Ikea Drops 1 Million Postcards for Spring Promo, Web Site

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Swedish home furnishings retailer Ikea reached out to 1 million selected names on its U.S. mailing list with a one-off postcard mail drop for the Ikea Spring Forward Event promotion.

Part of an integrated television, radio and direct marketing campaign, the hologram postcard, which shows visuals of a flower in bloom and a floral-patterned sofa, offers store visitors $20 off a $100 purchase of Ikea products like sofas, pillows, dishes and patio furniture. The offer ends May 29.

"The goal here is actually to stimulate traffic for that group," said Nicole Naumoff, direct marketing manager at Ikea North America, Plymouth Meeting, PA. "It's not repeat purchase really. We don't know if they've been to the store or not [but] it helps drive up the average purchase."

The Ikea postcard also serves another purpose: to drive traffic to Ikea's information-only Web site. The site is slated to go e-commerce in the next 12 to 18 months after sorting out fulfillment issues, like how to service customers nationwide with only a 13-store national presence.

Recipients of the postcards are urged to visit www.ikea-usa.com/spring for "another delicious offer." Once there, visitors are invited to register their name, gender, business title, street address and e-mail details.

Successful registrants are then offered a coupon, which says, "Buy one Swedish Meatball dinner, and get one of equal or less value free." Ikea stores are known for their large cafeterias for customers to have meals while shopping at the store.

Evie Black Dykema, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said the postcard's mention of the Web address and the request to register was a way to encourage customers to research Ikea products before visits to stores.

"They can then e-mail them promotions to drive traffic to the site so that they will have a database up-and-running when they launch the e-commerce site," Dykema said.

An Ikea customer, on average, spends $90 per trip at the retailer's 13 stores across the United States, Naumoff said.

"We'd like them to spend more," Naumoff said. "Usually, for people, if the threshold is $100, they spend more than that."

Naumoff said the card, which was mailed late last week, cost 50 cents each with postage. New York ad agency Deutsch handled creative.

To avail the offer, the customer must present the postcard to the store cashier at the time of purchase. It is not valid for telephone or mail orders and is limited to a coupon per person.

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