E-Newsletters Key to Playboy Promo

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Playboy has sent an electronic newsletter to 100,000 registered users of Playboystore.com as part of an integrated Father's Day promotion.

The blast -- aimed at customers only -- is being coordinated with a print campaign in the June issue of Playboy magazine, which hit newsstands in early May.

Playboy has placed ads throughout its June issue touting the products promoted in the newsletter. The ads are designed to drive people to Playboystore.com and urge readers to purchase the gifts not only for fathers but for graduates as well.

"We have to coordinate these print and online efforts because we have a lot of customers who access our materials through a number of different channels," said Eliot Russman, senior vice president of commerce at Playboy.com, New York.

Russman is hoping the newsletters will be as effective as the print ads have been so far.

"We have seen the cash register ringing at Playboystore.com with sales of these products," he said. "There has been a definite increase in activity since that issue came out."

The Father's Day Gift Guide newsletter pitches 10 products, including new items from Playboy such as a billiard ball set, a golf ball set and a cigar smoker's set.

"The products we are featuring in the newsletter are representative of what the brand has come to stand for," Russman said. "We are offering print items, collectibles and apparel."

The newsletter contains links to Playboystore.com, where consumers can search the entire catalog of Playboy's 3,100 branded products. Russman said the newsletter also contains a forwarding mechanism so recipients can pass the message along to friends or relatives.

The newsletters are designed entirely inhouse. Newsletters are a cost-effective marketing tool that helps drive sales, Russman said.

"They have always been very successful marketing tools for us, and we use them on a selective basis," he said. "We use them to promote the purchase of products by our customers who have expressed an interest in receiving notice from us when new products become available."

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