SMS Strategies

During Cyber Week, Brands Drove $1.1B in SMS Revenue. Here are Some of the Texts They Sent

illustration of shopping carts, packages, and shopping bags
Published
Dec 1, 2022
Written by
Marissa Sanford
Marissa is a Editorial Director on the Content Marketing team. She spends her logged off hours walking her two dogs, doing DIY manicures, and drinking way more coffee than necessary.

Cyber Week 2022 has officially come to a close. Explore the impact SMS had, and take a look at a few of the 1.6 billion text messages our customers sent. 

Even with sales starting earlier than ever this year, consumers showed up ready to shop for another record-breaking Cyber Week. According to Adobe, US shoppers spent $9.12 billion online on Black Friday, and $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday—both days seeing growth compared to last year, an encouraging sign for retailers for the rest of the holiday season. 

While inflation played some part in the growth, many brands drove demand through deep discounts and plenty of inventory (vs. last year’s shortages). 

Consumers also shopped via mobile in record-breaking numbers. For the first time ever, mobile devices accounted for the majority (51%) of online sales from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday (up from 46% last year). 

Like last year, SMS marketing played a big role—the 5,000+ brands who partner with Attentive generated over $1.1 billion in revenue from SMS during Cyber Week, representing 41% growth from 2021

Keep reading to learn more about the impact SMS had on brands’ revenue this year, explore a few of the 1.6 billion text messages our customers sent, and get marketing inspiration to drive demand during the final month of 2022.

List growth strategies

Throughout the week, more than 12.7 million new text subscribers opted in to brands’ SMS programs. Here are a few strategies our customers used during Cyber Week to grow their lists—from email promotions and dedicated landing pages, to sign-up forms on their mobile and desktop websites.

Little Sleepies

little sleepies email push to grow their SMS subscriber list

Bamboo viscose pajamas brand Little Sleepies teased email subscribers with early access to Black Friday deals if they signed up for text messages. This is a perfect example of using a channel with an engaged audience (in this case, email subscribers) to promote another channel, SMS, since the brand was only giving their “text fam” early access to the sale. The email CTA button linked to a dedicated landing page, where shoppers could easily sign up for texts.

Oura

Oura SMS and email sign-up unit on mobile for black friday

Oura, the brand known for their smart Oura Ring that tracks sleep and wellness, swapped out their evergreen “Stay in the know” SMS sign-up form for a Black Friday-specific promotion. Knowing shoppers were looking for deals this season, they offered early access to $50 off their best-selling styles to new subscribers who opted in to emails and text messages. 

Tarte

Tarte cyber monday SMS sign-up unit on mobile

Beauty brand Tarte greeted Cyber Monday shoppers with an SMS sign-up form letting them know about their 40% sitewide promotion. Rather than giving new subscribers an additional discount on top of their existing sale, Tarte encouraged them to opt in to get text messages about future launches and promotions. 

Early access

Taking advantage of big deals isn’t limited to Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore. While some brands started promoting sales to consumers at the beginning of November, many used the start of Cyber Week to share “VIP” deals, early access, and more with their text subscribers to drive revenue all week long.

Ralph Lauren Fragrances

Ralph Lauren Fragrances text message example for Cyber Week

Ralph Lauren Fragrances sent a helpful “checklist” to SMS subscribers to prepare them for their big Cyber Week announcement. Since the brand had their subscribers’ attention, they used it as an opportunity to encourage them to save their contact card. Doing so will help Ralph Lauren Fragrances show up in the main SMS inbox (instead of getting filtered out), in addition to creating more brand recognition with every future text they send.

& Other Stories

black friday early access text message from & Other Stories

Clothing and accessories brand & Other Stories gave SMS subscribers early access to shop 25% off everything for one day only. By sharing their discount with subscribers before everyone else, the brand is proving the value of being opted in to SMS, while also creating an opportunity to follow up with non-purchasers later in the week.

Magic Spoon

Black Friday early access text message from Magic Spoon

High protein, low carb cereal brand Magic Spoon treated their subscribers like VIPs by sharing first dibs on their Black Friday deal. Subscribers could get a free box of cereal with any order. Instead of having to manually type in a discount code to get their gift, shoppers just had to click the link within the text message, and their offer would automatically be applied to their cart.

