Defying all expectations, last year’s Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales were recording-breaking in spite of everything that was going on in the world– and predictions say that this year is going to increase yet again.
Black Friday began as a sales event that took place exclusively in the United States but quickly caught on in many other countries. Now we have Black Friday sales that span the globe including places as far as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
On platforms such as Shopify, almost 70% of shoppers did their Black Friday shopping on a mobile device this past year. And if you’re paying attention to marketing trends, you’ll know the incredibly high open rates and conversion rates that SMS marketing has.
When you put two and two together, if you’re not actively using text message marketing in your sales mix on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, you’re missing out on massive amounts of opportunity and revenue.
Also, start as soon as you can– data experts NPD did a survey that reported that more than half of people polled stated they were going to start doing their Black Friday shopping early this year.
In this article, we’re going to show you how you can use SMS marketing to slay your Black Friday sales and make more revenue than ever.
Look to the Past to Plan for the Future
As you prep for your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale this year, let’s take a look at what you can expect based on last year’s numbers. Knowing these details will help you get a baseline of what to expect and if your strategy is a success overall. As you read these numbers also remember that every industry is different, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all measurement for success.
Black Friday 2020 By the Numbers
1) More Abandoned Carts: Don’t be scared if your shopping cart abandonment increases on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, last year they increased from a 71% percent average to a 77% percent average.
2) Almost 50% of Online Sales Were on Mobile: A study of last year’s purchasing patterns shows that almost half of online purchases were on mobile devices (48% percent), and most of the rest were on laptops (50%) with some other devices in the mix.
3) Retail Traffic Was Down: This is an unfair statistic with all of the lingering effects of the ongoing pandemic, but we would be remiss not to report it. Traffic was down a staggering 42.3% to retail stores in 2020. (We expect this number to rebound a bit as more places open up.)
4) Traffic to eCommerce Increased: This seems to make sense given the last statistic. More people took to online stores to make their purchases– around 29% more than Black Friday in 2019.
5) Overall Revenue Was Healthy: Black Friday’s total revenue globally was a robust $188 billion dollars. Experts expect that this year’s will surpass even that.
The takeaway is this: While there’s no way to know precisely how things are going to shift in this year’s Black Friday market, so far all signals lead to numbers increasing or staying the same as last year.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to capitalize on the mobile and eCommerce-centric patterns that have emerged stronger than ever in the last year.
Black Friday Text Marketing Hacks
Now that you know what sort of performance businesses experienced last year during Black Friday, let’s get ready to maximize this year’s sales. Here are some powerful strategies and hacks to slay your Black Friday deals this year.
Don’t Muddy the Waters
One of the biggest mistakes we see in people’s SMS marketing is that they don’t keep the message short and direct. Your text message marketing should be laser-focused and ask the customer for one thing: a sale.
Too often we see cluttered text message marketing campaigns that are confusing and bloated with no clear call to action.
If you want the real secret sauce to any great campaign, it’s this: keep your text messages punchy, short, clear, and include a killer offer that is a no-brainer with a strong call to action.
Black Friday sales are no different. Don’t get fancy and think you have to re-invent the marketing wheel.
Note: it is a great idea to actually mention the phrase Black Friday since people related that with bargains and sales.
Get Your Timing as Perfect as Possible
Text message marketing is a constant push and pull of timing your offers properly. You want to stay in front of your customers, but timing and context are crucial as you send your SMS offers. This only gets more critical during Black Friday. There is a certain rhythm and flow that consumers fall into during this sales event, and you need to be in tune with timing to get the best results for your SMS campaigns.
When planning your campaigns, realize that many people start their Black Friday shopping almost immediately after their Thanksgiving dinners– but, more importantly– they’ve been planning their shopping long before that time.
When planning your Black Friday SMS campaigns, consider that sooner is better, and try hitting consumers on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest with a fantastic offer (or a preview for an offer).
How Soon is Too Soon?
In our experience, you don’t want to send your Black Friday marketing too early in November, but not too late either. A decent starting point is a full or week and a half week before Black Friday.
You can start about ten days on Wednesday the week prior to Black Friday with some messaging to start warming the customers up and getting on their radars. These messages are designed to get people excited for what you have going on and prepared to purchase from you. The beauty of SMS marketing is that you’re going to cut through the noise of email inboxes and social media and get delivered directly to the customer’s phone.
