Black Friday SMS marketing guide

Table of Contents

Use the Black Friday SMS marketing campaign to leverage your sales in 2023. Here’s why and how to text messages in the hottest shopping season.

Black Friday is a sure sign that the winter season is approaching. We will open the gifts in the “Last Christmas” rhythm in a few weeks. Use the incoming shopping madness to your advantage and learn how to prepare the business and promotional text messages for the biggest Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday.

What to expect from the Black Friday sale in 2023?

For many, the Black Friday deals may be the only way to get presents this year. Online shopping season starts soon, and customers are already eyeing shops for discounted prices and other savings. After all, with the prices going up, Black Week is an excellent opportunity to make those long-postponed purchases or buy Christmas presents cheaper.

Many stores, even major retailers, will be willing to reduce prices, offer gift vouchers, free shipping or provide other benefits to seal the online sales. Likewise, retail stores and shopping centers will try to lure customers with enticing deals.

But even the best Black Friday deals won’t bring purchases if you don’t communicate them properly. Mobile, namely SMS marketing, is here to help you acquire, engage and funnel your customers in retail sales and online shopping.

Why is it called Black Friday?

The name was coined in the sixties when tourists visiting Philadelphia caused significant traffic jams and troubles in the local stores. They flocked to the city for the annual football game and shopping after Thanksgiving. Since then, the big day in question has spread across borders. Now, we have Black Week and Black Month all around the world.

When is Black Friday 2023?

This year, Black Friday is on 24 November. Cyber Monday is on 27 November. The end of November and the beginning of December is the most suitable time to reach your potential customers, and what better time than Black Friday? If you have not prepared yourself yet – do it now. Use our tips to create an effective SMS campaign.

Black Friday deals for online tools and marketing services

Check out our listing of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for online tools, marketing services, apps and other productivity solutions. Find discounted prices for the most popular online products.


Register at SMSAPI and test SMS messaging for free. We can help you get started.

What is the best time to engage your clients with SMS messages?

The research in Poland shows that those willing to receive SMS messages with an offer are 20-29 years old, well-educated, and live in big cities. The most probable scenario is that they will be the most active customers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and spend more than they used to.

Millennials and Gen Z might find it easy to engage with SMS campaigns since they are almost always online. Don’t get tunnel vision, though. Older cohorts are probably harder to reach, yet their wallets are wealthier. So don’t be late to the Christmas shopping party and prepare the Black Friday SMS templates for the biggest sale of the year!

Do you know your audience?

SMS is considered a highly personal communication channel. Don’t forget that high performance comes with a price: your text messages should always be relevant and personalized! Remember the timing, privacy and, most importantly, offer something extra.

Examples of added value in Black Friday text messages:

  • free gift,
  • free shipping,
  • coupon code,
  • huge discounts,
  • exclusive access to amazing deals.

How to prepare a Black Friday SMS marketing?

Let’s try some evergreen ways to make your Black Friday sales skyrocket. The bits of advice found below are universal, so use them in any communication channel. And remember that synergized media yield the best results during Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday.

1. Remember the past

To create an outstanding marketing campaign, you should first analyze sales data for the previous year’s November and December. Define the keywords, slogans, content types and products that performed the best. These questions will help build your Black Friday sales strategy around the most valuable resources and fit your clients’ preferences.

A peek into last year’s results will help you greatly, but even insight from other months will be valuable. One thing you should avoid, like a fire, is reusing mobile marketing campaign ideas. Don’t send your clients the same text message with a different year and a new discount coupon. They can scroll up and see your Black Friday SMS messages from previous years.

Take your time and create a stunning copy. After all, you have 160 characters to persuade your clients. And it’s not enough – consider adding a short link. Try using different marketing channels for longer messages. Texts should be fast, concise and on point!

2. SMS marketing nails it!

Marketing before the Black Friday sale may pin your customers down if you prepare it properly. Besides the personalization, attract your recipients with humorous content and a tangible benefit that comes with your text messages.

Let’s face it: 2 or 5% off will not attract many customers to order more than usual. Remember that Black Friday is the year’s biggest sales day, so think bigger! You can’t go wrong with free shipping, promo code, extras or better prices for complementary products for SMS subscribers.

Cialdini’s rule of scarcity

The more limited the good, the more valuable it becomes in a buyer’s mind. Think of luxury cars or collectable editions of products. Their quantity is strictly limited, and thus, their price can be considerably higher. The time when the offer is available can also be a limiting factor that boosts the value of items and services. Something to think of when creating content for your Black Friday sale.

