Black Friday SMS: A complete guide for marketers

Topic: Black Friday
Preparing for Black Friday

Preparing for Black Friday? SMS can help you cut through the noise and get your deals straight into the palm of your customers’ hands. Learn how to get ready for it here…

Now a global shopping event, Black Friday began in the US – taking place in November on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Over the last decade, Black Friday has taken off in the UK and other parts of the world too, with customers on the hunt for bargains before Christmas. 

Research reveals that the UK’s total Black Friday sales in 2023 reached around £13.3bn – a 7.3% jump on the previous year. Some 52% of Black Friday shoppers also relied on promotions because household budgets were being stretched by the rising cost of living. 

Competition for businesses is fierce, so your marketing activity has to be on point if you want to sway customers away from your competitors. This is where SMS marketing campaigns come in. Quick-fire and to-the-point, you can share details of your latest offer straight to a recipient’s device.

Why choose SMS for Black Friday marketing? 

SMS is a highly effective channel for Black Friday marketing because it is direct, timely and has a personal feel.

Not only is Black Friday a way to drive sales, it’s also a great time to build a trusting and long-lasting relationship with your customers. Around 84% consumers would shop with retailers again if they had a positive experience during Black Friday – so if you get it right, it will stand you in good stead for the rest of the year. 

The effectiveness of SMS is reflected in its ultra-high open rates – up to 98% with messages typically being opened within 90 seconds. Compared to email, they don’t get lost in cluttered inboxes so are ideal for sending quick, time-sensitive messages with irresistible deals. 

That said, email can still be highly-effective especially for longer-form communications and brand building, so the two can complement each other well. 

Read More: SMS Vs Email Marketing.

How to prepare for Black Friday SMS marketing

The best time to start your Black Friday marketing is early. Our global survey of more than 4,000 consumers, found that 93% of consumers wanted to hear about Black Friday news well in advance. 

Black Friday is also a good time to remind inactive customers about your brand, and re-engage with them.

Remember who your customers are

Businesses today collect a vast amount of customer data and this comes in handy for events like Black Friday. 

Take a look at your customers’ purchase history, communication preferences, behaviours and interactions on your website. You can then use this information to find out exactly what they want from your Black Friday event, based on what they’ve bought in the past. It’s a chance to cross-sell complementary products, and offer discounts that will appeal to them most.

Segment your audience 

Segment your audience into smaller groups so your SMS marketing is relevant and impactful. 

You could, for instance, notify a customer if products on their wishlist or ones they’ve previously browsed have been discounted, or target them based on their location or age. 

Always personalise 

Avoid sending generic messages, and instead address your customers by their first name to make them feel valued and included. 

Some 71% of customers expect personalisation and another 72% want businesses that they buy from to recognise them as individuals and know their interests. 

Their purchasing history is a good place to start. If they recently bought a handbag, you can text them about the perfect purse to go with it. Or if they’re based in a city like London, you might let them know that their local store is offering 20% off. 

It’s important to use a friendly and conversational tone to create familiarity and trust.

Black Friday SMS marketing ideas and templates

A show-stopping marketing campaign can get everyone talking. Amazon is well-known for transforming the Black Friday weekend into a four-day extravaganza with live music, films, and pop-ups events with celebrity attendees – but many others have made their stores and websites a destination for bargain hunters. 

Here are just a few ways to get started.

Sneak peaks and early access

Giving your customers early access to your Black Friday sale is simple yet effective. They can browse through your products and add them to the basket before anyone else does. 

early access black friday sms example

It gives them a reason to continue subscribing to your communications and can encourage others to do the same.

Early access template example:

Psst, [NAME]. You’re in! 🤫 Exclusive early access to our Black Friday sale and an extra [%] off, sitewide. Happy saving! [LINK]

Sprinkle some FOMO 

You can create urgency with a call-to-action or phrases such as ‘selling fast’ or ‘get them before they’re gone.’ In this way you can suggest time sensitivity, and your customers may make the decision to purchase on the spot – especially if they don’t want to miss out. 

FOMO template example:

[Name], you’ve got 2 days left to access our mega Black Friday sale. Don’t miss out! [Link]

Add value

Add value to your communications by offering treats like free delivery, promo codes or free gifts like product samples or minis. This could be the push your customers need to complete their purchase and feel ultra satisfied with your service. 

With events like Black Friday, adding extra value can help to prevent buyers’ remorse because customers will feel as if they’ve bagged an excellent deal (while others miss out).

Abandoned cart reminders

Black Friday is all about sales – so you don’t want items lingering in people’s baskets. A quick SMS raises the urgency and prompts them to complete a purchase. 

Abandoned cart template example:

Left something behind, [Name]? 🤔 Our Black Friday deal ends tomorrow night and we didn’t want you to miss out! [Link]

Don’t forget Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday go hand in hand. Cyber Monday offers you a second chance to win back shoppers who missed the initial sale, and provides another exciting opportunity for customers to bag some bargains. 

Discounting additional lines or offering a better sale price can tempt customers who might still be undecided about a product. 

Cyber Monday template example:

Missed out on our Black Friday Deals? Don’t worry, Cyber Monday is here and our sale just got even bigger: [Link]

Why SMS marketing shouldn’t be reserved just for Black Friday

SMS marketing can boost your Black Friday sales and generate excitement. You can reach a broad audience who are likely to read and engage with your message. 

However, SMS marketing isn’t only for events like Black Friday. Relevant and timely messages throughout the year can help you to retain customers and improve your brand familiarity. 

Speak to an expert to find out how SMS fits in with your Black Friday marketing.

Author Avatar
Mary Henry

Mary has extensive experience in communication, PR and journalism - most recently across SaaS businesses. A keen researcher and storyteller, Mary is highly skilled in making complex concepts accessible, and in putting customers at the heart of her communication. She has supported all kinds of businesses to tell their brand, product and people stories - from global multinationals to start-ups across retail, travel/leisure, banking/finance, government and educational institutions.