Classmates.com Unites With E-Centives to Enhance Deals Program

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Aiming to improve its promotions, Classmates.com has outsourced its Classmates Deals program to infrastructure provider e-centives Inc.


"Before we partnered with e-centives, the program was run inhouse and did not have much focus," said Matthew Ellenthal, chief marketing officer at Classmates.com, Seattle. "Promotions were infrequently marketed, there were no categories of selection, and the quality of the offers were not as good."


The company hopes the revamped program will be a supplemental revenue stream and will increase member loyalty to the high school reunion site.


The 1-year-old Classmates Deals program provides Classmates.com members with promotional offers in 20 categories, including automotive, sports and fitness, travel, groceries and fashion. Featured retailers include Half.com, Proflowers.com, Ashford Outlet, Overstock.com and Gap.com.


New Classmates.com members may opt to receive promotions from the program upon registration at the site. They are sent a follow-up e-mail confirming membership. Existing members who receive weekly, monthly or biweekly e-mail updates have been sent updates about the improved deals program. Once members opt in to the program, they can enter categories in which they are most interested and can choose to receive a biweekly, weekly or monthly e-mail newsletters about new promotions, Ellenthal said.


Classmates.com is marketing the deals program exclusively on its site and the e-centives Web site.


Classmates.com has roughly 20 million registered members, Ellenthal said, adding that the site targets a broad demographic of high school graduates.


"Targeting promotions by demographic is not as important to us as putting control of the deals program into the hands of the members," Ellenthal said.


In addition to its free membership program, Classmates.com offers a paid Gold Membership Program, in which members can send e-mail notes to anyone listed on the site's directories, chat live, post to message boards, join interest groups, post photographs online and plan class reunions for $29.50 per month.


"The Gold Member demographic sweet spot skews a little older: between 35 and 60 years old," Ellenthal said.


The Classmates Deals program has roughly 919,000 members.


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