November 9, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes
December is a tricky month for marketers as the holidays present understandable concerns around brand fatigue, shipping deadlines, and more (not to mention we’re all still recovering from BFCM).
But put whatever you need into that eggnog because here’s the deal: brands can match or increase their November revenue by increasing their SMS sends by 15-20% in December. While it may feel counterintuitive to continue texting your list at a high rate after BFCM, the data tells us that revenue is on the table if you do.
But you must have strategic segments, creative campaigns, and a close eye on your unsub rate if you want to close the year strong. We’ve made it easy to top off your 2023 SMS calendar with some of our favorite December campaign ideas.
Opt-Out & Holiday Segments
To echo some wisdom we shared in early November, providing subscribers a chance to opt out of holiday marketing is a surefire way to reduce unsubscribe rates and prevent susceptible users from brand fatigue. Especially if you plan on keeping send volume high.
If you want a festive, creative way of sending an opt-out keyword, you could include it in an SMS asking subscribers which holidays they celebrate. This way, you can also collect zero-party data and build segments for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or subscribers who just don’t love the holidays. Your community might appreciate the sentiment, and these segments can make it easier to send holiday-specific messages! Again, strategic segmentation helps remedy the risks of higher send volume.
While we believe brands should continue sending plenty of texts in December, not all of those texts need to be promotional. Earnest, down-to-earth messages go a long way in building rapport with your customers and reminding them that the humans behind those texts are grateful for their business.
Aaron, CEO of Organika, shows us how it’s done.
Or, you can help Dr. Brite keep the Christmas card tradition alive and share a festive MMS:
We were struck by this sweet message from Bella Ragazza Boutique last December. Chances are, some folks in your subscriber base won’t have much reason to be merry and bright. Your text may be one of the few they receive this December, and the chance to encourage them is a real gift.
12 Days of Sales
A “12 Days” campaign is an incredibly tidy way to wrap all of your promotions into one bundle of texts. Creating a festive through-line for your holiday sales gives you a built-in excuse to continually promote products while keeping spirits bright. Bonus: turning a series like this into an SMS automation can save you time and stress once those December sales start picking up steam. CanDo and Inno Supps both stuck the landing with theirs:
Sometimes, subscribers need you to connect the dots for them. By pairing your products with potential gift recipients, you may just give them an “ah-ha” moment and help check someone off their list. Look at how ATH positioned each of their supplements to match the needs of different demographics:
Bare Performance Nutrition linked to their official gift guide with a reminder their support team was available to help customers pick the right products for their list:
There’s something about a well-made holiday gift guide that takes us back to flipping through seasonal catalogs. It may just be a collection of products, but a good gift guide acts as high-performing content if you put some extra effort into design, copy, and organization. JJwinks and Nutra Remedies both prioritized the quality of their gift guides, and it shows:
Toy Drive & Charitable Giving
Tis’ the season, after all. If you have brick-and-mortar locations, it’s easy to partner with organizations like KGW Toy Drive to act as a drop spot for toy donations. Incentive your subscribers to participate with a message like Royalty’s Wine & Liquor below!
If you can’t facilitate in-person giving, consider a charitable SMS campaign and donate portions of your online sales to a charity of your choice. Shoutout to LovelyCreationssLV for donating 20% of their proceeds to a Toy Drive for Childhood Cancer (see below). MIT Sloan says, “Giving, when done right, is the ultimate marketing incentive, drawing shoppers and increasing consumer spending.” According to data from MINTEL, 73% of Americans consider companies’ charitable work when making a purchase. While we hope your brand participates in a giving campaign for more reasons than profit, it’s certainly a big motivator for shoppers!
Ugly Sweater Contest - December 16
It’s hard to think of a better way to collect user-generated content, engage with subscribers, and celebrate the season than an ugly holiday sweater campaign. Ask your list to vote on your team’s worst sweater abominations, or invite subscribers to send in their own photos for a chance at a sweet sweater prize.
VOLLIS took their Ugly Sweater campaign to a whole ‘nother level by throwing an actual party for subscribers at a local venue 🎉 We’re pretty bummed we missed it:
Some Good Tidings Galore
We’re not just SMS experts here at Postscript; we’re SMS connoisseurs, and there’s no better gift than a great piece of content in our inbox. Here are a few of our holiday favorites to get your gears turning.
EDEN Bodyworks grabbed the aux cord and curated some Winter Solstice tunes for their list to enjoy on the shortest day of the year:
Gozney is always good for a five-star recipe when it’s time to impress the holiday guests:
Little Partners shared some adorable craft ideas for families to make together. When content can incorporate products into memory-making activities, it is an emphatic win for any brand:
This one is pretty straightforward, but it’s a must for brands who want to move inventory up until the last minute. Shipping times are always unclear, with holidays and weekends falling on different dates each year, so clarify timelines with your subscribers and do so with plenty of time to spare. Infamous Paintball did a great job visualizing their shipping cutoffs with an on-brand design and a friendly reminder from Santa:
Native tapped the power of urgency and sent out a final call for orders:
We love the copy here from Little Bug, reminding customers there were only “15 Sleeps until Santa is here”. They also reassure subscribers that orders placed by December 15th are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas–a great call to action:
For The Procrastinators: E-Gift Cards
While purchasing volume inevitably falls off as shipping deadlines pass, gift cards are an easy sell to last-minute shoppers and procrastinators who need gifts that don’t need to be FedEx’d. Arbor Made laid out the case for a gift card with plenty of context, options, and a clever CTA:
Fable streamlined the purchase process for last-minute gifters with a concise message and an easy checkout:
Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza
It’s tricky to write relevant holiday copy when not everybody celebrates the same one. While “Happy Holidays” has done some heavy lifting as the go-to neutral greeting, there’s nothing wrong with getting specific if you’ve done the segmenting legwork we suggested at the top of this blog. However you decide to celebrate these holidays with your list, take care not to alienate subscribers and respect the many traditions being honored this time of year.
Treat Yourself + Boxing Day
When the world’s dads have discarded all the wrapping paper, and everybody has put their new socks neatly away in their sock drawers, subscribers may be ready to buy the gift they were hoping to get all along. Enter a “Treat Yourself” campaign. We’ll let Vitaly do the talking:
Saratoga Olive Oil tempted subscribers with a steep, sitewide sale to cure those post-present hangovers:
FlutterHabit shared a reminder that everybody should have themselves on their Christmas list. Treat yourself:
New Year’s Eve
This will likely be your final send of the year, so make it count! People are ready to party and take advantage of end-of-year deals. So make sure you have a promotion or two for the final moments of 2023! Tula Boutique caught our eye with a GIF that featured some NYE fits:
Sharing your New Year’s Resolutions or inviting subscribers to share theirs are effective ways to engage with your list. Better yet, invite your customers to join you in a resolution or challenge like MiniBeast did:
It may be tempting to take a breather and relax after the Midnight Madness of BFCM, but in December, brands need to double down and finish strong. Remember that more sends equal more revenue, but strategic segmentation and messaging are crucial to preventing subscriber churn. Take the chance to be charitable with your campaigns, creative with your content, and timely with your offers. And most importantly, have a wonderful holiday season!
Content Marketing Specialist
Ren is a part of the content team at Postscript. He considers himself a writer and a filmmaker, but his trophy case remains void of Oscars. Until a golden statue takes up residence there, he'll continue creating for the fun of it!