Home décor, accessories and gifts retailer Kirkland’s had let its database wither. Of its 2-million-plus names, more than 1 million were inactive. Another 75% of its shoppers made purchases only during the holidays and were not even represented on the list.
Two problems were identified: The file wasn’t helpful in reaching Kirkland’s core audience; and all the emails, coupons and direct mail offers sent out were identical—with no customization or personalization based on shopper behavior.
To generate quality leads and refresh the retailer’s database, agency Redpepper used the web and instore “ambushes.”
Online, the agency built www.MyKirklands.com, a social community where customers could gather, converse with one of four designers about projects, view photos, and get design ideas and a link to enter their email addresses. There were also links to a Facebook page, a “myVoice” area where people could leave feedback, and a sign-up link to receive emails. Some 20,000 new customers signed up at the site.
In November 2010, a five-week promotion, “The Glee Spree,” began to capture those holiday shoppers. At the site, a sweepstakes and daily giveaway were launched, and offers were advertised to drive people into Kirkland’s stores.
At the same time, seven shoppers were “surprised and delighted” at the Nashville, TN, flagship store by sales associates who offered them a $1,000 shopping spree to spend at the store that day. The sales associates accompanied the customers around the store to see if they could come up with a gift list that would spend the entire $1,000 on the spot. The encounters were videotaped and posted to the website, where they were viewed nearly 33,000 times.
“We had a couple of scouts working in the store who would go up to someone who looked fun and ask, ‘What if we told you we were here to help with your gift shopping and that we’re going to buy everything on your list today?’ Then ‘Merry the Gift Fairy’ would come out and wave her magic wand, and we videotaped the whole thing,” says Ann Cannon, Redpepper account executive.
Every customer who entered the store could sign up for the online sweepstakes and also received an instant-savings coupon to use that day. More than 250,000 coupons were redeemed. Online entrants and video viewers also received coupons to drive them into the store.
Online, people could enter a daily giveaway and interact with “Merry the Gift Fairy” to try to win one of 12 gift items, such as a butterfly lamp, a zebra blanket or a chocolate throw. On Dec. 24th, a grand-prize winner received a $2,500 shopping spree.
“We said, let’s do a promotion that lives online, but captures people from the stores and gets them into the database so we can turn around and market to them later and pull them further into the brand,” Cannon says.
Overall, Kirkland’s generated 334,000 net new email addresses from its instore customers out of a total of 537,000 sweepstakes entries. The addresses were each tagged with unique codes and sent welcome emails. Incremental sales reported during the promotion period reached $8.7 million. The campaign also helped grow Kirkland’s Facebook fan base by 200,000 in 28 days.