Payless ShoeSource

Redefining Opt-In Best Practices to Build a Stronger Database
Payless ShoeSource

How we helped Payless Shoesource reach out to their customers with confidence


For all of the benefits of marketing on the mobile platform, an effective messaging program remains a fundamental and critical marketing tool a retailer can have. Messaging allows you to establish and maintain a rapport with your best customers, continually proving your ability to deliver value based on personal insight and understanding their needs. Before you can develop a messaging calendar and promotional plan, you need to have a viable database. And to get that, you must be better at opting-in your customers. Our work with Payless ShoeSource demonstrates our expertise in this area.


It is important to understand that VMBC built our business on delivering superior ROIs for messaging. We have always understood that a solid messaging campaign starts with an effective opt-in strategy. However, as the market and the customer have grown to be more sophisticated, building a messaging database has become challenging for retailers. For a price/promotion-based brand like Payless, who already offers a predictable array of incentives in every channel, it can be hard to find a way to drive the extra effort required to opt-in. To continue to grow the Payless database, we needed to break through customers’ wariness of receiving “ads” on their phones and clearly demonstrate the value of messaging campaigns.


Our messaging approach was designed to identify and meet a different need for any given customer transaction. We began by identifying the entire array of customer touch points (where, when, and what was needed at any point in time). Shopping in store affords a different level of time and selection versus shopping online, and browsing in-app exhibits different behavior and purchase patterns than browsing in-store. We designed different messaging offers to speak to the different customer needs: for example, an immediate discount in-store, versus an incentive to increase basket size online. By focusing on behavior patterns, we not only provided the most compelling offer at any point in time, we began to seed the idea that Payless’ messaging programs understand who you are and what you need.


Our partnership with Payless has become one of the great messaging success stories. In our time together, VMBC has helped Payless send out over 185 million messages. Of all messages sent, less than 2% of customers opt out on a weekly basis, which speaks to the validity of the campaigns, and their relevance to every customer. Just as important, as the opt-in campaign has continued to evolve, we have seen the source channels for new database members broaden to include every key customer touch point.


  • Client Payless ShoeSource
  • Date 06/04/2012
  • Categories App Design, Case Study, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Strategy, Text Messaging
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