Anyone and everyone is trying to get in touch about deals, specials, and sales around Black Friday. You want to make sure what you have to say isn’t ignored or read and then forgotten about.
When it comes to the holiday season, promotions stand out first when delivered in a way that people will actually see. And then they’re effective when you’ve created a good offer and communicated it in a simple way.
There’s no better way to do all of that than text messaging. When done right, business texting grabs people’s attention and encourages them to act.
To do it for yourself, use these three tips for writing more concise and engaging text messages for Black Friday and the holiday season.
Note: The example texts throughout this article focus on retail scenarios — don’t get caught up in that. The principles shared apply to any industry, no matter what you sell.
Focus on an action
In writing, active voice ensures the subject of a sentence, usually the person doing the action, is the focus of the sentence. Using active voice generally leads to shorter and clearer sentences.
An example of active voice: Skipio gives sales teams a way to connect personally with every single prospect. (The subject of the sentence, Skipio, is doing the action of offering this solution.)
An example of passive voice: A way for sales teams to connect personally with every single prospect is offered by Skipio. (The subject of the sentence, Skipio, is no longer the focus.)
The second sentence isn’t incorrect, but the first example sounds nicer and reads more clearly.
And you’re probably familiar with a call to action — it’s what you say to get someone to do something.
Here’s a text that uses active voice and prioritizes one simple action.
Text 1: We love snow! Come into our shop on Black Friday and show this text to get 40% off one item from our winter collection.
In the first sentence, “we” (meaning the shop) is the subject and “love” is the action. The second sentence is known as an imperative sentence: There’s an implied subject of “you” (meaning the audience), who is being told they should come to the store and show the text to get a great deal (a call to action).
All grammar aside, the first text sounds nicer than something like this:
Text 2: Snow is loved by us! On Black Friday we’re offering 40% off one item from our winter collection. You can come into our shop and show this text to get the deal.
It sounds awkward, and not just because I exaggerated the passivity to make a point.
The more you focus on getting people to do a singular, easy-to-accomplish action, the more concise your texts will be and the more likely it is someone will do the thing you want them to do.
When in doubt, go with what sounds the nicest to read and you’ll probably gravitate toward action-focused writing.
Get to the point (personally)
You don’t want to waste people’s time, and you don’t want to waste your limited number of message characters either. If the point isn’t clear right away, your messages will be ignored. This is true even when it’s not the holidays.
But being concise shouldn’t come at the expense of making a personal connection. People buy from people and they appreciate getting to interact with other humans.
Your relationship with each customer should influence the content of your messages to them. Whether those are text messages, emails, voicemails, authentic promotional messages aren’t some mystical quest you can’t achieve. You’ve got a full CRM of notes and customer activity. Use it to your advantage.
A text like this conveys the important details and still feels personal. Because it is personal.
Text 1: Hey Anna, ready for your next snowshoeing trip? Stay cozy with a jacket from our winter collection. Show us this text on Black Friday to get 40% off!
If my favorite local outdoor store sent me this text, I’d know right away that they were offering me a nice deal and that they remembered how much I love snowshoeing AND jackets. (Both of which are 100% true, by the way.)
By sending text messages that are personalized and to the point, you stand out from all the generic communication people receive pretty much daily. In other words, be intentional about what you send and when you send it.
If you say something the right way the first time, you won’t need to repeat it. Usually we say things multiple times to emphasize importance. But repetitive text messages sound spammy and dissuade people from paying attention to what you send in the future.
You’re a person, not a bot, so don’t write messages like a bot might.
Text 1: For one day only, show us this text to get 40% off any one item. This is only available for Black Friday, so act fast! Don’t miss out on this limited deal!
Sounds like a pretty important deal, especially with all those exclamation points. But this text could have been a lot shorter and still gotten the point across.
Text 2: Start off your holiday shopping with this limited deal. Today only, show us this text to get 40% off any one item. Anything you’ve got your eye on?
No dramatics. No unnecessary repetition. Just a quick text with a clear and enticing offer — and a question to get them thinking and hopefully even replying to know more.
Just like individual texts shouldn’t be redundant, clearly write follow-up texts to avoid similar problems. You should always be following up with customers, even if you’re not promoting a sale. So make sure you send unique follow-up messages. Otherwise people will start to tune out what you have to say.
Use texting to your advantage
No matter what sort of holiday promotion or deal you want to share with your customers, texting ensures you get the word out quickly without sacrificing the personal touch. You can give people the personalized buying experiences they want and enjoy in the most convenient way.
Prepare for the holiday shopping season now and start writing your outreach and follow-up text messages.
This post was originally published on November 8, 2018 and was most recently updated on October 26, 2021. Major updates include more specific directions in each section related to writing effective text messages and new example messages. In addition, the focus of the post shifted to more conversational messaging tips and examples.