Creative solutions from E.L.F. Cosmetics, J.G. Wentworth and Beverage Solutions Inc.

Building a promotion around Valentine’s Day can be challenging for makeup brands, since the consumers making cosmetic purchases around that time of year — specifically, boyfriends and husbands — aren’t their usual target audience.

However, E.L.F. Cosmetics — the “E,” “L” and “F” stand for “eyes,” “lips” and “face” — saw an oppor­tunity to tie into the holiday via its robust e-mail marketing program.

E.L.F. is a value-priced brand carried in more than 5,000 retail stores, including big-box stores like Kmart and Target. The brand’s Internet marketing efforts include a Web site,, which is full of useful beauty tips. The company sends out two weekly e-mails to an opt-in e-mail subscriber list of 700,000 names.

E.L.F. decided to create a Valentine’s Day promotion that would appeal to both men and women, since the latter would initially receive the communication. The expectation was that women would forward the e-mailto their significant others and “create a nudge to [their] boyfriends,” says Achelle Dunaway, market­ing and creative director at E.L.F. This was the first time the company’s marketing strategy has ever been targeted to men, Dunaway adds.

E.L.F. partnered with a jewelry provider to create an offer that consisted of a free necklace charm and a restaurant gift card when customers made a purchase of a certain amount. E.L.F. tested seven different offers.

“This is helping out the guy by giving him a discount at a restaurant and a necklace to give his girlfriend,” Dunaway says. “For the women that recommend it to their boyfriends, they get what they want — makeup — plus a necklace, and [a night] out to dinner.”

The e-mail blast was sent out at the end of January to 200,000 names.

The e-mail promotion had a 10% conversion rate. E.L.F.’s top-line revenue exceeded $20,000.
-Chantal Todé

J.G. Wentworth
Geo-targeting works for life

Approach: Finance company J.G. Went­worth wanted to promote a new service cash­ing out life insurance policies. Since licensing requirements for this type of offer vary by state, the company tapped agency DMi for a geo-targeted Web campaign that also looked for high concentrations of older consumers, a key target audience.

DMi created several banner ads that were distributed via ad networks and major portals. This “was a good way to target Americans older than 65, but also adhere to the geo­graphic restrictions,“ says Patrick McKenna, CEO of DMi Partners.

Results: The campaign yielded a 30%increase in Internet-generated leads, and a 33%decrease in cost per closed deal compared to prior strategies.
-Nathan Golia

Beverage Solutions
New members pour in

Approach: When Beverage Solutions Inc., a marketer of continuity-based wine programs, wanted to drive new member acquisition for its various wine delivery services, it signed up for online advertising agency Hydra Net­work’s cost-per-action affiliate network. The assorted promotions offered discounted prices and free gifts, such as tabletop wine openers, with membership. Hydra’s network of publishers also used banner ads, search, e-mail and text ads to drive consumers to Beverage Solutions’ landing page.

Results: In the first year, new members increased by 257%.
-Mary Hurn

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