Fingerhut To Launch New E-Mail, Database Marketing Program

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Fingerhut Companies, Inc., Minnetonka, MN, one of the world's largest direct marketing and online retailers and a division of Federated Department Stores, Inc. said yesterday that it will launch a series of targeted e-mail marketing programs next month.


The programs will allow Fingerhut to communicate with and send targeted messages to its 30-million-count customer database that includes names and addresses of its catalog customers and e-mail addresses for its Internet customers.


Initially, Fingerhut will focus on sending targeted e-mail messages to customers who have purchased goods on its Fingerhut.com site and its specialty sites -- including MyJewlery.com, OutdoorSpirit.com and Birthdayhut.com.


The company is using campaign management software called Unica Impact, from Unica Corporation, Lincoln, MA, to execute these campaigns. The software will manage the marketing campaigns and eventually give Fingerhut the ability to create single customer views across multiple communication channels.


Currently, Fingerhut is using BroadVision's web engine to manage content and keep track of its Web site's pages. It is also using Unica's Model I data mining software to analyze its customer data and to determine the value of each customer and what they may interest them in the future. But the campaign management piece of the puzzle was missing. Campaign management allows companies to take analyzed information about a company's customers and service them better by presenting them with target offers across the Web and in catalogs .


Now that Fingerhut is working with a campaign manager, it "will enable them to understand its customers better and then, using that knowledge, help determine what is the right offer or message that will bring them the maximum value, eventually via the right channel," said Carol Meyers, vice president, marketing, Unica.


Following the Internet application, Fingerhut is planning to implement the software across its base catalog business and integrate it between its e-mail address database and its traditional catalog database. Fingerhut also plans to replace its mainframe with the new enterprise marketing automation solution and supports the company's move toward using open, flexible solutions to complement existing data.


"We are starting the implementation with Fingerhut's Web initiatives, mainly because that's a key area for growth for the company," said Meyers. "Then, we will be moving over to the catalog side."


John Hunsicker, chief operating officer of e-commerce, Fingerhut, said that Unica provided Fingerhut with a flexible, open architecture software solution that will allow the company to access data from multiple databases, effectively use one-to-one online marketing, and interface with the company's BroadVision web engine across its Internet sites.


"As a sophisticated database marketer, Fingerhut recognizes that intelligent interaction with customers is the key to building a successful business," said John Hunsicker, chief operating officer of e-commerce at Fingerhut. "After an exhaustive search for a scalable campaign management tool, we chose Unica Impact to increase the efficiency of our current 'dot com' marketing efforts and provide the functionality to meet our multi-channel marketing needs."
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