3 min read

Timing is everything: Strategies for overcoming BFCM messaging delays

Woman doing Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping on her mobile phone
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As Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) approach, retailers are busy preparing for one of the most intense shopping periods of the year. These high-stakes days can significantly impact a business’s bottom line, but with the right messaging strategies, you can transform these days into revenue-boosting opportunities. 

Many retailers are planning to use mobile messaging for BFCM, and we anticipate a significant spike in SMS and MMS messages being sent in 2023. If you send a lot of SMS or MMS messages during this time, you could experience delays unless you plan effectively. Read through our guidelines to ensure high message deliverability during this busy period.

Ensure great deliverability rates this BFCM

Here are a few expert insights and proven tactics to help ensure your Black Friday mobile messages are delivered, effective, and compliant with industry best practices.

  • Don’t send SMS/MMS messages at the top of the hour. That’s when Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are the busiest, and your messages might experience delays or congestion.  

  • Think twice before sending messages during peak sending times (9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.). If possible, opt for sending messages prior to or following this period to prevent potential message delivery delays.

  • Obtain opt-ins. It’s required to obtain explicit consent from a new subscriber that they want to receive texts from your company, making a well-defined SMS opt-in strategy essential.  

  • Be smart about using multipart messages. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, so if a message exceeds this limit, it may be split into multiple messages. This could impact customer experience and readability for recipients, and cost more for your business. 

  • Consider using MMS messaging (which has a 5,000-character limit with transcoding) if your message needs to be longer than 160 characters.  

  • Consider file size for MMS messages. Your MMS marketing message might not get delivered if the included file is too large. We recommend keeping image sizes under 300 KB, and 25 seconds or less for videos.   

  • Register 10DLC campaigns well ahead of BFCM. Your brand, campaign, and your 10DLC numbers will all need to be set up well before any holiday send event. This helps you maintain a good sender reputation. 

  • Don’t forget your opt-out (STOP) text! Always include clear instructions for recipients to opt out of receiving messages if they wish. SMS compliance isn’t just a legal requirement, but also a sign of respect for your customers’ preferences and privacy. 

A few other general best practices

Ensuring your messages actually get delivered to your customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a top priority, but don’t forget about the everyday basics that will boost your campaign’s impact. Check out these other best practices that will help you maximize your messaging campaigns across all channels:  

  • Keep it simple. Be precise about what you’re offering and include clear calls to action. Deliver only one message at a time to avoid confusing your customers.  

  • Personalize the message. Use recipient names or other personalized details to make the message feel more individualized and relevant. Personalization can significantly boost engagement. 

  • Segment your audience. Segment your contact list into subgroups based on demographic factors like age, gender, location, customer interests, and previous buyer behavior.  

  • Analyze and adapt. Continually monitor the performance of your Black Friday marketing campaigns, and adjust your future strategy based on these insights to improve next year’s results!  

Plus: Make sure you understand what your customers expect from you this holiday season. Check out our recent consumer survey with insights from over 2,000 people about when and how they want to hear from brands around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Elevate your BFCM strategy by going omnichannel

An omnichannel approach to customer engagement can help you engage with customers seamlessly, across different messaging and email channels. This means higher engagement, loyalty, and conversions – a win for your business, and a win for your customers! 

But like with SMS, there are certain best practices you’ll need to follow to ensure your messages are delivered and engaged with. Luckily, these aren’t our only holiday deliverability tips, especially if you’re using other channels for your BFCM campaigns. 

Check out these other resources that are sure to help you land in front of your customers this holiday season:  

Or, if you’re just looking for a little inspiration, check out these eight engaging Black Friday marketing ideas to help drive sales this holiday period.