Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Victoria’s Secret Advertising Strategies

Even though it’s been over 40 years since Victoria’s Secret first opened their doors, the brand is more relevant than ever. Trends are always changing, and it’s no easy feat to stay up to date on what consumers want. Still, through creative marketing and brand loyalty, Victoria’s Secret has maintained its popularity. It’s no wonder brands all over the world are scratching their heads wondering how they can achieve the same level of success.

Even if you’re not in the retail industry, we can all learn a lesson of two from the Victoria’s Secret marketing strategy. From genius coupon mailers to annual mega-sales, let’s take a look at what makes this brand so successful!

Email Marketing Campaigns

Victoria's Secret Email MarketingNothing’s worse than being the last to know, and the marketing crew at Victoria’s Secret know this better than anyone else. That’s why they’re sure to keep their email subscribers in the loop by sending sneak peeks at new collections and early access to limited-time offers. Subscribers also receive exclusive coupon codes that aren’t advertised anywhere else, making it all the more enticing to sign up for their email list. By offering these incentives, customers are more likely to register and the company thus makes more sales. This is something any business, no matter the industry, can replicate!

Recipients of the company’s email marketing can also look forward to a smooth, clean design in every single newsletter. They aren’t forced to scroll through pages of content they aren’t interested in or anecdotal company updates. They keep it simple and short with a compelling image, short and concise copy, and usually a coupon code of some sort. Drafting long-winded newsletters or marketing campaigns have a higher tendency to bore the reader. And with attention spans being shorter now than ever before, it’s important to keep their attention while you have it.

Victoria’s Secret Coupons

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know shopping at Victoria’s Secret isn’t cheap. Even a pair of their sweatpants can cost you a pretty penny! That’s why the company regularly mails coupons to their customers. Not only does it draw people into the store, but it creates a guaranteed shopping cycle. They know they can rely on customers coming in each time they mail those out since their full retail prices are a little high.

Not to mention, sending these special mailers to customers also makes them feel valued. Think of all the credit card bills or student loan reminders they’re already receiving in their mailbox. Receiving something cheerful in the mail that will actually save them money gives customers an even more favorable impression of the brand!

Who Doesn’t Love Freebies?

One of the most effective ways Victoria’s Secret generates some extra excitement about shopping with them is by offering freebies with a purchase. In fact, you’ll probably spot these advertisements the second you walk in the store! From cosmetic bags to flip flops, the company loves to offer an extra incentive for shopping with them. This advertising tactic is beneficial since it convinces the customer they’re getting more value out of their purchase.

Maybe you haven’t tried offering freebies to your customers, so you’re not sure where to start. The good news is there are plenty of affordable promotional items that your clients would actually use. It’s best to start by including items that add value to their lives like a cell phone wallet or grocery tote bag. Whether it’s a special gift with purchase or a surprise you throw in their next order, they’ll know you appreciate them as a customer.

Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale

Victoria's Secret Semi Annual SaleFans of Victoria’s Secret know the best time to shop is during their semi-annual sales. Twice a year, the lingerie shop hosts a massive clearance on their out-of-season merchandise. The discounted items range from slippers to body sprays, and people across the country rush to the nearest store to get their hands on a good deal. Even smarter, the store will hype up the sale in the days or weeks leading up to the event. It amps up the anticipation and keeps their audience on the edge of their seat!

If you have a retail shop, try brainstorming ways you can hype up an annual sale. You could even include it as part of a yearly celebration such as your company anniversary or around a holiday. That way, your customers will know when to expect deep discounts! Even if you can’t offer 50% off their purchase, try offering something smaller. Your clients will appreciate it.

No matter the industry, there’s always a way to stand out from the crowd and give back to your customers. Though they’ve been around for over 40 years, Victoria’s Secret is always trying new strategies to resonate with their audience. Their success certainly didn’t happen overnight! It may take some trial and error, but by rethinking your marketing strategy and not being afraid to try new things, you’re bound for the same success.


