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Victoria’s Secret, Express use exclusive SMS giveaways to forge lasting relationships

The retailers have 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 are keeping their phones close by for notifications on entering multiple contests for giveaways and shopping sprees.

“Exclusivity is a key driver in mobile loyalty clubs,” said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize and author of The Art of Mobile Persuasion. “It sits only behind deals for many brands.

“Victoria Secret is wise to build this database now before the products are available,” he said. “They create a level of excitement this way and get in front of the holiday distractions.”

Text to win!
Victoria’s Secret is celebrating its upcoming popular runway show, a fan favorite during the month of December every year with an SMS contest. To hype awareness and drive holiday sales the retailer is advertising its text-in-to-win giveaways through social media, text and email.

Fans looking to win the giveaways earn more chances to enter contest by how many friends they can get to sign up. Users follow the link to the contest, which then prompts them to sign in with email or Facebook credentials and they share links with their friends with each friend signing up giving them a leg up on the competition.

For every friend that also opts-in for the text and email contest, Victoria Secret awards them a heads up to secret contest links three minutes prior to others. For every friend, the fan is given an extra three minutes and the faster she accesses the link, the more likely she is to win.

The lingerie retailer is giving away $10 off bras and free panties to multiple participants who click the link fast enough.

Express is employing a campaign almost identical in which users can win an all-expense paid trip to New York for New Year’s Eve and a shopping spree. Once participants have signed up and shared with friends the Express sends multiple links through SMS, and the fastest users are eligible to win the trip.

Mobile holiday efforts
The apparel retailer Express also transformed its mobile app into a shopping companion that merges social media, loyalty, payments and geotargeting into a singular location as it gears up to maximize sales during the upcoming holiday season (see more).

Victoria’s Secret also recently invited customers to partake in a social-enabled fashion show party on November 10 by asking for a ticket in stores, snapping a photo with the ticket and uploading it on Instagram in exchange for a $10 coupon (see more).

The retailers are cognizant of the pull that mobile has with their demographics and their campaigns are geared to pull them in for the holidays.

“[Victoria’s Secret] program cries out for MMS, so the brand can share rich content, including video, that brings the effort to life far beyond 100 or so characters before the legal language in a text message,” Mr. Hasen said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily