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H&M fires up in-store experience to bolster SMS, email databases

H&M is pulling double duty in building up both its email and SMS databases with a new in-store initiative that doles out instant coupons in exchange for signing up for alerts from the retailer.

The retailer is taking advantage of the increase in foot traffic during the holidays by placing mobile calls-to-action on print collateral. While most retailers leverage mobile for either email or SMS initiatives, what is interesting about H&M’s use of mobile is that it is being used for both.

“All in-store collateral should align to a business goal, with a purpose and context that are both clear and mutually beneficial to the customer and the marketer,” said Tim Miller, CEO of Sumotext, Little Rock, AR.

“H&M’s tactic to use SMS to simultaneously collect an email and mobile opt-in is not only clever and efficient, but actually hits on eight of the top 10 attributes of a successful SMS campaign,” he said.

Mr. Miller is not affiliated with H&M. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

H&M did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile sign-ups
H&M is passing out big pieces of marketing collateral in-store that encourage consumers to sign up for the retailer’s email newsletters via SMS.

Copy on the ad reads, “Text HM to 40679” to redeem a coupon for ten percent off.

When consumers text in the keyword to the short code, they are sent a bounce-back message that encourages consumers to reply back with their email address. This opts consumers into H&M’s email and SMS program.

Opted-in consumers will also receive up to four messages per month.

Then consumers are sent an SMS message that can be shown to a store employee to receive a ten percent coupon off of a purchase. The coupon is time-sensitive and is only good for the day that consumers sign-up.

After the email address is confirmed, consumers are then sent a coupon for 20 percent off.

Limiting the offer to a day is a smart way for H&M to drive quick traffic to a store with an incentive.

Additionally, leveraging mobile to build both an email and SMS database points to the growing need for retailers to leverage the medium to marry up the in-store and online shopping experiences.

The backside of H&M’s collateral explains that H&M’s SMS and email programs in more detail.

Furthermore, there is a clear call-to-action that prompts consumers to text in the keyword STOP to 40679 to opt-out of H&M’s SMS program.

The marketing collateral

Building loyalty
H&M is not the only retailer relying on SMS to build up a loyalty program this holiday season.

For example, Best Buy recently launched a holiday SMS program that keeps consumers aware of promotions throughout Dec. 31 (see story).

Additionally, Tanger Outlets launched an SMS sweepstakes to give consumers a chance to win a shopping spree (see story).

Although newer tactics such as push notifications are growing in importance for marketers, SMS remains to be the channel with the widest reach, which can be used effectively in reaching consumers with time-specific promotions and messages.

As more retailers look to build stronger one-on-one relationships with shoppers, there is a growing focus around leveraging mobile for loyalty programs in addition to driving sales.

“The Yankee Group says that 47 percent of mobile users are interested in being in a mobile loyalty club,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Mobivity, Phoenix.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with H&M. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“More important, about the same amount say that they choose to do business with a merchant by factoring in whether there is a mobile club in place,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York