Knix

Knix Canada Cyber Monday Text Message

Intimates brand Knix knew their Canadian subscribers were looking for Cyber Week deals to take advantage of. On Sunday, they shared an early Cyber Monday offer to shop an extra 20% off their already discounted Last Call products, making sure SMS subscribers had a chance to shop the deals before they were gone.

Conversational messages

Knowing that consumers were looking for personalization and convenience this holiday season, many brands took advantage of Attentive’s conversational text messages to share relevant gift guides, recommendations, or to simply say hi.

Vince

Conversational text message example from Vince for Cyber Week

Luxury clothing brand Vince helped their subscribers find the perfect gifts for everyone on their list using Attentive’s Two-Way Journeys™. First, they asked subscribers to reply with who they’re shopping for. Next, they asked if subscribers were looking for “something extra special” or “small indulgences.” Finally, based on the first two answers provided, they shared a recommendation for a product to browse. For those who responded to the first message with “D - Just Browsing,” they shared a link to their six different gift shops.

Muddy Bites

Cyber Week Muddy Bites conversational text message example

Instead of texting subscribers to shop, bite-sized snack brand Muddy Bites focused on building engagement. The brand sent the text from their Co-Founder, Jarod Steffes, thanking subscribers for their support and encouraging them to reply back. According to Steffes’ Twitter, “Sent out a text to our entire list about 30 minutes ago with no intent of pushing a sale and just building community...250+ text replies later, I can't keep up!”

Anthropologie

conversational text message example from Anthropologie

Clothing and accessories brand Anthropologie helped subscribers find the perfect gift based on their price point. The brand encouraged subscribers to reply back with the number that corresponded with how much they wanted to spend. Then, Anthropologie recommended a list of items that were priced within their budget.

Schoolhouse

Conversational text message example from Schoolhouse

Modern American home goods brand Schoolhouse led subscribers through a quick conversational journey to find the perfect gift guide based on who they were shopping for (themselves or a friend). After answering a couple of questions, Schoolhouse shared a curated list of ideas—from quilts and clocks, to hosting bestsellers.

Black Friday

Many brands focused on offering deep discounts on Black Friday. According to our anonymized data of 5,000+ customers, average order value was consistent, suggesting that even with sharing discounts to entice shoppers, they still spent a similar amount to last year.

Thread Wallets

Black Friday text message example from Thread Wallets

Thread Wallets texted subscribers on Friday morning to let them know their Black Friday sale had officially started. The chance to save up to 60% off their purchase enticed subscribers to start shopping the sale immediately. The next day, Thread Wallets followed up with subscribers who hadn’t made a purchase yet to remind them about the big sale.

Bombas

Bombas Black Friday text message example

Sock and apparel brand Bombas used their Black Friday text message to let shoppers know everything was 25% off. They also reminded shoppers of their brand mission: every purchase made would provide essential clothing to someone in need.

SiO Beauty

SiO Beauty Black Friday text message example

SiO Beauty, known for their wrinkle-reducing and skin hydrating silicone patches, gave subscribers a “Black Friday Bonus” by including a free gift with orders of $65+. Combining this bonus offer with their 40% off sale meant shoppers could get even more bang for their buck.

Yours Clothing

Yours Clothing UK text message example for Black Friday

Instead of sharing a more common percentage-off or dollar-off discount with their UK shoppers, plus size fashion brand Yours Clothing framed their offer as a £10 Black Friday gift card. The discount code still worked like a typical £10 off, but stood out to subscribers as a unique limited-time offer.

Small Business Saturday

Our anonymized data found that conversion rates for campaign text messages remained steady from Black Friday into Saturday as many consumers shopped well into the weekend for more deals and discounts. While larger brands continued to promote extended Black Friday sales on Saturday, small businesses used it as a chance to engage with subscribers and encourage them to shop small. 

The Lip Bar

Small Business Saturday text message example from The Lip Bar

Vegan beauty brand The Lip Bar shared 50% off sitewide with SMS subscribers to encourage them to support the small business. They leaned into their fun, empowering brand voice “it’s giving stock up, sis!” creating the feeling that subscribers were texting a friend.

Air & Anchor

Small Business Saturday text message example from Air & Anchor

Accessories brand Air & Anchor shared the meaning of Small Business Saturday with subscribers, and built a deeper connection by saying how thankful they are for their customers. The brand also encouraged shoppers to support the other small or local businesses that were important to them.