Make yourself clear: in your Black Friday sale SMS campaign, offer the specific product or group of products and make it time-bounded, i.e. offer subject to availability or available only on Friday. The limited choice is a great stimulus to boost engagement and encourage your customers to visit the store or put more into the shopping basket to save the during holiday season.

Black Friday SMS campaign
Examples of Black Friday messages

3. Added value is more than a discount

The day of the fantastic sales does not particularly, or not always, mean lowering the price. Suppose you cannot offer a hefty discount. In that case, you can suggest different yet appealing incentives: a free service trial, a discount code for the future, early access to content or special deals, free shipping or a whitepaper.

Remember, the Black Friday campaign is risky because of the strong competitors. It should be well-planned and very tangible to make your customers use the discount code.

Cyber Monday SMS marketing
Cyber Monday and Black Friday marketing messages

4. Combine Black Friday SMS marketing with other marketing channels

Your Black Friday text campaigns should be a part of a more extensive, coherent omnichannel campaign. You can and should combine channels, e.g., email marketing, SMS, ads, organic and posts on social media platforms. The Black Friday marketing strategy will be invaluable if consistent across all your marketing outlets – the same message but not content, regardless of the channel. Choose one goal and be persistent about reaching it!

Besides SMS (usually read within 5 minutes after the delivery), e-mail marketing is also worth considering. Do not forget the power of social media strategy, AdWords, outdoor and ATL. Communicate the best deals and discounts, but be wary not to antagonize your audience before they get a chance to spend money in your online store.

To ensure the success of your plan, use Google Trends to define the most accurate and popular phrases and keywords. They might be the most practical insight that engages your customers to buy the product during the annual Black Friday sale.

5. One step ahead of your customers

The first step is drawing customers to your brick-and-mortar shop or ecommerce businesses. But before they reach checkout with carts full of products, you must ensure their experience is top-notch. There’s no bigger turn-off than a slow or unresponsive landing page. Do everything to lower your website load time before the shopping season starts.

Lastly, remember about customer support. Make sure you have enough staff and that they know precisely how to deal with stressful situations. Do not cut corners with customer service, especially before the Black shopping season.

6. Check your SMS marketing database before the big event

Black Friday 2023 is approaching, but before starting your mobile campaign, take a step back and check if your contact database is up to date. Online retailers and other stores collect leads throughout the year via, e.g., sign-up forms 2Way SMS, yet the big Friday is a time to test their quality. Two simple tricks will make your customer database better and more cost-effective.

Use the HLR lookup system

Firstly, use the HLR system. The home location registry tool allows you to check the validity of phone numbers with the GSM operators. This simple system analyzes given contacts and shows no longer active numbers.

The HLR lookup is available in the SMSAPI customer portal. When you get the report, you need to exclude inactive numbers. What you gain is a cheaper SMS campaign with higher effectiveness. It can save you a lot in the long run, especially if you plan on sending SMS messages regularly.

SMS opt-out is your ally

Secondly, you can ask your audience directly. Send a message asking whether they want to receive your communication. Don’t forget to include an opt-out link and… a good reason to stay! A better price, free shipping, gift vouchers or an exclusive offer should do the trick.

Don’t worry about customers leaving your SMS newsletter, though. Interests, fads and circumstances change, and so should your database. And please don’t keep it bloated with uninterested customers. Let. Them. Go. After all, you don’t want to engage them during the biggest shopping day. You need to communicate with the group most likely to make a purchase – your loyal, converting leads.

7. Plan accordingly to your target group’s behaviour

The Black Friday shopping madness starts days before Black Friday itself. Most major retailers are already communicating their amazing discounts and special prices. The sooner you start planning and testing, the better results you can expect. So, how do you not miss the prime day of the sales season?

Go through your personas. Look for the best possible time to communicate with them. Are they finishing their work around 5 PM and going home by public transportation? Or maybe they like to kick back with a mobile and scroll through the evening? It’s your time to engage them!

Time your SMS campaign with Black Friday promotions and be prepared for increased traffic on your website.

Test your text message templates!

But how do you make sure that your predictions are accurate? Test them before the big day! Use the time left to create smaller campaigns and send them to smaller, strictly selected test groups. Measure the effectiveness of links, and find yourself a sweet spot for your SMS marketing.

How to measure the effectiveness of an SMS campaign?

You still, hopefully, have some time to test your SMS campaigns before Black Friday 2023. The quickest and most practical way to determine the most effective content, the best time to engage and the most luring incentive is to run a test campaign. Compare different creations and measure them with short links with UTM parameters. Here’s a guide on how to do it. It isn’t hard and costs nothing but your time.


Register at SMSAPI and test SMS messaging for free. We can help you get started.