Plus-Sized Women Targeted by Alight.com

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Alight.com, New York, last week reached out to 15,000 women with the first phase of a three-step test direct mail campaign. The test will eventually reach close to 250,000 women.


The plan is to turn Alight.com, whose site went up earlier this month, into a portal and e-commerce destination for plus-sized women. According to Margaret Luh, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Alight.com, the idea behind this test campaign is to get the brand in front of as many people as possible and bring as many "eyeballs" to the site as it can.


"For the first two months we are going to be doing a limited but very targeted marketing campaign," Luh said. "After this testing and launch period is over we are going to follow up with a major branding campaign. But that is about four or five months away as of right now."


The initial drop, which went out on Feb 19, was received by a list of people that have purchased plus size clothing through catalogs. Alight did not personalize the piece, instead it went with a plain postcard.


"We felt the personalized piece was not absolutely necessary," Luh said. "It almost seems deceptive and with all the personalized mail people get nowadays they probably would have thrown it out."


Alight is testing two different pieces with two different models during this first drop. One is a blue postcard directing people to the site where they can register and receive a free gift, a scented travel candle. Luh said the candle will act almost as a second branding campaign.


"If they come to the site and register for the candle and then forget about us," Luh said, "when they get the candle in the mail six to eight weeks later that is going to make them remember us and hopefully bring them back to the site again."


The other piece is a pink postcard and contains no offer but only directs recipients back to the Alight.com site. Both pieces offer a two-line description of what people can expect at the site.


"We're going to look at which model and which color card draws the best response as well as whether the candle offer makes a difference," Luh said. "Based on those results we will make the changes and go with the more productive card for the next two drops."


The cards were designed by a New York-based by Fatsauce, a web and print development resource company.


Later this week Alight.com will be doing another drop. This time it will increase this mailing to 20,000 pieces. It will be using names from the same source it used for the first drop.


The major drop will occur two weeks from today when it puts more than 200,000 postcards in the mail. Luh said Alight is hoping to bring between 4,000 to 6,000 women to the site with these initial mailings and get close to 4 percent to 6 percent of them to register on the site once they are there.


Registering women will be asked to provide names, e-mail addresses, birthday, size and home address. Alight is asking for birthdays because it plans to do mailings and e-mailings to its members on their birthdays for special offers.


People who register will also be given the opportunity to make money from Alight. It will be compiling a market research team and will pay people for taking part in its research programs.


In the next couple of weeks, Luh explained it will be conducting a direct e-mail campaign to a different group of people that were targeted with the postcard campaign. The e-mail list is going to be made up of women who have requested plus size catalogs.


That campaign will consist of 1,000 e-mails, which like the postcard, will not be personalized and contain a sweepstakes offer.


Aside from clothing, Alight.com is going to offer content geared toward plus-sized women, chat rooms, fashion tips, beauty tips and success stories.
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