Remember Mom With More Than Flowers

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1-800-Flowers, Westbury, NY, last week kicked off its largest ever Mother's Day direct mail and e-mail campaign with a push to encourage members to shop from its list of nonfloral items.

"We want to use this campaign to let people, both those who are customers and those who are not, know that we are now offering new products," said Greg Bouris, communications manager at 1-800-Flowers.

The company will drop several hundred thousand mail pieces and another several hundred thousand direct e-mails to its customers who regularly order flowers via the Web. Together with agreements it has with its corporate partners and other affiliates, total mailings will exceed 2 million.

The "Remember Mom" mailing includes six photos promoting a number of the new products -- candles, enamelware, spa items, gardening accessories -- as well as some of its regular floral arrangements. The postcards direct people to the Web site and offer those who register a free newsletter containing floral information, decorating tips and specials as well as a free gift reminder service and exclusive special discounts and offers.

The e-mail message will have the same theme as the direct mail piece but will promote slightly different products and product extensions, Bouris said. The message will contain a direct link back to the Web site.

The mailing will be supported by direct response television ads, Web site and portal banners and local retail store marketing efforts such as point-of-purchase displays.

To help target noncustomers, Bouris said 1-800-Flowers will place banner ads on a number of portals and sites including America Online. Prospective customers will also be targeted with a direct response TV ad to be nationally broadcast on ESPN, CNN and the Arts and Entertainment channel. The commercial will promote the toll-free number as well as the Web site. Promotional agreements have also been made with radio stations around the country.

Localized direct mailings will take place in areas where the company has a strong retail presence. Those who respond to the regional direct mail pieces will receive a free gift with a purchase of more than $29.99.

Bouris also said that a number of corporations throughout the country that have marketing agreements with the company will include a 1-800-Flowers Mother's Day reminder in their own mailing campaigns.

He would not disclose the names, but said a national bank will do a mailing of 250,000 to its customers, an airline that will mail to about 430,000 of its clients and another 50 of its corporate partners will send out mailings to reach "about another million people."

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