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  1. Kelly

    Great post Jaimie, all wonderful marketing techniques and by the volume of clientele they always have in their store they are all very successful. 🙂

    • Jaimie Smith

      Thanks, Kelly. Yeah, VS is a very successful business. Many times I have found a good chunk of my paychecks have gone to them. 🙂

  2. Alex Brodsky

    Whoa! Free panties for NOTHING?! Like, actually free?!?! You NEVER see that! Especially with something that a person would need.

    Give me free ANYTHING, and I’m most likely going and picking it up. That’s a great strategy because it gets people in the door, and that’s when things get dangerous. “I’m not spending $15 on Item A, so now I can buy Item B for $25!” It’s terrible logic, but logic so many people fall for (myself included, though rarely at Victoria’s Secret).

    • Jaimie Smith

      YES ALEX! free panty FO FREE!
      I agree its teribble logic but if it works then all power to them!

  3. amy

    I liked how you showed how other companies can use Victoria Secret’s marketing tips in their strategies. Nicely done!

    • Jaimie Smith

      Thank You, Amy! 🙂 I feel if VS can be successful with these strategies, other companies can be too if they try hard enough.

  4. Mandy Kilinskis

    Victoria Secret definitely knows how to get people in the door. And they also have some of the most ravenous brand advocates out there! They’re definitely a company that’s doing “it” right.

    Great post. 🙂

    • Jaimie Smith

      Thanks, Mandy. Yes they are definitely doing it right. I love the company so much. I know some of their prices aren’t exactly cheap, but everything I buy from there I feel is worth it. I have never been unsatisfied with anything I have bought (or have even gotten for free) from there.

  5. Rachel

    Great post! The point about incremental incentives is one strategy I see all over the place — one big example being and their Free Super Saver Shipping. I rarely buy less that $25 at one time on Amazon anymore, even if I don’t actually need $25 worth of stuff, because I don’t want to pay for shipping! Granted, I could probably get what I *need* for under $25 even after shipping fees, but why not buy a little more so that shipping is FREE! Like Alex mentioned above, it’s a flawed logic, but one that many people fall for, myself included. 🙂

    • Jaimie Smith

      Yes EXACTLY! Like I said in the post, it got me the other night. I was buying several pairs of shoes off their website, I was about to submit my order then they show me that deal, so then I went back and picked something else out. They get me every time.
      And yeah, like you said, free shipping is a big one. I’m pretty sure almost EVERY store i have shopped online from offers free shipping after a certain amount. It is very smart of them. Because some might think they do not want to pay for shipping so they decide to buy more, even if that ends up making their order more expensive than if they were to just pay for shipping. some people look at it as “getting something for free (or almost free)” even though they really are not. Brilliant if you ask me.

  6. Joseph Giorgi

    Hard to believe that a company in the habit of giving away part of its inventory for free is doing so well. But it seems like the higher-ups at VS know exactly what they’re doing. “Victoria’s Secret” is a household name for a reason, and marketing tactics like the ones you mentioned are a big part of it. Great post! 🙂

    • Jaimie Smith

      Thanks, Joe! and yeah, I find it hard to believe too, but I am pretty sure the things they do give away really do not cost them much, especially when they are making so much on their other sales.

  7. Cybernetic SAM

    I have been to this store once, and I was really unhappy with the customer service. But you are right they do know what they are doing when it comes to marketing themselves.

    • Jaimie Smith

      omg you didn’t like it there? that’s crazy!! I guess there is one thing I am unhappy about as well, I do not like how they are very pushy on some of their sales, or getting people to apply for their “Angel” card. That can get pretty annoying.

  8. Eric

    I wish they’d a male equivalent for Semi-Annual sales. Closest things I’ve found are sales immediately prior to, and immediately after, the Christmas holiday. This past holiday season, I went into the Polo Factory store and – between a coupon I had and the clearance sale – scored $80 neck ties for $8 a piece. 90% discount on designer label merch? Yes, please! Quite honestly, it’s a model I wished more stores used: trying to sell more items for a lower price to as many people as possible, rather than hoping a few items will sell at full price to an average amount of people. 99% of the year, I’ll avoid shopping at the mall, but you give me good enough of a sale, I’ll definitely be there.

