For most, the end of each calendar year brings a bustle of activity: shopping, parties, gift exchanges, travel. As a business, you don’t want to add to the crazy, so effectively communicating with customers and prospects is a matter of being helpful without being a nuisance. SMS marketing can be the perfect communication solution during the holiday season. It will keep you top of mind with customers, while also helping important things slip through the cracks.

So how do you engage customers and drive sales. through SMS during the holidays? Try these 15 tactics and use our text message templates to make the most of texting through the end of this year.


1. Segment Your Audience

Divide your audience into segments based on their preferences, purchase history, and behavior. This allows you to send targeted and relevant messages so that your messages are actually helpful, not irrelevant and therefore annoying.

Hey [FirstName], this is [YourName] with [YourBusiness]. I saw you ordered [X product] recently and thought you might be interested in [Y product] – they go really well together. Buy it here [ShortLink] now.

2. Create Compelling Offers

Where it applies, you can craft irresistible holiday offers, discounts, and promotions exclusive to your SMS subscribers. Highlight limited-time deals to create a sense of urgency. Promote that SMS subscribers are privy to such deals on your other marketing channels (social media, email, in-store) and this will grow your subscriber base.

“Thanks for joining our VIP communication list for SMS subscribers! Use the code SMSVIP any time in the next 48 hours to receive a 15% savings.”

3. Countdowns and Flash Sales

Use SMS to announce flash sales and countdowns! This can create anticipation and urgency among your audience. Short, time-sensitive offers can prompt quick action. This will also give people a reason to opt into your SMS subscriber list.

“We have three last-minute openings this Friday! Claim one of these exclusive spots now! [link]”

4. Personalization

Stand out in the holiday flurry, by personalizing your SMS messages. Addressing customers by their names will help distinguish you from spam.

“Happy Holidays, [name]! Thank you for being a part of business in 2023! We’d love to include you in our plans for 2024–check out our goals here: [link]”

5. Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages

If you’re texting links you need to ensure that the landing pages you’re sending people to are mobile-friendly. The transition from SMS to the landing page should be seamless for the best user experience.

“2023 is winding down! Check out our exclusive end-of-year deals while they last! [link to mobile -riendly page]”


6. Gift Guides and Suggestions

If it fits your business model, gift guides are loved by everyone. There are people on everyone’s list that are hard to buy for, and suggestions are welcome. Provide holiday gift guides and product suggestions through SMS. This may be a link to a landing page or just simple suggestions of your most popular offerings.

“We’ve got you! Struggling to find the right gift for that one person? Here are some ideas you haven’t thought of that will complete your list! [link]”

7. Provide Early Access

Offer exclusive early access to sales, promotions, or limited appointment openings for your SMS subscribers. This creates a sense of privilege and can encourage more people to subscribe.

“First come, first serve–and you’re first on the list! Be the first to check out and take advantage of our new offerings for the new year! [link]”

8. Leverage MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

If you haven’t before, the holiday season may be the time to incorporate multimedia elements into your text message marketing. Things like images, GIFs, or videos can make your SMS messages more visually appealing and engaging.

[In this case, you’ll want to include a specialty media message with your text. This is great for the day of a holiday.]

9. Run Contests and Giveaways

Increase engagement by running holiday-themed contests and giveaways. Winning prizes during this time of year can feel like receiving bonus presents during the season and they add a playful element to your business.

“The giving spirit is in the air! Take this short survey, and we’ll enter you into a end-of-year giveaway! [link]”

10. Holiday-Themed Messaging

Everything is better with a theme. Find a way to infuse holiday spirit into your SMS messages. This may be as simple as festive greetings, and or it could be full-out themed content throughout the weeks. “12 Days of  ___” is an easy and fun one. Maybe it’s daily tips or deals. This helps your brand connect emotionally with customers.

“Don’t let the season lead to stress! Reply with “SAVE” to join our 12 Days of Savings Tips” to help manage your finances better this holiday season!”

11. Timing Matters

Be mindful of the timing of your SMS messages. Send them at times when your audience is most likely to be receptive, avoiding late-night or early-morning messages. 

“Hey [name], don’t forget that our excusive offer ends at midnight. You still have 6 hours left to take advantage!”

12. Again…Timing Matters

You can also help them with their timing. Remind subscribers of your holiday hours or specific closing days. You can let them know when you have limited availability with appointments or what the deadline to order products that ship and get them before Christmas.

“Just a reminder of [business name]’s holiday schedule: We’re closed Dec. 22 until Jan. 2, with the exception of Dec. 26-29 when we’re open 9-noon only.”

13. Send a Thank-You Message

Express gratitude to your customers during the holiday season. This ensures they know you communicate with them for more than just transactional purposes. A simple thank-you message can go a long way in building customer loyalty.

“Thank you, [name], for being a part of the [business name] community for the past year. It’s been a great one for us, and we hope the same for you!

14. Opt-In and Opt-Out Clarity

With perhaps an increase in marketing, you want to ensure you’ve clearly communicated the opt-in and opt-out processes to your subscribers. Make it easy for customers to join and leave your SMS list, and respect their preferences.

“How’s our communication? Too much? Let us know and change your preferences any time by clicking here: [link] or reply STOP to opt out completely.”

15. Monitor and Analyze

Learn from whatever your SMS activity results in. Track the performance of your SMS campaigns during the holiday season. Analyze key metrics to understand what works best. Use what you learn to optimize your future strategies.

The holidays come and go quickly for everyone. Whether you’re in retail trying to move product stay in the black or if you’re a service business and or something else, everyone has reason to stay in their customers pocket during the holidays. Check out our industry-specific article on how your competitors are using SMS through the fall and holidays.

Message IQ actively helps businesses with all of this and we are ready to put SMS for you in the coming year. Contact us and we’ll get your questions answered. 


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