Bye, Bye Banners at Williams-Sonoma?

Share this content:
While others plaster the Web with banner ads, is shying away from the medium, testing banners at only one site,, during an extensive fourth-quarter marketing campaign.

"Banners are not effective these days," said Shelly Nandkeolyar, vice president for e-commerce at Williams-Sonoma Inc., San Francisco. The banner ads were placed on Nov. 8. "We're going to try out [banners] and determine their validity for future usage," said Nandkeolyar.

In place of banners, the company is spreading the word through traditional direct marketing and an e-mail campaign. The company alerted offline customers about its online presence through two mass mailings of 250,000 each. The two batches, which included an offer for a free apron with an online purchase, went to top customers the first week of this month.

It has mailed 200 million catalogs for Williams-Sonoma as well as its Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Hold Everything and Chambers brands -- all of which list the Web site on every page. An in-store bag stuffer is being distributed at the company's more than 335 locations. The Web address also appears on counter cards, bags and windows at stores.

The company's target is women ages 45 to 60 with annual incomes of more than $100,000.

Under a partnership agreement with American Express, 3 million card members will receive an envelope stuffer announcing the site's unveiling.

The company also sent e-mails to 500,000 opt-in addresses compiled from lists captured at stores and through the catalogs as well as lists purchased from excite@home,, Net@ddress and Yahoo.

Through portal partnerships, consumers will have one-click access from Della & James gift registry, and Epicurious. Next quarter, there are plans for the site to take part in a promotion at This how-to engine, which functions in a similar manner to AskJeeves, will offer up to 75 recipes along with a recommendation for the proper pots, pans and utensils to be found at

The site is advertising in most major dailies including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune while also participating in a large public relations campaign.

The company would not quantify the dollar value of this campaign, but did say it was a "significant investment."

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above