Retailer’s Holidays Focus Ain’t Sexy, Just Real

Kirkland's shows some brands still think email first

Sometimes it's refreshing to hear a brand admit that it has put together a fairly elaborate effort not to reel in more fish (i.e., customers) right then and there, but just to make sure the lake remains stocked with prospects. Home decor retailer Kirkland's is using in-store QR codes, Facebook, Twitter and display ads on publisher sites for its "Home for the Holidays" campaign—but not necessarily to sell stuff.

Jessica Charlton, social media lead for Kirkland's, said the key campaign goals were to simply increase its email list and bring back past customers. Brand-new purchasers? Pure gravy.

Speaking by phone from her company's Nashville, Tenn., headquarters, she didn't mention showrooming, cloudsourcing, SoLoMo or gamification. Yes, there are direct marketers hiding out in social media departments.

"Email acquisition is most important to us," Charlton said, citing the channel's traditionally superb ROI. "Email is the easiest for us to track and measure."

Using the 13-year-old Web marketing firm ePrize, the brand is driving traffic to a sweepstakes microsite where participants fill out an entry and complete a series of tasks in order to have a chance to win. The tasks include sharing the page with friends on social media and getting a coupon after taking a personality test.

"We hope people interact with the brand in the spirit of the holidays," Charlton added.