How 6 Marketers Are Prepping for the 2023 Holiday Season

How marketers are planning for BFCM
Published on
Aug 21, 2023
Written by
Hilary Henning
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We asked our customers about their plans and predictions for Cyber Week. Here’s what they’re betting on this winter holiday season. 

The weeklong shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (or BFCM) is typically brands’  busiest, most profitable time of the year. With consumers kicking off their shopping earlier than ever—well before the peak shopping week—we wanted to know how marketers are strategizing for a marathon holiday season. 

From promoting deals to driving urgency, check out these thoughtful marketing strategies from our customers, designed to drive revenue in November and beyond.

Be sure to explore our 2023 BFCM Planner (and sign up for content drops). You’ll also find tips for becoming an AI pro, our copy and paste SMS templates, and more. 

What are experts predicting for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2023? 

While shoppers are still cautious about ‌discretionary spending, they’re actively looking for deals and making value their top priority. They’re also already kicking off their holiday shopping to spread out purchases and take advantage of summer and fall holiday deals. 

Many brands plan to launch their deals as early as October in an effort to capture these early shoppers and educate others about their products and help them build their lists, launching their full BFCM campaigns in late November.

What SMS, email, and/or other digital marketing strategies are you implementing to drive engagement and revenue through December?

"We’re going to increase the frequency of messages, segment size, and first-to-know SMS. We’re also going to use digital channels to drive traffic and sign-ups in the months leading up to the holidays to build out a large pool for our holiday sends."

- Gretchen Sorce, DTC Marketing Manager at Revel Nail
"Our plan is to try using more GIFs and images with SMS, and offer a more interactive experience to customers so they feel valued."

- Nicole Simpson, Email Marketing Associate at Healthy Directions
"Our 360-degree plan is to connect our SMS, email, and media to improve our leads at least one month before the season, and use the gifting mood to offer the best products for the holidays."

- Marcos Coelho, CRM Manager at Schultz
"We’ll continue to send out campaign messages and optimize journeys with the help of the new AI feature, Magic Composer!"

- Hannah Toporoff, Marketing Coordinator at DefineMe
"We’re going to try to bring unengaged users back into the flow with non-purchaser campaigns sent via both SMS and email."

- Melanie Corrigan, Director of eCommerce and Marketing at BIOHM Health

Pro Tip: Because consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever, we recommend taking a “hammock” approach to your messaging strategy. Entice early shoppers with seasonal deals in September and October. In early November, shift into education mode. You can share new collections, personalized recommendations, and educational content about your products. Then start sharing exciting promotions from Cyber Week to Boxing Day

What are you excited to test this holiday season? Or, were there any learnings or takeaways from last year you plan to implement?

"Having our entire email platform on Attentive will be huge for us when we test our entire campaign strategy and compare it to previous years."

- Melanie Corrigan, Director of eCommerce and Marketing at BIOHM Health
"We did a lot of sign-up unit testing this spring and summer—offer, image, copy, etc, that we are excited to implement this holiday season."

- Gretchen Sorce, DTC Marketing Manager at Revel Nail
"We're excited to implement all the new features Attentive is providing: macros, back-in-stock, gift offer, and send time optimization. As a learning from last year, our focus is to use landing pages to segment based on the interest of our customers, and use it for future strategies."

- Marcos Coelho, CRM Manager at Schultz
"We are building out a new within-email capability of adjusting order dates sooner during promotion times, all without leaving the inbox!"

- Sarah Oliver, Senior CRM Associate at Gainful

Pro Tip: Personalize your SMS program at scale by using branching within your journeys. You can send your subscribers personalized reminders and recommendations based on the products and categories they’ve browsed, their loyalty status, and more. 

What marketing predictions do you have for the 2023 holiday season?

"I think customers are more willing to buy this year, but are also looking out for the best offers. With so many companies promoting sales during this period, it's important to do something more innovative so that customers are more interested in buying from you."

- Nicole Simpson, Email Marketing Associate at Healthy Directions
"I think we'll continue to see the bulk of our holiday revenue driven by our owned channels, and more companies will move to a longer Black Friday season as opposed to only focusing on the actual day." 

- Gretchen Sorce, DTC Marketing Manager at Revel Nail

Pro Tip: Consumers are looking for value, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a deal. Highlight what makes your products valuable—whether that’s its ingredients or features, its impact on the environment or society, or your brand’s support and education. Lean on your audience to help communicate this value and share user-generated content (UGC), reviews, and more. 

Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out Texts We Love for text messages sent by leading brands, and find the answers to the top questions brands have about BFCM, like how to grow your list, which messages to send, what A/B tests to run, and more.

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