What You Can Do to Gear Up for the Holiday SMS Marketing Season Now

Updated October 6, 2023

SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. When you consider that 97% of SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes, it’s a no-brainer that this should be something you incorporate into your marketing strategy.

With SMS marketing you know that your audiences will see your messages, and when done right they’ll be interested in clicking through and completing a purchase. It’s the most direct way to reach your audiences and provide them with the content you want them to see.

That’s why it’s a perfect solution for your holiday marketing plans.

You can get your message in front of your customers at the most opportune moments. Like when they’re browsing stores at the mall or by targeting last-minute holiday shoppers with a gift guide to help them complete their shopping list.

If you choose to incorporate SMS messaging into your holiday marketing plan, now’s the time to start thinking about what that content calendar looks like. You’ll want to start early, begin building a larger subscriber base, and start working on design creative to promote your products.

In this article, we’ll help you get started with your SMS holiday campaigns and give you a few tips to help make it the most successful holiday season yet. Then, to help you make the most out of your campaigns, we’ll provide you with a few SMS marketing platforms to help you manage your messages.

Here’s a quick look at the topics we’ll cover:

  • Tips for setting yourself up for a successful holiday SMs marketing season
  • 8 Platforms That Make Holiday SMS Planning Simple

Set Yourself Up for a Successful Holiday SMS Marketing Season

SMS is a great marketing tool when it comes to holiday marketing.

It’s a channel that lets you connect directly with your customers, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Knowing that your customers almost always have their cell phones with them, SMS messaging is a great way to get your message in front of your audiences.

When everyone is trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones during the holiday season, a well-timed text could be all it takes to drive increased sales. Whether you’re sharing details about an upcoming sale or sharing gift-giving ideas — your customers are more likely to see the content if it comes to them via texting.

That’s why you should be incorporating SMS marketing into your holiday season planning. By only using email and social media as your communication channels, you’re limiting yourself to when a customer is checking those outlets. Whereas with text marketing, you’re sending your message directly to the hands of your customer.

But how do you get started planning and implementing your holiday SMS marketing efforts? Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll want to start thinking about now for a successful holiday season.

Start Promoting and Increasing Your Subscriber Base Now

To have a successful SMS holiday campaign, you first need to have people to send those messages to. That means you need to start working to increase the number of SMS subscribers you have.

When it comes to growing your subscriber list, there are a variety of things you can do. Here are a few great examples to help get you started:

  • Run a competition
  • Create a VIP club
  • Website forms and pop-ups
  • Promote it through email, social media, and in-store signage

However you choose to promote your SMS marketing efforts, you need to remember that people often need a little incentive to feel comfortable giving up their phone numbers. Knowing that it’s essential to understand the most common reasons people subscribe to SMS marketing campaigns.

Start Promoting

The reasons to subscribe may change from person to person, but there are five things that stand out. Whether it’s to receive a coupon or discount, receive loyalty rewards, or simply looking to stay up to date with store news, understanding what’s important to your audiences will help you grow your subscriber base. Image courtesy of Listrak.

Looking at these common reasons for people to subscribe, it’s not a total surprise that incentives, coupons, and reward points are the most sought after. These things provide the customers with something of value in exchange for their personal information.

So when it comes to setting yourself up for a successful holiday season, now’s the time to start driving subscriber acquisition campaigns. Once you have those audiences enrolled in your subscriber list, they’ll be familiar with your messages and ready to engage once that first holiday message goes out.

Use Promotions to Add Value to Your Audiences

You just learned that incentives and coupons are the number one reason someone is willing to subscribe to your SMS marketing campaigns, so it probably comes as no surprise that this is our next tip.

75% of consumers want to receive texts with special offers. This means that people who have chosen to subscribe to your SMS marketing campaigns are looking for special offers to be shared with them through this outlet.

Considering that the coupon redemption rate for SMS coupons is ten times higher than printed coupons proves that this channel is well worth the effort.

SMS Marketing and Sales Statistics

SMS marketing provides you with higher engagement rates, open and click-through rates, and higher coupon redemption rates. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why more companies are starting to integrate SMS marketing into their holiday campaigns. Image courtesy of MobileMonkey.

One of the most important things you need to remember when building any type of SMS marketing campaign is that you need to offer your customers something of value. Without that value, people will be uninterested in what you’re sending them and will eventually choose to unsubscribe.

What content is considered high enough value for customers to stay engaged will vary from person to person, but sharing promotions and money-saving opportunities will always stand out to shoppers — especially during the holiday season.

