Jewelry & Accessories
Finding a more direct way to engage customers
Claire’s wants to establish themselves as a lifestyle brand for 12- to 16-year-old shoppers that’s on the forefront of fashion, beauty, makeup, and pop culture trends. They needed a marketing channel to help them achieve that goal, and that would allow them to deliver personalized customer experiences and drive engagement.
As a direct and personal channel with the power to drive immediate impact, SMS was the perfect fit. Claire’s recognized that, compared to emails, which can sometimes get lost in the inbox, text messages get opened and grab people’s attention right away. “People are dismissing our email messages—but connecting with customers on their phones is a much more direct way of communicating with them,” says Andres Baez, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Claire’s. “It's the evolution of the communication path.”
While child privacy laws in all geographic markets prevent Claire’s from texting their young target shoppers directly, SMS lets the brand reach their mobile-first parents—many of whom were also Claire’s customers in the past.
These subscribers are happy to receive text messages from Claire’s, on behalf of their kids, because there’s a sense of nostalgia associated with the youth-oriented brand. “As much as you're the parent taking your child to Claire's, you’re also part of the Claire's family,” says Baez.
As a brand with an international presence, Claire’s wanted an SMS partner that could help them take their text messaging strategy global. As a small team, they were also looking for a partner that could help them manage the implementation process—taking on most of the technical and legal work—and provide easily accessible support.
Building a strong SMS program with ease and speed
When searching for the ideal SMS partner, Attentive’s easy-to-use platform and hands-on customer support stood out to Claire’s. The brand was able to use many of Attentive’s built-in tools to hit the ground running with SMS—with minimal technical training—freeing up the marketing team’s time to focus on strategy and business needs instead.
“It's really easy to learn how to do things in Attentive’s platform because the user interface is very clear,” says Madison Medwid, a digital marketing specialist at Claire's. For example, Attentive’s triggered journey templates and segmentation tools allowed Claire’s to implement a targeted SMS marketing strategy right away and at scale.
Specifically, Claire’s sends messages to specific customer groups based on criteria like their location, loyalty status, message engagement, and purchase history. They let customers know about events at their local Claire’s store using geo-targeting. And they create exclusive messages for their segment of highly engaged customers who are more likely to click through and convert. “It’s easy for us to segment our messaging whenever we need to,” explains Baez. “It’s not heavily technical for us. Everything is done in the background.”
Thanks to Attentive’s global client strategy support, Claire’s also trusts that they’re always leaning into best practices to get the most out of the platform. The team gets advice on how to use different features and has a resource to troubleshoot questions, and they don’t need to hire a specialist or go through training. “Not all of us are very technical, so when we need to get something done, having a support team that can do it for us is key,” says Baez. “The support we get from Attentive helps us produce messages quickly and get the revenue that we're looking for from SMS.”
Applying the winning formula internationally
Expanding SMS globally can be daunting for marketers because each region has its own set of legal regulations. But after seeing quick success with Attentive in the US, Claire’s decided to expand their SMS strategy to the UK, and then to France and Ireland.
The brand’s international SMS programs benefit from the same ease, efficiency, and support that Attentive delivers in North America.
Attentive provided Claire’s with the tools to launch compliant international SMS campaigns with peace of mind. They presented Claire’s with an implementation plan and guidance around GDPR rules, including legal disclosures and messaging terms tailored to each country's requirements. “All we had to do was run the implementation plan by our legal counsel to make sure it met our standards, but the heavy lifting was already done,” says Baez. “We didn't have to do any investigation or learning on our end.”
In addition to helping Claire’s tick all the necessary regulatory boxes, Attentive managed the technical set-up for each country. This allowed Claire’s to get each program up and running quickly—building on a foundation of SMS best practices—before adjusting the content for each region’s cultural needs. “We already had the DNA in place, so we didn’t have to build anything from scratch. We just had to duplicate our existing journeys, messages, and logic, and apply it to the different regions,” says Baez.
Partnering with Attentive has helped Claire’s dramatically expand their SMS reach—without increasing their small team’s workload—because it’s simple to manage every region’s program in one platform. “The benefit of having every single region in one interface is that it’s super easy for us to schedule messages quickly, without having to manage several different windows and units,” Baez says. “Everything's in the same place. We can see reports on the same display and compare one against the other.”
This set-up also makes it easy for Claire’s to customize and adjust their messaging strategy to suit different local or cultural needs. “We're taking a more curated approach because each region has its own way of marketing and consuming,” Baez says—explaining that while their North American customers are interested in new products, their UK consumers are more value-driven and respond better to discounts or exclusive messaging like secret sales.
Driving an average 32% CTR across Europe
In 2022, Claire’s achieved their two main goals for SMS with Attentive: increasing their US subscriber base and successfully launching SMS programs in the UK, France, and Ireland.
- Claire’s increased their list of US SMS subscribers by 149% in 2022.
- The average click-through rate (CTR) across all triggered messages in the US is 20%.
- Texting has also helped Claire’s offset a decline in email engagement—with SMS surpassing their KPIs for email.
- Ultimately, the brand’s US SMS program drove a 17x return on investment (ROI).
- Since launching their program with Attentive in December 2021, Claire’s has grown their UK SMS list to over 100k subscribers.
- The average CTR across all triggered messages in the UK is 32%, and their UK SMS program has delivered 10x ROI.
France and Ireland
- Since launching SMS in France and Ireland in December 2022, Claire’s has seen an average 32% CTR across all triggered journeys from both programs.
- In France, their SMS program has generated an average 19% conversion rate (CVR) and 4x ROI.
- In Ireland, their SMS program has generated an average 11% CVR and 8x ROI.
Based on their early international success, Claire’s hopes to expand their SMS program with Attentive into other European countries, including Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.
What’s next for Claire’s and SMS
Claire’s is excited about the prospect of using SMS to support and expand their loyalty program. The brand plans to start by creating triggered journeys that update loyalty members about their points balance, membership perks, and exclusive offers. Automating this process will save their marketing team time while building cumulative revenue for the brand.
Another way Claire’s plans to use Attentive to improve efficiency—and personalization—is by implementing more Two-Way Journeys™ throughout the customer lifecycle. Subscribers will be able to ask basic questions about their orders and get helpful, automated responses via text. Doing this will reduce the load on the brand’s customer service team, but it’s also an opportunity to engage customers creatively and build on their emotional connection to Claire’s.
“I want to explore the ability to engage customers on a more personal level and to position ourselves as trendsetters through SMS,” Baez says. “I don't want it to be one-sided. I don't want to just send an email. I want to be able to have conversations with our customers through SMS.”