How Igloo Is Bringing Their DTC Strategy to Life With SMS

illustration of Igloo's retro cooler collection
Published on
Aug 31, 2022
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Learn how the brand transitioned from an in-store retailer to a DTC marketplace with the help of SMS marketing.  

It's the height of summer, and we're willing to bet many of you have used an Igloo cooler to pack drinks and snacks for a day at the beach, or necessities for a weekend camping trip. The household American brand has been around since 1947—building brand recognition and customer loyalty over the past 75 years—and now makes over 500 different products sold around the globe.

Traditionally found through big box retailers, Igloo is a staple on the shelves of stores like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot. But the brand has spent the last couple of years expanding the direct-to-consumer e-commerce side of the business. Now, you can buy coolers from Igloo’s website, too.

Keep reading to learn how Igloo is using SMS as part of their DTC marketing strategy, to attract new customers, bring the in-store experience to mobile shoppers, and more.

Launching SMS to support e-commerce growth

Igloo started shifting more focus to DTC in 2019, redesigning their website and improving user experience to set themselves up for success. The brand saw massive growth in 2020—during a time when many retailers had to rely heavily on e-commerce to stay afloat—and since then, their online retail has continued to flourish.

One channel that plays a key role in driving DTC revenue for the brand is SMS. Igloo launched their text messaging program with Attentive in April 2021, just in time to promote their supersized retro collection and drive subscribers to their website to shop. 

Text message promoting Igloo's Retro Collection

Getting the message out about new products and collections 

Igloo’s transition to DTC lets them sell products they haven’t traditionally sold in stores. “It’s created an opportunity for us to bring a lot of web-exclusive items and unique products to our online audience,” says Kizzy Ezirio, Digital User Experience Director at Igloo. 

The brand has teamed up with artists, charities, sports leagues, and more to create special-edition COOLaborations. They’ve launched niche collections inspired by cult-favorite characters and pop-culture. They also have their eco-friendly, vegan leather, and retro collections. There’s truly something for everyone, and SMS is a way for Igloo to reach all of their consumers and deliver products that align with their specific interests.

Two text messages from Igloo

Implementing new strategies to drive more revenue

Igloo has seen strong results since launching their text messaging channel, including a steady increase in the amount of e-commerce revenue coming from SMS. And as they continue to scale their program, they’re always eager to experiment with new tools and strategies to get more out of the channel. 

"We have a great partnership with the Attentive team," explains Ezirio, adding that the ability to try out new products and features and brainstorm ideas for how to use them is valuable for the brand. "It's not just about problem solving and coming up with solutions. We’re really thinking through different strategies and ideas together." 

Activating new triggered journeys

One of the strategies Igloo has added to their SMS marketing toolkit is using product data to automate key conversion opportunities—like when products come back in stock or drop in price. 

In both cases, a subscriber has shown interest in an item, but wasn’t able to buy it—either because it was out of stock or out of their price range. Igloo can nudge these shoppers to come back and make a purchase with timely text reminders that create a sense of urgency, and help recover the otherwise lost revenue. 

Price drop alert text message

Bringing the in-store experience to mobile shoppers

As a brand that’s historically sold their products through third-party retailers, Igloo hasn’t had many opportunities to interact with their customers directly. Replicating the in-store shopping experience on their DTC channels is a top priority, so they can own the customer relationship and have better visibility into customer data that drives retention.

Embracing the two-way nature of text messaging allows Igloo to deliver a level of personalization that humanizes their brand and increases conversions in real time. They use Attentive Concierge™ to proactively check in with their subscribers while they’re browsing the site and answer any questions they might have. "When I take a peek at the conversations happening over text, I just love what I see," says Ezirio. "We're bringing the in-store experience into the phone, and that's a huge benefit for our SMS subscribers."

Igloo launched Attentive Concierge in their cart abandonment journey first. But after seeing positive results—including a 333% lift in conversions with subscribers they engaged—Igloo started adding it to other triggered messages and campaigns to support subscribers across more touchpoints. 

Two-way text messaging conversation

Optimizing list growth for ongoing success

As Igloo matures into their second year with SMS, they're finding creative ways to keep growing their list of subscribers across their different channels and outlets. 

But the brand is also zeroing in on retention, using key moments—like a giveaway entry or opting in to SMS—as an opportunity to learn about their customers’ preferences. With these insights, Igloo can send their subscribers more relevant text messages in the future.

Attracting new customers with a game day giveaway 

In December 2021, leading up to the largest football event of the year, Igloo launched a sweepstakes offering the chance to win the ultimate at-home set-up for the big game. They encouraged people to enter by signing up for texts. 

The campaign was a major success, resulting in substantial subscriber growth for the brand. But the real win was gaining an audience segment of known football fans—insight that’s especially helpful when promoting their line of officially licensed products. “We were able to capture which team someone roots for at sign-up, so now, we can talk to the right fans at the right time,” explains Ezirio. 

Igloo also engaged their current subscribers to get in on the fun with a series of text messages encouraging them to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win. 

Text message promoting a Super Bowl giveaway

Converting retail shoppers into SMS subscribers  

To celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, Igloo launched their largest-ever DTC giveaway in February 2022—The Igloo Ultimate Adventure-Ready Sweepstakes—and it’s still going on. 

The brand is primarily promoting the giveaway through retail to reach offline shoppers nationwide and convert them into SMS subscribers. So if someone buys a cooler from Home Depot, for example, they’ll find a flyer inside with a QR code to scan, which then directs them to a custom landing page to sign up for texts and complete their entry.

But because Igloo is acquiring new subscribers from so many different places, Ezirio notes that it was difficult to know much about them and where they fit into Igloo’s core customer groups. “We had to think about how we could ask the right questions to learn more about who they are and make sure we can keep them engaged beyond just entering the giveaway.”

Two-way conversational text message

As a solution, Igloo added a preference collection form to the sign-up landing page, with a drop-down menu asking new subscribers to share where they heard about the giveaway. Igloo also updated the welcome journey for these subscribers, adding a conversational component to understand what kinds of products they might be interested in. 

The brand’s approach to growing their subscriber base—and capturing valuable customer data at the same time—is clearly working. Igloo has gained over 183,000 SMS subscribers and has seen 24x overall SMS program ROI since launching their channel with Attentive. 

Read more customer stories to inspire your SMS marketing strategy, or explore our resources to learn how you can get the most out of your program.

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