Start Sharing Promoting Holiday Content at the Right Time

This one can be a tricky one. It’s important to start promoting your holiday content early enough to catch people before they’ve made most of their purchases, but not too early that they haven’t even begun to think about the holiday season yet.

You also need to consider how you’ll space out your messages for each different holiday. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all spread out over a few months, it can be tricky to know when it’s best to start promoting your content.

Promoting Holiday Content

Sending SMS messages to your customers is the perfect way to increase sales and drive more traffic to your website or store locations during the holiday. This is a great example of a company using SMS messages to reach people who might not want to go out in the craziness of Black Friday shopping, all while providing personalization through curated content. Image courtesy of ZipWhip.

If your company includes Halloween as part of the holiday season, then you’ll want to start promoting content from mid-September to early October.

But when it comes to the most crucial shopping season of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then you’ll want to have your holiday campaigns in full force starting in November. These are the two biggest shopping days of the year, and you don’t want to miss out by timing your holiday campaigns poorly.

Create Targeted Gift Guides to Simplify Gift Giving

The holiday season is a great time to put together gift guides that help customers visualize how your products can fit the needs of their loved ones. Finding the right gift can be a difficult task for many people, so why not help them out by putting your products out there for them.

These gift guides can be curated content targeted to users based on your data on them.

Create Targeted Gift Guides

Sending your customers an SMS message with a gift guide that helps them find the perfect gift for everyone on their list will help you drive traffic and increase sales. By putting all the items that their loved ones might be interested in on one comprehensive list, customers can make the Vend.

For example, if you know a customer often shops for kid toys or clothing, you can create a gift guide all about finding the perfect gift for your kids. On the other hand, everyone knows how hard dads are to shop for, so putting together a list of the top things dads want is another great option.

Here are a few tips to help you create holiday gift guides that inspire shoppers and increase sales:

  • Know what products to include by looking at sales data and trends
  • Use pools and surveys to gather input from your customers
  • Think about how you can categorize your products
  • Create a guide that is specifically for those last-minute shoppers
  • Include bundles when possible

Gift guides are a great option for SMS marketing because you can drive people to your website to check out the products you’ve curated for them, and they can complete their purchases at the same time. If you can incorporate MMS messages, you can make these gift guides even more enticing to your subscribers.

Use Location-Based Messages to Bring People Into Your Store

During the holiday season, many people are out shopping at physical stores. This presents you with a great opportunity to leverage location-based messaging to grab the attention of your customers.

Using location-based marketing is a great way to reach customers near your physical store location and bring them in. Sharing sales or discounts will entice them to come in, and then hopefully, they’ll find everything they need and more. Image courtesy of Atomic Email Marketing Blog.

SMS marketing is the perfect channel to incorporate location-based marketing into because people always have their cell phones handy. And knowing that 90% of texts are read within 3 seconds, you know your customers will most likely see the message almost immediately.

Location-based messages will allow you to identify a set area range, and when someone is in that range, a text message will be sent to them.

So if you know a customer is at the mall, based on their cell phone location, then you can send them a message letting them know about your current sales and promotions. This may encourage them to stop at your store before they leave and pick up something for one of the people on their shopping list.

Using location-based marketing is a great option to bring more customers into your physical stores. If you’re planning to do SMS marketing this holiday season, this is something you’ll want to incorporate into your strategy.

8 Platforms That Make Holiday SMS Planning Simple

Once you’ve determined what your SMS holiday marketing strategy will be, then you need to figure out how you’ll manage all of this.

To successfully do this, you’ll want to invest in a marketing platform that can help you create, execute, and track all of your SMS messages. There are many platforms that can help you achieve this goal, and to help provide you with some guidance, we’ve compiled a list of a few platforms you’ll want to consider.

While each platform listed here is a great option, you’ll want to consider what you need the platform to do for you and how you plan to grow your marketing efforts in the future. By considering these things, you’ll set yourself up for success both short and long term.

So, let’s see if we can find the right SMS marketing platform for you.

1. Listrak

Listrak is an integrated digital marketing platform that will allow you to manage all of your mobile marketing needs. This tool will allow you to easily create, send, manage, and track all of your SMS holiday campaigns and set you up for success every time.

