Retailers have fallen in love with SMS marketing, and fallen hard. Thousands of messages flying out every day from retailers, offering their customers amazing savings, updating them on their orders, along with many other ways, keeping customers well informed and happy.

50% of those surveyed who received a text message from retailers, made a purchase as a result

These SMS campaigns work well for numerous reasons; the message content, the type of message, the offer, the frequency of contact, the device, but also the timing of the message.

Sending a great message with the best possible offer at 2.30am, will more than likely get no response, or if there is one, a very bad one.

At Text Marketer, we have undertaken a huge research project on when retailers are sending SMS messages, the times of the day, days of the week, and even specific dates in the calendar.

Below are all the findings from our research on retailers’ SMS sending habits.

Weekday times and days
8:00am – 12:00pm – The mornings seem to be the most popular time to send SMS messages. People are getting to work and starting to do their simple tasks, like checking emails and tend to not mind receiving an SMS message and having a little shop online.

5:00pm – 9:00pm – Early evenings and before the 9.00 o’clock TV shows is a popular time to send an SMS. Before 5:00pm people are still busy at work, finishing off the last few tasks of the day and don’t have time to respond to your text message. After 9:00pm, they are getting ready for bed or watching their favourite TV show and may decide to leave your text till the morning and forget about it completely.

Friday – Friday is the most popular day of the week to send an SMS campaign with a 44% increase on a Friday compared to next biggest day (source: Text Marketer).

Weekend times and days
Saturday, 8:00am – 12:00pm – After 1:00pm on a Saturday very few messages are sent out, in fact a whopping 78% of all retail SMS messages are sent in the morning (source: Text Marketer).

Sunday, 9:00am – 12:00pm – Sunday is very similar to Saturday, with lots of messages being sent in the morning. One slight difference is they tend to be sent after 9:00am – maybe people prefer more of a lie in.

Sunday, 4:00pm – 7:00pm – Late Sunday afternoon, early evening is the final time in the week to send an SMS. The majority of people have finished what they are doing for the weekend and have some spare time to read messages and surf the web.

Saturday – Saturdays are a slightly more popular day of the weekend to send SMS messages, with 26% more SMS messages going out on Saturday compared to Sunday (source: Text Marketer)

Big events and days in the year
Black Friday – The biggest day for all retailers is now Black Friday, with an estimated £1.23bn spent online that day in 2016. There is an increase in messages going out the week leading up to Black Friday, and a huge increase of text messages going out on the day itself.

Christmas period – The lead up to Christmas is another big time SMS messages are being sent. 70% of all retailers sending an SMS campaign during December (source: Text Marketer). And with a huge fight of customers to buy presents it can be hard to be noticed, so with a couple of well timed messages you can get people into your stores.

70% of all retail businesses send an SMS campaign during December

January sales – January sales have been around for years and are still a hugely popular time for retailers. 52% of all retail businesses send an SMS campaign during January (source: Text Marketer). A lot of retailers are also starting their January Sales on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself. So sending a text messages then can get you first in line for people looking for more gifts.

Valentine’s day – Some people may think Valentine’s Day is not a big event for retailers, but they would be wrong with a staggering £518 million spent on gifts. Send separate text messages with gift ideas for him and her on, meaning you will look good to the customer and they are more likely to come to your store as they know you have these gifts in stock.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – Did you know Mother’s Day is the most popular occasion for buying cards after Christmas and birthdays. Why not send a text out about cards and gifts a couple of weeks before and then again the day before, as there will more than likely be a lot of people who have forgot, and your SMS will come at the perfect time for them.

Customer birthdays – We are seeing a lot more single SMS messages going out wishing people happy birthday with a personalised offer in. This is perfect for keeping customers in contact with your brand, keeping them happy, and even getting a sale out of it.

Best time to send

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