How To Incorporate SMS Into Your Holiday Marketing

SMS marketing can come in handy for running a successful holiday marketing campaign if planned and structured well. And this blog is all about how you can make the most out of it!

Robbie Fitzwater
Updated on

With the holiday season approaching, you might be thinking about how to market your brand effectively and incorporate SMS marketing into Email marketing.  

As a marketing expert, I can assure you that if planned wisely and strategically, the mix of both SMS and Email marketing can give you some wonderful results as both complement each other very well. 

So in this article, I will unpack some of the SMS marketing ideas, tips, and tricks to help you get the most out of this holiday season.

  1. How To Incorporate SMS Marketing Into Your Holiday Strategy?
  2. Grow Your SMS Subscriber List
    1. Earn The Data  
    2. Playing Ping Pong 
    3. Warming Up Your Audience Before the Holidays 
    4. Campaigns And Automation
  3. SMS Campaigns And Keeping Your Audience Engaged
  4. Start Early To Prep Your Audience
  5. Takeaways

Without any further ado, let’s dive into it!

How To Incorporate SMS Marketing Into Your Holiday Strategy?

Although SMS and emails work almost similar in most aspects, there are some ways both differ from each other and have different things to offer in digital marketing. So let’s look at how SMS marketing ideas differ from email marketing. 

The main thing that sets them apart is that SMS is a much quicker behavior trigger. You can, as a marketer, make somebody’s wrist vibrate through their apple watch. This means you’re able to interact with them through a much quicker means. 

Not everyone has their notifications on for emails. That’s why an email has a longer response time because it may have to sit in people’s inboxes for a while before someone opens it.

So, SMS is where you’re able to elicit a quicker response. It is a different way of interacting with a customer than a typical email. And this is where you take advantage of this and try to create a certain level of intimacy with your audience through the phone. 

However, as a marketer, you must ensure that you respect the space between you and your audience and that you can’t send too many SMS messages because it will frustrate them. 

People look at their SMS inboxes a little differently than their email inboxes. This is not a proven fact yet, but because SMS is on our phones, it is opened more frequently. Moreover, people have many personal interactions through SMS, so you should understand that it is an intimate communication channel. That’s why it is essential that you respect that space of theirs. 

To make this communication intimating, you can treat your unique customers like VIPs, sending them contextualized content and asking for the data you can use and leverage over time.

Doing this suddenly may also be very intimidating for the customers, so you must be smooth. I always recommend that you should be able to earn that data instead of asking for it directly. To do that, you have to prove that you’re a reputable organization and that people can trust you with their information before asking for it.

Grow Your SMS Subscriber List

So when thinking about how to send a holiday text message, one of the first things you should be thinking about is how you will start building your SMS list.

If you don’t have anything and are starting from scratch, the earlier, you start planning, the better. And you can do that in many ways.

Earn The Data  

As I said earlier, you need to go about this in a very smooth way. For instance, you can ask for some data after the customer makes the first purchase and then some more data after the second purchase. This is a great way to learn more about your audience and collect valuable first-party data that you can implement in your future flows and campaigns to improve the customer journey.

Because they’ve purchased twice, their level of interest in your brand and the chances of buying again from you would be much higher. So doing something more intimate for them after a second purchase might be a good idea. 

It would be an excellent time to use a popover feature to capture a little more of the data. For example, offering them to be a part of your secret VIP list and get extra early access or extra deals during the year might be helpful. That’s an efficient way to incentivize them to jump onto that list. With these things, you make them want to opt for the SMS facility, and then it feels like you earned the data they’re ready to provide you.   

Playing Ping Pong 

As you’re putting your SMS marketing ideas together, you would want to be thinking about how you can, as I call it, “play ping pong with your emails and SMS.” By that, I mean using combinations of email and SMS.  

The emails and SMS that your business sends should complement and supplement each other. This ping pong analogy can be explained by supposing that one’s playing guitar and the other playing the drums. 

They both are different instruments, one a percussion and the other a string instrument, and they sound different, but when played together, they make a fantastic tune. Similarly, SMS and email play together and produce something extraordinary! 

So, as we know, SMS will get us a quick instantaneous response, but if this doesn’t elicit that behavior, we move to this other space, which would be an email. 