Some ideas for the initial message 10 days out:
- New product announcements/premiers
- Sneak peeks and previews
- Early access to loyal former customers
- Flash sales of old inventory at no-brainer bargain price points
Choosing the right time is an art, not a science, and you’ll only improve with each year, but if you’re stuck, think about your own buying habits. If you get a Black Friday message too soon you might roll your eyes and make a comment about how it’s not even close yet. If you get that same message too late you’ll shake your head and think about how you’ve already spent your money. If you can time your messaging between those two points, you’ll be golden.
It’s Not “One and Done”: Use Drip Campaigns
If those last two tips have you wringing your hands and stressing out about when to send the perfect, single message, you’ve got the wrong idea. This isn’t a single send campaign– it’s a multi-touchpoint strategy. When we’re talking about the timing of your campaigns it would be more accurate to say “the timing of your campaign beginning.”
You will be competing for people’s attention and dollars in a feverishly hectic environment on Black Friday, so you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your SMS campaign offers at the top of your customer’s minds. One of the best ways to do that is with something known as drip campaigns.
A drip campaign is a tiered campaign that is designed to have multiple messages that go out in a specific order to get the most conversions. (Using our Text-Calibur software makes this more simple than ever.) This series of messages is delivered at various times and can even be dynamic depending on how the customer interacted with the previous ones.
Here are some ideas for a Black Friday drip campaign you can use:
- SMS 1 – Tell people about your killer offer for Black Friday
- SMS 2 – Show some of the most popular products and best sellers that are discounted
- SMS 3 – Remind people that sales are ending soon, incentivize with something else
- SMS 4 – Show some reviews or testimonials with an “X days left” portion of the message
- SMS 5 – A “final chance” message with a final additional incentive or deal
As far as timing, get creative, but you can send them once a day starting the day before Black Friday. Note that this campaign doesn’t include the optional message you could send before SMS 1 the prior Wednesday as a sneak peek or early access to any VIP customers.
Some Promotions and Offers to Try
We know that for some companies, they’re ready to do some SMS marketing, and they have an idea of when they want to send their campaigns, but they just don’t know where to start when it comes to what the actual promotions should be.
In this section of the article, we’re going to give you some ideas of what kind of sale you can try with your customers.
Take note that if your goal is new customer acquisition you can take less profit or even simply break even to try to get new customers. The game plan here is to take less money up front to gain a customer that gives you more money over the course of time.
Remember that all of these offers are going to be dependant on your exact products and your profit margins. Try to choose the one that’s right for you.
12 Black Friday Promotional and Offer Ideas
- Offer 20% off of everything in your store
- $X dollars off if you spend $Y dollars (for example, $30 off if you spend $100)
- 25% to 40% off of one hot item
- Send coupon codes for 20% off of specific items (this will help you track popularity)
- Give something away for free with every purchase
- Offer an eGiftcard for $5-$20 off when people use your SMS promotion link
- This is a doorbuster: offer something crazy like 50% off of everything just to build hype and get traffic (be sure you don’t lose money on this)
- Send an offer if they spend $X dollars or more get Y% off (for example if you spend $50 get 25% off)
- Offer free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount
- Give customers a credit on your website for 50% of their total spent during Black Friday
- Offer an item (or multiple items) as buy-one-get-one-free (this is a popular promotion many people respond to)
- A variation on the above promotion, but instead do buy-one-get-one-half-off
Don’t Forget Cyber Monday
Since we are talking about digital marketing, you should absolutely be taking advantage of the Cyber Monday sales even that follows Black Friday. You can consider following similar patterns as you did with your Black Friday sales, but just be careful that you don’t inundate your customers too hard if you really put the gas on during Black Friday and the following weekend.
Something you can consider is a specific deal for Cyber Monday. Be sure if you do something like this and send offers to the same customers that you don’t send a better deal on Cyber Monday than they may have bought on Black Friday. Consider complimentary offers or something unique that makes sense that’s outside of what you offered on Black Friday.
Text-Calibur Can Help You Slay Black Friday
If at any point in this article you found yourself thinking “yeah right… I don’t have the technology to do that,” then you absolutely unequivocally need Text-Calibur.
Your Black Friday marketing should only be limited by your marketing imagination– not by your SMS marketing software.
When you use Text-Calibur, you’re able to send any campaign you can dream up simply and quickly. You can schedule texts, collect data, and use flexible reply automation. We not only offer subscriber lookup for customization and personalization, but we also have full API integration capabilities. Let our service consultants help you take full advantage of the software at your fingertips.
When you use Text-Calibur for your Black Friday marketing, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition, and use our technology to maximize your profits this year and beyond.
You can get your free Text-Calibur account here today. Don’t wait, sign up and start using Text-Calibur for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing needs– and beyond.