Marketers Try Multichannel Approach for Mother's Day

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Omaha Steaks and RedEnvelope are both running integrated marketing efforts for Mother's Day featuring e-mail campaigns, co-promotional Web site agreements and catalog drops.


Omaha Steaks has launched an e-mail promotion to its customer base. The promotion offered free gifts, including a cheesecake, a box of hamburgers and a Mikasa candy dish, with a purchase. The company sent similar e-mails targeting people who have opted in to receive information from Omaha Steaks but have not made a purchase. Recipients of the e-mails can choose from hundreds of products.


Omaha Steaks would not discuss the number of people who received the promotion or response rates.


The company also formed co-promotional deals with ProFlowers.com and OurHouse.com, in which Omaha Steaks will feature links and banners to their sites on www.omahasteaks.com. In exchange, Omaha Steaks will be featured on their Web sites during its Father's Day promotion.


Beth Weiss, public relations manager at Omaha Steaks, said the company does better on Father's Day because "consumers think of steaks and steak-related, barbecue items as more of a Daddy gift."


Offline, Omaha Steaks did not produce a Mother's Day catalog. Instead, it promoted items geared toward mothers, such as petite filet mignons, stainless steel woks and other household items, in its weekly, letter-sized mailings, which are delivered to several hundred thousand customers and prospects, Weiss said.


"Beginning in mid-April, we included free gifts with a purchase of items that are on the feminine side, so that they would be suitable for a Mother's Day gift," she said.


Meanwhile, San Francisco-based cataloger RedEnvelope last week sent the second mailing in a three-phase effort that will reach all 400,000 opt-in names in RedEnvelope's database. The first e-mails, which are in text and HTML formats, were delivered April 23, and the company has not determined when the last one will be sent. Response rates were not available.


"These holidays are our greatest opportunities to acquire new customers," said Martin McClanan, CEO of RedEnvelope. "There are hundreds of thousands who come to us as a matter of course, but it's also important when it's a major gift-giving occasion like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas to leverage those holidays, to get new people into the fold, and then after that hopefully get them to buy birthday, wedding and anniversary gifts from us."


RedEnvelope also formed a Mother's Day-focused, co-promotional deal with Garnet Hill, an apparel cataloger in Franconia, NH. The deal calls for RedEnvelope to provide links to the Garnet Hill Web site, www.garnethill.com, and promotional information about the company at checkout. In exchange, Garnet Hill will promote RedEnvelope products through its communications vehicles, including its e-mail newsletters.


Additionally, RedEnvelope dropped a Mother's Day catalog two weeks ago to 2 million people in its offline database.


The 48-page catalog features candles, bath products, scarves, jewelry and other items for Mother's Day. Some items, such as a pair of pink slippers, are embroidered with the word "Mom." The catalog also contains general gifts for home and garden, including a writing kit, birdbath, and hammock.


The catalog also guarantees delivery by May 13 for deliveries placed by May 10.


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