Restaurant.com partners with ExactTarget

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Restaurant.com, a site that sells discounted restaurant gift certificates, has teamed up with ESP ExactTarget to run its e-mail program and to sell its offerings to the ExactTarget community.

Under the terms of the agreement, Restaurant.com is using ExactTarget's e-mail tools to make its e-mail marketing efforts more targeted. In addition, ExactTarget clients can now add customized restaurant gift certificates as incentives to their interactive campaigns for wholesale prices.

“The change to ExactTarget was inspired by our need to be more targeted in our e-mail campaigns and treat people like individuals based upon our experiences with them, versus mass e-mails to the whole group depending on who they are and what they have done,” said Cary Chessick, Restaurant.com president/CEO.

Restaurant.com has more than 9,000 restaurant partners nationwide and more than 900,000 e-mail subscribers. E-mail offers include such things as the option to purchase certificates within a timeframe to receive a bonus discount. The e-commerce firm sends about three e-mails a week with special offers on discounted gift certificates, although not everyone on the list receives the same e-mail. The e-mails are sent based on a customer's previous open rate and purchase history. Despite the high frequency, the brand has low opt-out rates.

“…we mail more frequently than other retailers, but we have a low opt-out rate, since everyone eats and usually two-three times a day,” Chessick said. “The decision to eat out is different than the decision to go on a vacation. It is very spur of the moment.”

In addition to e-mail, Restaurant.com also does search marketing and affiliate marketing with Commission Junction.

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