The best time to send retail SMS marketing messages

Retailers use SMS marketing in many ways, but the number one way that retailers use SMS is to promote and sell their products. SMS marketing is low cost and has the best open rate and click-through rate of all marketing channels, so for retailers, it gives them a great return for their money.

SMS response rates 45% – Email response rates 6% (Source: Gartner)

But SMS marketing only works when the message and timing are right. Sending a great message with a fantastic offer in at 3:00 am, will NOT get you a good response and will more than likely annoy people. Nor will only sending one text message on the final day of your sale, only giving customers a couple of hours to make a purchase.

Here at Text Marketer, we have undertaken our own research, looking through hundreds of thousands of messages and tons of data, looking at what the best times in the day are for retailers to send SMS marketing messages, along with some of the best days and specific times of the year.

Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekdays
8:00 am – 12:00 pm – Mornings are a popular time to send messages, this is because people are arriving at work, checking emails, and tend to have time to read messages and even have a quick shop online.

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Early evenings and before people are getting ready for bed is the final time in the day to send a text message. Sending a message much later than 9:00pm means customers may not have enough time to buy from you or may decide to leave it till the morning and forget about it completely. But also, you are approaching bed time so customers might not like a message after this point.

Weekday SMS Sends
Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekends
Saturday, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm – Very few messages are sent after 1:00 pm as people tend to be busy with family or friends. So send the message early but after they get up, as people tend to like a little lie in – give them time to add a trip to your store into their plans.

Sunday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Again businesses tend to send morning texts, giving people time to think about your offer before being busy. These messages are being sent out slightly later, starting at 9:00am instead of 8:00am on Saturday.

Sunday, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm – The final time in the week to send a text message to customers is late afternoon/early evening. Most people have finished doing their activities for the weekend and are ready to relax and sit down for some personal time.

Weekend SMS Sends
Best days to send SMS
Fridays – Friday is the most popular day to send SMS marketing messages, with a huge 44% increase in SMS campaigns being sent out on a Friday compared to the next most popular day.

End of the working week – There is a 38% increase in SMS campaigns being sent towards the end of the week compared to the start

TM Stat Friday
Best time in the year to send SMS
Black Friday & Cyber Monday – It goes without saying, the biggest day for retailers is Black Friday. So send a message on Friday and a few messages leading up to it as well. And don’t forget Cyber Monday which is also huge.

December – During the lead up to Christmas, most retailers have a sale on and getting customers to buy from you during the Christmas period can be hard. With so many other stores and a huge variety of presents to buy for friends and family, making your store stand out can be hard. But with a couple of well-timed text messages that allow customers to claim the offer in store or online, consumers will come to your shop and purchase from you rather than your competitors.

January sales – Just after Christmas comes the big January sales, these tend to start on Boxing Day, but some retailers are starting their online sales on Christmas Eve. Send a text message on boxing day and multiple times during January can help you boost sales. You could even send a text message on Christmas Eve or late Christmas evening.

Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s day is another big event for retailers with £518 million spent on gifts. So sending a text message with gift ideas to customers, means they will look good and they will be happy with you and your help.

Mother’s and Father’s Day – Both are big days in the calendar for retailers, with Mother’s Day being the most popular occasion for buying a card after birthdays and Christmas (sorry Dad). Send a text message out about cards and gifts a week before, and even the day before for those who have forgotten.

Spring & Summer sales – Both Spring and Summer sales are great ideas, a simple SMS can boost sales in the new stock, or even send a text at the end of the sale to clear as much stock as you can.

Birthdays – What we are seeing more and more of now is Birthday messages to customers with a personalised Birthday offer on. This is a great way to make a customer smile, feel special and even get a sale out of it.

TM Stat December
Remember that these are suggested times and days, and your customers may be different. We always advise that you test, test and test again. So try sending messages at different times and different days to see what works best for you.

Best time to send retail sms messages infographic