CoolSavings to Give Clients a Selling Boost

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Internet marketer CoolSavings will allow its client companies to market heavily to its e-mail database of 13 million members this holiday season.

The CoolSavings Holiday Promotion will begin the last week of October and run for nine weeks. It will consist of weekly themed e-mails, special offers, sweepstakes and the chance to donate to charity.

The first mailing will ask CoolSavings members to fill out a "wish list" survey.

"It will survey them about their shopping lists for the holiday season and get them excited about the upcoming promotion for November, December and January," said Matt Moog, executive vice president of sales and marketing at CoolSavings, Chicago.

Perhaps more importantly, "the wish list will be an opportunity for our advertisers to learn more about our members and, more specifically, their holiday purchasing plans," said Moog. To truly hone in on the consumer, "advertisers can create their own custom questions."

Based on consumers' responses, client companies will be able to target their gift suggestions and special offers. Offers can also be segmented according to members' basic demographics such as gender and marital status.

The e-mails to follow will run according to an editorial calendar created by CoolSavings. Topics will range from how to get ahead with holiday shopping to last-minute gift ideas and return tips. Specials, coupons and gift offers will also play a big part of the mailing, however, "there will be contextually relevant editorial for the holidays. It's not just all about the offers," said Moog.

Each of the mailings will include a sweepstakes sponsored by an advertiser. Client companies will place links within the message that consumers can click on to go to their sites to enter to win merchandise and travel prizes. The sweepstakes model is pay-for-performance, meaning a client company only pays when a consumer actually clicks through.

The chance to donate to three national charities will also be rotated throughout the messages. CoolSavings will likely match contributions made by its members. Special offers will also be implemented allowing consumers to automatically donate a specified amount of money to charity if they use a certain coupon.

For all of their actions -- completing the surveys, using coupons, participating in the sweepstakes and donating to charity -- members will earn CoolPoints. These points are part of the CoolSavings Rewards program and can be redeemed for awards such as luggage and gift certificates.

CoolSavings calls itself a provider of e-marketing services used by online and offline advertisers to build one-to-one relationships. Its infrastructure can handle targeted coupons and e-mail, loyalty points, newsletters, rebates, samples and other promotional strategies.

Last week, the company announced it signed on, LensCrafters and Sears Home Central as clients. Moog would not specify which companies would be involved with the holiday promotion.

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