Punchline Delivers New Yorker Cartoons for Holidays

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Punchline Network Inc. will deliver New Yorker magazine cartoons online for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's as the start of a new Internet program to boost corporate sales during gift-giving occasions.

The effort, called the New Yorker Holiday Cartoon eCards Package, sources content from the New Yorker's Cartoonbank. It targets companies as a free premium for their online customers and prospects.

"We want to assist brands to significantly increase results of e-mail marketing efforts," said Neil Fox, CEO of Punchline, New York, which holds the rights to license New Yorker cartoons to third parties.

Punchline offers a selection of holiday-themed online cards to mirror the corporate brand's profile. An invitation to participate is mailed to the user company's list. That company's customers can choose the cartoons they like and send as many online cards as they wish to friends, family and business associates along with a personalized message.

The user company's customers also can send a gift or gift certificate from the company's online store, catalog or promotional stock of items.

Punchline then e-mails the cards, confirms delivery and offers the recipients the chance to sign up and themselves send New Yorker holiday online cards. The cards, customers are told, are compliments of the user company.

What the user company gets in return is a list of user-company senders and the recipients who accepted the holiday online card offer. Punchline also gives a weekly traffic report with open and click-through rates.

Customers of Punchline's clients can select from a menu of up to six cartoons, mirroring their demographics or psychographics. A series of up to six e-mail invitations will be sent to the Punchline client's opted-in file from the start of the holiday season through New Year's Day.

Punchline handles the creative on the online card selection, new user capture and the confirmation and notification pages. It also takes care of back-end card fulfillment.

Punchline sources its cartoons from an inventory of 85,000 in the New Yorker's Cartoonbank, which offers the content that Punchline turns into programs. Clients have included AARP, Fidelity, Pernod Ricard and Hilton. The brands are charged a fee for using the cartoons. Punchline then pays a licensing fee to Cartoonbank.

Greeting cards represent a $7 billion category. Almost 90 percent of U.S. households buy such cards, though online is the fastest-growing segment.

Fox is confident the new holiday online card program meets a need.

"Our new e-card program adds to the options our clients have for using humor to build customer loyalty and sales as well as to build their prospect base," he said.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation 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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