Right Start Launches Direct Mail to Promote Site, Sweeps

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RightStart, the cataloger and retailer of educational and safety products for infants, late last month launched the first wave of a 4 million-piece direct mail campaign promoting the company's Web site and the opportunity to win a $15,000 scholarship.

The "Click for College Cash" promotion is part of the company's 15th anniversary marketing campaign, which will include tie-ins with women's Web site Oxygen.com and other direct marketing and brand marketing efforts.

The mailer, a 16-page catalog, directs customers to the rightstart.com site to register for the chance to win one of the $15,000 scholarships, which are being given away every 15 days. The mailer also includes a coupon for 15 percent off an Internet purchase.

The Westlake Village, CA, company plans to drop another 1 million pieces each month for the next three months. The mailers are targeting families with children under a year old, and are being sent both to names in the company's database and culled from prospecting lists.

In addition, the company is working with Baby Talk magazine to distribute coupons and fliers through the magazine's gift kits for expectant parents, called First Moments. The kits are being distributed to hospitals within a 20-mile radius of the company's stores.

"We'll have over 100,000 kits that are going out," said Betty Chin, vice president of merchandising and marketing at RightStart.

Right Start also will conduct some mailings in the markets where it opens stores this year. The chain, which has 53 retail outlets, plans to open 12 to 15 additional stores this year.

Chin said the company is seeking to promote the idea that consumers can reach it through multiple channels.

"Whether they want to come in, call in or click on, they have all three options," she said. "If they want to call us, or if they see an item in the catalog and they want to touch and feel the item first, that's all right too."

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