Cracking the Code to BFCM 2023 Success: A Holiday Text Strategy Guide

During Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2022, 75% of Wunderkind clients’ traffic shopped on mobile. With the expectation that mobile traffic will continue to rise per the upward trend in years prior, a tight-knit On-Demand strategy is more important than ever leading into BFCM 2023. 

As the holiday season approaches, brands face the crucial task of breaking through the text message marketing noise to drive sales and establish meaningful customer connections that last. From deploying list growth tactics and establishing a consistent messaging frequency before BFCM, to fine-tuning text outreach during the height of the holiday season and carrying that momentum into the new year, we’re sharing our proven strategies for effective text message marketing before, during, and after BFCM.

Pre-BFCM: The Planning and Anticipation Stage

To help build anticipation and get shoppers ready for BFCM sales, it’s important to focus on list growth while also subtly teasing upcoming promotions. One way to increase the reach of your text program is by targeting the largest list of the most engaged users — email subscribers — and incentivizing them in exchange for a text opt-in. 

Batch and Blast Opt-ins are a proven strategy to meaningfully increase your list, known to double or triple the number of text opt-ins versus onsite opt-in campaigns.

Text-to-Join is another way to target visitors and incentivize them in exchange for a text opt-in. Text-to-Join can target email subscribers or even high-intent prospects and customers in-store.

To increase the visibility of messages moving forward, we suggest including the Contact Card. Contact cards should be sent at the first point of contact with new customers – in the Behavioral Welcome – and can also be included via On-Demand to already-subscribed users. 

By inviting mobile subscribers to add the phone number as a contact, subscribers can see a text is from the brand the moment they receive it, ensuring subscribers engage with the texts at the same rate they would with a text from a friend.

Now that you’ve built an audience, it’s necessary to set a consistent messaging frequency to capture their attention leading up to the holidays. In order to make sure text messages perform during this high-volume period, we recommend increasing the cadence and testing out new strategies early on so subscribers are primed to expect and engage with the messages. 

Priming texts should be sent before the start of a sale so that users know to look out for sale messages. Priming texts are typically sent the day before the sale begins, but can be sent up to five days before, so long as there is an additional reminder in between. 

Recurring sends should be sent on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) to train subscribers to expect consistent promotional updates. These messages can highlight new releases or clearance sales on certain days of the month to increase engagement.

During BFCM: The Capitalization Stage

Most brands will send over five texts during the week of BFCM, easily surpassing 10 in the month of November. During the height of the holiday season, as customers receive a higher-than-normal volume of messages, it’s important to make sure messages are timely and relevant so customers don’t feel overwhelmed. Cut through the BFCM noise and engage with your audience through the most high-visibility channel using the following strategies.

First and foremost, brands need to send consistent and relevant On-Demand messages to users at key moments. These messages can revolve around a sale’s start, end, final reminders, and more. Brands need to be using intentional customer segmentation to target the full spectrum of subscriber types and scale On-Demand sends. After setting expectations pre-BFCM with priming and recurring sends, customers are trained to expect these messages.

We suggest using a variety of eye-catching content and messages including brand imagery, countdown GIFs, and creative design. MMS is a great way to grab the attention of subscribers as soon as they open the message and can even help drive performance during peak periods. MMS drove a 27% higher click rate and a 51% higher conversion rate for Wunderkind clients during BFCM 2022, so we highly suggest taking advantage of MMS strategies this holiday season.

To further engage with this audience, consider offering exclusive sale access to text users, either giving early sale access or extending the sale for them privately. This helps to reward the most loyal customers and encourages them to engage with the brand more.

Post-BFCM: The Expansion Stage

Keeping subscribers engaged in the aftermath of the BFCM frenzy is critical to sustained success with your text program. Sales don’t stop on Cyber Monday, and neither should the messages. Continuing messaging into the tail-end of Q4 offers an opportunity to convert subscribers who have not yet become customers and make repeat purchases out of subscribers who converted during BFCM.

Post-BFCM is a great time to capitalize on last-minute shoppers. Target ‘procrastinators’ with reminders that time is running out to purchase their gifts, leaning into urgent messaging around shipping cutoffs. (Bonus: Offer exclusive access to free shipping!)

There are a number of key seasonal moments to lean into in December, from New Year’s Eve to end-of-year sales. Both can be used to target subscribers with multiple reminders and countdowns as the clock closes in on midnight. 

Beyond these end-of-Q4 strategies, the post-BFCM slump is also an excellent opportunity to transition from conversion to nurturing strategies. Now that brands have established a broader audience, and gathered insights on them during the holiday period, they can work to foster deeper connections with their audience and optimize for customer retention and loyalty into the new year.Text is a competitive and sensitive space, and can be difficult for brands to remain relevant to their subscribers. Preparing users for BFCM and keeping them engaged with the channel after the holiday should be a top priority. Get in touch with Wunderkind today to optimize your text strategy for BFCM and beyond.


Molly Shuttlesworth

Molly is a product marketing manager at Wunderkind where she owns the release of new Wunderkind Email, Text, and Onsite products and features. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northeastern University, with a minor in Math. Molly has worked in tech for the entirety of her career, gravitating towards roles that allow her to be a part of product journeys from ideation to launch and flex her creative and analytical brain.