customers while they shop in your store. You can even invite customers to bring their kids or pets to take a photo with Santa.

For those businesses without a storefront, find creative ways to create memorable experiences. Offer to send personalized e-greeting cards for your customers or create fun filters to use on social media.

More tips and tricks

There are endless opportunities to get creative this holiday season. Text messaging for your business can support any ideas that you might have.

With 98% open rates and 8x the response rate of email, SMS has the best chance of cutting through the noise and reaching your customers this holiday season.

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