Prefer Network Exchanges Vows With Online Wedding Resource The Knot

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Online wedding resource The Knot partnered with Prefer Network late last month in a multichannel marketing agreement that plans to offer brides-to-be a variety of product offerings packaged into a wedding preparation kit.


The agreement calls for Prefer Network's e-commerce affiliate, at www.prefer.com, an outsource provider of online catalogs, to include its offline catalogs in The Knot's membership kit, The Knot Box, in an effort to gain product exposure for its retail partners.


The kit, which is delivered free to users upon registration at The Knot's Web site, www.theknot.com, is designed to drive people back to the site so they can print out complementary pages for the items in the package.


The Knot, which becomes Prefer Network's exclusive wedding gift and supply resource, hopes to offer its membership targeted products that it thinks will help them better manage their wedding plans.


Meanwhile, Prefer Network has created an online boutique for The Knot, which features gifts for parents and spa products for brides. The Knot Shop boutique also will display products from Prefer Network's partner retailers. The site also offers honeymoon ideas via links to such sites as Sandals resorts and Cruise411.com.


"We thought this would be a great way for people to take advantage of the services and make their [lives] easier during this pressured time," said Michael Wolfson, co-founder and vice president of business development at The Knot, New York.


The Knot, which has more than 1 million registered users on its Web site, already has delivered its membership kit with the Prefer catalogs to 100,000 prospective newlyweds. The company sends the kits mostly to brides whose wedding dates are five months or more away.


The Knot also plans to send another 100,000 kits to registered users beginning in January.


Prefer Network's partner retailers hope to benefit from the deal because of The Knot's target audience of mostly brides, said Doug Platt, CEO of Prefer Network, New York.


"It's a fabulous audience because they're women and they're buying," Platt said. "And we're getting the brides at the point that they're making these crucial decisions about their future and about what they're buying."


Platt also said the bridal market is key because women purchase a lot of products for their new homes in the months after their wedding. The Knot, in fact, begins marketing to its membership via multiple channels 14 months before the wedding day and continues to market to them for about two years afterward as well, Wolfson said.


The deal also allows Prefer Network to be featured in The Knot's America Online areas, enabling Prefer Network's partner retailers to receive exposure whenever a user types the keyword "weddings," according to a statement.


And while the agreement does not have similar exposure opportunities for The Knot, Platt said the companies have begun discussions and plan to broaden the partnership.


In addition, Prefer Network has 60 merchants in its network, including Orvis, OmahaSteaks.com and Panache, among others, Platt said.


"It's a great deal for our catalog members because they get a great deal of exposure to a whole different kind of customer in a different kind of mind-set than catalogs usually get," Platt said. "At The Knot, [customers] are spending a lot of money."
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