Set Up a BFCM SMS Strategy in One Hour

Laura Serino

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Some of us are holiday procrastinators. You know the type. Every year, they show up late to Christmas Eve after hitting the mall for last-minute gifts—which is why everyone in the family receives holiday socks or gift cards. 

We’re here for the holiday dawdlers—the ones who leave the most important things until the eleventh hour. It’s why we’ve put together a 60-minute checklist of BFCM SMS marketing must-dos. These items should take less than one hour of your time to implement. If you can check ’em off, you’ll be in a great position to grow your list—and your business—over cyber weekend.

Grab a cup of cocoa, and let’s get to it!

✔️ Capture Phone Numbers at Checkout

If you’re trying to grow your list, take note: 60% of numbers are collected at checkout. You do not want to forget to set this up in time for BFCM. 

You can enable collection at checkout on both Shopify and Shopify Plus—and it couldn’t be easier. Hop into your Shopify dashboard right now and follow these steps

Time Required: 3–5 Minutes (Plus merchants can set this up using the SDK, which captures opt-in sooner but can take a little longer to configure!)

✔️ Launch an SMS Pop-Up

Create a pop-up that incentivizes visitors to opt-in for SMS by offering a coupon. 

Here are some great examples to get the inspiration flowing: 

Blume attracts subscribers by offering 10% off in exchange for a phone number.

Dr. Squatch will unlock a mystery offer for those who provide their digits.

If you do end up promoting a discount in your pop-up, make sure it isn’t smaller than any promotions running on your store. (After all, why would someone give you their number for 10% off when you’re currently offering 40% off site-wide?) 

Pro Tip: At Postscript, we hard-code compliance language into your pop-ups so you can rest easy knowing that you’re collecting numbers the right (read: legal) way.

Time Required: 15 minutes

✔️ Set Up an Abandoned Cart Flow

Set it and forget it—and let this automation capture BFCM customers who added items to their cart but never actually checked out.

If you use our Abandoned Cart template (located under “Automations” in your Postscript dashboard), it’ll only take a few minutes to set up. 

Incentivize shoppers to come back with a holiday-specific discount code or a free shipping offer—or remind them to check out before the item in their cart goes out of stock. Similar to what I mentioned above regarding pop-ups, you’ll want to make sure your abandoned cart offer isn’t less valuable than other promotions you’re running (e.g., you don’t want to offer a customer a 10% off coupon to check out when you’re running a sitewide promotion of 20% off).

4Patriots Example

Personalization can go a long way with this type of automation, so if possible, include your customer’s name and a visual of the item left behind. Create a sense of urgency (e.g., “This item is selling fast!”) to optimize those clicks. This is especially effective during the holiday season.

Time Required: 5 Minutes

✔️ Set Up Browse Abandon

This new Postscript feature is another automation that can have a big impact during peak traffic days. 

Send automations to subscribers who visited your store and looked around—but never started the checkout process. Here’s an example:

Within Postscript, you can choose to direct customers back to the first item they browsed or the last item they browsed. You can also include dynamic product photos.

Time Required: 5 minutes

✔️ Start a Conversation

Not sure what type of holiday promotion to run? Send a conversational text instead. This is a fantastic way to show your brand’s human side.

For example, you could ask customers to weigh in on a timely topic—whether it’s sharing their favorite holiday dessert or providing suggestions on products they’d like to see you carry.

Consumers are 4.5 times more likely to respond to texts versus emails, so don’t be afraid to poll your list for feedback—or to simply check in with them.

Time Required: 5 Minutes

✔️ Send an SMS Campaign Flow

In 2020, growth on the Postscript platform peaked at 254% year over year, with the majority of messages sent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When Black Friday 2021 rolls around, a lot of retailers will be pushing promotions through SMS. Make sure you’re one of them!

Have zero clue what to send? Create an SMS campaign flow that mirrors the BFCM messaging in your emails or on your homepage. A campaign flow will let you schedule your messages with a time delay. That way, if a subscriber makes a purchase from the first message, they’ll be automatically dropped from receiving the second one.

Send your first message on Black Friday, and consider additional time-delayed messages to:

  1. remind subscribers that the sale is still going strong, and
  2. warn them that the sale is about to end.

Then, follow up with a Cyber Monday campaign, too.

Not running any promotions? No problem! Send a branded campaign flow explaining why your store does not partake in BFCM.

When in doubt, check out Fantastic Texts for some inspiration on how to message your list. Need a refresher on how to send out a campaign flow? Go here.

Time Required: 20 Minutes


If you haven’t already implemented a strategic SMS plan for BFCM, you may be tempted to sit back and stay the course. Don’t! Giving even one hour of effort in the next day or two could drastically increase your revenue and even combat some post-holiday sales fatigue. You can do it! 

Cheers to a successful holiday season!

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Laura Serino

Laura is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. She honed her writing chops as a magazine editor in New York before moving into the ecommerce world as a copywriter for L.L.Bean. She led the content and community at eCommerceFuel, manufactured and sold her own skincare line and ran the marketing team at Bella Luna Toys before landing herself at Postscript. When she isn't writing about her favorite topic (marketing) she's hanging out with her two sons on an island off the coast of Maine. Follow her on Twitter at @laura_serino.