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Your SMS marketing checklist for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).

Image for Your SMS marketing checklist for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Tips, tricks & hacks 6 min read | Sinch Messagemedia wrote in blog on August 2, 2021

Last updated September 2023

Keen to harness the power of SMS to reach and convert customers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM)? Why wouldn’t you? SMS, after all, is a cheap and easy way to get your best discounts and offers in front of hungry shoppers.

Once the domain of door-busting deals, with shoppers queuing for hours outside actual stores before the sales started, BFCM has now morphed into more of a shop-from-home event. Last year, online spending on Black Friday alone hit $9.1 billion, a 2.3% rise on 2021 figures. And mobile commerce made up 63% of all online sales.

With more shoppers browsing and buying from their devices, no wonder SMS marketing is shaping up to be a top tool for online retailers during this year’s BFCM sales.

10 things to tick off your BFCM SMS marketing checklist.

1. Build earlybird excitement.

Start spruiking your BFCM deals in October. Yep, that’s before Halloween, folks. Shoppers will already be on the lookout for the best BFCM deals by then — and you’ll want your brand on their radar.

To build buzz, kick-start a campaign that drip-feeds promotional SMS messages in the weeks leading up to BFCM. As the big weekend draws closer, ramp things up with even better deals and discounts. Don’t forget to test and monitor each text’s performance as you go, and make adjustments accordingly.

Get your Black Friday deals early at Everlens. 25% off all lenses plus other great savings. Shop here: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

2. Make it mobile.

With more shoppers using their phones to buy stuff, make sure your entire customer journey is mobile-first. Which means adding SMS to your BFCM marketing strategy, and exploring the use of mobile landing pages to really make your special deals stand out. 

Think about it. Email inboxes are inundated. App notifications often get ignored. But a sweet SMS that pops up on your customer’s phone will get seen — each and every time.

3. Follow texting best practices.

Like any marketing channel, there are do’s and don’ts when it comes to using SMS for connecting with customers. Like, don’t send too many texts, and most definitely don’t text people without their permission.

On the flip side, make sure you do use SMS to maximise sales. Things like a quick SMS after a cart abandonment or a bulk SMS to promote a flash sale can work wonders on your bottom line. Read up on SMS for marketing campaigns.

4. Hone your delivery strategy.

Think about how you can use SMS to support the delivery experience. Whether customers plan to use Click and Collect or a postal service, you can set up automated texts that notify customers about the progress of their order. 

Not only does this reduce the number of calls coming through to you, but it also ensures a great delivery experience.

EXAMPLE: Hi Sally, Bee’s Knees here. Your beekeeping nets (order #6847) are now ready to be picked up. Check our opening hours here: [URL]

5. Earn customers’ trust.

Use BFCM as an opportunity to build long-term relationships, not just one-time-purchases (OTPs). This way, you’ll continue reaping the rewards long after the ‘Sale’ sign comes down. 

Here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Be personal. Use the customer’s name to add a human touch.
  2. Add an opt-out option. Give them an easy way out (if they want it). It’s the law, after all.
  3. Have a conversation. Enable two-way messaging so customers can easily get in touch, ask questions and more.

6. Curate covetable collections.

Your customers are busier than ever. They crave shortcuts to this season’s must-have purchases, and there’s no quicker short-cut than a link in an SMS.

Create a gift guide on your website and build a bulk SMS that links straight to it. Time the send of this text to coincide with the launch of your big BFCM sale, and watch the shoppers roll in.

EXAMPLE: Hi Leigh, looking for a gift for the dog lovers in your life? Get 50% off our collar collection at Pup Simple this BFCM weekend: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

7. Create a sense of urgency.

With most text messages seen almost instantly, SMS is great for time-sensitive campaigns. And nothing entices people to ‘buy now’ more than the fear of missing out. 

So, when planning your BFCM deals, think about when and how to run ‘limited time only’ promotions. For example, you could send out an SMS before a one-hour-only 20% off sale, or before a 24-hour BFCM pre-sale.

EXAMPLE: Hey Tom, like the sound of 25% off camping gear? Offer available for 24 hours only, so be quick. Use code 24CAMP: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

8. Recapture their hearts (and carts).

In 2022, around 80% of shopping carts were abandoned on and around Black Friday. That’s 8 in every 10 shoppers. Imagine if you could turn this number around and capture more of these potential sales.

By integrating SMS into your ecommerce platform, you can. Connect SMS with Shopify or BigCommerce and off you go. Fast and targeted, texting is a powerful tool for recovering abandoned carts.

ROI up 1000x with abandoned cart SMS reminders.

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We recommend sending your abandoned cart message 1 hour after the customer bailed on you. And, if that message doesn’t work, consider sending a second message with a sweet little discount thrown in.

EXAMPLE: Hi Mabel, we’d hate you to miss out, so we’ve added a further 10% discount. But only for 30 minutes: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

9. Make it personal.

Add the human touch to every message you send by tapping into the powerful personalization features of SMS. Even with bulk SMS, you can easily add personal touches like your customer’s name, shopping preferences, location and more.

It’s a great way to make your messages stand out from the crowd, and show your customers you care about them. Learn how to customize each and every SMS you send, so you can better connect with customers.

EXAMPLE: Hi Jan, thanks for buying our Jasmine scented candle. We think you’ll love these limited edition scents too: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

10. Look beyond BFCM.

Sure, BFCM is a huge sales opportunity. But it’s just the beginning of the holiday season — and, if you play your cards right, you’ll keep reaping the benefits of targeted, personalized marketing right through the Christmas and Boxing Day sales. 

When people buy from you during BFCM, encourage them to join your member’s list or VIP club by hinting at further deals to come. By building your subscriber list, you’ll help build a solid bank of loyal customers who you can continue to send SMS marketing messages to — well after the sales have ended.

Learn how to build brand loyalty through text messages.

Crack the Black Friday code.

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