Alternative: SMS for BFCM

Every journey in business starts with a clear goal. That’s why today, we’re diving deep into one specific objective: SMS strategies for Black Friday Cyber Monday. 

Before we explore how to leverage SMS for the holiday season, we have to consider that this channel should be used all year. It’s gaining momentum every year, and as demographics change, we can only expect it to continue growing. 

37% of Americans now favor receiving brand updates via text messages. 

Dive deeper into the demographics, and this trend becomes even more pronounced: a striking 45% of millennials and 43% of the Gen Zers have marked SMS as their preferred mode of brand communication.

When it comes to SMS marketing, understanding customer expectations can be the game changer for your health and beauty brand. Recent data from a survey conducted by Clariel offers some valuable insights into this. 

They spoke to 2,000 consumers who’ve engaged with brands through SMS, and here’s what they had to say:

Discounts Based on Past Purchases: A significant 48% of respondents prefer receiving discounts tailored to their previous orders. This could be reminders for products they might be running low on, or simply a nudge towards items they’ve shown a fondness for in the past.

Offers Matched to Interests: 43% said they’d like to receive offers that align with their personal interests. (This serves as a good reminder for brands to enhance their signup forms to gather more specific data about consumer preferences.)

Information on Desired Products/Services: 39% of the participants want updates about products or services they’ve shown an interest in.

Timely Messages: 32% emphasized the importance of receiving SMS notifications at convenient times. Clearly, no one appreciates being woken up by a promotional message in the wee hours!

Personalized Messaging: Lastly, 31% said they love getting messages that feel tailor-made for them.

Spotting a trend? The crux of these findings is clear: Customers yearn for personalization. They want to feel seen and understood, especially when a brand reaches out to them.

And I know what you’re thinking: But how can we personalize with the mere 160 characters that SMS allows? That challenge, dear reader, is precisely why you’re here! Stick around as we navigate the art of personalization within the confines of an SMS…

Dynamic Content and Zero Party Data

SMS and dynamic content are a match made in heaven. So, what is dynamic content? In the digital realm, the term “dynamic” often implies content that’s not static, meaning it changes based on the user or certain conditions. Klaviyo, and its fast-growing competitor, Sendlane, are powerhouses in the email and SMS marketing space. 

And they can take personalization to new heights.

These platforms can use dynamic content to send different messages based on a recipient’s data or behavior. When leveraged correctly, it’s like having a personal shopper for each of your customers, selecting items they’re most likely to be interested in. The parameters that define a person’s preferences are stored in the user profile. 

How is this data collected?

Either by a person’s past behavior – something they viewed or purchased – or by simply asking them. This is considered collecting “zero-party data.” Unlike first-party data, which is passively collected through interactions like website visits or purchases, zero-party data is directly given by the consumer, often indicating their preferences, needs, and desires. Gathering such data through mechanisms like pop-ups can be a game-changer for SMS personalization, especially for beauty brands. 

Here’s why:

Immediate Insights into Preferences: By using a pop-up that asks visitors about their beauty concerns or favorite products, a brand can quickly understand what the consumer is looking for. Below are 5 examples of how zero party data can be put to use:

  1. Example: A visitor selects ‘sensitive skin’ as their skin type in the pop-up. This can lead to an SMS like, “Sensitive skin? Check out our soothing chamomile face cream, [Name]. Perfectly gentle for you.”

Tailored Product Recommendations: Beauty is a vast field with myriad products.With zero-party data, brands can pinpoint what a consumer might be interested in.

  1. Example: A pop-up reveals a visitor loves matte lipsticks. An SMS could read, “Matte lovers rejoice! Dive into our new range of long-lasting matte lipsticks, [Name].Shades you’ll adore.”

Engagement with New Launches: If someone indicates in the pop-up that they’re interested in, say, sustainable beauty products, you know exactly who to reach out to when launching a new eco-friendly line.

  1. Example: “Hey [Name], our new eco-friendly eyeshadow palette is here! Thought you’d want to be the first to know.”

Feedback and Iteration: As consumers share direct feedback through these pop-ups, brands can refine their offerings and messaging, making each SMS more effective than the last.

  1. Example: If several users highlight an interest in cruelty-free products, a message could be, “You asked, we listened! All our products are now 100% cruelty-free. Shop with conscience, [Name].”

Building Trust: When consumers see that the information they’ve willingly shared is being used to enhance their shopping experience, it builds trust and loyalty.

  1. Example: A user mentions vegan skincare as a preference. An SMS stating, “Curated just for you, [Name]: Our top 5 vegan skincare must-haves” reinforces the brand’s attentiveness.

To see more on how to use dynamic variables in Klaviyo, tap here

Black Friday Cyber Monday: Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Your Beauty Brand VIPs

In this bustling shopping frenzy, ensuring that your most loyal customers feel acknowledged can be a game-changer. After all, these VIPs have stood by your brand through thick and thin.

