Anyone and everyone is trying to get in touch about deals, specials, and sales around Black Friday. You want people to not just read your messages but do something about them.
When it comes to the holiday season, promotions only stand out when people actually see them. And then they’re effective when you share a personalized offer that’s communicated clearly.
The best way to share and deliver those offers? Text messaging. When done right, business texting grabs people’s attention and pushes them to act.
Use these three tips for writing concise and engaging text messages for Black Friday and the holiday season.
Note: The example texts throughout this article focus on ecommerce selling scenarios — don’t get caught up in that. The principles shared apply to any industry, no matter what you sell.
Focus on actions
In writing, active voice puts the subject of a sentence, usually the person doing the action, as the focus of the sentence. Using active voice results in shorter and clearer sentences.
An example of active voice: Skipio gives sales teams a tool to connect personally with every single prospect. (The subject of the sentence, Skipio, is doing the action of offering this tool.)
An example of passive voice: A tool for sales teams to connect personally with every single prospect is offered by Skipio. (The subject of the sentence, Skipio, is no longer the focus.)
The second sentence isn’t incorrect, but the first example sounds nicer and reads more clearly.
And you’re probably familiar with a call to action — it’s what you say to get someone to do something.
Here’s a text that uses active voice and prioritizes one simple action.
Text 1: We love the cold! Use the code SNOWDAY for 40% off one item from our winter collection. Valid [date range].
In the first sentence, “we” (meaning the shop) is the subject and “love” is the action. The second sentence is known as an imperative sentence: There’s an implied subject of “you” (meaning the audience), who is being told they should visit the site and use the code to get a great deal (a call to action).
All grammar aside, the first text sounds nicer than something like this:
Text 2: The cold is loved by us! This weekend we’re offering 40% off one item from our winter collection. You can visit our website and use the code SNOWDAY for this deal.
It sounds awkward, and not just because I exaggerated the passivity to make a point.
The more you focus on getting people to do a singular, easy-to-accomplish action, the more concise your texts will be and the more likely it is someone will do the thing you want them to do.
When in doubt, go with what sounds the most natural to say out loud and you’ll probably gravitate toward action-focused writing.
Get to the point (personally)
If the purpose of your messages isn’t clear right away, people will ignore those messages. This is true even when it’s not the holidays.
But being concise shouldn’t come at the expense of making a personal connection. People are more likely to buy when you send personalized offers.
Your relationship with each customer influences what your messages say. Whether those are text messages, emails, or voicemails, authentic promotional messages aren’t some unrealistic achievement.
You’ve got a full database of customer notes, order histories, and customer activity. Use that data to your advantage.
A text like this conveys the important details and still feels personal. Because it is personal.
Text 1: Hey Anna, ready for your next snowshoeing trip? Stay cozy with a jacket from our winter collection. Use the code SNOWDAY to get 40% off this weekend only!
If my favorite outdoor store sent me this text, I’d know right away that they were offering me a nice deal and that they remembered how much I love snowshoeing AND jackets. (Both of which are 100% true, by the way.)
By sending text messages that are personalized and specific, you stand out from all the generic communication people receive pretty much daily.
Say something the right way the first time and you won’t need to repeat it. Usually we say things multiple times to emphasize importance. But repetitive text messages sound spammy and make people want to ignore you in the future.
You’re a person, not a bot, so don’t write messages like a bot might.
Text 1: For one day only, use the code SNOWDAY to get 40% off any one item. This is only available for Black Friday, so act fast! Don’t miss out on this limited deal!
Sounds like a pretty important deal, especially with all those exclamation points. But this text could have been a lot shorter and still gotten the point across.
Text 2: Start off your holiday shopping with 40% off any one item. Use the code SNOWDAY this weekend only. Anything you’ve got your eye on?
No dramatics. No unnecessary repetition. Just a quick text with a clear and enticing offer — and a question to get them thinking and hopefully even replying to know more.
Just like one-off texts shouldn’t be redundant, clearly write unique follow-up texts to avoid redundancy problems. That means sending. That’s just spam.
Use text messaging to your advantage during the holidays
No matter what sort of holiday promotion or deal you want to share with your customers, text messaging ensures you get the word out quickly without sacrificing the personal touch. You give people the personalized buying experiences they want and it’s way more convenient.
Prepare for the holiday shopping season now and start writing your outreach and follow-up text messages with Skipio’s automated text messaging platform.
This post was originally published on November 8, 2018 and was most recently updated on November 8, 2022. Major updates include more specific insight in each section related to writing effective text messages and new example messages. In addition, the focus of the post shifted to conversational messaging tips and examples for SMS marketing related to ecommerce.