The best dates for your festive SMS campaigns

With brits set to spend £1,275 per head this festive season, our latest research highlights the most critical days for marketing campaigns.

6 December 2021

In general, the last quarter of the year is where retailers make the lion share of their sales. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday are quickly followed by the Christmas festivities. Sales performance in this golden quarter can be the difference between sink and swim for businesses and this year is certainly no different. 

UK shoppers are set to spend a record £84.7 billion during the six weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Meaning on average, each consumer is estimated to spend £1,275 per head on holiday preparations – £76 more than in 2020. 

Many businesses will be keen to finish the year on a high, thus competition for customer loyalty and sales will be rife. But it’s important to remember that the festive period is a marathon not a sprint. So it’s essential brands organise customer promotion and engagement campaigns for the most critical days. 

To help our customers identify these dates, our research below analyses SMS campaign volumes for December 2020.

What were the most popular days for festive campaigns during December 2020?

UK and Ireland SMS Volumes – December 2020

Heatmap of SMS volumes across December 2020 - UK view.

NB: Data shows SMS volumes for active, UK customers, within the Commify brand umbrella.

As can be seen from the data above, December 8th, marked the most popular day for festive SMS campaigns last year. More generally however the most popular dates for SMS messages were within weeks 2 and 3 of December 2020, between 7th – 17th. 

As you might expect, in the week leading up to Christmas day, SMS volumes significantly decreased. Though interestingly, the Monday prior to December 25th – Monday 21st, also saw a relatively high number of sent SMS.

Global SMS Volumes – December 2020

Heatmap of SMS volumes across December 2020 - Global view.

NB: Data shows SMS volumes for active customers, across all territories, within the Commify brand umbrella.

Comparing text message volumes sent globally, campaigns did also centre around weeks 2 and 3 of December. However, the most popular date for SMS campaigns internationally, was December 17th. 

SMS Marketing ideas for the 2021 festive period

1. Season’s Greetings

SMS Marketing doesn’t just have to be about the hard sell. Text messaging is a hugely versatile tool for increasing brand exposure and market penetration during any competitive period. An incredibly simple way to use SMS Marketing is to simply send a message of Season’s Greetings to your customers. A simple SMS message or even Christmas e-card (via SMS Landing Pages), can help keep your brand at the forefront of your customers minds. It also may remind customers to check out your products or services while Christmas shopping. 

2. Build SMS Marketing list

We know that one of the largest hurdles to SMS Marketing is often perceived barriers to collecting data from customers. A great way to build your recipient list and foster continued customer loyalty, is by asking customers to join your SMS marketing list this Christmas. A report found that 90% of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program, felt they gained value from it. Moreover, businesses can also incentify this, offering all new SMS marketing recipients an early Christmas gift by means of an offer or discount.  

Retail stores, in particular, have an outstanding opportunity to build a text club database from their festive foot traffic. Additionally, with SMS Marketing the overheads of maintaining a loyal customer base couldn’t be lower. 

Moreover a great way to keep customers engaged is to be selective with the SMS campaigns, deals and discounts you send them. By ensuring you segment your database into various services or product areas of interest to your customers (you could use purchasing or survey data) you can make sure individuals only receive the campaigns and discounts they’re really interested in. This in turn, will increase the likelihood of engagement and sales.

3. Customer updates and alerts

Text messaging is a great way to engage with customers, not just because of the channel’s significant reach, but also the speed. On average 90% of all text messages are read within just 3 minutes. Making them perfect for: 

  • Seasonal product launches
  • Flash sales
  • Restock notifications
  • Last minute gift ideas
  • Dispatch notifications
  • Delivery updates
  • Revised retail opening times etc. 

Keeping customers informed and engaged over the holiday season can be a challenge. But there’s still plenty of time to get your festive SMS marketing campaigns underway. So sign up today and let us help you make the most of this golden quarter. 

Get in touch

Send and receive a variety of SMS communications including ad hoc updates and much larger campaigns, in just a few clicks.

Start your free trial today

Try our platform; you’re only a few clicks away

  • 20 free credits
  • Full platform access
  • No commitment or credit card required