Cosmetics Marketer Readies Yearlong Online Focus

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The Cosmetíque Beauty Club is making its first major foray online with an e-commerce promotion driven by an advertisement and designated Web address printed on the back of ATM receipts dispensed by select bank machines nationwide.


Available at www.cosmetique.com/atm, the promotion pushes the New Cosmétique Exclusive Cosmetic Collection plus a gift for $9.95. It is a big departure for a company that typically uses direct mail, catalog, newspaper ads, coupons, package inserts and outbound telemarketing.


"There was a huge deficit in that the company wasn't pursuing interactive direct marketing," said Paul Soltoff, president/CEO of DirectNet Advertising, the St. Petersburg, FL, agency on the interactive account.


This marks the first of many promotions planned under a yearlong $2 million spend on e-commerce and online marketing. It is also an obvious effort to switch to a quicker, more cost-effective medium than direct mail.


Included in the online offer, which runs for three months starting Aug. 9, are a color troupe eye shadow trio compact, eye crayon, mascara, super moist hydrating lipstick, nail color and a Diandra designer shoulder bag. Consumers choose the color of the products, check skin type and enter their age.


The collection is valued at $93, but is priced around one-tenth to lure customers.


"Conceptually, the margins in makeup allow Cosmetíque to be very promotional in terms of acquiring new customers," Soltoff said. "You can't do this with electronics because the margins don't exist. Most computers that are sold today have a 6 percent margin. On cosmetics it could easily be 50 percent.


"Because Cosmetíque is a direct marketer offline, they're willing to extend us the ability to utilize their margins to attract customers aggressively on the Internet," he said.


Founded in 1974 by company president June Giugni, Vernon Hills, IL-based Cosmetíque mails more than 150 million solicitations a year. It ships more than 3 million beauty kits yearly to more than 1 million customers.


The company has marketing ties with other firms targeting women like Newport News, Grolier, Swiss Colony, Time-Life, Hosiery Corp. and Columbia House.


Cosmetíque breaks online promotions next month for its Energie Vitale Treatment Club. And through October the company will launch online a new cosmetics club and conduct two test trials.


DirectNet Advertising is responsible for e-commerce development, online ads, campaign tracking, reports and analysis, and creative for the promotions. DirectNet had little choice in the media buying for the latest online offer, as the ATM receipt buy was inherited with the account. Soltoff was not told the exact reasons.


"It's a media opportunity the company had identified and asked us to implement for them," he said.


Ads on the reverse of ATM slips are a new media option offered by many banks. For the Cosmetíque effort to succeed, the consumer must flip the receipt and read the ad.


"Who knows what will happen?" Soltoff said. "It'll be interesting to see."


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