Grow your subscriber base and get to know your customer in the process. The more data you have, the more you can create highly customized campaigns that will interest your audiences and result in higher ROI on each message you send. Image courtesy of Listrak.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Broadcast and triggered SMS messages that allow you to reach all of your audiences quickly at once or target specific people based on their real-time interactions and behaviors
  • Text-to-join acquisition and SMS keyword campaigns that will help you to grow your subscriber base and build cross channel marketing experiences in the process
  • SMS filtering that allows you to create highly targeted campaigns by seeing and understanding the full 360˚ view of your customers
  • Tracking and compliance knowledge will allow you to understand how each campaign is performing and ensure your campaigns are compliant with all the mobile marketing rules and regulations

What you need to know: Listrak is a mobile marketing platform that will allow you to manage all of your digital needs. From email to mobile push and everything in between, this tool is a great option if you need a platform that will help you continue to grow well into the future.

Pricing: The Listrak platform pricing is based on business needs, and you will need to reach out to a representative to learn what your pricing would look like.

2. TextMagic

TextMagic is a text marketing software that allows businesses to focus on their SMS campaigns and improve the texting customer experience. You’ll be able to provide customers with all the communications they need including notifications, alerts, reminders, marketing campaigns, and more.

TextMagic makes it simple to communicate with your customers in two-way conversations. By having everything in one centralized location, you can connect with all of your audiences quickly and easily. Image courtesy of TextMagic.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Quickly and easily send mass texts to your customers no matter where they’re located with capabilities to send to over 190 countries
  • Engage in two-way SMS conversations to improve communication and answer your customer’s questions right away
  • Schedule text messages like reminders, alerts, notifications, and campaigns to send automatically, so you never miss an important moment
  • Sort and organize your subscriber list to keep contacts up to date and segmented to improve personalization efforts

What you need to know: This is a great tool if you’re looking for an all-in-one text message software that makes it easy to scale your campaigns.

Pricing: With this software, you’ll be charged $0.04 per text sent in the United States. There is pricing for various other countries to help you understand the cost of sending messages globally.

3. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an enterprise eCommerce marketing tool with all the tools you need to run successful SMS campaigns during the holiday season and throughout the year. This platform is a great tool for businesses looking to drive increased revenue through SMS marketing.

Triggered campaigns are a great way to stay connected with your audiences and keep the content relevant to their interests. Setting up automated workflows will also allow you to focus on other marketing efforts while still being able to react to the changing needs of your customers. Image courtesy of Klaviyo.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Many integration capabilities to platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento, and more to bring all of your tools together
  • List segmentation to better understand your customers and send them highly targeted SMS messages based on their real-time interactions
  • Easily create personalized experiences with dynamic content such as order details, cart contents, product recommendations, and more
  • Use autoresponders to make sure your audiences receive a message from your brand in a reasonable timeframe

What you need to know: Investing in the Klaviyo platform will give you access to both SMS and email marketing, allowing you to manage more channels from one central area.

Pricing: Pricing for this platform is based on the number of contacts you have and starts at $5 and increases from there.

4. SlickText

SlickText is a text marketing platform that allows businesses to reach their customers with the right message at the right time. Whether you’re trying to reach a customer to remind them about an upcoming appointment or provide them with a coupon code — you can do it all.

Easily grow your subscriber list with text to join campaigns. Customers simply text the unique short code to your text number, and they’ll receive an auto-reply confirming their enrollment. It’s the perfect way to start growing your subscriber list ahead of the holiday season. Image courtesy of SlickText.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Easily and effectively send mass text messages to your customers to get your most important information out quickly
  • Grow your subscriber list with text to join campaigns that provide customers with a designed text to join your subscriber list
  • Create auto-replies that respond to your customers after they’ve texted you and provide incentives, ask additional questions, and more
  • Develop various marketing campaigns and other text messages such as text to win contests, birthday messages, surveys, and more

What you need to know: SlickText is a text marketing platform that will give you all of the tools you need to create highly effective SMS campaigns.

Pricing: There are multiple plan options available for this platform, including:

  • 14-day free trial
  • The Basic plan costing $29 per month
  • The Step Up plan costing $49 per month
  • The Lil Bro plan costing $79 per month
  • The Big Bro plan costing $139 per month
  • The Boss plan costing $189 per month
  • The Albatross plan costing $350 per month
  • The Whale plan costing $750 per month
  • The Monstro plan costing $1,250 per month
  • Custom plan options are also available

5. Twilio

Twilio is a marketing automation platform that will allow you to connect with your customers across various platforms. Whether you’re looking for industry-specific capabilities or need a tool that makes it easy to reach your customers through mass texting, Twilio can help you achieve your goals.

