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Capturing Black Friday attention with mobile messaging

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As Black Friday 2023 approaches, retailers are gearing up for the biggest shopping event of the year. But with so many brands vying for customer attention, there’s a big question on everyone's minds: How can our brand stand out among the competition? 

To help answer that question, we recently asked over 2,000 people worldwide about how they want to hear from brands during the Black Friday Cyber Monday period. We learned that consumers favor mobile-friendly communications and email is the clear front-runner when it comes to Black Friday promotions they can easily access from their mobile devices. In fact, 68.9% of people say they want to hear about holiday deals in their inboxes.  

While there’s no doubt email is a key channel in brands’ holiday communications strategy, increased email sending during the weeks before Black Friday makes it hard to stand out if you just rely on email.  

So how can retailers get noticed amidst the inbox clutter? The answer just might lie in embracing mobile messaging as part of your Black Friday marketing strategy, as 35.6% of people globally expressed their interest in receiving promotional messages via one or more mobile messaging channel. Let’s dive into what we learned about what customers are really looking for this Black Friday and explore what makes mobile messaging a great addition to your omnichannel strategy.

The bottom line: People expect to hear from your brand

Despite heightened message volume around peak shopping periods, our global survey found that people really do want to hear from brands. Here are a few insights into that data that may help you capture your audience’s attention this holiday season.

Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 survey findings in terms of mobile messaging infographic

People want to hear from you early on

Timing is everything when it comes to holiday promotions. 

In fact, 56.7% of people want to hear from your brand well in advance of Black Friday, with 35.5% of people saying they want to get these communications as soon as possible, and 21.2% saying they want to hear from a brand at least a month before.  

As a brand, embracing this desire for early engagement can be a winning strategy that ensures you’re on your subscribers’ radar when the big day arrives. This desire to hear from brands early on also provides an opportunity to build a cohesive and well-timed omnichannel strategy that leverages the strengths of every channel, from SMS to social media messaging apps, in-app notifications, or email.


People want to hear from you on multiple channels

Think about your own digital behavior. How many channels do you use in a day? Chances are, it’s quite a few – and that’s probably the case for your customers, too. 

When it comes to holiday promotions, 69.5% of people want to hear from brands via email, with social media (22%) and text messaging (19%) coming in as the second most preferred forms of communication. 

This data makes the case for brands to have an omnichannel approach because customers want to engage through various platforms and channels. Using an omnichannel approach that helps cater to individual preferences and provide multiple touchpoints for your most loyal and engaged customers can help you stand out and cut through the Black Friday noise.


Transactional mobile messages are super important...

The numbers don’t lie: Over 80% of consumers said that transactional messages are important during the holiday shopping season, indicating that customers appreciate visibility into order confirmations, delivery updates, and more. 

It’s no surprise: Regular post-purchase updates throughout the buyer’s journey are critical in a period of intense shopping. And mobile messages play a crucial role in keeping customers informed. Upcoming research from Sinch shows that 44.9% of the people that said they want to receive transactional messages from brands want to get them via one or more mobile messaging channel. And for people under 30, that number rises to 59.1%.  

These preferences highlight the important role transactional messages play to keep customers engaged and informed – even more so during the holiday season. This explains why top brands are increasingly embracing an omnichannel approach to transactional messages, pairing up mobile messaging channels like SMS with email to provide an even better customer experience.


...but people still expect a good deal

When it comes to reaching your audience, it’s crucial to know their preferences. As part of our upcoming consumer research, we asked people what type of promotions they want to get from brands. Of the people who want to receive promotional messages via SMS messaging, 48% of them want a one-off or regular discount, and 12.8% of them want product updates or news

So, if you’re looking to engage your customers effectively, sending SMS with a holiday discount is a powerful way to deliver real value, and capture their interest.   

Among those who want transactional messages from brands via text message, 83% expect to receive promotional text messages once a month or more frequently. This offers a significant opportunity for brands during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A well-timed RCS campaign or WhatsApp message can give customers an extra nudge when their inbox is at its busiest, really setting your business apart from the competition. 

This highlights the importance of running an effective SMS opt-in campaign to grow your promotional text marketing list well before Black Friday. 

Want more insights on consumer preferences and messaging channels? Look out for our upcoming engagement survey!

Mobile messaging can give customers the extra nudge they need to take action

So clearly, your customers want to hear from you, and they’re open to promotions from your brand as soon as you have them. Here are a few reasons why mobile messages might be the perfect way to give your customers what they want:



With mobile messaging, recipients get notifications almost immediately after a message is sent, and they read the messages almost immediately. For example, for SMS, 95% of people read and respond to messages in the first three minutes.  

This offers an opportunity to use mobile messaging across strategic campaigns this Black Friday. When you want your customers to act swiftly, for instance in a flash sale or last-minute promotion, SMS marketing can be the best way to make sure your messages don’t go unnoticed. 


Open rates

The open and read rates of mobile messaging channels are unparalleled, especially when compared to other channels – in fact, SMS has a 98% open rate and high engagement as well, with click-through-rates of around 20%

There’s a time and a place for mobile marketing, but if you’re giving your subscribers a one-time promotion or other can’t-miss deals that you know they’re interested in, it can help your message resonate and stand out among the rest of the noise.


Increased engagement

We know that mobile messaging gets peoples’ attention with notifications – but what if it could offer an interactive, dynamic, and engaging experience with rich media, captivating gifs, and more?  

This is possible in the form of RCS (Rich Communication Services), a revolutionary channel that transforms marketing campaigns into vibrant, branded conversations. With RCS, your brand can come to life with interactive messaging directly in your subscribers’ native messaging app on their Android devices.  

A number of innovative brands are already experimenting with RCS for holiday marketing campaigns, and getting unheard-of results – think 99% increases in conversion rates or 100% increases in click-through-rate as compared to campaigns on other channels.  

If you want to really harness the power of mobile messaging this holiday season, and want to get on the bandwagon of innovation, tools like RCS or other rich messaging channels can really set your brand apart with compelling, engaging, and hyper-personalized customer experiences.

Sinch helps make Black Friday happen

Especially around the bustling Black Friday season, the world is brimming with noise in the form of emails, notifications, social advertisements, and more. But despite that noise, one thing remains clear: Your customers want to hear from your brand. It’s about finding the right time, message, and channels to reach them.  

From sending SMS to push notifications to RCS, mobile messaging offers the promise of genuine, instant communication with your customers, but choosing the right partner is key. For more tips on how to work with a messaging provider during Black Friday, check out our Black Friday SMS guide.  

Sinch helps thousands of enterprises across the world scale personalized communication through trusted, reliable messaging. Check out more on our solutions for retail here.