Made Trade

Small Business Saturday text message example from Made Trade

Sustainable clothing and home decor brand Made Trade reminded subscribers that they’re a women-owned small business. While many shoppers are hunting for deals during Cyber Week, they still appreciate learning about the brands they support (and what they stand for). Made Trade also used their text message to promote their sustainability, a core part of their mission and values.

Happy Soul Sisters

Small Business Saturday text message example from Happy Soul Sisters

Apparel brand Happy Soul Sisters celebrated Small Business Saturday with subscribers by sharing 25% off sitewide. They also offered a free tank with the first 50 orders, creating a sense of urgency to shop right away and get the extra deal.

Cyber Monday

The brands who partner with us sent the most messages on Cyber Monday, totaling more than 410 million text messages, nearly double what they sent on the same day last year.

StriVectin

Cyber Monday text message example from StriVectin

Anti-aging skin care brand StriVectin shared a Cyber Monday offer that subscribers couldn’t refuse. Not only could they save 30% off sitewide, but they could also get free gifts and extra loyalty points if they were part of the brand’s rewards program. StriVectin used Attentive’s time zone-based message sending feature, so each subscriber received the message at 12:05pm local time, making sure the text message copy (“make your lunch break a shopping break”) was relevant no matter what time zone the subscriber was in.

Senreve

Cyber Monday text message example from Senreve

Luxury handbag brand Senreve invited subscribers to tune into their Instagram Live to get details from their founder Coral Chung on new arrivals and their Cyber Monday offer. Not only does this strategy drive engagement to the brand’s Instagram Live, but can help convert SMS subscribers into social followers, too.

Beachwaver

Cyber Monday text message example from Beachwaver

Curling iron brand Beachwaver knew their Australian subscribers were celebrating Cyber Monday, so they offered 50% off the limited-edition version of their most popular curling iron. They emphasized the value of the offer, so subscribers knew exactly what kind of deal to expect.

Mejuri

Cyber Monday text message example from Mejuri

Fine jewelry brand Mejuri took a bookend approach to sharing their “only sale all year” with SMS subscribers in the UK. They sent a text to alert shoppers about the start of their sale earlier that week. Then, they followed up on the last day to remind subscribers they only had a few more hours to shop 20% off everything, driving urgency and a final revenue push. 

Triggered messages

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, triggered message conversion rates grew at high as 39%. One type of triggered message, abandoned cart reminders, helped recover $81 million for our customers.

Olive & June

Cart abandonment reminder text message from Olive & June

Nail polish brand Olive & June updated their cart abandonment reminder to include their Cyber Week 25% off discount. Even though the brand didn’t offer an additional discount, reminding subscribers of their sale, and that their “next mani is waiting” was a compelling way to convert these high intent shoppers who just needed a little nudge to complete their purchase.

Campus Protein

Attentive Concierge abandoned cart reminder text message from Campus Protein

Supplement brand Campus Protein used Attentive Concierge™ in their abandoned cart journey to provide extra support to their subscribers. After someone abandoned their online cart, a member of Attentive’s live agent team reached out on behalf of Campus Protein to ask the shopper if they needed help with anything. This real-time support helped reduce CX tickets during the busiest time of the year, while encouraging subscribers to purchase the items they initially left behind.

Function of Beauty

Triggered welcome message example from Function of Beauty

Custom haircare brand Function of Beauty created a Cyber Week welcome message to greet new SMS subscribers in Canada with details about their “best deal of the season.” After new subscribers opted in, they received the legal text message followed by this helpful reminder of their incentive for subscribing to the brand’s emails and text messages.

Spanx

Cyber Week message example browse abandonment reminder from Spanx

Knowing Cyber Week shoppers often jump from site to site looking for the best deal, clothing and shapewear brand Spanx launched a Cyber Sale browse abandonment message. If a subscriber browsed a product but then left the site before adding to cart and making a purchase, they received this reminder to grab the product at 50% off. The text included a link back to the exact item the subscriber was browsing.

While Cyber Week is one of the most popular times of the year to cross off our gift list, not everyone’s finished with their holiday shopping (this writer, included). 

Explore our personalized SMS marketing tips for driving revenue throughout the final month of the holiday season. And, if you’re interested in launching your SMS program with Attentive, request a demo.

Data source: Attentive anonymized internal data from 5,000+ brands who partner with us, from Monday, November 21 through Monday, November 28 (i.e., Cyber Week). Message and subscriber results include the US, Canada, and the UK. Revenue results include the US and Canada.

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