Using Mother's Day E-Mails to Drive Traffic

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Mother's Day is less than two weeks away, and gift retailer is sending out a series of holiday-focused e-mails to drive traffic to its site. The company delivered the second of three e-mails yesterday to its opt-in e-mail list of 825 consumers.

The integrated campaign, which included radio spots and print advertising, began April 23, when PresentWorks sent a text-formatted e-mail to its list. The subject line read, "English is such a difficult language!" and gave examples of sentences with homographs -- words with identical spellings but different pronunciations and meanings -- within the e-mail.

The copy ended with, "But there is no difficulty understanding: May 13 is Mother's Day."

The campaign generated a 25 percent click-through rate, and 10 percent of those respondents were converted into buyers.

"That's the great part of e-mail advertising," said Harriet Tober, president of PresentWorks, Andover, MA. "The click-through rates seemed to start immediately. For the next 30 hours, it was really consistent."

Today's drive will be delivered to the same list, but with images of Mother's Day products embedded in the e-mails, Tober said. Users who click on the images or hyperlinks below the products will be driven to a specially designed Mother's Day page on the site, she said.

The final phase of the campaign will be on May 7, when PresentWorks will send another e-mail with product images to the same list, Tober said.

"Given that we're a small, new company with limited amounts of capital for advertising, our methods have to be evaluated and justified," Tober said. "E-mail, because it's cost-effective and fast, lets us do that."

PresentWorks also is trying to drive traffic to its site via offline media. Tober said the company advertised on a Boston radio station last week.

In addition, PresentWorks is marketing Mother's Day products via print publications in four major markets -- San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston.

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