ClubMom Nurtures Partners, Members With New Marketing Efforts

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ClubMom is growing up.


The free national membership organization for mothers is restructuring its registration forms to collect even more data about its members: data based on life stages.


"If you tell us that your baby is in the 0-to-1 age group, then you will get a different newsletter than if you tell us you have a 3-year-old child," said Alexandra Aleskovsky, chief marketing officer at ClubMom, New York.


The program goes into soft launch at the end of this year, Aleskovsky said, but really begins in 2006.


Started in June 1999, ClubMom has more than 2 million members. It was created by CMI Marketing Inc., whose founders include Meredith Vieira, star of ABC's "The View"; actor Andrew Shue; and entrepreneur and ClubMom CEO Michael Sanchez.


Members earn ClubMom Points by purchasing certain products from ClubMom partners when they shop in their stores or online at www.ClubMom.com. Points can be redeemed for additional merchandise and services. ClubMom has 200 online and offline partners.


Members also visit ClubMom.com to get parenting advice and information, discuss current events and answer polls and surveys.


The company distributes one or two e-mails to 1 million members weekly. The e-mails are opt in and include offers from partners or information about ClubMom's points program, plus parenting advice and recipes. Around Mother's Day, members are mailed a kit with point balances, member guide and rewards catalog. Other offer-based direct mail pieces go out throughout the year.


Last year, ClubMom began a customer relationship management program in which it asked members, when they sign up or update their profiles, to give more detailed data in exchange for offers with content based on the data and offers from partners.


The first page of the survey asks basic information and whether they have answered certain questions about purchasing intentions, then they receive more questions on additional pages. Moms have the option to fill out the information. The data are collected online and offline, at local grocery stores or other retail establishments when ClubMom sets up tables to enroll members.


Before 2004, members simply had to give basic information. Most are willing to do more.


"More than 75 percent of moms go beyond the first page of registration," Aleskovsky said. "This is a very high number, and I think the reason is because moms understand that they are going to get some value."


The three categories of additional questions relate to autos (for ClubMom's partnership with Dodge), home improvement (for its partnership with Home Depot) and shopping, brand preference and coupon information (Unilever). The shopping questions also are used for business development purposes and other retailers that ClubMom would not name.


Offers based on the information began going out in e-mails and in mail pieces last year.


"We've done research that shows that moms like to get both," Aleskovsky said.


The offers are very targeted. For example, if a mom indicates that she's interested in buying a minivan soon, "we can deliver a targeted offer with a Dodge Caravan and give a bonus-point offer as well as content on the minivan that will help her make her purchase decision," she said. "The offers explain the benefits that are most appropriate for moms from the standpoint of safety and convenience."


For Home Depot, "if we know that a mom is going to have a home improvement project planned in the next 12 months, we can send her an offer and content that is relevant to the project she is undertaking," she said.


The partnerships are profitable. Fred Diaz, director of marketing at Dodge, said his company is seeing a 2-for-1 return on investment from its relationship with ClubMom and the CRM program.


Another program ClubMom began this year is the Special Occasions Club. Here, if members sign up or update their profiles and disclose birthday and anniversary information about themselves and their families, ClubMom will send them e-mail reminders with relevant offers from sponsors about a month beforehand "so moms have time to buy a gift," Aleskovsky said. Partners in this program include Best Buy, Hooked on Phonics and RedEnvelope.


The company started collecting the detailed information about birthday/anniversary events in March. Targeted e-mails began in August.


"We have 75 percent of moms signing up for this, and the open rates are very high," Aleskovsky said, since the offers allow them to get points for their shopping.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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