SMS Marketing

7 Memorial Day Marketing Ideas to Boost Engagement and Sales

Memorial Day Text Message Ideas
Posted in
SMS Marketing
Published on
May 8, 2023
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.
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Borrow one (or some) of these ideas to drive more revenue for your brand over the long weekend.

The unofficial kickoff to summer is just a few weeks away. Memorial Day—which falls on May 29 this year—is the perfect opportunity to engage your customers, promote seasonal products, and clear out existing inventory to make room for new items and collections.

Consumers will be taking advantage of this long weekend to go to the beach, barbecue with their loved ones, and, of course, shop for summer essentials. Last year, 84% of celebrators planned to purchase something for Memorial Day.

Here are some ideas for using this major marketing holiday to capture your customers' attention and inspire them to buy—from limited-time sales to building your campaign with the help of AI.

Memorial Day marketing strategies and examples to try

1. ELEMIS: Sparking engagement with limited-time offers

Memorial Day and National Sunscreen Day text examples from ELEMIS

Luxury skincare brand ELEMIS encouraged customers to stock up on their favorite products for the summer with a sitewide flash sale. The limited-time promotion also included a bonus offer: the potential to earn a free gift with purchases over a certain dollar amount. 

ELEMIS launched the sale the week before Memorial Day. Then, they used segmentation to send a series of reminders to any subscribers who didn’t engage with (or buy from) the initial announcement. 

Since National Sunscreen Day (May 27) also landed in the middle of the promotion period, ELEMIS decided to use the holiday to drive even more traffic and purchases—highlighting their selection of sunscreens with a call to action to use the Memorial Day discount code.

2. Utz Snacks: Helping customers host Memorial Day parties

Memorial Day SMS campaign example from Utz Snacks

Utz Snacks knows that cookouts are a popular activity during Memorial Day weekend—so they anticipate their customer’s needs by reminding them to stock up on party snacks. The brand promoted their seasonal product collection a few weeks in advance, conveniently including a discount code to incentivize purchases. 

By launching the offer early, Utz also made sure shoppers would get their orders with more than enough time set up for their parties.

3. Cotopaxi: Taking a brand-first approach to engagement

Memorial Day SMS campaign example from Cotopaxi

Many consumers associate holidays like Memorial Day with limited-time sales and offers. But brands that aren’t running a promotion or that don’t typically discount can find creative ways to join in on the celebrations, too, like sharing non-promotional content that keeps customers engaged.

Adventure apparel brand Cotopaxi tapped into the long weekend mindset by sharing a curated playlist with their audience. There was no offer included, just a link to listen to the songs.

This strategy isn't about driving immediate sales. It's about building relationships and connecting with your customers on a more personal level, which ultimately leads to long-term loyalty (and more purchases down line). 

4. zestt: Inspiring purchases with styling tips

Memorial Day SMS campaign example from zestt

zestt—an organic cotton goods retailer—shared styling tips and inspiration with their customers around Memorial Day. The brand recommended their best-selling 3-in-1 scarf, and used a fun GIF to show how people could style it for different occasions. They also included a direct link to the product page to drive traffic and sales from anyone who wanted to add the item to their wardrobe.

Since many people wait until Memorial Day weekend to purchase summer clothing, this was the perfect time for zestt to engage their audience with on-trend, seasonal recommendations. 

5. Kodiak Cakes: Building anticipation with seasonal giveaways

Memorial Day SMS campaign example from Kodiak akes

Kodiak Cakes—known for their protein-packed pancake and waffle mixes—teamed up with other health and fitness brands for a Memorial Day giveaway. The brand used their SMS channel to drive entries leading up to the long weekend, creating a sense of urgency with limited-time messaging (“Don’t miss your chance…”). They also teased the winning haul of sustainable and organic goodies with a flat-lay photo.

Keep in mind: Giveaways are also an effective way to grow your subscriber base. Consider updating your sign-up unit to promote the giveaway on your website, and encourage visitors to enter for a chance to win by opting in to email and SMS. ‍

6. Beachwaver: Maximizing revenue with last chance reminders

Memorial Day SMS and email campaign examples from Beachwaver

Curling iron brand Beachwaver used bookending to drive last-minute revenue on the final day of their Memorial Day sale. These timely reminders also promoted two additional perks for their email and SMS subscribers: free shipping and a discount code for an extra 20% off. 

The brand encouraged customers on both channels to click through and convert by tapping into that familiar feeling of FOMO—emphasizing that they only had until midnight to take advantage of the major sitewide sale.

7. Attentive AI™: Automatically creating Memorial Day campaigns for your brand

Magic Message Copy Assistant for SMS

If you want (or need) a little help with your brand's Memorial Day marketing plans, try using Attentive AI to automate the end-to-end campaign set-up, or to ideate and build out the different components. 

One option is to use Automated Campaigns to create and schedule multi-channel campaigns—saving yourself tons of time and manual work. You’ll still be in full control with automated reminders that make sure there are no surprise sends. But you won't have to do all the planning, writing, segmenting, and scheduling the “old fashioned way.”

Pro tip: Automated Campaigns can schedule your entire holiday calendar, not just your Memorial Day campaigns. Using AI in this way helps you optimize your campaigns to drive better engagement and more revenue, and, ultimately, shift from single-touch to multi-touch marketing strategies.

There are also options if you'd prefer to take a more hands-on approach to campaign planning. Magic Message can craft high-performing copy—in your brand voice—that’s tailored to your audience and your goals. You can use the copy it generates as is, or just as inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

Magic Message Image Generation for SMS

You can also use Magic Message to modify images pulled from your product catalog (or that you upload directly) for both email and SMS. Let’s say you need an image to make your message more visually appealing but don’t have Memorial Day-specific photos. Rather than spend hours creating or finding the right visual, you can quickly transform an image you already have to fit your ideal aesthetic.

Some features of Attentive AI are currently in beta. If you’re interested in learning more, talk to your CSM or join the waitlist. 

Beyond driving revenue, Memorial Day campaigns set the foundation for all of your summer promotions. Now is the time to experiment with new ways to engage your customers, and determine which seasonal strategies work best for your brand.

Get more inspiration for Memorial Day and beyond by exploring our SMS gallery, Texts We Love. And, check out our 2023 text messaging calendar for more key dates and marketing tips. 

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