Coolsavings Debuts 'Sales Circulars'

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Coolsavings.com yesterday introduced Sales Circulars, an online promotional vehicle designed to let advertisers better segment and track the behavior of shoppers.


The product, touted as more effective than traditional free-standing inserts because of its targeting and tracking capabilities, drives traffic into brick-and-mortar retailers and grocery stores and helps online retailers increase catalog and online sales.


Coolsavings requires visitors to register and provide personal data upon entering the site, allowing it to gather demographic information that affiliate advertisers can use to make their campaigns more targeted. The company, which has more than 14 million active members, tracks its members' browsing patterns and purchasing behavior thereafter.


"With this product, we've taken the traditional FSIs to the next generation by putting it on the Internet, which gives advertisers benefits they previously did not have," said Steven M. Golden, chairman/CEO of Coolsavings, Chicago. "For instance, when a consumer receives a Sunday newspaper, if they receive a Sunday newspaper at all, advertisers do not know what they really looked at or showed interest in. With the solution, we do know, down to an individual household."


Additionally, the tracking capabilities allow advertisers to update campaigns based on sales and traffic performance in real time, Golden said.


"We can target each sales circular and track who viewed specific offers to allow advertisers to better focus future marketing campaigns," he said. "That's something traditional FSIs can't do."


Coolsavings intends to leverage its other promotional vehicles, including printable coupons, e-coupons and loyalty points, to help advertisers use the Sales Circulars better, Golden said. Coolsavings will use e-mail newsletters to deliver the circulars, he said.


Golden also said PetSmart, Pasadena, CA; Lands' End, Dodgeville, WI; and other advertisers have begun using the product.


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