Feature
News
2/21/2002
03:33 PM
50%
50%

Offline Tack Gets Customers Online

Victoria's Secret turns to Digital Impact for E-mail marketing

It's somewhat ironic that a lingerie store wants to get even closer to its customers. But Victoria's Secret is doing just that with a new E-mail marketing strategy that integrates offline promotions with online customer contact.

The company is using a hosted E-mail marketing package from Digital Impact Inc. Victoria's Secret segments its audience demographically and delivers specific messages, while refining the strategy throughout a campaign. The retailer then times its catalog distribution with the E-mails. "Our goal is to provide the same message to the same customer at the same time," says Ken Weil, VP of new media at Victoria's Secret. For instance, a customer whose purchase history indicates a preference in swimwear will receive an E-mail promoting a swimsuit sale and will get the most recent swimwear catalog.

Victoria's Secret has used E-mail marketing since 1998 and has a distribution list of 4.5 million subscribers. It signed with Digital Impact in October, a partnership the companies revealed this month. With Digital Impact, Victoria's Secret can do its own campaign management, analysis, and creative content; Digital Impact manages distribution and tracks results.

That setup is key for marketers who want to alleviate stress on internal IT systems but still monitor and analyze results in-house, Forrester Research analyst Shar Van Boskirk says. Outsourced E-mail distribution, which lets marketers focus on strategy, generates a purchase rate of about 6%, while nonoutsourced E-mail distribution, in which the marketer needs to interact more continually with internal IT partners, generates a 1.4% purchase rate, Boskirk says.

Digital Impact lets Victoria's Secret test the response rate of various E-mail formats, including rich text, HTML, and text. The company's previous outsourcer wasn't able do this, Weil says. "Clearly, HTML has the best response rate, especially for us since we're such a visual brand."

Victoria's Secret looks for the types of promotions most likely to generate sales. It can separate customers into segments and can run two test campaigns for each group to see which has the best response rate. "We track everything from open rate to click-through rate to pur-chase," Weil says. "It's all about the ROI and profitability. We're looking for that sale."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.