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We’ve made a list of holiday SMS campaign ideas. (And you’ll want to check it twice.)

If you’re looking to cut through the noise this holiday season, consider using SMS to reach your customers. After all, with 98% open rates and 8x the response rate of email, SMS is one of the most effective ways to stay connected to your customers during this busy time of year.

Check out these twelve SMS campaign ideas to help your retail or eCommerce business 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

Incentivize 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.

After all, everyone loves a gift or access to limited supply items.

2. Target a new audience

Get in the spirit this holiday season by hosting a contest. Text-to-win competitions make it easy for prospective customers to text your business to go in the draw to win a prize.

An example of a promotion where people text in to win

3. And reward your loyal customers

Surprise and delight existing customers with a gift, early access to a sale, or exclusive products. It’s a sure-fire way to encourage customer retention. And while you’re at it, why not encourage your loyal customers to invite their friends and family to get in on the action?

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

4. Customize your marketing text messages

Make a customer’s holiday shopping experience easy and personalized. Show them you care by crafting special products and gift collections tailored just for them.

You can send customized marketing text messages to your customers by segmenting your contact list by preferences, past purchases, or behaviors. That way, your SMS marketing campaigns will be as relevant as possible. Since 90% of text messages are 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

Put customers’ minds at ease by keeping them informed about when their gifts will arrive. You can even set up your text messages to send automatically, to avoid creating additional work for your team.

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

Plus, encouraging customers to subscribe to text reminders is a great way to boost your SMS subscriber base.

6. Treat your customers to a deal

This year, 72% of shoppers will start shopping earlier to take advantage of sales. So it might pay to add a special offer to your holiday campaign.

Give your customers multiple opportunities to save by offering holiday coupons, discounts, and exclusive offers delivered directly 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

Give your customers 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 because customers will appreciate a business that gives back.

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 or impersonal marketing messages, create helpful and engaging experiences. Nurture 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 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 many 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

Create a content strategy and calendar to help you keep your campaigns on track. Focus on actions that keep customers coming back to your website or store throughout the holidays. Intensify your activity as the holidays get closer, and don’t forget to plan for your post-holiday outreach communications strategy – a crucial step to secure customer loyalty.

11. Open your doors to customers

Invite your customers for a visit – even if your store is virtual! If you have the resources to do something more lavish this season, create a virtual or in-store holiday experience and invite your most loyal and top 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 with your text messaging this holiday season. For more inspiration: