SMS guide for the holiday season: surviving the 2022 big squeeze

4 November 2022

There is no doubt about it, 2022 is predicted to be a lean year for Christmas holiday sales. Many people in the UK will be forced to choose between heating and eating this year thanks to the cost of living crisis. Brands are going to have to work twice as hard to get noticed and fit with the changes because according to Retail Week, “retail sales by volume will be down year on year in the final quarter of 2022”. A report by Retail Economics and digital wallet HyperJar suggests that spending on non-essential items is set to plummet by £12bn in the UK this year as consumers tighten their purse strings.”

As bleak as it may seem there is better news for online retailers. Online sales are expected to be up by 8% on last year as a result of consumers shopping around for the best deals. With SMS marketing you are reaching people in the right place and can easily drive traffic to your website.

Why SMS should be your go-to marketing strategy this Christmas

The struggle is real and brands will be competing for survival. If you haven’t already, you need to switch up your marketing strategy and find a new way to reach customers. SMS marketing is the fastest and most efficient way to reach your potential customers and is now becoming the preferred method of marketing and transactional communications. SMS messages have a 98% open rate and are read within minutes.

Statistics show that 48% of people prefer to receive marketing communications by text message. By contrast, only 22% prefer email marketing and email alerts, 20% pay attention to app notifications, and a meagre 8% would now welcome direct mail. Traditional methods are no longer hitting the mark and are more costly and inefficient. This year, you will need your target audience to pay attention and may also be looking to reduce your costs to survive these testing times. With TextAnywhere you can send a text for as little as 3.7pence.

How shopping has changed

According to Retail Economics shopping online has become the norm for more consumers than ever. The pandemic saw even the least tech-savvy of people reaching for smartphones and switching to online retailers. Even products that were traditionally bought in-store by most customers such as furniture are now bought online. Statistics show that 63% of people now expect to shop more online than in person in the future. 25% of those over 65’s are also enjoying this shift in shopping habits.

With frugality on the rise, most consumers are shopping around online for the best deals. This year shopping will very much be quantity over quality as people try to give their loved ones a more memorable Christmas on a tighter budget. Since the pandemic, the focus will be on being together rather than giving, which will shape the way brands are marketing.

Although there is a financial crisis happening right now, there will be people who remain unaffected. However, even affluent consumers will be shopping around with the current climate causing them to be more mindful of spending.

How can SMS help you to cut through the competitor noise?

It’s permission-based

One of the great things about SMS marketing is that it’s permission-based, meaning that people need to opt-in to subscribe to receive your marketing texts. This means that you are only paying to interact with those who are genuinely interested. At TextAnywhere, we tend to find that people feel are far more willing to listen and interact with brands when they have the choice.

Follow our complete guide to growing your database.

It feels exclusive

Being a subscriber needs to feel exclusive to its members. They need to know that not everyone gets access to your special deals. Not everyone is the first to hear about your product launches or when popular products are back in stock. Your subscribers are top of the list.

When new subscribers join, it’s a good idea to create a welcome series to let them know what they can expect to gain from opting into receiving SMS messages from your brand.


Personalising your SMS program can enhance your marketing communications and help you cut through the competition. It’s one of the most sophisticated advances in automated mobile messages that can turn casual observers into loyal customers. With a good SMS platform, you will be able to include more specific details within your texts such as the recipient’s name, relevant dates, and times, or even direct them to pages of interest on your website. Use the recipient’s names as a subject line or too close to your subject lines to catch their attention and allow them to feel like they know you.


Segmenting your database for SMS is much the same as segmenting with your email marketing software. You can personalise data fields to target a specific audience. Using the information you hold on your database you will be able to separate your customers by areas of interest and send more targeted comms. Segmenting can be set up with the data that you have collected on sign-up and categorised by your database. Sms content can be matched with groups of recipients and sent automatically to the right person at the right time. 

You can analyse spending data

A good SMS platform can link with your website and use data such as abandoned carts, favoured products, and spending habits. The customer data can then be used to send abandoned cart reminders, back-in-stock texts, and favourite product reminders. For example,

“Alan, we noticed you eyeing up our jade green lambswool sweater. We love it too! As it’s nearly Christmas we wondered if we could tempt you with a 10% discount on any item purchased before 15th December. Use code XMAS10”

It’s trackable

By using the latest in SMS marketing technology, you will be able to track your performance along the way at any time. SMS marketing data will tell you how each campaign performed individually so that you can monitor your successes and those that failed to hit the mark. You’ll know who received the texts, which links were clicked on, and even how many of your target consumers unsubscribed following your campaign. This will allow you to turn your strategy around quickly if things don’t exactly go according to plan. 

What will be important in consumer spending this year?

Brand relevance and adaption

Keeping your brand relevant will mean it’s at the forefront of consumers’ minds. When they are ready to make a purchase, you will be the first brand they think of. Brand relevance is really about staying emotionally connected with your audience and nurturing their trust and loyalty. In the current climate, you will need to be able to adapt to meet the changing needs of your target market. You can maintain relevance by:

  • Asking customers what they want – Use SMS messages to find out what’s happening, what is the mood like, and what are your customers looking for from their favourite brands. Perhaps reward feedback with money-off purchases.
  • Adopt a customer mindset – Take a deep dive into the current mood around spending and adapt your marketing to reflect what is important to your customers right now.
  • Develop your brand around your customer’s needs – You may need to look at lower-priced ranges to help people out this year and keep loyal customers interested in your brand. With SMS segmenting, you will be able to separate your audience into various demographic groups and only send information about the products your customers are interested in or are willing to spend their disposable income on.
  • Tell your brand’s story – Remind your subscribers why they love and trust your brand. What do you stand for that other brands are lacking?
  • Keep the connection going – With a carefully planned SMS strategy, you can keep in close contact with your subscribers without being a nuisance. Let them know when new products launch, any deals or promotions land, notify them when their favourite product is back in stock, talk about what you are doing during seasonal events or special days, etc.

Customer satisfaction

Of the many customers that will be making purchasing decisions based on cost this year, some will fall foul of poor customer service. It is important to treat good customer satisfaction as your secret weapon.

According to Forbes, companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue up by 84%. This is a figure that brands cannot afford to ignore.

73% of consumers feel that having a good customer service platform increases their brand loyalty and 77% of people feel that bad customer service affects their quality of life. Many people have an issue or complaint on the back burner that they are dealing with. In the worst cases, incidents can drag on for days and weeks.

SMS can boost customer satisfaction in the following ways:

  • Confirmations, reminders, and delivery tracking – Use SMS to send these out to customers to streamline their interaction with you.
  • Automated SMS – Your customers will be able to contact you via SMS and with the use of keywords, they can receive instant responses to their enquiries. If their issue can not be resolved using SMS, the case can be escalated to a team of staff members. This means no waiting around to resolve issues.
  • Reputation – Customer satisfaction is a hot topic of conversation, whether that be in personal conversation or on social media. When people receive bad service they like to vent to others. Good service can also be discussed, but it needs to be exceptional to get noticed. Often when consumers ask for recommendations for products or services on social media, respondents are very quick to point out those brands that go the extra mile and those who fall short.

Added brand value

Since consumers will be looking for holiday season purchases for less this year, one way that brands can get noticed is by adding value to products or services. We are not talking about giving away a gift with every purchase. Tap into your consumer’s beliefs and values, and find out what else they are motivated by. Why do they like your brand? Price will not be the only reason. Other attributes consumers look for in a brand are:

  • Product quality and reputation
  • Customer services
  • Fast and free delivery
  • Customer loyalty programmes
  • Sustainability
  • Environmentally responsible packaging
  • Investment in communities or charities
  • Social media influencers

Capitalise on other events this year

Whilst the 2022 holiday season is going to be tough this year, there are a couple of golden opportunities to maximise your profits.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The Express reported earlier in the year that consumers need to spread the cost of Christmas this year to make their money stretch. This way, they can get the best deals at the cheapest prices. We are sure that Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year are two calendar events retailers will not want to miss out on. Start early in your promotions and read our Black Friday Guide to find out how to maximise your revenue this year.

The psychology of Black Friday weekend will override the need to save in many consumers as they will feel that they can’t afford to miss out on those early bird savings. create a Black Friday series and start the countdown. Drop some products ahead of the day to keep your subscriber’s attention.

The World Cup

November 2022 also sees the start of the World Cup. This is also a great opportunity to maximise profits. SMS messages can keep your subscribers engaged and this event offers lots of opportunities to interact. It is also a unique selling opportunity for brands that rely heavily on Christmas sales because it’s another chance for people to get together. Food, beverages, party supplies and decoration suppliers, etc. can all benefit from this bonus event.

Holiday season SMS ideas we are loving this year

It’s time to double down on your SMS campaigns. Choose SMS marketing to reach people wherever they are. Add links to your articles and drive traffic to your website, encourage two-way conversation and find out what your subscribers want. Here are our favourite ideas to encourage Christmas spending:

  • Low-cost spending guides for Christmas
  • Budget seasonal recipes
  • Wardrobe classics to add to your go-to party outfit
  • Sustainable or environmentally friendly Christmas
  • Sales and discounts on toys
  • Make-up tutorials for looking good on a budget – link to TikTok or Instagram, you could use influencers.
  • Early bird savings and deals on all things Christmas
  • Make your own Christmas cards, wrapping or gifts

Some of these ideas may not be synonymous with maximising revenue but it is all part of being in touch with your subscribers and projecting the right image for your brand. The huge plus point is that to view these ideas, your audience will be directed to your website to learn more, and then it’s showtime!

Create a holiday season SMS series

Plan your holiday shopping season campaign with festive cheer in mind. For many, Christmas is the happiest time of the year. Tap into some of the Christmas spirit by creating a festive SMS series. There is lots of Christmas-themed content, images, and gifs you can add to your series to help to build the excitement. For example, you could run a daily advent competition.

Get started today

One of the most important elements to any SMS campaign is that you choose the right SMS provider. At TextAnywhere we understand a thing or two about boosting your ROI with SMS marketing messages, it’s what we do best. We offer sms landing pages and can help to build engaging campaigns that capitalise on the benefits of SMS while offering images, videos, and interactive elements. Here are some of our highlights and things that any good provider should offer: 

  • Studio two-way chat for conversational commerce. 
  • Advanced analytics on campaign performance using studio tracking open rates, conversions, and more. 
  • 99.9% uptime. 
  • Enterprise-level support for companies of all sizes via phone and email. 
  • Professional API to integrate with your software. 
  • Bulk segmented SMS campaigns that can be sent using our platform.  

Ready to get going?

Get in touch

Send and receive a variety of SMS communications including ad hoc updates and much larger campaigns, in just a few clicks.

Start your free trial today

Try our platform; you’re only a few clicks away

  • 20 free credits
  • Full platform access
  • No commitment or credit card required