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Lands’ End hooks subscribers with discounts, strategy keeps them on the line

Retailers that introduce SMS programs are still seeing success by keeping customers informed of sales and exclusives that are relevant to them, through a simple interface that they are comfortable with. Land’s End is hoping to usher in more sales by signing up more SMS subscribers with its 40 percent off deal, but the text service limits itself to eight a month to alleviate marketing overkill.

“SMS programs are most effective when the offer is truly compelling to the consumer,” said Laura Sossong, manager at Boston Retail Partners. “In this case, the Lands’ End 40 percent off promotion provides a strong incentive for shoppers to enroll in its SMS program to receive valued benefits.

“Today’s customer segment is bombarded with attempts by retailers to collect their personal information,” she said. “There is certainly more persuasive pressure for them to share when they receive something meaningful as part of the exchange.”

Text message win
While SMS programs can often cause consumers to unsubscribe with too many messages, Lands’ End is doing its best to prevent that from happening by keeping a cap on the number of messages a month. Subscribers will not receive more than eight messages a month, but will receive relevant updates to inform them of sales and exclusive launches.

Lands’ End shared an email with its members, encouraging them to subscribe to its SMS program and offering an incentive to receive 40 percent off an item by doing so. Interested consumers can click sign up through the email, which brings users to a mobile-optimized Web site to input their number and subscribe.

The automated messaging service sends a text that prompts users to confirm and opt in by sending yes in the message thread, and informs them that it will only send eight messages per month. New users will automatically receive their 40-percent-off sign up bonus within the thread by a message that provides a link to purchase and a promotional pin code.

An email promotion is also occurring in which users can receive 40 percent off their entire order by signing up their email address. Lands’ End promotional email, advertising its text message program, also incites users to share with friends by offering 30 percent off purchases of $75 or more for those that do.

Texting benefits
Lands’ End will be able to derive a wide range of data from users who opt-in for the message and email service, which can better help it target future consumers.

Retailers who fail to implement a text program could miss out on significant sales this holiday, with 78 percent of consumers claiming to be more likely to visit a store following an SMS deal or mobile notification last year.

Consumers are now reachable anywhere and anytime through their mobile devices, and that opens up a huge range of possibilities for in-store experiences. Retailers should be bringing customers in their doors through deals and promotional content specific to departments with mobile messaging tactics such as push-notifications and SMS (see more).

Specialty apparel retailers Victoria’s Secret and Express also demonstrated the key role that SMS contests have during the holiday shopping season by helping engage loyal audiences and maximize sales last year.

The retailers each launched campaigns encouraging users to opt-in and share with friends for SMS programs to create a close relationship in time for the biggest retail season of the year. Fans of the brands kept their phones close by for notifications on entering multiple contests for giveaways and shopping sprees (see more).

“The benefit received must outweigh the hassle and resistance of consumers to share their personal data,” Ms. Sossong said. “Retailers must make the enrollment process simple and streamlined, award the coupon instantaneously with sign-up, and furthermore provide a clear opt-out opportunity to eliminate any consumer dissatisfaction and follow existing legalities.”