As a marketer, you’ll find what would be the suitable content for either of these, meaning what you should send in an email and what should be sent on SMS. We will discuss this further in the article with campaigns and automation.   

However, it would be best if you remembered that playing ping pong with the audience may be a fruitful idea, but you don’t also want to have too much overlap between these two features. 

For instance, if you know somebody’s purchased through one of your messages, an email, or an SMS, you would want to avoid sending them another message through a different means. That would also be good hygiene.

Also, if they purchase during a holiday window, you should exclude them from the additional cascaded promotions. And that’s how these both would supplement and complement each other. 

Warming Up Your Audience Before the Holidays 

Another thing you should be thoughtful about is, warming your audience up before starting the series of those corporate holiday messaging. 

You don’t want them to receive the first message on the first day of the holidays. Also, it’s going to be very awkward if you start hitting them with tons of notifications about your offers as soon as the holidays begin when they haven’t even heard from you in a long time or ever before.

So, you must incorporate those emails early and start building that environment of consistent sending weeks before the holidays start. After this constant sending, you can easily lead into holiday messages. 

This will make the process smooth for you by making the audience more used to receiving SMS messages from you and normalizing seeing you in their inboxes. So it would not be surprising when they receive those around the holidays.

Campaigns And Automation

So as I mentioned earlier, you could incorporate campaigns and automation into your SMS. These could be a large send to our SMS list, and you would want those to complement your strategy. 

Campaigns could comprise building the VIP lists leading up to the holidays, which would provide early access, an exclusive discount, or exclusive access to specific products. This is an easy way to pull people across.

These campaigns could also be helpful for you to understand more and get more insights into your audience, and you can easily pull the trigger on collecting more data through this. 

Adding to this, we also have automation. These high-percentage trigger SMS would ensure action from your audience and will be great for your business. 

Let’s say there is a browse abandonment, an abandoned cart, or a cart recovery case; all these cases would call for a triggered message to your customers, so that’s where you will be adding your SMS messaging. Such as, when there’s cart abandonment, you can send an SMS 30 minutes later instead of sending an email two hours later.

So you’ll be compressing the time window here because around this time of year, people are busy getting multiple different messages from numerous brands, and you don’t want these other messages to overshadow your brand. It just gives us a quicker way to reach them. 

And hopefully, we’re doing that in a way that will add value and not detract from them.

Moreover, other than adding exclusive offers, using popover reforms to get them to that SMS list, etc., there are different ways we can do this too. 

For instance, there are many ways to make this unique and different, such as by adding images. So without overdoing it, adding some pictures with some personality can make the customer’s experience a little more human. 

SMS Campaigns And Keeping Your Audience Engaged

Some vital things you can do with campaign SMS are segmenting and using personalization. If a customer is making it to your SMS list, that means they are your regular buyers, so I recommend that by the time they get to your SMS list, you should have a good amount of first-party data and insight into them. 

This data would help you understand their behavior and, more specifically, their shopping habits, allowing you to segment them and send them campaigns accordingly. These personalized campaigns would be precious to them. 

This would also help you keep your top subscribers active and engaged before the holidays start. But you can also engage your audience through other non-promo content, such as sending notifications about offer/sale deadlines, some informative gift guides, and a list of new products. 

With all this leading into the holiday, offers won’t be that challenging, and you won’t be appearing in their inboxes out of nowhere. 

Other than this, make use of automation too, so they get used to seeing your brand because, again, early access and a deeper discount are great ways to win the audience over. 

Start Early To Prep Your Audience

So again, our focus lies on starting with your marketing magic early. You want to make SMS campaigns and automation a regular thing before the holidays start. Don’t start sending cold offers right away; warm up your audience by training them to receive more and more SMS messages and then leading up to the holiday offers.


In all, this is how you should be going about your marketing skills for the holidays. The primary and crucial point here about SMS and Emails is that they should always supplement and complement each other and are aligned nicely. 

It will be a big flop if one is directed toward the east and the other toward the west. As I said, both should feel like playing ping pong and should succeed in the ultimate goal of connecting and engaging the audience, especially the top subscribers of your business. 

So hopefully, this blog answers all the questions you were looking for. If you have any other query or something you think was not clear, feel free to ask/share in the comments below!

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