The holidays are a hectic time for apps and users alike – with holiday spending often making up a huge portion of many business’s total yearly revenue, the mobile messaging becomes relentless this time of year.

Competition is at an all-time high, with nearly any and every app promoting some kind of sale, special, or discount. Now is the time to up your mobile messaging mastery so you don’t get drowned out.

So how do you stand out from the crowd and make yourself heard? Today we’re sharing five creative methods for making sure your app gets noticed and earns a spot on your users’ “nice” list.

1. Include Emojis & Images In Push Notifications

Visual content is more powerful than ever, and new rich push technology makes it easy to add images and other visuals into your push messages, garnering you extra attention!

Even just including a few emojis in your push notifications can have a dramatic effect – push messages with emojis show an 85% increase than their plan-text counterparts. Including emojis can also increase conversions by 9%! Talk about holiday cheer.

Ex. Black Friday is here! Get your holiday shopping done in one day & save big with our online doorbusters – hurry before they’re gone! [girl running] [clock] [shopping bag]

Ex. The holiday season is upon us – warm up with a peppermint latte (and get 10% off when you pay with your Starbucks app until 12/10)! [snowflake] [coffee]

Don’t forget more subtle visuals like punctuation and numbers – anything that breaks up chunks of text will add visual interest that draws the eye.

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iHeart uses festive emojis to spruce up this holiday push notification.

2. Pinpoint Holiday Pain Points

The holidays are a time of good cheer…but let’s be honest, that’s not entirely true.

For many, the holidays are a very stressful time of year, full of problematic party guests, lengthy shopping lists, and deal-hunting delirium.

Craft your campaigns to answer these customer needs and pain points. When your app can meet your user’s exact needs, they’ll be overjoyed to enlist your help.

Ex. Need gift wrapping help? Macy’s has elves to help – we’ll wrap your gifts while you shop. Learn more!

Ex. Let loose at the company Christmas party and have us take the wheel – get 10% off your first 3 Uber rides in December. Click to add this promo to your account!

Ex. Timmy deserves the new Xbox One X, but Mom wants the best deal. Shop Slickdeals to find discounts on the hottest holiday tech!

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Etsy addresses the common painpoint of figuring out what to gift the person on your list who has “everything”.

3. Incorporate Seasonal Slang and Phrasing

From Ho ho hos to holly, the holidays are full of unique terminology and phrases.

The types of words you use can invoke all kinds of imagery – while “decking the halls” might inspire a nostalgic feel, proclaiming the slaying power of PSL delivers a more modern energy. Be sure to keep your audience (and their values) in mind when crafting holiday messaging.

Whatever you do, don’t keep your wording generic. Push messages celebrating a “winter warmer sweater sale” will perform much better than a run-of-the-mill “30% off all apparel flash sale.” People love submerging themselves in the spirit of the season. Make sure your wording matches their mood!

Ex. Make your list and we’ll check it twice – get 50% off Todoist Premium now! Offer ends 12/20.

Ex. Make those holiday cookies guilt free & avoid Santa gut with ClassPass – see workout classes happening near you!

Ex. Jingle all the way – update your ringtone with our new holiday tunes!

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Amazon’s marketing team incorporates some festive copy in this engaging push notification

4. Use Personalization to Push Presents

You probably have a wealth of data on your app users – so make sure to use it! If you have an e-commerce or shopping-related app, take a look at what your users bought or added to their wish list this time last year.

Did they buy videogames? They’ll probably purchase some again this year, so offer relevant sales on games and new consoles. If they bought a dog bed, you know they own a dog, so try suggesting some cute reindeer ears or holiday-themed dog squeaky toys! Did they buy My Little Pony plushies last year? You’re probably dealing with the parent of a young girl, so promote similar toys.

Use what you know about your customers to personalize your messaging and offers. The more tailored and relevant your messaging is, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Ex. Grab the most highly-rated PS4 games of the year for super socking stuffers and get 10% off all games, controllers, and systems.

Ex. Hot holiday sale – get 20% off a wide selection of toys including My Little Pony and Monster High gear!

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Wayfair delivers a 1-2 punch with rich push and personalization in the above notification

5. Add In Some Urgency Throughout November & December

The holidays are quite time sensitive – your customer’s attitude and stress level can change dramatically from mid December, to a week before Christmas, to Christmas Eve.

Changing your tone and adding a sense of urgency as the days click closer to the end of December can go a long way to increasing conversions.

Countdowns, clocks, and other urgency-related imagery and wording can help push your users into action.

Ex. Get your shopping done early this year and enjoy the holidays for once – we’ll help by giving you 20% off now until 12/15.

Ex. The big day is a week away! Order now for free shipping and to receive your gifts before 12/24.

Ex. Oops – it’s X-mas eve and you forgot to buy presents! We’ve got you covered with our selection of digital gift cards from +100 retailers – buy now!

Do you have any ideas or advice for making your mobile messaging stand out this season? Share your thoughts in the comments!