How to boost sales with holiday SMS marketing

    You probably have your holiday email blast ready to go. Or at least you have an idea of what it should be considering the retail season kicks off earlier and earlier each year. However, while the subject lines are catchy, the graphics engaging, and the sales “too good to pass up,” email is only a fraction of the battle. In 2022, you need to meet your audience where they spend most of their time – on their phones.

    Whether it’s a New Year’s campaign, a 4th of July sale, the Black Friday rush, or you’re trying to clear up inventory over the Christmas holiday, SMS can deliver the open rates, clicks, and personalized engagement you’re looking for.

    The proof is in the holiday pudding

    Sending emails has always been a guessing game – a moving target of A/B testing, plain text vs dynamic, spam compliance, and time-intensive drip campaigns. With the success of your business on the line, it’s time to look at the facts.


    Open rates

    With nearly 100% open rates, retailers can truly see what is and isn’t clicking with their audience. Plus, it also provides peace of mind when it comes to understanding deliverability rates, the best time of day, and even device preferences.

    Click rates

    During Black Friday, SMS click rates skyrocket when compared to email. This means, not only is SMS a good way to increase conversions and qualify leads, it’s also the perfect sales funnel to drive audiences to web pages where they’ll find even more holiday promotions.


    According to a study performed by Cellit, “SMS produces engagement rates six to eight times higher than retailers normally achieve via email marketing.” Moreover, SMS databases see their biggest growth during the fourth quarter holiday season (Retail Dive). In the retail space, we call this the perfect storm for sales. Which leads us to…

    Creating an effective holiday SMS campaign

    If you’ve found yourself on a retail mailing list, you’ve seen the traditional “Happy holidays – here’s 10% off your next purchase!” promos. And while they certainly work (to a degree), here are some tips for making the most out of your SMS campaigns.

    Give consumers plenty of lead-up time

    With Halloween candy and Christmas trees making their way into stores months before the actual holiday, the same should go for your SMS campaigns. By teasing big sales well ahead of schedule, you’re not just giving consumers time to save up money and prioritize their dollars, you’ll be creating organic site visits during slow sales periods.

    Time-sensitive messaging with clear calls to action

    The team at Cellit also found that promotional SMS programs with fixed time frames and strong calls to action typically see a 23.3% conversion rate (Retail Dive). This means, whether we like it or not, the more pressure to click “Add to cart,” the better.

    And since the fear of missing out is strong when it comes to shopping habits, we suggest adding links to web pages directly within your SMS campaigns. This way, you can encourage quick purchases via a countdown timer marking the end of the sale, free shipping for purchases made in time, and even leverage welcome banners that offer a future discount for taking advantage of the timed promotion.

    Personalization whenever possible

    Address your SMS recipients by name and you’ll already be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Just start by integrating your CMS or CRM with an SMS platform, then curate holiday promotions by person and/or specific interest. For instance, while one distribution list may highlight doorbusters for those that have shown interest in your shop, another may be geared toward accessories and peripheral items for those that have already purchased a product from you before.

    The power of SMS cannot be understated, especially for those that make the majority of their profits over the holiday season. So, if you’re looking to upgrade from email to SMS or enjoy the advantages of meeting consumers on multiple communication channels, there’s no time like the present.


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