    • Jaimie Smith

      NICE! its always fun when you score a good sale like that. I spend so much money as it is, but when I end up getting what I want for even cheaper, it feels awesome!!
      And yeah, sucks to be you males to not have a semi annual sale 🙂

  9. Jen

    Great post idea 🙂 I love VS online, they always have awesome sales and I can shop in the comfort of my own home to avoid the creepy guy that wanders around the store. The great thing about the freebie panty coupon and the $10 off coupon is that they can be applied to online purchases too! BAM! The online shopping is also awesome because they always have the size I need and the color I like, whereas the store can sometimes be a disappointment and not have what I want. Great post girl!

    • Jaimie Smith

      Thanks Jen! And I am glad you liked the idea lol. 🙂 But yeah I love online shopping, I don’t think my checking account likes it so much, though. oh well. I still love shopping in the store, though. Both online and at the store at VS is fun to me. Some people don’t like shopping with me because they know I could spend hours in that store. I think you know who I am talking about. (coughDUSTINcough) 🙂

  10. Jeff Porretto

    I have to say that whatever VS does gets my wife hook, line, and sinker. Every single coupon, freebie, you name it and she’s there in a jiffy.

    Now, I would like to point out the obvious that (duh) sex sells. And I’m sure a lot of extra sales are made at VS because Men don’t seem to mind their significant others “wasting” money there =]

    “You spent HOW MUCH? I can’t believe you would….. oh….hmmm… that looks very nice…. what was I saying?”

    Nice post!

  11. Jaimie Smith

    Ha! Jeff that cracked me up.

    Well, I am glad that BOTH you and Laura enjoy VS.

  12. Candice J.

    VS is very sneaky with their marketing strategies, but hey it works! Maybe that’s Victoria’s Secret! Nice work Victoria, nice work! Great blog Jaimie!

  13. jackie

    How many do they give free? One every month?

    • Jill Tooley

      They used to give one free every month, at least the last time I had a VS card a couple of years ago. They send coupons, too!

  14. AMD2600

    Freebies, cupons and sales are tactics to get the customer into the retail space… not marketing strategy.

    Victoria Secrets marketing strategy (since the late 1990’s) has been conflating “cute” with “sexy”. The female is comfortable with “cute”; the male desires “sexy”. But beggars can’t be choosers… I’ve never understood why so many cannot recognize these distinctions.

  15. Evol Me

    If you are smart you can use it to your advantage. I am an angel card holder, so one month they sent me a $10.00 reward card, I didn’t use it until they had a sale for panties that where $5.00 each, I ended barely paying anything. I try not to buy on impulse but when the deal is good its good, I mostly shop when there are coupons and deals, best bang for your buck. The savings I get is amazing, when I get the free panty deal. I get it and then kindly walk out

  16. Nicole

    I loved your post! I shop at Victoria’s Secret all the time but I never get any freebie coupons in the mail. Do you know how I’m supposed to get those, I get deals in my email but non in my mailbox. Do I have to have an angel card or can I just sign up online?

  17. Kristen

    Hey Girl thanks for the article it helped me out a lot for my Marketing assignment on Victoria Secret!!!! Awesome Love all what you had to say about the tricks VS does to get their customers!!

    • Kristen

      I totally agree with all what you said too!!! Thanks again 🙂

  18. Jessica

    I just went there yesterday to claim my free panty coupon at both VS and VS Pink. Just the panty though, I can no longer afford to by $40 bras like I used to. Usually they just lead me to the panties, but yesterday both ladies asked me if I had seen the other coupon that comes with the free panty trying to get me to buy something else. 😛

  19. Dominique

    You forgot to mention the free scratch-off cards. Usually I get $10 on them but once I found a $50 one!

  20. Edwina Dhillon

    Wow, stunning site. Thnx …|

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