Twilio is a platform that can grow and scale with you. Whether by expanding your messaging capabilities to MMS or using WhatsApp to reach your customers on a different channel, it can all be done with this tool. Image courtesy of Twilio.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Send customers the information they want, such as account activity, purchase confirmations, shipping details, and more
  • Create targeted marketing campaigns that send specialized offers to customers based on their data and previous behaviors
  • Deliver time-sensitive content to your customers with mass alerts that will quickly notify all of your subscribers at once
  • Have conversations with your customers through a secure channel that can include multiple parties

What you need to know: Twilio is a platform that will allow you to manage a variety of marketing channels, including email, video, programmable voice, and more. This tool also has solutions built for marketing, customer service and has industry-specific services.

Pricing: Pricing for this platform is pay-as-you-go. SMS messages cost $0.0075 per message to send.

6. SimpleTexting

SimpleTexting is an all-in-one text messaging service that will make it easy and affordable for you to send SMS messages to your audiences. With this tool, you can do everything from sending personalized marketing campaigns to engaging with your customers in a one-on-one conversation.

SimpleTexting provides you with all the tools you need to create engaging conversations with your customers from one central platform. Connect with customers to solve their problems or share sales and production to increase sales — whatever you choose to do, SimpleTexting has the capabilities you need. Image courtesy of SimpleTexting.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Engage with your customers in two-way conversations to improve customer satisfaction, resolve conversations, and close deals
  • Automate and schedule texts to send at a specific date and time to ensure you never miss an important interaction
  • Send autoresponders to create drip campaigns and keep your audiences engaged over a period of time
  • Grow your subscriber list with SMS keywords that automatically enroll new users and provide opt-in consent

What you need to know: SimpleTexting is a platform specifically used to fulfill your text messages needs. It will provide you with a dedicated channel to connect with your audience on their mobile devices.

Pricing: Pricing for this platform is based on the number of messages you plan to send each month. There are multiple price points starting at $25 per month for 500 messages to custom plans for companies that send more than 50,000 messages each month.

7. Community

Community is a mobile marketing platform that can make it simple for you to connect with your audiences through conversation texting. This tool makes it simple to create highly effective text marketing campaigns at scale.

Target your customers in various ways, including preset communities, location, age, gender, and so much more. This will allow you to ensure you’re making the most out of each message and sending the most relevant message to each customer. Image courtesy of Community.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Easily send text messages at scale and engage in one-to-one conversations that keep your customers interested and engaged
  • Use customer data to know exactly what customers to send what message to for the highest performance
  • Create campaigns that are automatically sent for things like birthdays or nurturing  campaigns
  • Track campaign success and understand how each of your messages is performing well, and know what isn’t working as well

What you need to know: This platform’s main focus is on helping you grow and engage with your audiences through text marketing.

Pricing: Pricing for this platform is customized, no-shows, and you will need to speak with a Community representative to learn more about what your pricing would look like.

8. ClickSend

ClickSend is a business communications tool that will allow you to reach your customers via SMS and MMS marketing. This tool has everything you need to connect with your customers and drive people back to your website to increase sales.

If you’re a service-based company, appointment reminders can provide you with fewer no shows and save you money. Alerts can also be sent to your customers to let them know about upcoming sales and promotions. Image courtesy of ClickSend.

SMS marketing tools you’ll have access to:

  • Easily send mass texts to thousands of contacts at scale, anywhere in the world, with the click of a button
  • Send transactional SMS messages that are triggered based on actual customer purchases and behaviors
  • Use autoresponders to build an interactive experience with your customers and react to customer messages without manual intervention
  •  Track and measure campaign success with reporting tools that tell you everything from delivery performance to campaign response rates

What you need to know: ClickSend does provide you with capabilities beyond just text marketing, including email, voice, fax, and online post.

Pricing: Pricing is based on the number of messages you plan to send each month and ranges from $0.0256 per message if you send less than 2,000 messages to customized plan options if you send more than 200,000 messages a month.

Make This Holiday Season the Best Yet With SMS Marketing

Are you ready to make this holiday season the best yet?

Incorporating SMS marketing into your holiday strategy will allow you to reach your customers on the device they use most, at the most opportune moments. This will enable you to drive people to your website or in-store location and help to increase your holiday sales.

When done right, SMS marketing can be a powerful marketing tool that has the ability to elevate your customer communications. All you need to do is understand how to build the perfect strategy and find the right tool to help make managing your campaigns simple.

Once you’ve done that, you can sit back and watch as your text marketing campaigns engage with audiences at all stages of the life cycle.

So what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to start thinking about how you’re going to connect with your audiences this holiday season. Why not incorporate SMS marketing into the mix?

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