Why BFCM Exclusive Deals Are Essential for VIPs:

The BFCM period is notorious for its avalanche of deals and promotions, drowning customers in a sea of offers. Amidst this, giving your VIP SMS subscribers exclusive beauty deals can make all the difference. Think limited edition holiday sets, or early access to a new winter skincare line. This not only makes them feel treasured, but also sends a clear signal: amidst the BFCM chaos, your brand values and prioritizes them.

Tailoring the BFCM VIP Criteria for Beauty Brands:

In the context of beauty brands, the VIP definition takes on a unique hue for BFCM. A high-end beauty brand might classify customers who’ve been consistently purchasing throughout the year, or those who’ve shown interest in premium holiday sets, as VIPs. For a brand with a vast range of beauty essentials, customers making frequent purchases in the lead-up to BFCM might qualify as VIPs.

To illustrate, let’s say you have a coveted holiday eyeshadow palette launching. Granting early access or a special discount to your VIPs can make them feel truly valued. Or, if you’ve launched a special skincare line perfect for the winter season, offering your VIPs an exclusive bundle deal ahead of the BFCM rush can work wonders.

Mastering SMS Strategy for Black Friday Cyber Monday

A well-thought-out SMS content calendar is crucial for nailing your Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) game. Let’s break down day-by-day, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, exactly when and how to best engage your customers with those timely text messages.

Remember, while our usual mantra is to keep SMS sends to a max of once or twice a week to avoid overwhelming our loyal subscribers, BFCM is that unique time of year when we can get a little more ambitious with our approach.

Day 1: Thanksgiving

Before the BFCM storm hits, Thanksgiving offers a golden window of opportunity. Tease your upcoming Black Friday deals to build anticipation. And for your VIP customers? How about giving them a sneak peek or exclusive access before the masses get a chance?

For example, Happy Turkey Day, VIPs! 🦃 Wishing you an unforgettable day. Glowing today? Just wait ’til our sale tomorrow. Psst… Early access for you today. Use code gobble30 😉

Day 2: Black Friday

The big day. Arguably the most awaited shopping event, Black Friday is your chance to pull out all the stops. Think enticing offers, visual treats in the form of emojis, and most importantly, creating a ticking clock with time-bound offers.

Imagine receiving a text from Luscious Locks, a luxury haircare brand, offering a 30% discount for Black Friday. Accompanied by vibrant visuals and emojis, the message would almost certainly stand out amidst the sea of Black Friday promotions.

Days 3 & 4: Pre-Cyber Monday Weekend

The lull before the storm. Remind your subscribers about ongoing offers, and perhaps, as Sunday winds down, tease them with what’s in store for Cyber Monday.

Take, for instance, GlamSkin Co., a brand specializing in organic skincare. They could use the weekend to push a 25% discount on their bestsellers, reminding subscribers it’s their “last chance” before the sale wraps up.

Day 5: Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday, a day that has rapidly become the digital counterpart to Black Friday, often sees even higher online sales. Make sure your SMS stands out. Keep it crisp, clear, and compelling.

For example, EcoFit Wear, an eco-friendly activewear brand, might promote a massive 70% off on select items, but for one day only. Such offers create urgency, encouraging subscribers to jump on deals before they vanish.

Balancing SMS and Email: A Harmony in Marketing

Email and SMS marketing shouldn’t be seen as rivals; they’re more like a dynamic duo in the e-commerce world. When you pair them up, they can really boost your brand’s presence. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but when used in tandem, they fill in each other’s gaps, ensuring your subscribers get the best from both worlds. So, instead of picking sides, let’s explore how to make them work together and keep your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind.

Take for example the power of SMS in an Abandoned Cart flow, in a system that is “vertically integrated” like @Klaviyo or @Sendlane: if someone has opted in to SMS, you can send them their first message via SMS and then wait 24 hours. If they didn’t make their purchase from that message you can then send an email. This is far better than sending 2 messages using 2 different mediums at the same time since there is a 90%+ possibility the SMS message was seen.

To sum it all up, the rise of SMS as a preferred mode of communication, especially amongst the younger demographics, cannot be overlooked. The power of personalized messaging, combined with the immediacy and intimacy of SMS, presents unparalleled opportunities for brands, particularly in the beauty space. 

This Black Friday Cyber Monday season, as you prepare to roll out those irresistible deals, remember the value of tailored, timely, and thoughtful messaging. Personalize, prioritize, and put your loyal customers at the center of your strategy. 

While balancing both SMS and email may seem like a daunting task, the rewards in customer loyalty, engagement, and sales are monumental. So as you gear up for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, ensure that every message you send, whether through text or email, resonates deeply and stands out in the bustling marketplace. 

Here’s to a successful BFCM for your brand!

DAY SMS Strategy 
Day 1:
Tease upcoming Black Friday deals

Offer VIP customers exclusive early access
Day 2:
Black Friday
Announce main BFCM promotions

Create urgency with limited-time offers
Pre-Cyber Monday

Remind subscribers of ongoing offers

Tease Cyber Monday offers on Sunday
Day 5:
Cyber Monday
 Announce major online deals

Create urgency, reminding deals won’t return until next BFCM